The 16th annual CCTL Conference on Teaching and Learning was held Jan 10-11, 2017, in St. Vincent’s Hall on the Niagara University campus. This year’s theme, “Cooperative and Collaborative Learning,” explored pathways to deep thinking skills and expanding students’ abilities to solve problems. Over 115 people attended from 17 different institutions and presentation styles included breakout sessions, poster sessions and roundtable discussions.
The keynote speaker, Dr. Neil Davidson, provided attendees with helpful and practical tips to “break the cycle of teaching the way you were taught,” and offered guidance on how to implement cooperative and collaborative learning techniques in the classroom. Sessions included theoretical comparisons of approaches to help faculty decide whether to use cooperative or collaborative learning and ways to establish support systems for implementing these techniques.
Dr. Davidson, a longtime practitioner of cooperative learning, has co-edited five books, including Enhancing Thinking Through Cooperative Learning as well as Professional Development for Cooperative Learning: Issues and Approaches, and published numerous articles. He has presented at national and international conferences and at numerous universities. He is a founding member of the International Association for the Study of Cooperation in Education (IASCE), serving as president for five years.
The College of Business Administration had two faculty members that presented their papers: Mitchell Alegre, instructor of leadership and management, presented on “Mindfulness Exercises for the Classroom” and Dr. Anna McNab, associate professor of management, discussed “Using Debates to Establish relationships in Online Learning: When Arguments Help Strengthen Bonds.” Dr. Paul Richardson served as a moderator.
Sierra Adare-Tasiwoopa api, instructional support specialist, assisted in in coordinating the conference. The conference also received significant support from Dr. Tim Ireland, provost, and Dr. Henrik Borgstrom, interim associate provost.
“I have enjoyed being involved in CCTL for the last few years because it provides myself and others the opportunity to enhance the classroom experience for our students,” said Dr. Principe.