Teaching and learning scholar James Lang to present workshops Jan. 30

December 11, 2019

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Author, editor and professor James Lang will bring his knowledge of teaching to Penn State during a series of three in-person and online workshops on Jan. 30, 2020. All of the events are open to faculty, teaching assistants and members of the learning design community.

Lang is the author of five books, including “Small Teaching: Everyday Lessons from the Science of Learning” and “Cheating Lessons: Learning from Academic Dishonesty.” The professor of English at Assumption College in Worcester, Massachusetts, recently submitted the manuscript for his next book, “Teaching Distracted Minds,” due out in late 2020. He is also the director of the D’Amour Center for Teaching Excellence at Assumption College, a monthly contributor to “The Chronicle for Higher Education” and his writings have been published in the Boston Globe, the Chicago Tribune, and Time.

'Small Teaching: From Minor Changes to Major Learning'

This session will be presented from 10:35 to 11:35 a.m. in the Foster Auditorium, Paterno Library, University Park campus. Registration information can be found here.

The same workshop will be offered through MediaSite Live and phone from noon to 1 p.m. A MediaSite Live link will be forthcoming, but attendees can register here.

“Research from the learning sciences and from a variety of educational settings suggests that a small number of key principles can improve learning in almost any type of college or university course, from traditional lectures to flipped classrooms,” according to the program guide. “This workshop will introduce some of those principles, offer practical suggestions for how they might foster positive change in higher education teaching and learning, and guide faculty participants to consider how these principles might manifest themselves in their current and upcoming courses.”

'Teaching Distracted Minds'

Also on Jan. 30, Lang will present “Teaching Distracted Minds” from 3:05 to 4:05 p.m. in Foster Auditorium. Registration is available here.

“As faculty struggle with the problem of distracted students on our campuses and in our classes, they have become increasingly frustrated by the ways in which digital devices can interfere with student learning," offered the description in the program guide. "But are students today more distracted than they were in the past? Has technology reduced their ability to focus and think deeply, as some popular books have argued? This interactive lecture draws upon scholarship from history, neuroscience and education in order to provide productive new pathways for faculty to understand the distractible nature of the human brain, work with students to moderate the effects of distraction in their learning, and even leverage the distractible nature of our minds for new forms of connected and creative thinking.”

These events are sponsored by the Center for Excellence in Science Education, College of the Liberal Arts, Leonhard Center for Enhancement of Engineering Education, Schreyer Institute for Teaching Excellence, Teaching and Learning with Technology, University Libraries, The Center for Arts and Design Pedagogy, Penn State Learning and Undergraduate Education. 

For information, contact Mary Ann Tobin at matobin@psu.edu or 814-865-7881.

Last Updated January 20, 2020