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What We're Learning About Learning

What We're Learning About Learning

By The Center for New Designs in Learning and Scholarship
At the Center for New Designs in Learning and Scholarship at Georgetown University, we support faculty in order to improve student learning at Georgetown University and we produce this podcast about teaching and learning in higher education. Through this resource, we hope to expand and share more broadly the conversations we’re having with students, faculty, and staff, and shed light on some of the most important issues and developments in higher education today.
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Religious and Spiritual Diversity in the Classroom

What We're Learning About Learning

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Bringing Belonging to the Classroom
We wrap up our second season with a closer look at a theme that has come up repeatedly in our podcast: belonging. Our interviews with faculty have focused on a wide range of topics, including antiracist pedagogy, accessibility, experiential learning, well-being, and religious diversity. But, in conversation after conversation, the faculty, staff, and students we talked with emphasized the importance of the feeling of belonging in the learning experience. In this episode, we pulled together these conversations to highlight patterns, insights, and key takeaways. Episode webpage.  Featured in this episode: Bob Bies, Professor, McDonough School of Business Donna Cameron, Professor, Dept. of Family Medicine Alisa Carse Associate Professor of Philosophy and Faculty Affiliate of the Kennedy Institute of Ethics Carol Day, Director of Health Education Services and Adjunct Assistant Professor in Nursing & Health Studies David Ebenbach, Assistant Director for Graduate Student and Faculty Programming at CNDLS and the Center for Jewish Civilization Allyson Even, a history teacher at KIPP University Prep in San Antonio, Texas Rabbi Rachel Gartner, most recent Director for Jewish Life Imam Yahya Hendi, Director for Muslim Life Amrita Ibrahim, Assistant Teaching Professor, Dept of Anthropology Amena Johnson, Associate Director of the LGBTQ Resource Center Mimi Khuc, Adjunct lecturer in the Disability Studies program Durriya Meer, Director of Counseling and Psychiatric Service (CAPS) Libbie Rifkin, Teaching Professor in the Department of English, founding Director of the Program in Disability Studies Javier Jimenez Westerman, Assistant Dean of Undergraduate Programs at Georgetown College Explore our episode webpage for additional research.  And check out the What We’re Learning About Learning: A CNDLS Podcast and for more episodes!
21:25
August 25, 2022
Religious and Spiritual Diversity in the Classroom
Call to mind an occasion when you felt out of your depth or unsure what to do in an encounter or engagement with religious or spiritual diversity inside or outside the classroom. What did you do in that situation? What do you wish you had done in that situation? We asked these same questions of three clergy from Georgetown University’s Campus Ministry. In CNDLS’ latest podcast episode of What We Are Learning About Learning, Rabbi Rachel Gartner, Imam Yahya Hendi, and Brahmachari Sharan talk about the good and bad experiences students regularly share with them, and how faculty can listen, reflect, and grow to better serve students. Bios Interviewed for this episode: Rabbi Rachel Gartner, most recent Director for Jewish Life Imam Yahya Hendi, the Director for Muslim Life Brahmachari Sharan, the Director for Dharmic Life and Hindu Spiritual Advisor for Campus Ministry David Ebenbach, Professor of the Practice at CNDLS and the Center for Jewish Civilization Resources Georgetown Resources Campus Ministry  Your Guide to Religious Services at Georgetown University Center for New Designs in Learning and Scholarship (CNDLS) Georgetown’s Student Outreach and Support (SOS Care Team) Georgetown’s Mission and Information about Cura Personalis The Doyle Engaging Difference Program The Prospect blog Additional Resources & Research “‘I think it, therefore it's true'’: Effects of Self-perceived Objectivity on Hiring Discrimination” (Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 9/7/07) “To fight hate and stereotypes, students and parents turn to textbooks” (The Washington Post, 6/15/19) No Longer Invisible: Religion in University Education (Oxford Scholarship, 2012) “Spiritual and Religious Diversity,” teaching tips from the University of Denver’s Teaching Center “Religious Literacy,” (Inside Higher Ed, 8/24/20) Cuyjet, M. J., Howard-Hamilton, M. F., Cooper, D. L., & Linder, C. (Eds.). (2016). “Religious and Spiritual Diversity Among College Students” in Multiculturalism on campus : Theory, models, and practices for understanding diversity and creating inclusion. Stylus Publishing, LLC.
