IPLA inspires creative pedagogy
May 17, 2012
The sixth annual Institute for Pedagogy in the Liberal Arts (IPLA) recently concluded on the Oxford College campus. IPLA 2012 was attended by more than 70 faculty members, who came from institutions of higher education across the country-Georgia, Florida, Utah, Texas, Illinois, Maine and Massachusetts.
A four-day professional-development conference, IPLA aims to inspire creativity and foster effective teaching in the liberal arts. The format consists of two two-day sessions where participants focus on new ideas to refresh and expand their teaching. Also part of the curriculum are sessions on the use of information technology in the classroom, led by the Oxford College IT team.
IPLA is directed by Jeff Galle, PhD, Oxford associate professor of humanities and director of the Center for Academic Excellence (CAE). Says Galle, "Each year, Oxford College faculty really lead the way in this institute by sharing their passion for specific pedagogies and program features. This institute belongs to the college and its primary emphasis upon teaching and learning. It's a privilege to be a part of this effort."
Keynote speakers for IPLA 2012 were Virginia S. Lee, principal consultant with Virginia S. Lee and Associates and a nationally known expert on inquiry-guided learning; and Edward Queen, executive director of the D. Abbot Turner Program in Ethics and Servant Leadership and coordinator of undergraduate studies at Emory University's Center for Ethics.
Exemplifying Oxford's emphasis on teaching excellence, the IPLA sessions focused on a broad range of topics, including inquiry-based learning, ethics and academics, digital humanities, leadership and learning and teaching/learning through technology.
IPLA sessions scholars included Beth Dietz-Uhler, Miami University; Beverley Taylor, Miami University; James M. Long, Assumption College; Jim Brown, Oxford College; Marjorie Keeshan Nadler, Miami University; Rebecca Davis, the National Institute for Technology in the Liberal Arts; Sharon Lewis, Oxford College; Dethra Giles, Oxford College; and Patrick Coby, Smith College.
More information and ongoing discussion about the result of IPLA can be found on a blog established for the work and comments of participants, www.oxfordipla.org.
IPLA is a joint effort of Oxford's Center for Academic Excellence (CAE) and Emory's Center for Faculty Development and Excellence. The CAE was founded in 2007 to support the primary goals of Oxford's long-term strategic plan: to establish Oxford as the premier example of a liberal-arts-intensive college and to continue growing its transformative learning environment through innovative pedagogy.