Current Events

AFTL Annual Teaching Showcase

Wed., Jan. 27, 2016.

The submission for proposals deadline has passed (Nov. 16, 2015).

See past presentations in Past Events.


2016 AFTL Teaching Showcase Keynote Speakers:

Ruth Benander and Robin Lightner

Title: Student and Faculty Perceptions of Syllabus Function and Style


Syllabi serve several different functions including setting expectations, giving encouragement, providing context, and outlining policies. The teaching and learning literature outlines several best practices for designing syllabi. Though the rationale behind the recommendations seems sound, our study examined student preferences for these documents, and these preferences contradict expert recommendations in several ways.  Our findings offer recommendations for instructor, and more importantly, they also highlight the importance of involving student voices in the exploration of SoTL and its application to our classes. We will review the current literature on syllabi and present data from our study comparing different syllabi formats. The audience will participate electronically in the conversation as we work through how to bridge the gap between novice and expert views of teaching and learning.

Biographical Information:


Dr. Ruth Benander is a Professor in the Department of English and Communication at UC Blue Ash College.  She teaches courses from basic writing to composition to literature.  She has presented her research at such conferences as the International Society for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, the College Composition and Communication Conference, the Professional and Organizational Development Conference, the American Council for Foreign Language Teachers, and the Association for Authentic Experiential Evidence-Based Learning.  Her publications can be found in such journals as The Journal for General Education, The Journal of Faculty Development, The Foreign Language Annals, and The Journal for the Scholarship in Teaching and Learning.  Her current research focuses on eportfolios as authentic assessment of student learning and the process of learning other cultures for both faculty and students.  Dr. Benander is a member of the Academy of Fellows for Teaching and Learning, and she is the past Director of the UCBA Learning and Teaching Center. 


Dr. Robin Lightner is a Professor of Psychology and Unit Head for the Department of Behavioral Science at UC Blue Ash College. She teaches courses including Social Psychology, Personality Theories, Positive Psychology and Introduction to Psychology. She was the past director of the UCBA Learning & Teaching Center. She co-edited a volume published by Stylus, Developing Faculty Learning Communities in Two-Year Colleges: Collaborative Models to Improve Teaching & Learning,  She has presented her work at conferences including the International Society for Exploring Teaching & Learning, the International Society for the Scholarship of Teaching & Learning, and the Midwestern Psychological Association. She serves as a Consultant Evaluator for the Higher Learning Commission and is a member of the University‚Äôs Academy of Fellows for Teaching and Learning.