Book Clubs and Workshops, Fall 2021

Book Clubs  |  Workshops  |  STLR Sessions


Front cover of author Alfie Kohn's book Ungrading- Why Rating Students Undermines Learning (and What to Do Instead)Ungrading Why Rating Students Undermines Learning (and What to Do Instead)
Facilitator: Lora Pezzell
Dates: 9/7, 9/14, 9/21
Time:  12:30 – 1:30 pm
Location: Virtual

Front cover of the book Blind Spot - Modern Biases of Good PeopleBlindspot: Hidden Bias of Good People
Facilitators: Anastasia Wickham and Trevor Cox
Dates: 9/29, 10/6, 10/20, 11/3
Time:  1:00 – 2:00 pm
Location: Virtual

Front cover of the book Advancing Online Teaching-Creating Equity-Based Digital Learning EnvironmentsAdvancing Online Teaching
Facilitators: Melody Edwards and Trevor Cox
Dates: 9/8, 9/29, 10/20, 11/10
Time:  10:30am – 12:00 pm
Location: Virtual

cover of book, Bringing the Neuroscience of Learning to Online TeachingBringing the Neuroscience of Learning to Online Teaching
Facilitators: Ed Cunliff, Kristen Gregory, and Brett King
Dates: 10/26, 11/2, 11/9, 11/16
Time:  1:00 – 2:00 pm
Location: Virtual

cover of the book Noise: A Flaw in Human Judgement

Noise: A Flaw in Human Judgement
Facilitator: Chintamani Jog
Dates: 9/10, 9/24, 10/8, 10/15
Time: 12:00 – 1:00 pm
Location: Virtual

cover of the book Radical Hope: a teaching manifestoRadical Hope
Facilitators: Katrina Lacher and Ed Cunliff
Dates: 9/22, 10/20, 11/17
Time: 12:00 – 1:00 pm
Location: Virtual

Front cover of the book Teaching and Learning STEM - A Practical GuideTeaching and Learning in STEM
Facilitators: Stephanie Jones and Amanda Waters
Dates: 9/3, 10/1, 10/22, 11/12
Time: 1:00 – 2:00 pm
Location: In-person and Virtual


Thursday Tidbits
Facilitator: Carlie Deatherage
Dates: 9/2, 9/9, 9/16, 9/23, 9/30, 10/7, 10/21, 10/28, 11/4, 11/11, 11/18, 12/2, 12/9
Time: 12:00 – 12:30 pm
Location: Virtual

Critical Reflection: How to Create Embodied Prompts that Help Students Move from Basic Summaries Towards Deeper Internalization and Transformation
Facilitator: Camille Farrell
Dates: 9/9, 9/23, 10/7
Time: 12:00 – 1:00 pm
Location: Virtual

Successfully Supporting BGLTQ+ Students: An Interactive Student Panel
Facilitators: Suzanne Clinton; Lindsey Churchill; Abbie Lambert
Date: 9/15
Time:  12:00 – 1:30 pm
Location: Virtual

Informal Peer Observation Workshop
Facilitator: Linda Harris
Dates: 9/16, 9/30, Peer Observation Time, 11/11
Time: 2:00 – 3:30 pm
Location: Virtual

Online Teaching Best Practices, Strategies, Success Stories and Challenges
Facilitators: Suzanne Clinton; Abbie Lambert; Melody Edwards
Date: 9/22
Time:  11:30 am – 1:00 pm
Location: Virtual



  Login to the Learning Center at, search for “STLR” then register for the session of your choice.