29:33
July 10, 2022
Supporting Student Wellbeing and Learning
Students everywhere have experienced the brunt of the pandemic not only through learning loss but also through extended, well-documented mental health issues. Research has found that that students struggle to cope with coursework and the pressure to excel in school, especially as their priorities have shifted to maintaining personal relationships and mental health. In CNDLS’ latest podcast episode of What We Are Learning about Learning, hear how staff and faculty at Georgetown have fostered trust and belonging and motivated students by opening up to those students and creating a shared space of vulnerability and whole-person learning in the classroom. Bios Interviewed for this episode: Durriya Meer, Director of CAPS and Licensed Psychologist Carol Day, Director of Health Education Services and Adjunct Assistant Professor, School of Nursing and Health Studies, Human Science Huaping Lu-Adler, Associate Professor, Department of Philosophy Sarah Stiles, Teaching Professor, Department of Sociology Andreas Kern, Associate Teaching Professor, McCourt School of Public Policy Statements from “The Engelhard Project 2005 - 2015: Voices From a Decade of Connecting Life and Learning” (video): President John J. DeGioia, 48th President of Georgetown University Heidi G. Elmendorf, Associate Professor, Department of Biology and Senior Advisor to the President for Equity in Education, Director of the Regents Science Scholars Program Edilma Yearwood, Associate Professor, Professional Nursing Practice Academic Department Jason Tilan, Associate Professor, Human Science Academic Department Alisa Carse, Associate Professor, Department of Philosophy and Faculty Affiliate of the Kennedy Institute for Ethics John Wright, Director of Student Life, Georgetown University Qatar
29:02
May 23, 2022
In the Room and on Zoom--Concurrent Hybrid Teaching
During this pandemic, faculty and students alike have had to continually pivot between virtual and in-person learning. This has caused much stress — for students who have to miss class due to contraction or exposure and for faculty, who are struggling to find ways to teach students who cannot physically be there. One solution is for faculty to teach to students in person and over Zoom simultaneously. This can be daunting, but it really is doable! In this episode you’ll  hear from three faculty and one of their TAs who will share their insights about how to prepare, deliver, and problem-solve in the hybrid classroom. Bios Mark Carl Rom, PhD, Associate Professor of Government and Public Policy at the McCourt School of Public Policy and the Department of Government Shannon Mooney, PhD, Senior Data Scientist and Linguist Mimi Khúc, PhD, Instructor in Disability Studies at Georgetown University Alex Chugunova, MA, Communications and Media Specialist Resources Hybrid Modality: Hyflex Teaching Hybrid Modalities and Strategies Video on Setting Up the Classroom for Hybrid Teaching The Prospect blog Center for New Designs in Learning and Scholarship (CNDLS)
19:18
February 15, 2022
Tips for Making the Most of the Spring Semester, Part II
This two-part episode features conversations among faculty at Georgetown University about some of the most pressing challenges they faced while teaching during the Fall 2021 semester.  Part I features three faculty who discuss ways in which they fostered inclusivity and equity in their classes by leveraging technology and other strategies.  In Part II, five faculty share assessment strategies that they used for reducing student stress and anxiety among their students. Bios Part I: Dr. Chandra Manning, Professor in the Department of History Dr. Jennifer Fox, Teaching Professor in the Department of Biology Dr. Marissa  Fond, Assistant Teaching Professor in the Department of Linguistics Part II: Dr. Karen Shaup, Associate Teaching Professor in the Department of English and Adjunct Faculty in the Writing Program Dr. MC Chan, Assistant Teaching Professor in the Department of Biology Mokoto Omori, Assistant Teaching Professor in the  Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures Kumi Sato, Assistant Teaching Professor in the  Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures Dr. Yoshiko Mori, Associate Professor in the  Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures Resources The Prospect blog Center for New Designs in Learning and Scholarship (CNDLS) Hypothes.is Professor Shaup’s Grading Agreement Alternative Modes of Grading Inclusive Pedagogy Toolkit
