Featured Speakers

Wednesday, May 16

WilliamOpening Remarks

Dr. William Bernhard, Vice Provost for Academic Affairs, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

As Vice Provost for Academic Affairs, Dr. Bernhard provides leadership in the areas of academic and faculty affairs. His portfolio includes faculty development, the Provost Fellows program, human resources, academic awards, and assessment.

Dr. Bernhard holds a B.A. in government from Cornell University, and a M.A. and Ph.D in political science from Duke University. His most recent book, Legislative Style (University of Chicago Press, 2018), investigates how members of Congress allocate their time and effort across different activities. His research examines the strategic choices of political actors, including how parties manage candidate nominations, and how the potential for immigration across borders shapes foreign policy choices. His work has been recognized with several best paper awards, including the 2015 Patrick J. Fett Award and the 2014 Jewell-Lowenberg Award.

Dr. Bernhard was the Associate Provost for Faculty Development from January 2015 through May 2017, as well as the Interim Executive Associate Dean for the College of Media from May 2016 through May 2017, when he was appointed Vice Provost for Academic Affairs. Prior to joining the Provost’s Office, he served as the Head of the Department of Political Science (2007-15). In 2014-15, he was an Associate in the Center for Advanced Study.

DeniceLunchtime Keynote Presentation

K1. Adapt, Evolve, Engage: What Will You Take with You?

Dr. Denice Hood, Teaching Associate Professor, Education Policy, Organization and Leadership and Director of Online Learning, College of Education, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

As we kick-off the 2018 FSI, this presentation will explore the collaborative teaching and learning environments we strive to develop. Professional development opportunities can enrich what we do as educators, disrupt our standard practices and expand our notions of who our students are. Inspiration abounds so what will you take with you?

Dr. Hood's research interests concern two main areas: Teaching & learning in digital environments, specifically exploring individual differences in epistemological beliefs, learning styles, metacognition, self-regulated learning and presence (cognitive, social & teaching) as they relate to academic outcomes in higher education; Program evaluation, particularly culturally responsive program evaluation practices applied to post-secondary education programs.

Thursday, May 17

DelmarMorning Keynote Presentation

K2. Resistance is Futile: The Oncoming OER Revolution and How the Libretexts can help you Navigate It

Dr. Delmar Larsen, Founder and Director of LibreTexts and Associate Professor, Department of Chemistry, UC Davis

It is becoming ever clearer that new and innovative educational efforts are required to facilitate the greater creativity, flexibility, and increased learning capability needed for post-secondary education in the future. Unfortunately, rapidly rising undergraduate fees and textbook costs are serious factors that impedes access to higher education for many students; many of which do not have the funds to benefits from these new advances that are often commercialized. Growing textbook costs are a serious barrier for under-served, at-risk students and open-access resources (OER) textbooks are a growing approach to address these issue. The Libretexts project (LibreTexts.org) is designed as a collaborative OER platform to simultaneously enable the dissemination and evaluation of existing resources and as a dynamic “courseware” to facilitate new education developments and approaches, with an emphasis on data-driven assessment of student learning and performance. Since its inception ten years ago, the Libretexts has been exponentially growing and currently reaches over 60 million students per year and is the most visited chemistry website and online OER textbook resource in the world.

Delmar Larsen is Associate Professor in the Department of Chemistry and the Biophysics Graduate Group in the University of California, Davis. Delmar received his Ph.D. from the University of Chicago (Chemistry) and did postdoctoral stints at the Free University Amsterdam (Biophysics) and the University of Southern California (Chemistry). In 2005, Delmar moved to the UC Davis as an Assistant Professor and was promoted to Associate Professor in 2012. Delmar’s current research interests extends across many scientific disciplines including biophysics, physical chemistry, molecular biology, and computational modeling, with a common thread of investigating and characterizing of rapid condensed phase dynamics. Delmar is the Founder and Director of the LibreTexts project consisting of eleven (soon to be twelve) independently operating and interconnected libraries that focus on augmenting post-secondary education in specific fields in both STEM fields, social sciences, and humanities. Supported by a U.S. National Science Foundation ($1 million grants), the Libretexts project is being built by over 1000 active developers (students, instructors and outside experts) across multiple campuses and nations. The chemistry library is the most trafficked chemistry education site in the world and the entire project is responsible for over 50 million student visitors annually. Libretexts has served students with over 220 million pages since 2008, which resulted in half a millennium of confirmed reading. Approximately $US 15 million have been saved the past two years in the postsecondary textbook costs of over 40 campuses; much more is expected to be save in the future as the project grows is still growing exponentially in traffic and use. For more details, see our social media accounts: twitter.com/Libretexts and facebook.com/Libretexts.

DavidLunchtime Keynote Presentation

K3. How to Survive the Robot Apocalypse

Dr. David Gunkel, Professor, Media Studies, Northern Illinois University

Advancements in autonomous technology require that we challenge our concepts of moral/legal responsibility and rights. When does AI become a “person”? What legal rights should a robot have? What are the implications for teaching, and the technologies we use with our students?

Dr. Gunkel is an award-winning educator, scholar and author, specializing in the study of information and communication technology with a focus on ethics. Formally educated in philosophy and media studies, his teaching and research synthesize the hype of high-technology with the rigor and insight of contemporary critical analysis. He is the author of over 50 scholarly journal articles and book chapters, has written and published 7 influential books, lectured and delivered award-winning papers throughout North and South America and Europe, is the managing editor and co-founder of the International Journal of Žižek Studies and co-editor of the Indiana University Press series in Digital Game Studies. He currently holds the position of Professor in the Department of Communication at Northern Illinois University (USA), and his teaching has been recognized with numerous awards, including NIU's Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching and the prestigious Presidential Teaching Professor.