Friday, June 26, 2009

The Intercultural Communication Institute

This institute is held annually to increase intercultural understanding, and reduce conflict among different cultures. The most significant workshops related to cultural competence, film, conflict styles, and social justice relating to intercultural communication and relations. These particular sessions highlighted the need to consider intercultural concepts and models of instructional design to enhance cultural learning across disciplines. One workshop I attended related to intercultural conflict styles, which introduced participants to the Intercultural Conflict Styles Inventory (ICS). The workshop discussed various intercultural styles of dealing with conflict and explained the inventory. This instrument is designed to focus on how we communicate during conflict circumstances. Participants took the inventory and identified their cultural prototype. The session also offered strategies for successfully managing intercultural conflict.
Another important workshop linked social justice, intercultural relations, and intercultural communication in the global context. The session allowed participants to apply a theoretical approach to the complexities of globalizations across various disciplines and for community organizers.The next workshop I attended highlighted the Developmental Model of Intercultural Sensitivity (DMIS). It focuses on the stages that people move through in their acquisition of intercultural competence. This workshop focused on intercultural theory and its applications for educators, trainers, consultants, and non-profit employees. It provided a theoretical underpinning for many of the workshops presented during the institute. The presenter then discussed the development through the ethnocentric stage (denial, defense, minimization) and through ethnorelative stages (acceptance, adaptation, integration). And finally, I attended a session on film-based approaches for intercultural education. With a variety of film clips, this interactive session explored sequencing films and facilitating discussions in a manner most likely to improve multicultural understanding and intercultural competence. The facilitators applied the (DMIS) model to film selection and analysis. They explained how the power of film can transform attitudes and the way people view the world. Facilitators encouraged participants to consider the following when selecting films: (1) Do I show the entire film? (2) How do I deconstruct the film so it is not taken out of context? (3) How do I set the film up? (4)What type of pre-context assignment should I give to students to help them be prepared to move more quickly along the various levels of the model? (5) What films take students across a great divide culturally? (6) What films explore deeper cultural context and does not perpetuate stereotypes? (7) What films challenges their belief systems yet help them develop interculturally? (8) Did I leave enough time to the process the film with my students? (9) Which stage in the DMIS model are my students currently experiencing? (10) Does this film help them progress to a higher stage in the (DMIS) model?

*Listed below are just a few of the suggested films for cross-cultural learning developed by the workshop presenters and the class:
Classics Old And New
  • Chairy Tale
  • Not In Our Town
  • A Class Divided/The Essential
  • Cold Water
  • The Way Home
  • True Colors
  • Tale of/Land of O's (Update)
  • Guess Whose Coming to Dinner
  • Blue Eyed
  • Ethnic Notions
  • Skin Deep
  • Powers of Ten


  • Kandahar (Afghanstan)
  • Himalya (Nepal)
  • Heaven and Earth (Vietnam)
  • Heart of the Dragon (China 12-part)
  • Ghandi (India)
  • Frida (Mexico
  • Dersu Uzala (Russia)
  • Search for the Afghan Girl (National Geographic)
  • Schindler's List (Germany)
  • Skyline (Spain)
  • Tompopo (Japan)
  • Three Seasons (Vietnam)
  • The Way Home (Korea)
  • Whale Rider (New Zealand)
  • Crying Game (Ireland)
  • Cry Freedom (South Africa)
  • City of Joy (India)
  • Heaven (Iran)
  • Chariots of Fire (England)

Domestic USA - African American

  • Amistad
  • A Raisin In The Sun
  • Boyz N The Hood
  • Color Purple
  • Do The Right Thing
  • Eyes On The Prize I and II
  • White Man's Burden
  • Crash (highlights several ethnic groups)
  • Fried Green Tomatoes
  • Glory
  • Ghosts Of Mississippi
  • Grand Canyon
  • Hoop Dreams

Domestic USA - Asian

  • Come See The Paradise
  • Daughter from Danag (PBS)
  • Dim Sum
  • Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story
  • Double Happiness (Canada)
  • Eat a Bowl of Tea
  • American Game Japanese Rules
  • Becoming American
  • Blue Collar Buddha
  • Carved in Silence
  • Great Wall
  • Green Dragon
  • Joy Luck Club
  • Karate Kid
  • Picture Bride

Domestic USA - Latino/Hispanic

  • Real Women Have Curves
  • Selena
  • Spanglish
  • Stand and Deliver
  • Tortilla Shop
  • West Side Story
  • Chicano! (4 part)
  • El Norte
  • Fools Rush In
  • La Bamba
  • Lone Star
  • Mi Familia/My Family

Domestic USA - Native American

  • Black Robe (Canada)
  • Dance Me Outside (Canada)
  • Dances With Wolves
  • Fast Runner

* I invite each of you to add films for cross-cultural learning.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

2009 Aging In America Conference

The Aging in America Conference is sponsored by the American Society on Aging and the National Council on Aging. This conference is held annually to demonstrate the best practices in education, professional development, research and businesses in the field of aging. The conference this year emphasized some best practices in a variety of areas; however I was most interested in information related to intergenerational exchange, the life course, health & wellness and women.

