Upcoming Professional Development Webinars hosted by UIUC for Spring 2018

Please find below the descriptions of the upcoming webinars in the Spring 2018 Professional Development Webinar Series hosted by the Center for Language Instruction and Coordination at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.

Registration for all three is now available. All webinars are free and open to all.


Thursday March 29, 5:00-6:00pm EASTERN / 4:00-5:00pm CENTRAL / 2:00-3:00pm PACIFIC: "Staging and evaluating structured reflection for transformative learning." Presenter: Cori Crane (Duke University). Webinar description: ‘Structured reflection’ refers to a set of diverse practices used to help learners make sense of their learning as they critically link content/theoretical knowledge, personal experience, and previous assumptions. For foreign language instruction in particular, guided reflection can be a powerful instructional tool for helping learners to decenter themselves from their existing assumptions and values as they try on, engage with, and respond to cultural perspectives that may be very different from their own. Drawing on students’ written reflections across a collegiate language curriculum, this webinar shows how structured reflection can provide space for language learners to shift their initial frame(s) of reference and approach moments of real transformative learning (Mezirow et al., 2009). In this webinar, participants will learn how transformative learning theory and the concept of structured reflection can be used to conceptualize, develop, and stage meaningful reflective opportunities for foreign language learners across a collegiate curriculum. Specifically, participants will: (1) develop familiarity with discussion strategies and reflective prompts that can be used to elicit critical reflection from students within a language program; (2) learn how one can evaluate and provide feedback on structured reflection (esp. reflective writing); and (3) begin to develop prompts for their own specific instructional context. Please use this link to sign up for this webinar:  https://goo.gl/forms/4KxTSQLHvAUC0Z382


Thursday April 5, 4:00-5:00pm EASTERN / 3:00-4:00pm CENTRAL / 1:00-2:00pm PACIFIC: "Understanding, Improving, and Developing Language Programs through Useful Evaluation." Presenters: John McEwan Davis (Foreign Service Institute) and Todd McKay (Georgetown University). Webinar description: Conducting evaluation in language education has increasingly become an activity that educators must undertake themselves, often for specific program-improvement and accountability purposes. This webinar provides an introduction to planning and implementing “utilization-focused evaluation” in language education programs. A utilization-focused approach to language program evaluation calls for specific planning and implementation techniques that help to ensure systematic evaluation methods and project impact. Using case study examples from published research, this webinar will help participants (a) clarify their understanding of program evaluation and the various purposes for evaluation in language education; (b) understand the key concepts of utilization-focused evaluation (i.e., stakeholders, evaluation users, evaluation questions, and indicators); (c) become aware of common performance indicators for evaluating language programs; and (d) select relevant data-collection tools on the basis of systematic evaluation planning. Please use this link to sign up for this webinar: https://goo.gl/forms/ZKqe6A0BUfCNdegU2


Tuesday April 17, 5:00-6:00pm EASTERN / 4:00-5:00pm CENTRAL / 2:00-3:00pm PACIFIC: "Using Contract Learning to Improve Learner Motivation in a Language Composition Course." Presenter: Cassandra Rosado (University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign). Webinar description: In the language learning context, the use of authentic materials, activities, and assignments can lead to more meaningful learning experiences and more motivated students. This webinar will introduce the instructional framework of Contract Learning within the higher education context as a way to allow students to make the learning process more self-directed and focused on their own needs, which can be successful especially in the case of language composition courses for advanced learners. This webinar seeks to help language instructors and language program coordinators understand the benefits and challenges of Contract Learning, whether it is a good approach for their own language courses, and if so, how to integrate it into their existing curricula. The webinar will also prompt a discussion of how learning contracts may be used in other aspects of language learning and with students of all proficiency levels as a way to improve language learner motivation. Please use this link to sign up for this webinar: https://goo.gl/forms/nkJuRU4WyXyh19722