In addition to my work with faculty and other instructors on my own campus, I’m fortunate to get the chance to visit other institutions to give talks and lead workshops. I’ve led dozens of interactive sessions in the US and abroad, all aimed at developing more intentional, creative, and effective educators.

See below for descriptions of some of my favorite talks and workshops. If you’re interested in bringing me to your campus, please reach out to me via email, derek.bruff@vanderbilt.edu. I’m happy to adapt one of the talks below to meet your teaching community’s needs, or come up with something useful that goes in a different direction.

Please note for speaking engagements, I typically ask the host to cover my travel costs, including food and lodging, as well as provide an honorarium. I’m happy to discuss specifics over email.

Talks and Workshops

Intentional Tech: Principles to Guide the Use of Educational Technology in College Teaching

Chalkboards and projectors are familiar tools for most college faculty, but when new technologies become available, instructors aren’t always sure how to integrate them into their teaching in meaningful ways. As faculty interested in supporting student learning survey the changing landscape of technology, determining what’s possible and what’s useful can be challenging. In this session, we’ll explore several teaching principles for matching technology to pedagogy, principles that can help us make intentional and effective use of technology in our teaching.

For more information about my 2019 book, Intentional Tech, visit my Books page.

Students as Producers: Creative Assignments for Deep Learning 

In the courses we teach, we have the opportunity to engage our students not only as consumers of information, but producers of knowledge. Usually this means moving beyond the five-page paper to less traditional assignments and projects. In this introduction to the “Students as Producers” approach to course design, we’ll consider assignments that encourage students to tackle open-ended problems, to operate with a high degree of autonomy, and to share their work with wider audiences. We’ll also discuss teaching and assessment practices that support students as they engage in these kinds of assignments.

All Skate: Active Learning in the University Classroom

How can we make the most of the relatively limited time we have with our students during class?  Educational research is clear: engaging students in active learning in the classroom leads to improved learning outcomes over “continuous exposition by the teacher.”  But what is active learning?  Why does it work?  And how can we engage all of our students in active learning during class?  In this session, we’ll explore teaching strategies, learning principles, and digital technologies for creating active learning environments in our classrooms—and inviting all our students into deeper learning.

See What I Mean: Visual Thinking Tools for Deep Learning

Our brains are wired to rapidly make sense of and remember visual input.  How might we tap into our students’ ability to think visually when teaching?  In this session, we will explore ways that visual thinking tools such as concept maps, coordinate axes, timelines, and sketchnotes can help students refine, share, and receive feedback on their understanding of relationships among ideas.  These tools can thus help students build more robust mental models useful for solving problems, thinking critically, and learning deeply.

Upcoming Presentations