The Act of Reflection as a Means of Course Improvement | Provost's Conversation on Thursday

The Center for Learning and Teaching
invites you to participate in
The Provost’s Conversations on
Teaching and Learning
a brown bag lunch series *
These conversations are intended to gather faculty members
from all across the campus to share, to think,
and to reflect on a wide range of teaching and learning issues.
Come join the final conversation in this semester’s series:
The Act of Reflection as a Means of Course Improvement

led by
David C. Earnest
Associate Professor
Political Science and International Studies

Thursday, April 17   |   12:30-1:30pm
Conference Room at the Learning Commons@Perry Library


Presented by the Center for Learning and Teaching, the Office of Distance Learning,
and the Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs, Dr. Carol Simpson

For more information:

Questions?  e-mail or phone 683-4252

* CLT will provide drinks and dessert


The Provost’s Conversations on Teaching and Learning are open to all faculty members, and offer the opportunity to reflect and share about the teaching and learning process.

On Thursday, April 17, David Earnest will lead a discussion about “The Act of Reflection as a Means of Course Improvement” from 12:30-1:30 in the Conference Room of the Learning Commons@Perry Library.  You are invited to participate.

Dr. Earnest is Associate Professor of Political Science and International Studies. His research uses computational social simulation to study interstate cooperation.  He has published findings in International Studies Quarterly (2008) and has written about the epistemology of computational methods in Complexity in World Politics (Neil Harrison, ed., SUNY Press, 2006).   He is author of Old Nations, New Voters: Nationalism, Transnationalism and Democracy in the Era of Global Migration (SUNY Press, 2008) and co-author of On the Cutting Edge of Globalization (Rowman & Littlefield, 2005).  He has also published in leading journals including World Politics, Foreign Policy, International Interactions, and Globalizations. Dr. Earnest has previously taught at the George Washington University, the University of Sydney Business School, and Syddansk Universitet (University of Southern Denmark).

Old Dominion University has recognized Dr. Earnest’s teaching with the Robert L. Stern Award for Excellence in Teaching (2013) and the Instructional Technology Teaching Award (2006). He also is a two-time recipient of Faculty Innovator Grants (2006 and 2011) from the Center for Teaching and Learning at ODU.

In his Conversation, Dr. Earnest will discuss the teacher-as-learner. Ironically, he notes, many of us charged with educating the next generation of leaders have little to no formal training in teaching. (Dr. Earnest’s own training consisted of a half-day seminar during graduate school.)

For many of us who learned with chalkboards, our limited formal training in teaching provides little guidance for recent changes in higher education. How do we learn to teach in this new environment? What practices allow our teaching to adapt, grow and improve as higher education changes? To answer these questions, Dr. Earnest will discuss the practice of reflection as an essential tool for the teacher.

“Reflection” requires more than simply reading student evaluations and thinking about one’s strengths and weaknesses as a teacher. Rather, Dr. Earnest will argue, reflection requires the teacher to think about his or her place in an educational ecosystem that evolves continuously. Because the educational ecosystem always changes, good teaching must continuously evolve and adapt as well. The teacher must consider changing student needs; new pedagogies; technologies that transform the learning space; the talents of our gifted colleagues; and our own changing personal relationships and values. The act of reflection allows the teacher-as-learner to meet and thrive in this challenging and dynamic educational landscape.

You are cordially invited to join the Conversation.

For more information about the Provost’s Conversations on Teaching and Learning series, including highlights from past years’ Conversations and a calendar of upcoming Conversation dates, visit the Conversations’ website at






Posted By: Alison Schoew
Date: Mon Apr 14 08:29:44 EDT 2014