Institute for Pedagogy in the Liberal Arts

What is IPLA?

A four-day professional development conference, the Institute for Pedagogy in the Liberal Arts (IPLA) aims to inspire creativity and foster effective teaching in the liberal arts. The format consists of successive two-day sessions where participants focus on new ideas to refresh and expand their teaching. 

“By having a pair of two-day sessions over the four-day institute, participants have enough time to reflect deeply and apply the idea of each selected track to a course or to their teaching in general,” explains Jeffery Galle, Oxford associate professor of English and director of the Center for Academic Excellence (CAE).

Participants create and carry away at least two course ideas, syllabi, or other teaching materials that will be useful in the following academic years.

“Each year Oxford College faculty really lead the way in this institute by sharing their passion for specific pedagogies and program features,” adds Galle who organizes the IPLA under the auspices of the CAE. “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.”

Exemplifying Oxford's emphasis on teaching excellence, the IPLA sessions typically focus on a broad range of topics, including inquiry-based learning, team-based learning, peer instruction, digital humanities, teaching/learning through technology, problem-based learning, case-based learning, methods of assessment, course design, sustainability as a pedagogical project, and a number of other issues and pedagogies used in higher education. The focus is to produce innovative materials that apply to courses taught across the liberal arts curriculum.

Conceived originally as a faculty support program for Emory faculty, IPLA has grown to support the vision of Oxford as a national model of a liberal arts–intensive educational experience. Applications to IPLA arrive from faculty in institutions across the US and, at times, Europe and Canada.

In previous years, participants have joined sessions led by Art Young, Anthony Ciccone, Patti Clayton, Tim Riordan, Sheila Cavanaugh, Pat Marsteller, Melissa Wade, Ken Bain, Larry Michaelsen, Jill Lane and Ruth Levine, to mention a few of the scholars who have led the sessions of IPLA.

Join us in 2017

The Undergraduate Experience in the Liberal Arts
May 9–12

Celebrating its 11th anniversary, the Institute for Pedagogy in the Liberal Arts invites applications. This year we explore the full meaning of the undergraduate experience in the liberal arts with sessions ranging from innovation in the second year, to leadership development, innovative course design, team-based learning, and project-based learning, to mention a few. Scholars from Oxford College, Colgate University, University of Richmond, Stetson University, Georgia College and State University, University of New Hampshire, University of Vermont, and others will lead sessions.

IPLA is no longer accepting electronic applications. Please contact Jeff Galle to inquire about late admission.

Keynote Speaker

Dean Hicks

We measure value in various ways. This year’s keynote address, “The Value and Values of the Liberal Arts,” by Douglas A. Hicks, will engage current debates about the cost and value proposition of higher education and argue that we who teach in the liberal arts can broaden the conversation from value talk to values talk. We educators should articulate for our students both the instrumental and intrinsic values that a liberal arts education provides.

Oxford College dean and the William R. Kenan, Jr. Professor of Religion, Hicks formerly served on the faculty of the Jepson School of Leadership Studies at the University of Richmond, and as provost and dean of the faculty at Colgate University. He is the author of four books and editor of five additional volumes on leadership, religion in politics and the workplace, and the ethical dimensions of economic issues. In 2012 he received an Outstanding Faculty Award from the State Council of Higher Education of Virginia (SCHEV), the commonwealth’s highest recognition for professors.

Sessions were held outdoors on the beautiful Oxford campus quad.

Photo Gallery: Finding Inspiration at IPLA

Every aspect of the 2017 Institute for Pedagogy in the Liberal Arts (IPLA) program focused on teaching undergraduate students and learning about their experiences at a liberal arts college. 

View Gallery

Program Sessions

IPLA, a four-day conference, consists of successive two-day sessions. You'll be able to select one program on Tuesday/Wednesday and one program for Thursday/Friday. Check out the program sessions below.

IPLA Schedule

Find out the details about your schedule for IPLA, from the moment you arrive until the final afternoon session. Check out the schedule below.

Where to Stay and What to Do

Stay in IPLA's preferred hotel or on campus. Get to know the beautiful area surrounding Oxford College and explore the town of Oxford. Or, visit the nearby city of Covington, which offers many fun and engaging events and places to visit, including restaurants.

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