‘Stay Consistent’ Key Theme During REFRESH Faculty Seminar

Prior to LSU welcoming back its faculty to campus, LSU’s Learning & Teaching Collaborative hosted a half-day seminar and workshop, REFRESH: New Energy for Teaching, open to LSU and its branch campuses to provide faculty an opportunity to refresh and reset for the fall semester.  

The event kicked off with a welcome from Jennnifer Baumgartner, chair of the Learning & Teaching Collaborative and associate professor in the College of Human Sciences & Education. Baumgartner gave an overview of the seminar and introduced Interim Executive Vice President & Provost Matt Lee who provided words of appreciation and encouragement for the semester ahead.  

Matt Lee speaking to audience at REFRESH“I appreciate you all for your commitment to our students, and your innovation in the classroom,” said Lee. “We can achieve excellence through innovation, and we do this by not continually stretching ourselves further but trying new things which is a natural evolutionary process. We have to remain on top of our pedagogical and teaching approaches which is why I appreciate your being here today.” 

The first session welcomed a student panel that was asked to reflect on their classroom and virtual experiences over the last year. Students from LSU Baton Rouge, Eunice and Shreveport provided insight to faculty on how to offer the best classroom experience for students during these times.  

One theme the students all had in common was to stay consistent and stay invested.  

“We’re all having to readjust,” one student mentioned. “We want our professors to stay invested in us. Be enthusiastic when you show up for class. Show up every day and show us that you enjoy what you are doing. We’re just as excited as you are.” 

Another student chimed in to reiterate the importance to the students of faculty staying consistent in the classroom.  

“A professor can help by making materials and modalities consistent,” a student panelist added. “Make sure expectations are clearly outlined in the syllabus for in-person and virtual components—this goes a long way.” 

Keynote speaker, Dr. Lauren Cardon from The University of Alabama, gave a presentation on culturally responsive and inclusive teaching titled, “Striving Toward Inclusion: Rethinking the Classroom Experience.”  

Cardon has led inclusive pedagogy workshops at multiple academic institutions and is a co-author with Dr. Anne-Marie Womack a forthcoming publication (2022) titled Inclusive College Classrooms: Rethinking Pedagogical Methods. 

Faculty members then broke out into small work-groups and discussed their take-aways from both the student panel and keynote speaker. They were tasked with reflecting on the presentations and creating a plan for how they may use them as inspirations for the semester.  

The event was sponsored by Campus Federal Credit Union, a longstanding partner with LSU Office of Academic Affairs and the Learning & Teaching Collaborative.  

LSU’s Learning & Teaching Collaborative is a faculty driven program geared to promote student success and growth through the continued development and enhancement of our faculty and instructors.