STLR: Module 1, Tagging & Assessing Activities (Faculty/Staff)
Sept. 15, 4:00 – 6:00 pm; Oct. 22, 10 am-12 pm; or Nov. 8, 2:30-4:30 pm

STLR: Module 2, Tagging & Assessing Activities (Faculty/Staff)
Sept. 17, 9:30 – 11:30 am; Oct. 22, 2-4 pm; or Nov. 10, 1-3 pm

STLR: Refresher Session (Faculty/Staff)
Sept. 21, 3:00 – 4:30 pm; Oct. 22, 9:30-11 am; or Nov. 12, 1:30-3 pm

Incorporating STLR Snapshot into Capstone Courses
Nov. 3, 1:00 – 3:00 pm


2021 Collegium on College Teaching Practices

Logo graphic of 21st Century Pedagogy Institute

UCO’s annual Collegium on College Teaching Practices will be from 9 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 18, in the south wing of the College of Liberal Arts.

This event represents the academic year kickoff for the Center for Excellence in Transformative Teaching and Learning’s faculty enhancement activities. During the collegium, faculty present, attend breakout sessions and hear a keynote address as they explore, learn, share and expand their professional curiosity to enhance student learning.

Attendees may also receive credit towards their 21st Century Pedagogy Institute achievements.

Mays Imad, Ph.D., will present this year’s keynote address, “Harnessing the Power of Metacognition to Improve Student Learning.” Imad researches stress, self-awareness, advocacy and classroom community and how these relate to cognition, metacognition and lead to student learning and success.

Register for the collegium by Thursday, Aug. 12 to ensure the availability of boxed lunches.



2021 New Faculty and Adjunct Orientation and Teaching-Learning Institute

Logo graphic of 21st Century Pedagogy InstituteThe August 2021 New Faculty Orientation and the Teaching and Learning Institute will be on Wednesday, Aug. 11, from 8:00 am – 5:00 pm in the Center for Transformative Learning (CTL) Building, Rooms 117-118.

This event will include ideas for the first day of classes, aligning student learning outcomes with assessments and course content, creating a potentially transformative assignment, and how to STLR (Student Transformative Learning Record) tag an assignment.

The Adjunct Faculty Teaching and Learning Institute is also on Aug. 11, from 3:00 – 5:00 pm. Both the new full-time and adjunct faculty will meet together in the Radke Auditorium on the first floor of the CTL Building.

Register for the New Faculty Orientation by Thursday, Aug. 5 to ensure the availability of boxed lunches.

A Transformative Look at Thinking — and at Teaching Students How to Think

Science writer Annie Murphy Paul’s new book, The Extended Mind: The Power of Thinking Outside the Brain (2021), argues for expanding our view of how thinking occurs. She does not minimize what the brain does brilliantly in enabling us to ideate, find patterns, and so on, but she does point out the brain’s limitations — through no fault of its own — and, crucially, how to tap into what she calls “extra-neural resources” as a way to augment and improve what happens within the three pounds or so of gray matter encased in our craniums.

Becoming a better critical thinker, something necessary as students work toward transformative realizations, usually requires becoming better thinkers in general. In reading Paul’s descriptions of the extra-neural resources her research and practical application have confirmed, the parallels between her findings and what we work to accomplish with students are readily apparent.

In both the organization of her book and in the blog post, “How I Used My Extended Mind to Write a Book about the Extended Mind” (2021, June 1), Paul organizes her findings in a way that groups extra-neural thinking into three broad categories (pp. 8-9): 1) the feelings and movements of our bodies, 2) the physical spaces in which we learn and work, and 3) the other minds with which we interact. Examples the author provides for ways to tap into extra-neural resources include:

1)   embodied cognition (body-based thinking): use of physical manipulables (e.g., notecards, post-it notes) to spark interactivity among ideas; physical movement and exercise breaks intentionally designed as part of thinking in order to tap into benefits lasting up to two hours after the activity (increased ability to focus attention and resist distraction, and expanded working-memory capacity);

2)   situated cognition (environment-augmented thinking): the natural and built environment can enhance cognitive performance — Paul digs into the research showing that sense of ownership and control over one’s workspace supports better thinking as do cues of identity within that workspace; she delves into the research about engaging with the natural environment to boost creativity and focus; and,

3)   distributed cognition (other-interactive thinking) — referring to, among others, the work of cognitive scientist Hugo Mercier, Paul points out that many of the brain’s built-in limitations, such as cognitive biases, arise from using the brain in solitude: “Humans evolved to reason in a social setting, [Mercier] writes, and when we reason this way, many of these biases disappear” (p. 7).

