STAR Symposium 2019 Conference “Sneak Peek” and Keynote Speakers

Register today for the 2019 STAR Symposium! Join us to hear from experienced professionals about topics related to faculty support, course design, assessment practices, technology integration, and student engagement strategies. This is a virtual conference but that doesn’t mean it’s only for online faculty. The STAR Symposium includes presentations that focus on post-secondary pedagogical approaches including delivery via face-to-face, blended, flipped and online classrooms!

Take a sneak peek at the 2019 session guide to see the 25-minute and 50-minute sessions featured this year including our two keynote sessions.


STAR Symposium 2019 Keynote Speakers

Mark Milliron, Civitas Learning

Tomorrow-Ready Education: Preparing Students for the Challenges of Today and the Promise of Tomorrow

Mark Milliron

The future is coming fast—faster than ever—and the world of education is working hard to keep up. In this presentation, we’ll dive into conversations on five vital focus areas that will help us get ready to help our students get ready for the challenges of today and the promise of tomorrow.

We’ll explore (1) building out an integrated infrastructure that brings together the best of facilities, online and mobile tools, and augmented and virtual reality; (2) optimizing a learning mix that includes more fluid and increasingly digital curricular resources and strategies, including open education, accelerated learning, competency-based education, game-based learning, MOOCs, SMOCs, and more; (3) doubling down on the importance of psycho-social factors, including belongingness, purpose, mindsets, tenacity, grit, and social and emotional learning (SEL); (4) making the most of analytics platforms and apps powered by data science and design thinking to help us and our students learn well and finish strong; and (5) embracing the imperative to champion “tomorrow-ready learning” grounded in rich tradition, but tuned for the fast-moving dynamics of the road ahead.

About Mark Milliron

Dr. Mark David Milliron is Co-Founder and Chief Learning Officer of Civitas Learning, an organization committed to helping education bring together the best of emerging technology, data science, and design thinking to help students learn well and finish strong on education pathways. An awardwinning leader, author, speaker, and consultant, he has worked with universities, community colleges, K-12 schools, foundations, corporations, associations, and government agencies across the country and around the world.


Jess Mitchell, University of Toronto

How to Design Inclusion into Education

Jess Mitchell

We all design our experiences, our interactions, and our spaces. And when we design, we introduce error, failure, and unintended consequences into our experiences, our interactions, and our spaces. Education is no exception. We all play a part in designing the system of education. And we introduce error, failure, confusion, and unintended consequences into that system. That’s the bad news, or the “what it’s like to be human” news. We can do better though.

The good news is that when we design education we have an opportunity to break down barriers to access, reach more students, and have a deeper impact. Isn’t that one of the reasons you’re an educator?

Design, Inclusion, and Education are 3 words that we all know individually. Together, those 3 words can change the world and change the way you look at the world evermore. It is no silver bullet and it will not be a 10-step process to follow, but a shift in perspective to look at education through an inclusive design lens will have a transformative effect on your brain! 

About Jess Mitchell

Jess Mitchell is Senior Manager, Research + Design at the Inclusive Design Research Centre at OCAD University in Toronto. Her work focuses on fostering innovation within diverse communities while achieving outcomes that benefit everyone. She applies this inclusive and broad perspective along with extensive experience to managing large-scale international projects, focused organizational initiatives, and everything in between.

With a background in Ethics, Jess delivers a unique perspective on messy and complex contexts that helps organizations and individuals navigate a productive way forward.

Dr. Todd Zakrajsek will be the Keynote for STAR Symposium 2018

We are excited to announce this year’s STAR Symposium Keynote Speaker, Dr. Todd Zakrajsek.  The all-day virtual STAR Symposium will be held on Friday, February 9, 2018.

Teaching for Brain-based Learning

Description: The human brain is massively complex and very difficult to understand at times.  We lose keys, forget where we park our car at the mall, and can’t recall the last item on a short shopping list.  At the same time, we can master complex musical numbers, play complicated team sports, and learn to identify tiny nuances in x-rays.  Why is it that some learning is difficult and other learning seems effortless?  Turning to research in neuroscience and cognitive psychology, in this session we will consider some of the most recent findings in the area of brain-based learning with respect to how best to teach for effective and efficient student learning.

Keynote Background: Dr. Todd Zakrajsek is an Associate Professor and Associate Director of the Faculty Development Fellowship in the UNC School of Medicine. His current academic work and publications pertain to faculty development, effective instructional strategies, and student learning. Dr. Zakrajsek has served on many educational boards and work groups across the US and abroad. He has been a visiting professor and delivered keynote addresses at approximately 300 campuses and teaching conferences in 46 states, 11 countries, and 4 continents.


STAR Symposium Registration Information

The STAR Symposium  2018 will be held on February 9, 2018. Join us for a full day of concurrent sessions focused on teaching and learning. The cost for this all-day conference is $50 (and, you have NO travel costs!).  Register here.

This is a virtual conference but that doesn’t mean it’s only for online faculty. This conference includes sessions for those teaching face-to-face, online or some combination of the two! There are sessions related to improving student learning, faculty support, course design and delivery, assessment practices, technology integration and student engagement strategies. A full agenda of sessions is coming soon.