15:53
January 07, 2022
Tips for Making the Most of the Spring Semester, Part I
This two-part episode features conversations among faculty at Georgetown University about some of the most pressing challenges they faced while teaching during the Fall 2021 semester.  Part I features three faculty who discuss ways in which they fostered inclusivity and equity in their classes by leveraging technology and other strategies.  In Part II, five faculty share assessment strategies that they used for reducing student stress and anxiety among their students. Bios Part I: Dr. Chandra Manning, Professor in the Department of History Dr. Jennifer Fox, Teaching Professor in the Department of Biology Dr. Marissa  Fond, Assistant Teaching Professor in the Department of Linguistics Part II: Dr. Karen Shaup, Associate Teaching Professor in the Department of English and Adjunct Faculty in the Writing Program Dr. MC Chan, Assistant Teaching Professor in the Department of Biology Mokoto Omori, Assistant Teaching Professor in the  Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures Kumi Sato, Assistant Teaching Professor in the  Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures Dr. Yoshiko Mori, Associate Professor in the  Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures Resources The Prospect blog Center for New Designs in Learning and Scholarship (CNDLS) Hypothes.is Professor Shaup’s Grading Agreement Alternative Modes of Grading Inclusive Pedagogy Toolkit
15:42
January 05, 2022
Teaching Georgetown’s Slaveholding History
In this episode, GU History professor Adam Rothman talks with us about his work studying and teaching about the history of slavery at Georgetown and draws on his teaching and research expertise on the history of the United States from the Revolution to the Civil War andthe history of slavery and abolition in the Atlantic world. He teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in Atlantic history, 19th century U.S history, and the history of slavery. Adam was the principal curator of the Georgetown Slavery Archive — a repository of materials relating to the Maryland Jesuits, Georgetown University, and slavery.  In his comments, Rothman also shares why it’s important for faculty and students to know and grapple with the history of their own institutions. Show Notes Bios Dr. Adam Rothman, Professor in the Department of History and American Studies Program Elsa Barraza Mendoza, a former PhD student at Georgetown Resources Rothman, Adam & Elsa Barraza Mendoza (Eds.) 2021. Facing Georgetown's History: A Reader on Slavery, Memory, and Reconciliation.  Georgetown University Press. GU272 Memory Project Curran, R. E. (1993). The bicentennial history of Georgetown University. Amazon. Retrieved November 19, 2021, from https://www.amazon.com/Bicentennial-History-Georgetown-University-1789-1889/dp/0878404856.  QUALLEN: On Georgetown’s Slaveholding History.  The Hoya Newspaper.  May 16, 2018. 272 Slaves Were Sold to Save Georgetown. What Does It Owe Their Descendants? (Published 2016) Episode 766: Georgetown, Louisiana, Part One : Planet Money Episode 767: Georgetown, Louisiana, Part Two : Planet Money Booth Family Center for Special Collections Archives of the Maryland Province of the Society of Jesus Georgian Slavery Archive The Georgetown Memory Project Thinking About Archives Graduate Course Artwork by Joy Kang, GU SFS '24
23:31
December 09, 2021
From Accommodations to Accessibility
