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Past Blue Sky Lounges

In the past we’ve hosted students, staff, and faculty for open and honest conversation about topics that matter to us all. See below for information about our past lounges!

Fall 2023

The theme for our Fall 2023 conversations was “pressing concerns.” What are the things we most care about and struggle with as students and teachers? Join us in the Blue Sky Lounge for a string of honest discussions about classroom topics.

Grading and Ungrading (September 5, 2023, 4-5 pm, HCRS 1060)

Grades—Do we really need them? Could students learn better without them? Dr. Katie Jarriel and Dr. Dan Guberman lead conversation around traditional forms of grading and alternative—maybe better—practices.

Great Groups (October 24, 2023, 10-11 am, HCRS 1060)

Dr. Adam E. Watkins, Assistant Dean for Leadership in the John Martinson Honors College leads discussion about what makes for terrific groups and how to participate in, lead, or design successful group work.

Difficult Classroom Conversations (November 14, 2023, 4-5 pm, HCRS 1060)

Dr. Megha Anwer, the John Martinson Honors College’s Associate Dean for Belonging, Equity, and Inclusion guides conversation about how to have productive conversations about difficult things in the classroom and beyond.

Spring 2023

Blue Sky Lab’s Spring 2023 focus was on innovative practices: how can we take a visionary approach to how we live, learn, research, and teach? Please join one or all of our spring lounges, which offer an informal space for conversation and inspiration.

Living Learning Communities (January 25, 3:30-4:30 pm, HCRS 1060)

What’s the latest thinking about LLCs and how they support student learning and development? This session will focus on the residential-academic interface and innovative ways to approach and leverage it. With Associate Director of Residential Academic Initiatives, Dr. Bryan Austin.

Innovative Learning Spaces (February 22, 3:30-4:30 pm, HCRS 1060)

In what sorts of settings do students learn best? We want to hear about the ways you’ve used nontraditional spaces—or used traditional spaces in innovative ways. With special guest stars Drs. Liz Brite and Katie Jarriel.

Interdisciplinary Undergraduate Research (March 6, 4:00-5:00 pm, HCRS 1060)

What are ways you’ve motivated undergraduate research in or outside of coursework? This session offers the opportunity to share innovative methods and to hear from Jordan Meyer and Dr. Chaonan Liu about their own research on John Martinson Honors College scholarly projects and research motivation.

Culturally Responsive Pedagogy (April 10, 3:30-4:30, HCRS 1060)

What is culturally responsive pedagogy, and how can it be used to develop more inclusive classroom, research, and residential spaces? This session offers tools for supporting student identity and increasing belonging. With special guests from the University of Minnesota, Dr. Kelly Collins and Zhuldyz Amankulova.

Fall 2022

In Fall, 2022, Blue Sky Lab invited you to learn and share knowledge about SoTL: the scholarship of teaching and learning.

SOTL/Identity (September 21, 2022, 2:30-3:20 pm, HCRS 1060)

What does scholarship of teaching and learning (SoTL) work tell us about how students form their identities in the classroom and university communities? How do our identities inform our belonging to an interdisciplinary college and SOTL community? This session focuses on who “we” are.

SOTL/Toolkit (October 19, 2022, 2:30-3:20, HCRS 1060)

Interested in beginning or extending a scholarship of teaching and learning project? This session will give you the basics to launch a SOTL project—or to identify ways your current research and/or teaching may extend into the scholarship of teaching and learning.

SOTL/Community (November 9, 2022, 2:30-3:20, HCRS 1060)

Engaged in—or interested in engaging in—community-based research? Learn about the benefits of partnering with communities to address local challenges. This session will focus on how to design and conduct a SOTL project within a community

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