I attended health related workshops on training professionals and maintaining health & wellness. These workshops highlighted the need to appropriately train professionals and students working with older adults. There were concrete exercises and illustrations to demonstrated and provide an understanding of the significance of healthy living on the life course and older adults' choices. Some of these exercises could easily be incorporated into the classroom. For example in one workshop, one exercise illustrated the difficulty of decision making for older adults by providing a list of essential items for daily living and then giving specific circumstances by which items might be crossed off the list. For instance, the list may be a budget including prescriptions, produce, gas, co-pay for doctor's visits, etc. As an exercise, you would need to under specified circumstances that limited income or related to health prioritize the items on your list. In many instances, items may need to be removed from the list. This type of exercise could easily be altered and adapted to aging courses at all levels.

Another workshop attended related to incorporating technology and women's issues by accessing websites and agencies housing aging statistics and linking that to both in-class and online course materials. This would provide learning materials that are not only up-to-date but it would also allow students to concretely see how to link credible online source material with text and lecture information. Additionally, this workshop provided some ideas on classroom blogs and discussion board materials to enhance learning of age related concepts at all levels.

There were other workshops that demonstrated the best practices in business and clinical settings. These provided some useful information on how to help better train students for the field of aging. Health professionals and business owners discussed the need to train and educate a more compotent aging service provider. There were illustrations of program training that demonstrate where the field is going and what students will need to know. For instance, there were policy discussions in relation to health care reform and long term care that provided concrete examples of how to help professionals and students better understand the application in real world scenarios. This discussion also demonstrated the need to seek out internship and practicum opportunities with agencies and businesses representing the best in the field and local area.

While at the conference, I also gave a presentation on a collaborative senior level learning assessment that would require gerontology and music majors to work together to create a music learning program for older adults. The interactive audience provided valuable feedback on what types of activities might be most useful for both students and older adults. Additionally, suggestions for implementation and curriculum development were provided. The presentation undoubtedly will lead to the develpment of a better learning experience for students and will enhance the potential partnership between the music and gerontology programs.

Overall, this conference was really beneficial. Unlike more academically focused conferences, this conference brought together professionals, educators and business owners in a venue that allowed for useful exchange. In order to succesfully educate students to succeed in the field of aging, it is important to keep up with what is going on in all sectors of the field. Therefore, this conference by demonstrating the best practices in health, education, business and research provides numerous teaching and learning opportunities and other vital information.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Teaching and Learning at SECOLAS

Thanks to the generous support of CETL, supplemented by personal funds, I was able to attend and present at the 56th Annual Meeting of the Southeastern Council of Latin American Studies (SECOLAS) in New Orleans, Louisiana, on April 16-18, 2009. For a long time, I have been active in this organization, which brings together a wonderfully collegial group of scholars from the Southeast, provides a venue for a broad range of presentations, and is notable for nurturing both graduate and undergraduate student professional development. In the past, there have been one or two panels in which established and senior faculty share their best practices and materials for teaching Latin American and Caribbean Studies. There are also usually professional development panels on, for example, managing study abroad. This year, whereas there were panels on study abroad and publishing (which I attended), there was no pedagogical session as such. The panel on which I was placed and was asked to chair was titled “Teaching and Learning about Race in Latin America.” The panel presentations were three: “The Construction of Racial Categories in Latin America,” by Ivan Valverde, PhD candidate at the University of Florida; “The True Color of Crisis: Representations of Race in Veja Magazine, 1976 – 2000,” by Nicolette Wilhide, PhD candidate at Vanderbilt University; and my own, “Sharing the Riches of Afro-Brazilian History and Culture at HBCUs and Beyond.”