One important transformative realization a university education seeks to prompt among students is the how and the why of thinking like a scientist. The Expanded Mind lays bare one way we’ve shortchanged our students in getting to this ah-ha moment if faculty have not had students engage in extra-neural learning. Paul recounts the transformative realization Nobel Prize-winning physicist Carl Wieman had when he “figured out that inducing his students to talk with one another was the key to getting them to think like scientists” (p. 10). Wieman was on to something according to Paul, whose investigation indicates that “research in the vein of the extended mind finds that experts actually do more experimenting, more testing, and more backtracking than beginners. They are more apt than novices to make skillful use of their bodies, of physical space, and of relationships with others” (Paul, 2021, p. 33).

Helping students develop better thinking skills and capacity is important in bringing them along to the transformative understandings we work to prepare them for. Yet Paul argues there is not much teacher education and faculty professional development provided about extra-neural thinking and helping students develop and use these approaches:

[There is] no instruction, for instance, in how to tune in to the body’s internal signals, sensations that can profitably guide our choices and decisions. We’re not trained to use bodily movements and gestures to understand highly conceptual subjects like science and mathematics, or to come up with novel and original ideas. Schools don’t teach students how to restore their depleted attention with exposure to nature and the outdoors, or how to arrange their study spaces so that they extend intelligent thought. Teachers and managers don’t demonstrate how abstract ideas can be turned into physical objects that can be manipulated and transformed in order to achieve insights and solve problems. Employees aren’t shown how the social practices of imitation and vicarious learning can shortcut the process of acquiring expertise. Classroom groups and workplace teams aren’t coached in scientifically validated methods of increasing the collective intelligence of their members. Our ability to think outside the brain has been left almost entirely uneducated and undeveloped (p. 18).

As faculty, we can’t ‘make’ any student have a transformative realization. We do, however, design their learning environments and scaffold their learning to increase the odds. Paul’s book provides new ideas for doing this effectively.

We can also gain new strategies for our own learning and effective thinking by reading The Extended Mind.



Paul, A. M. (2021, June 1). I’m convinced that I could not have written this book without the help of the practices detailed within it. Retrieved June 1, 2021, from

Paul, A. M. (2021). The extended mind: The power of thinking outside the brain. New York, NY: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

A Reflection on Tulsa 1921: Reporting a Massacre

Written by Saheli Nath, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Management — 

This book is a fascinating work highlighting the contradictions between history and memory. In this book, Krehbiel describes the Tulsa Race Massacre of 1921 and discusses the antecedents and consequences of the tragic event that left somewhere around ~300 African Americans dead (estimates unknown and widely varying) and destroyed Tulsa’s prosperous “Black Wall Street” in the neighborhood of Greenwood. Conservative estimates indicate that over 1,400 homes and businesses were burned, and approximately 10,000 people were left homeless. Interestingly, despite the violent and atrocious nature of the massacre, the Tulsa race massacre had almost disappeared from history books until the late 1990s, and remained consistently absent from the texts used to teach children in Oklahoma.

Krehbiel’s book reminded me of Zerubavel’s (2012) pioneering work to conceive history as a social construct and to map the structure of collective memory by unpacking the cognitive patterns we use to organize the conflicting interpretations of history. The recent focus on the Tulsa Race Massacre on the eve of its centennial seemed reminiscent of Zerubavel’s (1995) concept of “recovering roots” wherein nations or states desirous of new pasts create new ways of commemorating and recasting select historic events. Apropos of the Tulsa Race Massacre, shedding light on the “true events” required collaboration among politicians, writers, and educators, particularly as many documents on the official inquiry into the massacre were sealed from the public or destroyed. In analyzing the massacre, we come across competing interpretations of key details and opposing moral claims on our past actions. But how we understand the massacre today and perceive associated meanings are deeply affected by our current social environment (see Zerubavel, 2009), whereas the way in which our predecessors thought about the massacre was impacted by their extant social environment. The so-called skeletons of the past seem heinous today.