Featuring faculty and staff who build awareness of best practices and advocate for students with disabilities, this episode focuses on accessibility and practices that meet the needs of all learners. While we learn that there are more students with learning disabilities or differences, or other forms of 'neurodivergence,' than many faculty assume, these ideas also provide ways to meet the new normal where we all need some flexibility! Tune in for helpful info and strategies on how to design your courses and policies to support all your students.  Click here for the episode's show notes or see below.   Show Notes Episode transcript (coming soon) Links to Faculty/Staff Bios Joseph Fisher,  Executive Director of the Academic Resource Center at Georgetown Libbie Rifkin,  Founding Director of the Program in Disability Studies at Georgetown and a Teaching Professor in the Department of English Mimi Khúc, Scholar/Artist/Activist in Residence in Disability Studies at Georgetown University Resources National Center for Learning Disabilities: Life with LD and Navigating the Transition to College The Academic Resource Center at Georgetown University The ADA Amendments Act of 2008 Access Intimacy:  The Missing Link  (Mia Mingus, 2011) The Spoon Theory (Christine Miserandino) Center for New Designs in Learning and Scholarship (CNDLS)
29:59
October 20, 2021
What Students Need Right Now
In the latest episode, we look back at lessons learned from pandemic-era teaching in order to start creating a new, better normal this fall. We gathered ideas from two groups of educators: Georgetown University staff and administrators, whose experience with our students last year demonstrated what our continuing students are going through and what they’ll need, and a panel of high school educators who have a lot to teach us about the first-year students we’ll be welcoming into the community this year. Click here for the episode's show notes. 
27:40
August 23, 2021
Teaching and Learning as a Graduate Student
Graduate students are in a unique position in higher education, both teachers and students, mentors and mentees. Their dual roles come with challenges, tensions, and competing demands, but the proximity of these differing roles of graduate students leads to important revelations, insights, and personal growth.  This episode features their unique perspective on what students want and need from their professors, as well as how professors can approach their teaching in order to promote greater learning. They also offer a compelling reminder about why teaching is so important. Click here for the episode's show notes. 
19:47
July 13, 2021
Anti-Racist Pedagogy in Practice
This episode, we feature faculty who engage active strategies to create inclusive, anti-racist classrooms. We grounded this episode in the events of the past year on the Georgetown campus and across the country, as well as the results of our Campus Climate Survey. The goal is to learn from colleagues how to foster a sense of belonging for all students, even when the conversations get tough. Click here for the episode's full show notes. Show Notes Episode transcript Special thanks to the Georgetown students who contributed to the “I Can’t Breathe” Video: Lara Adakunle, Eni Akinniyi, D’Andre Barriffe, Wes Bowers, Anthony Childress, Theron Cooper, Cameron Crayton, Sari Cureton, Aniella Delafosse, Maya Drayton,Max Edwards, Tony Gyimah, Jaz Harmon, Rio Hope-Gund Jewell Johnson, Josiah Laney, Stanford Maison, Kai Nelson, Yasmin Ott, Ruach Padhal, Cassidy Palmer, Allen Paul, Tiy Reed, Tamiya Roberts, Alexis Smith, Margo Snipes, Symone Speech, Sherman Steptoe, Joshua Stevens, Jordan Wells, Ahmad Wilson, Quincy Wilson, and Shanniah Wright. Additional thanks to Daelyn Waters, the producer of the “I Can’t Breathe” video.  Resources The Prospect blog CNDLS Inclusive Pedagogy Toolkit Center for New Designs in Learning and Scholarship (CNDLS) Center for Multicultural Equity and Access Center for Social Justice Georgetown Campus Cultural Climate Survey Georgetown Black Student-Athlete Coalition “I Can’t Breathe” Video Red House The Georgetown Voice:  Social Unrest Prompts Georgetown’s First Black Student-Athlete Coalition by Daelyn Waters
40:13
June 07, 2021
Beyond the Screen with Experiential Assignments