Mr. Valverde’s presentation was a very useful synthesis of the outcomes of “race” formation and racial projects in Spanish America, and his Power Point show would be usable and accessible in an undergraduate course. Ms. Wilhide’s presentation was from her promising work on representations of Brazilians of African descent in Brazil’s most widely read news weekly. This is difficult ground to tread because, in the last two decades, media representation and presence of Afro-Brazilians has received excellent attention from Brazilian and some non-Brazilian scholars. Yet, Ms. Wilhide stands to make useful contributions to the debate. For one student and, I think, for both, this was the first conference presentation, so this actually turned into a mentoring experience for me. Both were professional in every way, and it was a privilege to assist in their “maiden voyage.”

My presentation drew on my experience over about seventeen years, including here at WSSU in the teaching of Afro-Brazilian studies. My goal is to update the 2002 work of my colleague John D. French, whose “Sharing the Riches of Afro-Brazilian History and Culture: Undergraduate and Graduate Teaching Syllabi and Handouts” responded to growing curricular demands that paralleled, though lagged behind, the explosion of scholarship on Afro-Brazilian studies published in English since about 1993. That year, there were two crucial conferences on the topic in the United States at the University of Florida and the University of Texas. Then, in 1997, the V Congresso Afro-Brasileiro took place in Salvador, Brazil. The international scope of these meetings helped set the transnational terms of debate and the research agendas for the coming years. My presentation recapped the fruit of this scholarship up to the present, showed how one can map that content onto several sorts of Brazilian and Diasporic studies courses (on course mapping, see, demonstrated how to align those courses with institutional goals, and, finally, ended with some perspectives on where the field is headed: There is ongoing binational federal support for program development. We hope that the FIPSE/CAPES US-Brazil Higher Education Consortia Program continues with US Department of Education funding. There is also a new initiative taking shape, with is the Joint Action Plan between the Government of the Federative Republic of Brazil and the Government of the United States of America to Eliminate Racial and Ethnic Discrimination and Promote Equality (JAPER). The plan’s MOU was signed in March 2008 between the US State Department and SEPPIR, the Brazilian federal antidiscrimination secretariat. By creating a civil society committee operating parallel to the government agency committee, the plan seeks to foster academic and NGO activity. We will see if (a) autonomy of the civil society committee can be maintained, (b) what the nature of collaboration among academic and activist/service organizations will look like, and (c) what scholarly and training activity, among other outcomes, grows out of the plan.

My presentation also discussed my Web-based project to build a community of and for teachers of Afro-Brazilian Studies. I had delayed posting this blog entry because I had hoped to populate and publicize this online community, and announce details here. However, I am only now having time to meet with Dr. Galvis at CETL for how to make the best use of Ning as an academic networking site. Soon, I expect to post all of my materials on Afro-Brazilian studies not published elsewhere and invite colleagues in the filed to so the same. I will announce the launch on this blog later.

A lively discussion with the audience ensued, including definitions and references of terms. Parenthetically, the term “Afro-Brazilian” is used in this field as a translation of the Portuguese afro-brasileiro for a range of reasons. “African Brazilian” does not resonate and is not used by either scholars or activists. Indeed, africano brasileiro or brasileiro africano would have other denotations in Portuguese. Alternate terms used by academics, activists, and the press include "African-descended / African descendent" (afrodescendente) or "Black" (negro).

From the other sessions that I attended, I got some good activity ideas from a short-term art history course in Mexico (“Study Abroad and Service Learning: Christopher Newport University and Mexico City,” Dr Elizabeth MorĂ¡n, CNU). The ideas, which included basically a scavenger hunt and scrap book, are well suited for culture courses or academically-oriented tours in-country. This is an idea that can be incorporated into the Brazil exchange if we are fortunate enough to get another cycle of FIPSE funding. Since the theme of the conference was “Crisis and Recovery in the Americas,” so it was appropriate that there was a panel on post-Katrina recovery. The whole panel was excellent, but the pedagogical “take-away” from the panel was information about service-learning opportunities coordinated by Tulane but open to students everywhere. Information is available at Tulane’s Center for Public Service, (“Post-Katrina Migration to New Orleans and Service-Learning Initiatives at Tulane,” Dr. Jimmy Huck, Tulane University).

