Great Conversations is a collection of professionally produced, faculty-curated conversations with intellectuals, scholars, and researchers. The goal of this collection is to inspire faculty to use their daily practice to transform ideas into action and forge the path ahead.
The Great Conversations describe obstacles to higher education's attainment of its overarching goals and elaborate on pathways to solutions.
Getting to Know Gen Z
Born from 1995-2010, Generation Z makes up the majority of the traditionally-aged college student population. And they’re not the Millennials that came before them. As each generation grows up, there are myths and misunderstanding that follow them. This conversation features Karli Farrell, a current IU student and French Horn performance major in the Jacobs School of Music, who hosts Meghan Grace, a generational researcher, in a dialogue about Generation Z in college. Karli and Meghan discuss challenges Gen Z faces in this age of political polarization, 365/24/7 information overload, and expectation to maintain a “perfect” social media presence. Grace emphasizes the importance of getting to know this generation. The conversation addresses ways faculty can help this generation succeed in the classroom and prepare our Gen Z students for the workplace and meaningful lives after college.
The Impact of Instructor Bias on Student Success
Teaching and learning are immersive activities to which both the instructor and the student bring personal attributes and dispositions that can profoundly impact the success – or failure – of their educational endeavor. Recent research has established that one compelling factor influencing attainment levels in student success is the pre-dispositions or attitudes of the instructor. Specifically, if a professor feels a student has limited capability for gaining command of classroom content, that feeling will manifest itself in ways that can – and do – affect student performance and attainment. In this conversation, Mary Murphy will discuss the ground-breaking findings of her research team, and explore ways in which we might engage this new information to create higher quality learning environments in our classrooms everyday – for everyone.
Teaching the Total Student
Success in the classroom can be illusive for students struggling with personal adversity. Food insecurity, housing insecurity, and the challenge of meeting basic, life needs can be overwhelming for students, and at times, derail their academic pursuits, and perhaps even take them out of college all together. In this conversation, Russell Lowery-Hart discusses this dilemma and presents programs and priorities which his campus has developed to lift students out of pre-poverty and to empower them with resources and services designed to mitigate their current situation and to bridge them to a better environment in which to live, learn and grow.
From Stigma to Inclusion
Stigma is a debilitating psychological and emotional condition that can erode students’ self-confidence and sense of belonging to the point of forcing them to drop classes, discontinue activities, or stop out of school completely. Addressing the deep-rooted causes of stigma and creating impactful and effective strategies to combat it are complex tasks, but with dedication and persistence, progress can be made. In this conversation, Bernice Pescosolida explores the complexity of confronting stigma on campus, and provides insight into how the problem might transform into the solution as communities become better equipped to embrace – and celebrate – difference and diversity.
Bridges and Barriers to Student Persistence
The 21st century campus and classroom can be daunting places for first generation college students. From complicated admissions procedures to complex and confusing financial aid forms, the university culture with which new students are confronted can raise doubts in their minds about whether they can succeed in such an environment, or if they ever belong there. David Yeager and his research team have conducted ground breaking research that asserts that this sense of non-belonging is a compelling factor is student attrition. In this conversation, we discuss how teaching in particular might be leveraged to break down barriers and build bridges to students' heightened sense of belonging, and in turn, their persistence to graduation.
Freshmen of the Future
Dr. Jonathan Green became the 15th president of Susquehanna University, the 7th most economically diverse university in the country. Prior to that, he spent six years as provost and dean of the faculty at Illinois Wesleyan University. He previously served as dean of the college and vice president for academic affairs at Sweet Briar College, where he received the 1999 Award for Excellence in Teaching. He states that we don’t have to guess about numbers or demographics of the Freshmen of the future. They are already here. Infants and toddlers today are our college students of the future.
Teaching Technologies of the Future
Curt Bonk is a former accountant/CPA and former educational psychologist who currently assumes the role of professor of instructional systems technology at Indiana University where he has published a dozen books (e.g., The World is Open, The Handbook of Blended Learning, MOOCs and Open Education Around the World, etc.) as well as more than 100 journal articles and over 50 book chapters on research related to various emerging learning technologies, online and blended learning, MOOCs and open education, and the global impacts from collaborative technology.
Teaching for Lifelong Student Success
George Kuh is adjunct research professor of education policy at the University of Illinois and Chancellor's Professor of Higher Education Emeritus at Indiana University (IU). In this video, he discusses strategies for building skills that help students to become lifelong learners.
Access, Equity, and New Frontiers
Thomas Ehrlich is a Visiting Professor at the Stanford University School of Education. He has previously served as president of Indiana University, provost of the University of Pennsylvania, and dean of Stanford Law School. In this conversation he examines the new frontiers opening up in academia as part of the efforts to ensure fair access to higher education throughout society.
Liberal Education, Equity and Democracy
Susan Albertine is a senior scholar in the Office of Liberal Learning and the Global Commons at AAC&U and a career-long literacy educator and advocate for educational reform. In this conversation, she addresses the role of democracy in education and the challenges of being an educator in the 21st century.
Transparency in Learning and Teaching
Mary-Ann Winkelmes is Director of Instructional Development and Research and an Associate Graduate Faculty member in the Department of History at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) and founder of TILT Higher Ed. In this conversation, she focuses on some of the great challenges facing contemporary higher education including equity and creating collaborations for new kinds of post-secondary degrees.
College Costs and the New Economy
A well-known scholar and speaker on the topic of outcomes assessment, Trudy Banta has presented at conferences in 25 other countries and has developed and coordinated 30 national assessment conferences in the U.S. and 15 international conferences in other countries. In this conversation, she discusses the dynamics of the 21st century American economy and the challenge to the Academy to preserve the liberal arts and humanities in an age of specialization and vocationalism.
The Power of Community-engaged Learning
Dr. Julie A. Hatcher is Executive Director of the Center for Service and Learning and Associate Professor of Philanthropic Studies in the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy at IUPUI. In this conversation, she talks about the power of community-based learning on the growth and development of students as citizens and servant leaders.
Teaching Innovation and Assessment for the Campus of the Future
Dr. Patricia Hutchings is a senior scholar with the National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment (NILOA). Her work has focused on a variety of strategies for creating a campus culture of teaching and learning: the scholarship of teaching and learning, integrative learning, the peer collaboration and review of teaching, and student learning outcomes assessment. In this conversation, she discusses new possibilities for using assessments in the 21st century classroom.
Listen. Reflect. Let your voice be heard.
For supplemental information on the Great Conversations interviews, check out Great Conversations in Canvas. There you will find biographical information on each speaker, additional videos, a LibGuide featuring each speaker's professional publications, and a discussion to engage with other faculty interested in the topic.