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Center for Teaching Excellence

  • Oktoberbest 2020

Oktoberbest: A Symposium On Teaching

Friday, October 9, 2020 8:50 am – 1:00 pm

The Center for Teaching Excellence is pleased to announce that the 11th Annual Oktoberbest: A Symposium on Teaching  will be offered virtually on October 9, 2020 from 8:50 am - 1:00 pm. Join Oktoberbest: A Symposium on Teaching online via Blackboard Collaborate to hear innovative teaching ideas and best practices implemented by your colleagues at UofSC! All UofSC faculty, instructors and graduate teaching assistants are invited to attend in this free one-day virtual symposium focused on sharing best practices in teaching.

The Oktoberbest schedule has a wide variety of workshops on topics ranging from Teaching and Learning Strategies and Distributed and Online Learning to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusive Teaching and Educational Technology. Oktoberbest is free to all who teach or support teaching at UofSC, but is not open to the general public.

Door Prizes

Oktoberbest attendees who have pre-registered will be eligible for a door prize drawing if they attend the keynote address and at least one concurrent session. Attendees must sign into Blackboard Collaborate using both their first name and last name to document attendance. Door prize winners will be randomly selected and notified by Friday, October 16, 2020.

Register for Oktoberbest: A Symposium On Teaching 


Call for Proposals

Have you found best ways to present information to students? Innovative techniques to get them engaged with you, their peers, and the course content? New ideas for engaging students beyond the classroom? Or perhaps you’ve discovered an effective technology you now use to enhance your course? We invite you to Submit a Proposal highlighting innovations in your classroom!  We are looking for engaging and informative presentations on innovative approaches to teaching, assessments, course design, creative student learning opportunities, teaching-related research, and successful implementation of new strategies and best practices. Share your passion for teaching and improving the quality of student learning experiences.

Keynote Speaker

Patti H. Clayton is Consultant & Practitioner-Scholar who has dedicated more than 20 years of her professional career as a practitioner-scholar and educational developer in service-learning and community engagement (SLCE) and in experiential education. She has served as an independent consultant with over 120 colleges, universities, and higher education organizations in the US, Canada, and Ireland.

In that capacity, Clayton guided inter-disciplinary and inter-institutional learning communities and other scholarly collaborations, facilitated curriculum development and professional development across all partners in SLCE, and supported institution-wide visioning and planning processes for community-campus engagement. Her retreats throughout the United States support graduate students, professional staff, and faculty in formulating and advancing their pedagogical and partnership practices, as well as their scholarly agendas and projects.

In all aspects of Clayton's work, she seeks to support intellectual, personal, and civic development through co-creating mentoring communities grounded in reflective practice, leadership, and scholarship.

Keynote Abstract

Actors, Not Audience: Designing Teaching and Learning For and Through Democratic Engagement

What do you and your students do together on the first day of class … and in what ways does that position your students as either actors or audience … and what difference does that make to the outcomes of the course, to you, to them, and to the world beyond the class? Ditto when it comes to what and how you and they read … talk … inquire … collaborate … assess … etc. ?

Dewey (1937/2010) argued that “Whether [the] educative process is carried on in a predominantly democratic or non-democratic way becomes … a question of transcendent importance not only for education itself but for its final effect upon all the interests and activities of a society that is committed to the democratic way of life (p. 127). As instructors we are agents of change who have the power and the responsibility to approach teaching and learning in this light, cultivating in ourselves and our students the knowledge, skills, and attitudes of actor-learners and actor-citizens. How might we best undertake this always important but perhaps increasingly urgent role?

In this interactive keynote session we will explore concrete possibilities of leveraging the content, process, and culture of our courses for and through democratic engagement. We will work with Parker Palmer’s (2016) “5 habits of the heart that make democracy possible” as an example framework through which to examine our courses, co-generating a set of specific and actionable pedagogical strategies for potential use in our own course contexts. Click here for a related article that we are invited to peruse in advance of the conference.


Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.

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