Episode 12: Community and Relationships in Learning

Guest: Dr. Janet Batzli

In this episode, Laura Schmidli speaks with Dr. Janet Batzli, Director and Distinguished Faculty Associate Emerita in the Biocore Program. Dr. Batzli looks back on over two decades of teaching, sharing inclusive practices from the biology classroom and her research. We explore experiential learning, student leadership and mentoring, and threshold concepts, and we consider how diverse ways of knowing can contribute to a discipline.

See the transcript for this episode.

The L&S Exchange Podcast is brought to you by L&S Teaching & Learning Administration and produced by the Instructional Design Collaborative. This podcast is recorded on ancestral Ho-Chunk land, a place their nation has called Teejop (day-JOPE) since time immemorial.

Join the Conversation

How did this episode make you think? What’s on your mind about inclusive teaching? Leave us a message on Spotify for Podcasters, respond to a poll using the Spotify app on your mobile device, reply with a comment at the bottom of this post, or send us an email. We may ask to feature your contribution in this or a future episode.

Conversation Starters

  1. Janet questions whether or not active and experiential learning are always inclusive. What do you think? Are there actions instructors can take to make these activities more inclusive?
  2. Janet describes the Biocore Prairie as a place where all students observe and interact through real and lasting hands-on experience. How can you bring experiential learning into your classroom? How can you help students reflect on experiences and connect them to your subject matter?
  3. Janet speaks about her emotional connection with plant biology and different ways of knowing within the sciences. What emotions do you bring to your discipline? What ways of knowing are normalized in your area of study? What emotional connections do students have with your discipline?
  4. One takeaway related to Janet and her colleagues’ research on threshold concepts is to make time and space for discomfort. How do you normalize discomfort in the learning process for students? What does it look like to intentionally build time and space for students to grapple with uncertainty within your course?
  5. Janet mentions that students have to do their part. What are ways you help students understand when, why, and how to seek help? What other expectations do you have for students to take ownership of their own learning?
  6. What opportunities does your course, department, or discipline offer for students to develop leadership and teaching skills by working with other students? Are there opportunities for students to suggest, develop, or lead new programming or co-create course components?

Further Reading & Resources

In this episode we mentioned, were inspired by, or wondered about the following resources and topics.

Production Credits

Producer: David Macasaet
Associate Producer: Laura Schmidli
Audio Engineer: David Macasaet
Audio Editor: David Macasaet
WiscWeb Administrator: Laura Schmidli
Post-Production & Studio Support: Erika Schock
Development Producer: Jonathan Klein
Planning Group: Jonathan Klein, David Macasaet, Molly Harris, Laura Schmidli, Erika Schock, Antonella Caloro
Executive Sponsorship: Shirin Malekpour

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