Faculty Learning Day centers on ‘Art and Science of Teaching and Learning’

This year’s Faculty Learning Day, held January 10, 2013, at the Van Andel Institute, followed the theme “The Art and Science of Teaching and Learning.”

The program, hosted by the Center for Teaching Excellence, explored best practices in creating instruction that is accessible to all students—a topic of critical importance given the diversity of GRCC’s student population at GRCC.

“In any classroom you will find a microcosm of west Michigan — single parents, grandparents, single students who have just graduated from high school, students who have a language other than English as their first language, students with disabilities, and students who have already had success in college and are simply returning to gain a new skill,” said Dr. Ric Underhile, associate dean for instructional support. “Creating instruction for all of these students requires as much art as science.”

The event kicked off with a keynote address by Irene Bowen, president of ADA One, a consulting firm dedicated to advocacy and education for persons with disabilities.  In addition, faculty attended sessions on topics such as Universal Design, responding to different learning styles, and working with students with various disabilities. The program ended with a panel discussion by four GRCC students with disabilities.

“Our primary goal at GRCC is to educate our community and to do so in a way that fosters success and helps people achieve their goals” said Dr. Jeremy Osborn, director of the Center for Teaching Excellence. “These sessions will help all of us think more intentionally about how we can use collaboration, technology, and creativity to foster that success for a wider group of students.”

Guest speakers included Lennie Scott-Webber, director of education environments at Steelcase; Nanette Clatterbuck, associate provost of Graduate and Professional Studies at Aquinas College; and Jeff Sykes, assistive technology coordinator at Grand Valley State University. GRCC presenters included  Diane Sparks, Ann Alexander, Anne Sherman, Ron Ralya, Sarah Rose, Cheryl Kautz, Meegan Willi and Dr. Osborn.

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