Finally, I always feel that the local arrangements chair and staff deserve thanks for putting on any conference that I attend because it is exceedingly hard work. In this case, Dr. Jimmy Huck of Tulane and his team of staff and students deserve hearty praise. The SECOLAS Web site is

Friday, May 8, 2009

Understanding how speakers use language

I attended the Annual African Conference on African Linguistics (ACAL) between April 8th and 12th. This is a conference that brings together scholars who focus on African linguistics including the teaching and the acquisition of African languages. I presented two papers: the first paper which was co-presented with colleagues from the University of Illinois, Urbana Champaign was on phonological borrowing from the English language into Logooli, an African language spoken in East Africa and the other paper was on the languages that the youths use in the rural and urban centers of Kenya. In my first paper I sought to find out what phonological rules the borrowed lexical items follow. Do they adapt to the target language phonological roles or do they impose their rules on the recipient language? The findings show that for the most part the tonal pattern rules of the receiving language takes over. However, there are still other cases which show opposite results.
In my second paper I examined language use among the youths in both urban and rural areas of Kenya arguing that language use among the youths is very dynamic. I showed that speakers’ perceptions on language use do not necessarily mirror the true language use. However, in order to fully understand the discrepancies one needs to examine other variables such as the topic, relationship between the speakers and other extra linguistic factors through a mixed methods approach.
I also attended several other sessions which focused on how students in American classes learn foreign languages. One paper by a participant from Michigan State University discussed how students whose first language uses the grammatical gender system have a problem learning foreign languages which use the noun class system. This was an important paper for me because it focused on Swahili which I teach at WSSU.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Increasing Student Engagement

Notes from The International Conference on College Teaching and Learning in Jacksonville, Florida, April 13-17, 2009, by Joanne Chesley, Ed.D., CETL.

I attended several sessions related to student engagement/ student retention. Here is a summary of what I learned from the studies presented (which I will cite/detail upon request):
  • Student satisfaction impacts retention, even if it does not impact grades.
  • Students need deep integrative learning that they can apply to many situations. They need learning that helps them see the world differently.
  • To get a good picture of what high student engagement should look like, we should study 'educationally effective institutions' to discern the 7 best practices; 1) student faculty interaction 2) active learning 3)immediate feedback 4) time on task 5) high expectations 6) respect for diversity 7)enforced cooperation (can be achieved via team based /problem based learning).
  • The university should participate in one of the major satisfaction survey processes such as NSSE, National Survey of Student Engagement. These will let you know how engaged your students are in the academic life of the university as well as the social life. Only 13% of college students report participation in extracurricular activities. The more engaged, the better the student's grades. The more satisfied generally, the more they stay to graduation.
  • Students persist to graduation when they have: 1) excellent 1st year experience courses 2) common intellectual experiences 3)learning communities 4) writing intensive courses and 5) effective relationships with faculty/mentors. These are called high impact practices. These practices force interaction with peers and faculty, ensure more feedback from professors, encourage appreciation for diversity, encourage cooperation, and ensure the opportunity to have concrete experiences (vs. theoretical, nebulous, extraneous). These practices have an even greater effect on students who are considered to have high risk factors (for dropout).
  • At many universities, 10-15% of the enrolled students drop between registration and census date (10days into the semester). We should try to find out what this is all about. This may indicate something about the environment or the red tape they have been through, or the fear they are beginning to feel. Some of these same feelings will remain among those who choose to stay, but may continue to impact them negatively. Focus groups held with students who did quit prematurely report that relationships /rapport is the biggest factor missing in their early experiences on campus.
  • Successful completion (C or better) of well-structured developmental courses contributes to greater college success than that experienced by those who did not even take developmental courses.
  • Universities must experiment with a wide range of initiatives based on varying retention factors, in an effort to find what works. Some say that anything else equals malpractice. Refusing to change our teaching habits, curriculum assessments, and resources should not be an option.
  • The teaching practice most connected to student persistence is immediate and meaningful feedback to student work.
I also attended sessions on Team Based Learning, Client Based Learning, the Pedagogy to Androgogy continuum, and Using I-clickers for engagement, feedback and assessment.
I have tape recordings of most of these sessions, and will loan them at your request. I also have the compendium of selected conference papers that you may borrow as well.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

US Youth Soccer Association Conference

I recently attended and presented at the United States Youth Soccer Association (USYSA) Conference in San Jose, California. At this conference there are two types of presentations, one deals with new coaching techniques, and the other sessions deal with marketing and management issues about the sport industry in general.

I attended several coaching sessions out of curiosity, but did attend several administrative sessions as well. Yet, the most beneficial sessions I attended dealt with new marketing strategies that could help me improve my teaching and knowledge of that field, and bring it back to the classroom and to my students.

One of the sessions covered the importance of catchy phrases or slogans in order to create a marketing campaign. During the session the value of Nike’s “Just do it” campaign was analyzed and explained as to why it has been successful. After it was analyzed, it was compared to the different slogans and campaigns used by one of its competitors - Reebok - over the years, and why it has not succeeded as expected. This is important when students ask in the classroom for more concrete and practical examples, rather than just theoretical answers.