While over the last two decades we have been exulting in the progress on systemic and institutional racism, the events of the past year against African and Asian-Americans have once again brought to the forefront difficult questions about racism in the United States. Teaching about race in the classroom means having difficult and uncomfortable conversations. However, analyzing events like the Tulsa Race Massacre provides a good segue into these discussions. A class exercise that lets students collect primary and secondary information on the Tulsa Race Massacre and enables them to make their own interpretations using this data can help enhance critical thinking about race. Social service-oriented class projects involving work with Black organizations can allow students to get hands-on experience with challenges facing minorities. While speaking about racism with statistics is powerful and discussing racism using narratives or stories is compelling, what truly makes a lasting difference is changing self-cognition through one’s own personal experience and analysis.


Zerubavel, Y. (1995). Recovered roots: Collective memory and the making of Israeli national tradition. University of Chicago Press.

Zerubavel, E. (2009). Social mindscapes: An invitation to cognitive sociology. Harvard University Press.

Zerubavel, E. (2012). Time maps: Collective memory and the social shape of the past. University of Chicago Press

Creating “Unpracticed Conversations Assignments” for Our Courses

by Laura Dumin, Ph.D., English — 

I am hoping to teach George Takei’s “They Calles Us Enemy” this spring. It’s a graphic novel about the Japanese internment camps in America. My hope is that by looking at this moment in time we might begin to discuss what it meant to look Asian/be Asian at that time. I’d like to talk about what it means to be an American; who gets to be American? Does it have to do with citizenship, skin color? There’s more here, like about how certain immigrants are “acceptable” and why (education level, country of origin, specific talent, etc.) and I am still thinking about how to do this well.

I’m also hoping to bring another 1 or 2 graphic novels about lesser-known diverse American history into the classroom. I have some books that I need to look at to decide what else might fit well here. The graphic novel about Tulsa doesn’t come out until Feb, so I’m not sure that I can work it into the class, sadly. That’s the one I was really hoping to also go with.

My hope is that by beginning to explore what it means to be American, we can begin to explore some of the problems with the concept of who belongs here. And, by doing it through graphic novels, 1) we can move faster through the material, and 2) the students can see visuals that begin to help make the ideas more real to them.

The book helped me to see some of the places where my white middle-class female upbringing could stand in the way of learning—like being too polite and trying to appease everyone. I’m also working on that one, like many others said in our last meeting. I’m working on getting students to confront societal biases that create racist problems, but I don’t want or need my students to feel guilty. I want them to feel empowered to change their behaviors and, eventually, as they move up through the ranks, empowered to change policies. I want students to see themselves as the source of doing something, not the source of marking time or standing by in fear of the repercussions. The last chapter with the ways that we can make a difference has some suggestions that I will keep coming back to as I work to strengthen my own presentation of information.


Sue, D.W. (2015). Race Talk and the Conspiracy of Silence: Understanding and Facilitating Difficult Dialogues on Race. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley, 2015

Non-Binary Lives Book Reflection Reveals Challenges

by Vanessa Bentley, Ph.D., Humanities and Philosophy — 

I attended two out of three sessions for the Non-Binary Lives reading group led by Ed Cunliff in Spring 2021. I joined the reading group for professional and personal reasons. Professionally, as a gender studies scholar, I’m interested in inclusionary and intersectional accounts of gender, particularly from the perspectives and lives of the people living such identities. In addition to better understanding their experiences and the way they describe their lives, I was hoping to learn “personal” accounts (first-person lived experience) to accompany the “academic” (abstract, somewhat homogenizing and non-personal) materials that I’m familiar with from feminist and queer theory. And personally, I have more and more friends coming out as queer, transgender, and nonbinary, so I am interested in learning about the experiences of transgender, queer and nonbinary people to be a better informed, understanding friend and ally. Read More →

Reflecting on “practice retrieval” by a business faculty member

by Anonymous Business faculty — 

Something I am just now realizing, and appreciating, is that many of the speakers and books we are exposed to through 21CPI are saying the same things but in different words and examples, and methods. They are beginning to ‘transform’ me, so to speak, as they are incorporated into how I think about designing a class and a class session.

