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Center for Teaching Excellence

  • Oktoberbest 2019

Oktoberbest: A Celebration of Teaching

Friday, October 18, 2019

All UofSC faculty, instructors and graduate teaching assistants are invited to participate in the tenth annual Oktoberbest: A Celebration of Teaching on Friday, October 18, 2019 at the Russel House University Union.  Join colleagues from across UofSC campuses for this free one-day symposium focused on sharing best practices in teaching.

The Oktoberbest schedule has a wide variety of workshops on topics ranging from active learning and online course development to critical thinking and integrative learning. The event will include:

  • Breakfast with our keynote speaker
  • Choice of Concurrent Sessions presented by your colleagues at USC
  • Closing reception featuring door prizes and traditional Oktoberfest fare
  • Blackboard will be hosting a mini Bb World at Oktoberbest with sessions on Blackboard’s Roadmap, Eesysoft hands-on demonstration/presentation and meetings with Bb Designers.

Oktoberbest is free to all who teach or support teaching at UofSC, but is not open to the general public.

Register for Oktoberbest: A Celebration of Teaching


Keynote Speaker

Robert Maribe (Rob) Branch is a Professor of Learning, Design, and Technology at the University of Georgia, and the Head of the Department of Career and Information Studies. He is currently a University System of Georgia Chancellor’s Learning Scholar. 

Branch worked as a Fulbright Lecturer/Researcher at the University of KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa, where he co-founded the Master’s degree in Educational Technology, while conducting research on the complexities of student centered learning spaces. He co-chaired an academic conference on successful strategies for managing large classrooms that was held at Cape Coast University in Ghana, and earlier this year, he co-directed a robotics education curriculum development project in Tanzania. 

Branch has co-edited the Educational Media and Technology Yearbook for the past 23 years, and is co-author of the book, Survey of Instructional Design Models. He is also the author of the book: Instructional Design: The ADDIE Approach. Branch emphasizes student-centered learning and teaches courses related to message design. 

Branch earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Elizabeth City State University in North Carolina; and a Master of Arts degree from Ball State University. He completed his Doctor of Education (EdD) degree from Virginia Tech. His published research focuses on diagramming complex conceptual relationships and other complicated flow processes. He is a past president of the Association for Educational Communications and Technology (AECT).

Plenary Session Abstract

Successful Strategies for Managing the Complexity of Learning Space

The purpose of this plenary session is to identify empirically supported strategies that promote effective teaching and learning. During this session we will deconstruct the concept of spaces intended for intentional learning. Complexity will be posited as a fundamental contextual factor in our educational systems, particularly in tertiary education institutions. A feature of the plenary will be the sharing of instructional activities, based on educational research, that can successfully manage the complexity of spaces designed for teaching and learning.

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.