Another session I found interesting dealt with information technology and how it can be used in order to provide a better product or service to a consumer, it dealt mostly with what the presenter called “operational excellence”, and how organizations as well as teachers must be willing to change and adapt in order to create/develop a competitive advantage, or to simply stay ahead of the competition.

I attended several presentations, but overall the most important issues I learned that I can bring to the classroom are:

· Make learning fun and enjoyable
· Develop self esteem in each student
· Motivate the student to attain and achieve excellence
· Develop a desire for lifetime curiosity and learning
· Develop leadership skills
· Instill self-responsibility

My presentation itself deal with how important it is to integrate different target markets, in particular Hispanics, and how their culture and background is important to know when trying to reach and to educate them.

In short, this conference was indeed a worthwhile event for me to attend, and was grateful to have learned many aspects of the sport industry that can be brought to the classroom, and at the same time be put to practical use.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Southern Organization for Human Services

I had the opportunity to attend the Southern Organization for Human Services (SOHS) 34th annual conference from March 25-28, 2009 in Tampa, Fl. SOHS is an organization devoted to helping educators and students in human service related fields increase visibility and hone their professional skills. This year's conference theme, New and Emerging Issues in Human Services, seemed very timely given the changes our Nation is going through currently. As president of this organization, I also had an opportunity to learn first hand some lessons in leadership. In addition, 7 students from WSSU attended, and 5 were able to present.

I have always viewed conferences as such an unique opportunity for students to learn about their field, network, and learn professionalism that cannot be taught in the classroom. As such, since I knew I would be attending the conference, I encouraged several students to consider attending. They went one step further and decided they wanted to present. I was thrilled, as this presented another teachable opportunity: what is a call for proposals; how to submit one; researching your idea; working collaboratively on your presentation; and finally, presenting in front of your professional peers. We had two proposals accepted. One on Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) (faculty lead of Dr. David Dawson), and one on the use of technology in teaching and learning (faculty lead-Shawn Ricks).

We spent several months preparing our research and fundraising for the conference. Both presentations were very well attended and well received. All of the students representing WSSU attended all breakouts and general sessions. They even had the opportunity to go to the University of South Florida to discuss Graduate school options.

The TBI presentation covered the longterm ramifications of Traumatice Brain Injury on veterans of war. The two student co-presenters presented their research along with Dr. David Dawson from WSSU. At the end of their presentation, they were encouraged to submit an abstract to the National Organization for Human Services' journal for publication!

The students and I also participated in a service learning project with a local head-start agency. The project tied in conference themes of pre-K education and community service. As an organizaton, we went to a headstart agency with a donated book for each child. While some students read to the children, others painted and planted flowers out back. The children were thrilled to have company and asked many questions during the stories and while working alongside the students and faculty that attended. For those of us who participated, it reminded us that we typically know very little about a community when we visit it for a conference. We were in the field actually doing what we were talking about in the field. It was the ultimate service learning project in my opinion. The feedback was unanimous--this was a pivotal experience for those that attended and everyone requested that we duplicate this experience at next year's conference.

Our recent conference experience reminded us of the many avenues in which transformational educational experiences occur. I am grateful for CETL's support and look forward to future chances to learn alongside my students.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

GeographyConference - Las Vegas

Last week I had the opportunity to attend the 2009 American Association of Geographers (AAG) Annual Conference in Las Vegas, NV. The conference included more than 6,000 geographers from around the world and is a mix of presentations on cutting edge academic research and sessions on best practices for teaching and learning.

I was able to participate in both aspects of the conference by organizing a session/presenting some of my research on local government boundary change and attending several session dedicated to teaching and learning. My session on boundary change was well received and included an opportunity for questions and answers that generate a lot of interesting discussion. Additionally, I was approached by a representative from the Planners Press to discuss publishing my work. This unique opportunity would not have presented itself if I didn't attend the conference. The funding that I received though CETL made this possibility and reality.

The teaching and learning sessions that I attended focused on a variety of topics. The one session that I took the most away from was focused on making geography come alive for students. The session highlight many new technologies that are available for use in the classroom and also discussed the use of relevant DVD's. Today's students are so interactive we can not just lecture and expect them to learn all they need to know. Students want to see, hear and feel the topics. So incorporating DVD's, the internet, and assignments that take the student outside the classroom are all important. Geography is all around us and part of our everyday life (whether we realize it or not) so it is important to provide real-world examples that students can connect with.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

TLC San Antonio

I had the pleasure of attending and presenting at the Teaching and Learning conference in San Antonio, Texas. This conference is actually two events in one: One strand is for higher education and the other for business. Although these two disciplinary areas seem different, I found sessions in both areas that were beneficial to my academic practice. For example, use of the Socratic method in teaching the problem-solving and decision-making process was presented in the business strand, but I found it useful for one of the courses that I currently teach.

