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Celebration of Teaching & Learning Symposium

Dr. Sushilla Knottenbelt

Lessons from the Student Experience Project: Low lift strategies to increase student engagement, improve educational outcomes and reduce equity gaps

Decades of research in social psychology shows that when students experience a sense of belonging in the classroom, they’re more likely to persist through academic challenges, especially when they are part a minoritized group. The Student Experience Project brought together six institutions and several learning partners to develop and test practical strategies based on these findings for faculty to easily implement in their classrooms. These strategies have been successfully utilized at a variety of institutions, across the disciplines, in large and small classrooms, with national data showing a positive correlation between improving student experience and better grade outcomes, as well as reinforcing the key role that faculty have in establishing the classroom climate. Participants will leave this session with an overview of the evidence base, some practical tools to measure and improve student experience and access to an extensive collection of resources for further exploration.

About the Keynote Speaker

Sushilla Knottenbelt is a chemistry educator and faculty lead for the University of New Mexico Student Experience Project. Her interests and expertise involve applying evidence-based strategies to create classroom environments where every student can succeed, both in her own classes and in collaboration with faculty across disciplines. Her life map so far is in reverse alphabetical order, born in Zimbabwe, via York, UK (for degree and PhD) and now in Albuquerque, NM where she lives with her multigenerational family and troublesome Jack Russell terrier, Sparky.

2023 Celebration of Teaching & Learning Symposium Main Page