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Teaching and Learning Symposium

2024 ISU Teaching and Learning Symposium March 28, 2024 12 pm - 4 pm Rendezvous Suites, Dr. Jevin West, Keynote Presenter

Thursday, March 28, 2024

Rendezvous Suites A, B, C and on Zoom

The Idaho State University Program for Instructional Effectiveness (PIE), the ISU Cultural Events Committee, and the College of Education will be hosting the second annual ISU Teaching and Learning Symposium. Faculty, staff, and graduate students are invited to attend and learn more about high-impact practices of teaching.

This year’s keynote speaker will be Associate Professor, Dr. Jevin West who is the co-founder of the new Center for an Informed Public at the University of Washington, which is aimed at resisting strategic misinformation, promoting an informed society, and strengthening democratic discourse. Dr. West’s keynote presentation will cover generative AI, misinformation, and other topics related to AI, and will start at 12 p.m. in the Rendezvous Suites A, B, C. Lunch will be provided to the first 65 attendees who RSVP, followed by breakout sessions from 2 - 4 p.m. Attendees will have the opportunity to meet Dr. West and mix and mingle with fellow colleagues. Additionally, Dr. West will also be providing a community keynote in the evening at 4:30 p.m. (RSVP here for the community event).


The keynote presentation and breakout sessions will be broadcast to all outreach campuses. Lunch will also be provided to outreach campus attendees who RSVP.

Schedule of Events

Keynote Luncheon 12:00 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.*

“Calling Bull”: The Art of Skepticism in a Data-Driven World

DESCRIPTION: Today’s world is more thoroughly quantified than ever before. We are awash in numbers, statistics, and data-hungry algorithms. Quantitative information is power: it is used to convey objectivity, to strengthen arguments, and to inform decisions—and all too often it is used by humans and human-like chatbots to impress, overwhelm, and persuade without any conviction to truth. Fortunately, one doesn’t need an advanced degree in data science (although quite helpful) to see through the vast majority of quantitative misinformation. Drawing on examples from current events of misleading claims and misuses of artificial intelligence, this talk aims to empower data scientists, teachers, students, and the everyday information consumer to push back when confronted by numerical arguments and data-hungry technologies. By focusing attention on the data sources and their weaknesses, rather than on the complex and often obscure algorithms and statistical procedures, we can see through the hype and hold our own against those selling quantitative snake-oil.

We will also be honoring our inaugural recipients of the ISU Excellence in General Education Teaching Awards at the beginning of our luncheon!

Zoom Link | Passcode: 283933

* All seats at the in-person lunch have been reserved. If you did not reserve a seat, please join us via Zoom.

Faculty Workshop 2:00 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.

Generative AI in science and higher education: the promises and potential perils

ABSTRACT: Science is the greatest of human inventions. Through its norms and procedures, we have improved human health and longevity; we discovered the germ theory of disease, electromagnetism, and penicillin. But what about the health of science and academia itself, especially in the wake of Generative AI? Internally, we see challenges—the reproducibility crisis, a rise in pseudoscience, and declines in trust. Externally, we see attacks on science and education through disinformation campaigns, agnotogenesis, and political point-scoring. Turning the proverbial microscope on science and academia itself, this talk will explore some of the mechanisms spreading misinformation in and about science and academia and propose interventions to reduce its spread, especially in regard to generative AI. 

Zoom Link | Passcode: 283933

Community Keynote 4:30 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.

Please RSVP for this event.

Generative AI: Is there any hope for humanity? (Short answer: yes)

ABSTRACT: The emergence of Generative AI (GenAI) has created a firestorm of activity across nearly all industries, including higher education. Investors are pouring billions into the technology. At the same time, economists are warning of job loss in the millions, and researchers are pointing out the ways in which these new machines exacerbate societal challenges, like the spread of misinformation during elections and crisis events. Using case studies and research results, I will move through a set of emotions to GenAI—amazed, scared, critical, and practical—navigating the uncertainty of a time when chat bots can pass bar exams and Sora can create videos from simple text input. I will end the talk with some hope for the next generation of AI consumers, collaborators, and creators.

Zoom Link | Passcode: 865779

Contact Us

If you have questions or need additional information, please contact Karen Appleby.