This episode, we share the stories of several faculty and students who have engaged with experiential assignments. We focused particularly on learning activities that required students to get away from their screens and interact with the physical world around them—wherever that may be. Click here for the episode show notes or see below.  Show Notes Featured Faculty Dr. Edward Barrows, Professor of Ecology in the Department of Biology and Director of the Center for the Environment Dr. Min-Ah Cho, Assistant Teaching Professor in the Department of Theology and Religious Studies Dr. Sylvie Durmelat, Associate Professor in the Department of French and Francophone Studies Dr. David Ebenbach, Professor of the Practice in the Walsh School of Foreign Service Center for Jewish Civilization and at the Center for New Designs in Learning and Scholarship Dr. Yuki Kato, Assistant Professor of Sociology and Food Justice Fellow at the Center for Social Justice Dr. Chandra Manning, Professor of United States History in the Department of History Dr. Sylvia Ӧnder, Teaching Professor in the Department of Anthropology and Turkish Language and Culture; Small Program Languages Coordinator Dr. Libbie Rifkin, Teaching Professor in the Department of English Dr. Jessica Smith, Research and Policy Manager at the Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace and Security Dr. Martha Weiss, Professor in the Department of Biology and Co-Director of Environmental Studies Featured Students Aiyanna Maciel, School of Foreign Service Class of 2021, MA in Latin American Studies with concentration in Government & Leadership Isabel McHenry, Georgetown College Class of 2024, BS in Spanish and Management Maya Silardi, Georgetown College Class of 2021, BS in Sociology and Women’s & Gender Studies Resources Sample assignments  Photovoice Storymap The Prospect blog (Georgetown University publication)
38:09
March 25, 2021
Faculty Perspectives on Pandemic Learning
As we head into another semester of virtual learning, hone your teaching practice with this podcast. While last episode featured students, this episode features a conversation among faculty at Georgetown University who share what worked well to keep students engaged, motivated and connected. Click here for the episode show notes or see below.  Show Notes Episode transcript Links to Faculty Bios Dr. Daniela Brancaforte, Senior Assistant Dean and Director of Strategic Initiatives & Interdisciplinary Programs in the McDonough School of Business Dr. Rhonda Dzakpasu, Associate Professor in the Department of Physics Dr. Thomas Kerch, Associate Director of the Tocqueville Forum for Political Understanding and Adjunct Lecturer in the Department of Government Dr. Shelbi Nahwilet Meissner, Assistant Professor in the Department of Philosophy Dr. Alphonso Saville, Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow for American Religion and Slavery in the Department of Theology and Religious Studies Resources Digital Learning Days Programming The Prospect blog Center for New Designs in Learning and Scholarship (CNDLS)
41:11
January 25, 2021
Student Perspectives on Pandemic Learning
As we head into another semester of virtual learning, hone your teaching practice with this podcast. This conversation with students at Georgetown University provides insight into what's working to keep students engaged, motivated and connected. Click here for the episode show notes or see below.  Show Notes Student Bios Becky Choi, School of Foreign Service Class of 2022, BSFS in International Politics Margaret Gleason, Georgetown College Class of 2022, BA in Theater and Performance Studies, minors in Music and Justice and Peace Studies Justin Goldstein, Georgetown College Class of 2024, BS in Computer Science and BA in Economics Matthew Hua, Georgetown College Class of 2022, BA in Government and American Musical Culture Nie J., Georgetown College Class of 2021, BS in Philosophy and Cognitive Science Aiyanna Maciel, School of Foreign Service Class of 2021, MA in Latin American Studies Isabel McHenry, Georgetown College Class of 2024, BS in Spanish and Management Varsha Menon, School of Foreign Service Class of 2021, BS International Political Economy in BS/MSFS Dual Degree program Gwyneth Murphy, School of Foreign Service Class of 2023, BS in International Security Aiai Prince-Smith, Georgetown College Class of 2024, BS in Biology on Pre-Med track Maya Silardi, Georgetown College Class of 2021, BA in Sociology and Women’s & Gender Studies Gaby Jazmin Tumbaga, Georgetown College Class of 2021, BS in Government Women’s & Gender Studies Resources The Prospect blog Center for New Designs in Learning and Scholarship (CNDLS) Photovoice Storymap
40:35
December 09, 2020