Institute for Student Success

Dr. Barbara Millis

Dr. Millis' Workshop Materials are now available!

Director of the Teaching and Learning Center
University of Texas, at San Antonio

Dr. Millis received her Ph.D. in English literature from Florida State University. She Dr. Barbara Millisfrequently offers workshops at professional conferences and for over 300 colleges and universities. She publishes articles on a variety of faculty development topics such as cooperative learning, peer classroom observations, the teaching portfolio, microteaching, syllabus construction, classroom assessment/research, critical thinking, writing for publication, focus groups, writing across the curriculum, academic games, and course redesign. She is the co-author or editor of four books: (1) with Philip Cottell, Cooperative Learning for Higher Education Faculty; (2) with John Hertel, Using Simulations to Enhance Learning in Higher Education; (3) with Margaret Cohen, a complete revision of Judith Grunert’s The Course Syllabus: A Learning Centered Approach and (4) edited, Cooperative Learning in Higher Education: Across the Disciplines, Across the Academy. While directing a teaching center at the US Air Force Academy, Barbara won both a teaching award and a research award. In 2002 Barbara loved being a Visiting Scholar at Victoria University, Wellington, New Zealand.

Keynote Workshop: Using Cooperative Activities to Foster Deep Learning

Deep learning emerges from the careful sequencing of assignments and activities "orchestrated" by a teacher committed to student learning. The research on deep learning has been ongoing, systematic, and convergent. It involves motivating students to acquire a solid knowledge base through active, interactive learning. This interactive keynote will help teachers understand how to sequence structured assignments and activities to foster deep learning approaches. Students complete relevant assignments outside of class—for which they are accountable—that help them learn new knowledge by connecting it to what they already know. Because students come to class prepared, class time can be spent productively by having students in pairs or small groups compare their out-of-class products to foster critical thinking and constructive feedback.

Break-Out Session: Promoting Critical Thinking through Cooperative Learning

Participants will learn how to use cooperative structures to foster academic achievement, student retention, and liking for the subject matter. The presenter will emphasize efficient facilitation of group processes. The session itself will model a cooperative classroom with combinations of direct instruction, interactive group work tied to the session objectives, and whole-class discussion with questions. Participants will experience at least three cooperative structures and two report out methods, applicable to virtually all disciplines, that they can apply in their own classrooms.