After listening to Dr. Christine Harrington speak at a UCO event recently, and especially the discussions around the idea of activating prior knowledge, multiple things started to coalesce within me. Also, with the discussions in the Notre Dame series of workshops this semester, I learned that I need to devote more time and attention to how I will regularly incorporate different methods of accomplishing this in both my online and F2F classes.

The research she presented on practice retrieval was eye-opening. I have thought about discontinuing the weekly quizzes I have in classes, but I’m not going to now.

I seem to reflect well when I’m trying to build or create something. I am considering creating a student presentation including many of these principles and the underlying research to understand that there is a reason behind some of the madness. I have heard many times lately that, yes, we should be sharing these ideas with our students. Unfortunately, I seem to stay busy learning about them myself and trying to incorporate them into classes!

At least half of employers view the skills of a liberal education as “very important” for college graduates

Bar chart showing percentages of employers who rate liberal education skills for college grads as very important, somewhat important, or not at all/not very important: Ability to work effectively in teams: 62%, 31%, 7%; Critical thinking skills: 60%, 35%, 5%; Ability to analyze & interpret data: 57%, 34%, 8%; Applications of knowldege/skills in real-world settings: 56%, 36%, 8%; Digital literacy: 55%, 36%, 9%; Ability to demonstrate complex problem-solving skills: 54%, 39%, 7%; Ethical judgment & reasoning: 54%, 37%, 9%; Ability to communicate through writing: 54%, 36%, 10%; Ability to locate, evaluate, and use information in decision making: 53%, 40%, 7%; Creative thinking: 53%, 39%, 8%; Ability to communicate/work with people from different cultural backgrounds: 53%, 36%, 10%; Ability to communicate through speaking/presentation skills: 52%, 41%, 7%; Ability to work with numbers & statistics: 52%, 38%, 10%; Ability to integrate ideas/information across settings & contexts: 51%, 42%, 7%; Civic skills/civic engagement: 41%, 42%, 16%.

Source: Finley, A. (2021). How college contributes to workforce success: Employer views on what matters most. Washington, DC: AAC&U/Hanover Research. Chart is from p. 6.

2020 Teacher-Scholar Awards

Distinguished Teacher-Scholars

  • Alicia Tafoya – Theatre Arts
  • Alyssa Provencio – Political Science
  • Elizabeth Overman – Political Science
  • Steven Dunn – Psychology
  • Laura Dumin – English
  • John Wood – Political Science
  • Jerry Green – Humanities & Philosophy
  • Trevor Cox – Adult Ed. & Safety Sciences
  • Yadira Reyes-Peña – Adult Ed. & Safety Sciences
  • Saheli Nath – Management
  • Jill Lambeth – Mass Communications
  • Marty Ludlum – Finance
  • Melody Edwards – Management
  • Joselina Chang – Info. Systems & Op. Mgt.
  • Terry Williams – Info. Systems & Op. Mgt
  • Amanda Waters – Chemistry
  • Eric Eitrheim – Chemistry
  • Paul Olson – Biology
  • Kristi Karber – Math & Statistics
  • Stacy Southerland – Modern Languages, Lit, Cultural Std
  • Mark McCoy – Forensic Science Institute
  • Jeri Jones – Marketing


  • Matt Hollrah – English
  • Stephanie Jones – Chemistry

New Teacher-Scholars

  • Alicia Tafoya – Theatre Arts
  • Mckenna Sanderson – Design
  • Saheli Nath – Management
  • Yadira Reyes-Peña – Adult Ed. & Safety Sciences
  • Seth Tannenbaum – History & Geography