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Beyond the Books: Crafting Engaging and Inclusive Learning Experiences

Dr. Mo Turner
University of Washington | Department of Biology
Seminar date:
Monday, April 15, 2024 - 14:00 to 15:00
LSB 201

Given the rich diversity of knowledge, experiences and identities among our students, what strategies can we employ to ensure classes – both small and large – are both welcoming and engaging? My classroom methodology centers around evidence-based practices, vulnerability, and deliberate intention: from engaging every student through active learning to spurring critical thinking via ethical dilemmas and infusing lessons with societal context to address historical and contemporary inequities. Additionally, I focus on creating content that connects academic concepts to tangible real-world scenarios, making the curriculum not only engaging but also highly relevant to the students' daily experiences and future endeavors. Finally, an inclusive and welcoming environment should not only apply to the students, but to the teaching team itself. Integrating scaffolded training and professional development for our Learning Assistants (undergraduate and graduate) will empower them with the skills and confidence to effectively facilitate discussions, handles diverse classroom dynamics, and contribute significantly to creating a supportive, collaborative environment in any profession. In this seminar, I will tell you about how I enact these strategies and principles to cultivate a classroom environment that is inclusive, authentic, and conducive to learning for every student and educator involved.

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