The Center for Teaching Excellence's 12th Annual Regional Conference on Teaching, Learning, & Scholarship

The conference will be held on Friday, March 17, 2023 at Frostburg State University and features concurrent sessions on teaching, learning, and the scholarship of teaching and learning, led by FSU and local instructors. The conference aims to help college and university faculty and other educators share ideas and pedagogical strategies while strengthening partnerships within the region. Registration is free and meals are included thanks to generous support from Transform Mid-Atlantic. Additional support for the conference is provided by the Office of the Provost at Frostburg State University. For more information, contact

Who is invited: Instructors, staff, administrators, and education students from regional colleges, universities, and schools.

When: March 17, 2023 8:15am - 4:15 pm

Where: Frostburg State University, Gira CCIT and Lane University Center

The Center for Teaching Excellence accepts and appreciates donations of any size to help with the costs of the conference and other events. Click here to make an online donation.

Barbara Oakley, PhD, Keynote Speaker’s Biography

Barbara Oakley, PhD, PE is a Distinguished Professor of Engineering at Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan; Michigan’s Distinguished Professor of the Year; and Coursera’s inaugural “Innovation Instructor.” Her work focuses on the complex relationship between neuroscience and social behavior. Dr. Oakley’s research has been described as “revolutionary” in the Wall Street Journal. She is a New York Times best-selling author who has published in outlets as varied as the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the Wall Street Journal, and The New York Times. Her book A Mind for Numbers, on effective learning in STEM disciplines, has sold over a million copies worldwide; Uncommon Sense Teaching is a critically praised guide to teaching based on insights from neuroscience. Dr. Oakley has won numerous teaching awards, including the American Society of Engineering Education’s Chester F. Carlson Award for technical innovation in engineering education and the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers William E. Sayle II Award for Achievement in Education. Together with Terrence Sejnowski, the Francis Crick Professor at the Salk Institute, she co-teaches Coursera’s “Learning How to Learn,” one of the world’s most popular massive open online courses with some four million registered students, along with a number of other leading MOOCs.

Dr. Oakley has adventured widely through her lifetime. She rose from the ranks of Private to Captain in the U.S. Army, during which time she was recognized as a Distinguished Military Scholar. She also worked as a communications expert at the South Pole Station in Antarctica, and has served as a Russian translator on board Soviet trawlers on the Bering Sea. Dr. Oakley is an elected Fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering and of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers and the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering.

Keynote Abstract

Practical Insights from Neuroscience—and Movie-Making! — to Improve Your Teaching

Professor of Engineering Barbara Oakley is the instructor of Learning How to Learn (Coursera), one of the world’s largest student massive open online course, with over three million students. In this presentation, she will show you useful information about how you and those you work with can more easily master new and difficult material—and establish an even richer learning culture for those you work with.

  • See what the patterns of expertise look like in the brain, and learn how to build those patterns more quickly and with less frustration.
  • Learn why it’s perfectly normal to not understand something difficult the first time its encountered. You’ll see how knowledge of how the brain works can protect against feelings of frustration and failure when something seems difficult to learn.
  • Discover simple tools to tackle procrastination. (You might be surprised to learn that even just thinking about something you don’t like causes your brain to experience pain.)
  • Learn why small periods of mindlessness can be so valuable in learning.
  • Learn the surprising advantages of having a bad memory and sometimes being a slower learner.

Dr. Oakley’s previous book, A Mind for Numbers, is a New York Times and international best-seller translated into over a dozen languages. Her most recent book is the critically acclaimed Uncommon Sense Teaching: Practical Insights in Brain Science to Help Students Learn.

Funding for the Regional Conference is provided by Frostburg State University and the Transform Mid-Atlantic (TMA) Faculty Development Mini-Grant Program. TMA’s mission is to mobilize the collective commitment and capacity of higher education to actively advance our communities through civic and community engagement, improving community life across the region.

Events Will Be Held in

Gira Center (CCIT) and Lane University Center

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Parking Information

Please park in the Pullen Lot. Campus Police will not require parking permits in this lot for the event.

GPS: Pullen Lot, Frostburg, MD 21532