Talking About Learning: Overcoming Apathy and Creating Excitement in the Classroom

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

What can instructors do to facilitate learning when they encounter students who seem uninterested and even apathetic toward course content and assignments? Part of the responsibility for learning belongs to students, but as faculty, we can find new ways to motivate, inspire, and maybe even cajole students to learn. This session will demonstrate and explain how instructors can make classroom learning, perhaps one of the most artificial learning settings, a more meaningful experience for students.

Todd Zakrajsek, an expert on student learning who has given conference keynote addresses in over 30 states and 4 countries will use theories of learning and motivation as a basis for creating strategies to increase student engagement in course content and class sessions. Learn strategies to encourage students to complete assigned readings and to help them increase the effectiveness of their study time! Participants will have an opportunity to try out and experience first-hand some of these techniques. Topics covered in this session include motivation, collaborative learning, metacognition, learning theory, and interpersonal communication.

Speaker Todd Zakrajsek served as executive director of the Center for Faculty Excellence at UNC-Chapel Hill until September 2012; he is currently leading faculty development as an associate professor at the UNC’s School of Medicine. He was previously the Inaugural Director of the Faculty Center for Innovative Teaching at Central Michigan University and the founding Director of the Center for Teaching and Learning at Southern Oregon University, where he also taught in the psychology department as a tenured associate professor in the psychology department. Todd also directs the Lilly Conference on Teaching and Learning at Traverse City, Michigan, and the International Conference on Improving University Teaching. Dr. Zakrajsek received his Ph.D. in Industrial/Organizational Psychology from Ohio University. He has published and presented widely on the topic of student learning.

This event is open to New School faculty and staff only.


Theresa Lang Community and Student Center, Arnhold Hall, 55 West 13th Street, 2nd floor

Free; no tickets or reservations required; seating is first-come first-served

Contact Information:

Carolyn Comiskey,, 212-229-8947 x2758


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