Keynote Speakers

Picture of Dr. Peter FeltenMorning Keynote Speaker: Dr. Peter Felten


Dr. Peter Felten is a professor of history, assistant provost for teaching and learning, and executive director of the Center for Engaged Learning at Elon University. His books include the co-authored volumes: The Undergraduate Experience: Focusing Institutions on What Matters Most (Jossey-Bass, 2016); Transforming Students: Fulfilling the Promise of Higher Education (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2014); Engaging Students as Partners in Learning and Teaching (Jossey-Bass, 2014); Transformative Conversations (Jossey-Bass, 2013); and the co-edited book Intersectionality in Action (Stylus, 2016). He has served as president of the International Society for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (2016-17) and also of the POD Network (2010-2011), the U.S. professional society for educational developers. He is co-editor of the International Journal for Academic Development and a fellow of the John N. Gardner Institute for Excellence in Undergraduate Education.

Keynote Address: The Undergraduate Experience: What Matters Most for Student Success?

In our book The Undergraduate Experience (Jossey-Bass, 2016), my co-authors and I identify six core themes that matter most for student success: learning, relationships, expectations, alignment, improvement, and leadership. This interactive keynote will explore the research that demonstrates why these themes are important not only for students but also for instructors and for institutional culture. During the session, we will critically consider what each of us can do, no matter what our context and role, to cultivate conditions that challenge and support all of our students to succeed.

Breakout Sessions 1&2​: Learning and Relationships: Practical Strategies

In this workshop, we will dive more deeply into two key factors from the keynote. We will consider research-informed practices that enhance learning and educational relationships for all students. You will leave the workshop with a draft plan for how you can either deepen something you already to or introduce a new practice that will contribute to your students’ success.

Picture of Dr. Julie SchellAfternoon Keynote Speaker: Dr. Julie Schell


Dr. Julie Schell is the Executive Director of Learning Design for the School of Design and Creative Technologies at The University of Texas at Austin, where she is also a Clinical Professor in the College of Education and College of Fine Arts. She is a prominent expert in the design and scaling of educational innovation. She has more than 20 years of experience in higher education and has held positions at the nation’s top research universities, including Yale, Stanford, Columbia, and Harvard. In 2014, Teachers College at Columbia University identified Schell as an Early Riser in Higher Education for her original contributions to the field. Schell's scholarship focuses on the science of learning, pedagogical innovation, and technology. An internationally sought-after speaker and consultant, Schell has worked on educational design initiatives with thousands of national and international faculty. She has led pedagogy and student learning projects on site in Aruba, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Denmark, the Dominican Republic, Germany and throughout the United States. She has also designed and implemented pedagogical innovation projects online for universities in Hong Kong, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore and South Africa.

Keynote Address: How to Help People Learn

Why don’t students succeed, even when they study hard? How can we help students boost their learning strategies to increase their success in and outside of the classroom? In this session, we will review the current science on memory and learning. We will practice easy to implement, research-based strategies for helping students learn in educational settings and transfer their learning beyond the classroom walls. After this session, participants will be able to design their teaching to improve student learning.

Breakout Sessions 3&4: The Critical Importance of Aligning Learning with Testing

Most students develop their personal learning approaches over an extended period, through trial and error, by observing others, and with limited instruction on how to learn effectively. As a result, students' learning strategies are fundamentally misaligned with how faculty evaluate learning during exams. This misalignment is rarely if ever interrupted during a student's educational experience which leads to a ripple effect on academic success over time. In this session, we will work to redesign one instructional topic to ensure alignment between how students learn and how we evaluate them.