Essentially, that presentation proposed that students can be taught how to use the Socratic method to stimulate critical thinking and better decision-making in group situations. Students could use questions to:
  • Ask an individual to provide instances or justifications for the position advocated
  • Interject a counter-example in response to an individual’s position or point
  • Ask whether anyone in the group agrees with the position advocated
  • Suggest a parallel example
  • Illuminate a specific concept or position using an analogy
  • Play the role of devil’s advocate to an articulated position
In my own teaching experience, I have found that students sometimes feel frustrated when I (as the instructor) respond to their questions with more questions. I believe this is because students often want "just the answers" rather than having to think critically beyond the facts. Perhaps teaching them hows and whys of the Socratic method and actually having them implement it would motivate them to think more and be less resistant to questioning. I am looking forward to trying this out next semester.

Another session that I found useful was on Collaborative Learning. Specifically, it addressed the problems involved with group projects. The presenters offered the following suggestions for improving the group process:
  • Give students specific group management role and responsibilities, such as manager, encourager, cheerleader, coach, question commander, checker, or taskmaster.
  • Give each member of the team a different, interdependent research and problem-solving role. This can ensure that students work together rather than in parallel.
  • The instructor needs to have input into how the groups are formed; sometimes best friends make poor group members.
  • Low-ability students often benefit most when paired with medium-ability students rather than those of highest ability.
  • Train students in interpersonal communication skills ahead of time so that they know what behavior is expected of the group and require discussion of group functioning, focusing on how students should talk and listen to each other.
  • Consider assessment strategies carefully, looking for ways to reward the group while also emphasizing individual accountability. Avoid giving the entire group one grade.

Each semester, I teach a senior level research methods course that has a group project as a significant component. Effectiveness of the group process varies widely, as you can imagine. Some semesters, I have groups that function extremely well. Others can be experiences in great frustration. I have constantly looked for ways to improve the group process, and have resisted the temptation to eliminate the group aspect of the project. I sincerely believe that students should possess good groupwork skills by the time they graduate from a university. I have already implemented some of the techniques that were presented. For example, I have all group members submit a peer evaluation that helps me to find out who did what (and who did not do what). Part of a student's grade is based on her/his individual performance in the group. I found the concept of pairing low-ability students with medium-ability students (rather than high-ability) intriguing, and I now understand the rationale. Low-ability students often get lost when working with high-ability students, whereas medium-ability students motivate them to function at a higher level. Up to this point, I have let students choose their own groups, so I have had no control over how well the individuals are matched up. I will try to assign groups in the future based on the suggestions given and see what happens.

I attended several other sessions that provided useful information and tools for my teaching. Some, such as one on using PowerPoint games to develop vocabulary skills helped me to think of different ways to utilize familiar technology. Others, such as ones on leadership models and skills were useful for updating content in some of my courses.

I did make a presentation at the conference: "Knowledge about HIV/AIDS and resulting student behavior among students at an Historically Black College/University". It was well received, and fortunately, I was not asked any questions that I could not answer. The study looked at the level of of knowledge about HIV/AIDS among students, the differences in the accuracy of that knowledge by gener, and the relationship between knowledge and behavior. What we (myself and three other authors) found was that although students had a high level of knowledge (more accurate for women than for men), their behviors did not reflect that. Students practice high risk behaviors in spite of the fact that they know better. Our suggestions were to focus more on teaching about the consequences of high-risk behavior rather than just the factual information about the disease. We also felt that the role of the campus environment in encouraging high-risk behaviors needs to be investigated. We recommended that qualitative studies through focus goups be the preferred inquiry method for these investigations. I do not wish to delve further into the content of the study here, but if anyone is interested, you can contact me for more information.

Overall, this conference was a very worthwhile event, and I came back with much to think about and put into practice.


TL Conference

I attended the TL Conference in Greensboro, NC and had the opportunity to present. The conference was very worth my time. I have already implemented some of the teaching strategies presented in one of the presentations. It came off as a blast! This was a wonderful opportunity.

Wanda Lawrence
WSSU, Division of Nursing