We are happy to invite you to our 5th Annual Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Conference at Maryville University on September 20-21, 2013. We are also pleased to announce that this year’s program and format will offer some exciting new design elements that we believe fit well with the rapidly changing terrain of higher education. These new elements are captured in our theme: Maryville Talks Teaching and Learning in a Time of Challenge and Change.
All of us in higher education are now being buffeted by strong winds of change fueled by, among other forces, extraordinary technological developments, diverse student populations, and struggling economies. In one way or another, many students are asking why they should come to our campuses, why they should pay so much for their education, and how secure they can be that they will leave well-prepared for future employment. Faculty members are wondering how to engage learners in deep academic study and serious reflection when so many of them are used to instantly accessing factual information on the Internet. Potential employers are complaining that many job applicants today with bachelors’ degrees are ill-equipped to handle the critical thinking and problem-solving demands of the workplace. College and university administrators feel compelled to develop strategic plans for addressing these issues, but, at the same time, know with certainty that the future is highly uncertain.
Given these challenging times, we at Maryville decided to use the occasion of our 5th Annual SoTL Conference to broaden the scope of our program. In addition to our continuing focus on the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, we will feature extended opportunities to generate, examine, and discuss from multiple perspectives traditional and innovative responses for supporting thoughtful teaching, active student learning, and meaningful research in the next decade. Here are some of the highlights of our newly designed conference weekend: