Loyola University Chicago

Focus on Teaching and Learning

January 2023 FOTL Resources

January 2023 FOTL: Reflections Toward Actions

The January 12, 2023, virtual Focus on Teaching and Learning (FOTL) Conference theme was Reflections Toward Action. In concert with our Ignatian values, we compiled presentations that surround questions of growth and development both for you as an educator, and for your students as learners. We encourage the use of reflection as an ongoing practice to help you apply what you are learning about yourself as an instructor and your students as learners toward student growth and development in your learning environments.



Quizzes vs Exams

Kevin Mazor (School of Nursing); Matt Bruder (School of Nursing)


Description: Over the past five years we have observed the damaging effect that the traditional exam format has had on student learning, morale, and well-being. We will share two strategies to address these issues: 1. a transition from a few large exams to many smaller quizzes and 2. allowing students to retake their assessments after feedback has been provided.


Recording/Posting Lectures Post-Pandemic:

Jeremy Ritzert (Biology)


Description: There are pros and cons of continuing to record and post lectures for students in a post-pandemic world. I will share some of my experiences and ways to make it easier to post lecture recordings.


Strategies for Promoting Reflection in Online Learning

Kristlyn Thomas (OOL)


Description: In this session, we will discuss reflection in the online learning environment. The session will cover the importance of reflection in online learning as well as specific strategies for incorporating reflection in synchronous and asynchronous online, hyflex, and blended courses.


Steps Toward Inclusive Pedagogy:

Justin Wright (FCIP)


Description: As our community continues to look for concrete and impactful ways to demonstrate our care for students and our commitment to their holistic learning experiences, we want to acknowledge and dignify our students as individuals. Justin will share information on two approaches to this end: (1) refining our understanding and use of chosen modes of address, including pronouns; and (2) incorporating FCIP's Labor Acknowledgement into your syllabi.


Don't Stop Thinking About Tomorrow: Practicing Critical Hope in the Classroom

Susan Haarman (CELTS)


Description: Bringing Critical Hope into the classroom is a way to help motivate and move students from a place of despair and overwhelming anxiety about the world without ignoring important issues of justice and larger structural issues or engaging in toxic positivity. Using the work of Kari Grain, we’ll look at several simple practices to open a space for critical hope in your classroom.


Breakout Sessions



Continuous Improvement: Student Program Learning Outcomes (PLOs)

Rachel Shefner (Provost Office)


Description: In this session we will gauge participants knowledge about program learning outcomes, provide a framework for writing clear and measurable learning outcomes, and participants will model productive discussions that can happen in academic units as they work to evaluate and improve example PLOs. The session will conclude with a discussion of how these discussions can lead to continuous improvement of academic programs that leads to increased success of our students.


Check out the presentation slides here.




Using Constructivist Pedagogy in a College Classroom

Devyn Mares (Arrupe College)


Description: Using theoretical bases of Bruner, Piaget, Kolb, and Vygotsky; the session will support educators in understanding how to use constructivist pedagogy in a college classroom, reframing classwork and homework to align with experiential learning and supporting learning in context. Educators will gain skills to adjust their scope and sequence to maximize schema construction, practice the skill of engaging learners in activities to support application of newly learned content, and understand the importance of breaks for consolidation within the brain.


Check out the presentation slides here.



Artificial Intelligence in Education

Joe Vukov (Philosophy); Michael Burns (Biology); Susan Haarman (CELTS)


Description: Artificial Intelligence has been impacting education for years, but now that technology is becoming even more accessible and user friendly, our students may already be utilizing AI to help them write papers and complete assignments. Does this mean education as we know it is doomed? Or is it just another invitation to think creatively about how new technology can blend with time-tested pedagogy techniques to help our students think critically about the future? In this hands-on workshop, we'll be using AI to write example essays, design lesson plans, and reflect on the role of technology in higher education now and in the future.


Check out the presentation slides here.







Building Learning Portfolios for Critical Reflection into your Courses

Patrick Green (CELTS); Justin Harbison (Public Health); Sandra Kaufmann (Dance); Cynthia Stewart (Public Health); Andrew Miller (CELTS); Alli Sanchez-Perry (CELTS)


Description: Learning portfolios (electronic portfolios, often referred to as ePortfolios) are a research-based, high-impact learning practice that engages students in critical reflection and integrative learning. TA panel of Loyola instructors teaching courses with learning portfolios will demonstrate how they engage students in critical reflection through digital learning portfolios.  Upon completion of this discussion, participants will: 1) identify strategies to scaffold assignments in ePortfolios, 2) articulate examples of formative and summative reflection assignments in learning portfolios, 3) identify opportunities for students to share their reflections via portfolios.


Check out the presentation slides here.




Sustainability in Course Design

Ryan Leach (Psychology); Susan McCarthy (Business, Arrupe College); Emily Sharrett (English)


Description: This session will describe strategies for implementing sustainability in the classroom, allow participants time to workshop their own ideas for implementing material related to sustainability in the classroom, and promote LUC resources and community around sustainability themes in the classroom. We will present sustainability frameworks and resources to guide participants’ ideas for their own classes and help them walk away with at least one module, activity, or challenge.


Check out the presentation slides here.