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Overcoming Apathy and Creating Excitement in the Classroom


What can instructors do to facilitate learning when they encounter students who seem uninterested and even apathetic toward course content and assignments? Part of the responsibility for learning belongs to students, but as faculty, we can find new ways to motivate, inspire and maybe even cajole students to learn. This workshop demonstrates and explains how instructors can make classroom learning, perhaps one of the most artificial learning settings, a more meaningful experience for students. The presenter uses theories of learning and motivation as a basis for creating strategies to increase student engagement in course content and class sessions.

About the Facilitator

Todd Zakrajsek is the Executive Director of the Center for Faculty Excellence at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He was previously the Inaugural Director of the Faculty Center for Innovative Teaching at Central Michigan University and the founding Director of the Center for Teaching and Learning at Southern Oregon University, where he also taught in the psychology department as a tenured associate professor. He also directs the Lilly Conference on Teaching and Learning at Traverse City, Michigan, and the International Conference on Improving University Teaching. Dr. Zakrajsek received his Ph.D. in Industrial/Organizational Psychology from Ohio University. He has published and presented widely on the topic of student learning, including workshops and conference keynote addresses in 36 states and 4 countries in the past several years.


"Great video!  It is difficult to pick just two points that were mentioned by the instructor that I will utilize in my role as a Teaching Assistant." – Health Promotion, Education and Behavior

"Easily one of the more engaging lectures I've seen in quite a long time, even despite the limitations of a video lecture. More lectures that give the hard logic behind the techniques and actually demonstrate the concepts presented would be wonderful." – English

"This was the most helpful presentation I saw, although they were all good quality and useful." – Statistics

"This activity gives more than enough information for me in teaching. It is very good, and is very necessary." – Electrical Engineering

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