Office of the Provost

Future of Higher Education Forums

Register  here        upcoming Forums     Past Forums


Walk before you run: how transparent assignment descriptions can foster greater growth in students

Wednesday, FeBruary 13th  |  9 - 11 a.m.  |  CL 1005  |  Main Campus

click here to live stream this forum

Transparent learning is an approach to course and assignment design that emphasizes how and why students are asked to learn course content in particular ways. This approach, because it articulates the literal process whereby success is achieved, is particularly beneficial for students who are unfamiliar with best-practices in college courses. Print flyer.

MartinChristopher Martin, Visiting Associate Professor Christopher Martin, who started at UT this Fall, is a Visiting Associate Professor in Philosophy & Religious Studies. Before UT, Christopher taught at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay. Christopher has a long history working within different teaching and learning student success initiatives. At UW-Green Bay he was a Diversity Fellow, a Teaching Scholar, and a representative for UW-Green Bay in the UW-System Teaching Fellows Program. He participated in a Learning Community on Sustainability and has taught first-year seminars for the last six years. In three of those years his seminar was part of an intensive first-year experience program targeting underrepresented students. Christopher's scholarship in Philosophy focuses on early-modern rationalism, particularly as regards the reality and structure of Being, Causality, and Personal Identity. He much enjoys helping students advance and sharpen their own rational capacities.



 Upcoming Forums

Can I Meet With You?:  Web-based, Student Self-Scheduling of Office Hours

Wednesday, February 27th   |  2:00 - 4:00 p.m.  |  CL 1005  |  Main Campus

Click here to live stream this forum

The proposed session would address a gap in practice and skill.  It is well-documented that increased interaction with faculty increases student outcomes, yet students rarely take full advantage of office hours.  Student and faculty perceptions of office hours influence actual student usage.  Two key perceptions are that office hours are not accessible or worth the effort; however, direct face-to-face interaction is positively correlated with student success.  Therefore, it is the faculty's responsibility to improve student perceptions of the usefulness of office hours and to make office hours more accessible.  Yet, many faculty feel defeated due to the poor attendance during office hours.  So many students; so few appointments!   So many missed student opportunities to be encouraged, corrected, and mentored. To remedy this gap, faculty need to evaluate and redesign the scheduling methodologies used for office hour appointments.  First, faculty must speak of the importance and benefit on student success through attending office hours.  Second, students must be provided the opportunity to self-schedule office hours within the parameters of the faculty availability.  Changing the perceptions and usage of office hours happens when faculty speak and act with consistency and compassion. Print event flyer.

OberlanderJames F. Oberlander, MSN, RN, Instructor
As a practitioner for over fifteen years, I have fulfilled diverse roles including staff nursing, home health, adjunct clinical instructor, and full-time faculty at my alma mater – the University of Toledo.  Currently, my primary role is within the undergraduate BSN and RN-BSN programs.  Moreover, I serve with ATI as a NCLEX-Reviewer and Test-taking Specialist.  Beyond my work environment, I fill my spare time with family and completing my PhD in Nursing Education through the University of Northern Colorado.  As a result of my dedication to the success of others, I have received multiple teaching excellence awards. Areas of research interest include diversity, interprofessional education, the influence of proper and problematic usage of technology, civility, the clinical teaching environment, flipped classroom strategies, and healthy student-instructor relationships.

Empathy and Diversity in Professional Education: The Fight Against Social Separation and Implicit Bias

Wednesday, March 20th   |  10:00 A.M.  - 12 noon  |  CL 1005  |  Main Campus

Transparent learning is an approach to course and assignment design that emphasizes how and why students are asked to learn course content in particular ways. This approach, because it articulates the literal process whereby success is achieved, is particularly beneficial for students who are unfamiliar with best-practices in college courses. Print event flyer.

SloneHeather Sloane Ph.D., MSW, LISW
Dr. Sloane is an Assistant Professor in the Social Work Program at the University of Toledo. Her teaching emphasis is in ethics, macro practice, policy, and field education. Dr. Sloane is a faculty member of the interprofessional education team at the University of Toledo. Her research looks carefully at how understandings of poverty develop and how professional education cultures influence that understanding. Dr. Sloane coordinates social work student involvement at the Community Care Clinic in Toledo and facilitates an interprofessional creative-writing mentoring group at Rogers High School.


Making textbooks student-centered

Tuesday, April 9th   |  12:30 - 2:00 p.m.  |  HHS 1711  |  Main Campus


  • Identify methods for making textbook or course readings into an active learning experience.
  •  Measure student reading rates using multiple digital tools.

Measuring student engagement and learning outside of the classroom can be difficult, especially with textbooks and course readings. The relevance of textbooks is a common discussion topic, with concerns including the wordy and static nature, availability of solutions manuals, or high and rising cost. A brief literature review identifying data related to undergraduate students’ textbook reading rates frames recent findings. Textbooks are experiencing a 21st century makeover to leverage technology; two case studies will be presented. First, a web-based platform called Perusall allows students to collectively annotate traditional textbooks and journal papers – covering content of any type from fully text to graphics, figures, or equations. Students’ questions, comments, and ideas are scored by a machine learning algorithm. Second, interactive, web-native textbooks from zyBooks will be highlighted. In addition to a lower cost than traditional textbooks, several unique features include interactive question sets, animations, and auto-graded, personalized challenge activities. Copious data, including student reading and usage rates, will be presented to prove or disprove the hypothesis that students read the textbook. The forum will be active with interactive surveys, thought questions, and discussion periods. Print flyer.


LiberatoreMatthew Liberatore, Professor of Chemical Engineering, is in his fourth year at The University of Toledo and fourteenth as faculty member. He has won numerous awards for teaching and education scholarship, completed funded research in chemical engineering and engineering education, and published over 80 papers. Details are available at:



Forum overview

The Future of Higher Education Forums is coordinated by the Office of the Provost in collaboration with the Office of Diversity and Inclusion and the University Teaching Center. This program seeks participation and expertise of UT faculty in providing a platform for conversation on various topics such as student success, time management, becoming student ready, emotional intelligence, demystifying tenure and promotion, creating an inclusive classroom, setting your research agenda and crisis management. While these are just some examples of the Future of Higher Education Forum topics, we encourage submission of proposals in diverse areas and on subjects of interest to a variety of faculty, staff and administrators. It is the intent of the program to have UT faculty from various disciplines who bring substantial knowledge and experience to a topic to present and lead discussions.

Program proposals for the 2018-2019 academic year will be accepted through October 5th, 2018. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis until the deadline. Program proposals should plan for 1 hour of lecture and up to an additional 1 hour for brainstorming and conversation. The overall session should identify a clear target audience and method of instruction, and provide at least 2 learning objectives. It is encouraged, but not required, to have an activity as part of the program. Each selected applicant will receive a $250 stipend following their presentation to be used for professional development.

Click here to submit a Future of Higher Education Forum Application

Submitted applications will be reviewed by the Office of the Provost and will be selected based on adherence to application guidelines and overall quality, topic, and availability of the faculty member to present on scheduled forum date(s). 

If you need further information, please contact Dr. Amy Thompson, Interim Associate Vice Provost of Faculty Affairs at























Last Updated: 2/15/19