Limed: Teaching with a Twist – Episode 8

Mark Burnham wants to help his students get more practice and feel psychologically more prepared for their oral graduation examinations in Emerson and Henry College’s biology program. He is already planning to include oral assessments in some of his courses and our panel shares their thoughts on oral assessments as a practice, the importance of connecting your assessment with your learning outcomes, and tips to help oral assessments go smoothly. Panelists include Dr. Laura Pipe (UNC Greensboro), Dr. Olivia Choplin (Elon University), and Maddie Fayne (Elon University).

This episode of Limed: Teaching with a Twist is hosted by Matt Wittstein and produced by Dhvani Toprani and Matt Wittstein in collaboration with the Center for Engaged Learning.

View a transcript of this episode.

About the Guest

Headshot of Mark Burnham

Mark Burnham is an assistant professor of biology and environmental science at Emory & Henry College in Emory, VA. He is an ecologist and does most of his teaching in introductory level biology and environmental studies as well as ecology and botany. Outside of teaching, Mark is involved with the E&H garden, greenhouse, and herbarium. He researches nitrogen and carbon biogeochemical cycling in natural and managed ecosystems, and his new research program at E&H includes studying the ecology and sustainability of small gardens in Southwest Virginia. Although he’s not really an entomologist, he is currently building and curating an insect collection on campus. You can learn more about Mark on his website and also find his live bird feeder stream online: Appalachian Bird Cam on YouTube!

About the Panel

Head shot of Olivia Choplin

Olivia Choplin is an Associate Professor of French and Associate Director of the Center for the Advancement of Teaching and Learning at Elon University. While her disciplinary scholarship focuses mainly on theater and immigrant literature in Québec, she is also an enthusiastic examiner of her own teaching. She has published work on the use of theater in the French classroom, building students’ intercultural competencies in the intermediate French curriculum, and increasing students’ intercultural learning during study abroad experiences. As an educational developer, she enjoys troubleshooting teaching challenges and is currently working on a project with colleagues on the use of alternative grading practices in world languages classrooms. You can read more about her on her faculty profile here.

Headshot of Maddie Fayne

Madeline “Maddie” Fayne is a senior at Elon University pursuing her undergraduate degree in Psychology, with minors in Early Childhood Education and Jewish Studies. From Los Angeles, California, Maddie is involved in organizations across campus from Elon Hillel to her sorority, Sigma Kappa. She also works as a Residence Life office assistant in the Oaks and Park Place neighborhood. Upon graduating, Maddie will be teaching English in France through the Fulbright Program, the largest international educational exchange program which promotes cultural understanding between the United States and other countries around the world.

Headshot of Laura Pipe

Laura Pipe serves as the Director of the Learning Innovations and Pedagogy group in the University Teaching and Learning Commons at The University of North Carolina at Greensboro. She serves as the faculty advisor for UNCG’s Native American Student Association and is of Tuscarora descent. Her scholarly interests focus on Indigenous pedagogies and epistemologies of the Woodland Peoples of the east coast of Turtle Island, action sports (bicycle motocross, skateboarding, stock car racing) and the construction of public/private space, and issues in Native and Indigenous health. Laura teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in sports sociology, decolonial and qualitative methodologies, and Native sport traditions and health philosophies. She holds a B.S. in Journalism (Texas Christian University), an M.S. in Higher Postsecondary Education (Syracuse University), and a Ph.D. in Kinesiology with a post baccalaureate certificate in Teaching Sociology (UNCG). Laura is the co-creator of the Toward a Liberated Learning Spirit (TALLS) model for developing critical consciousness, which frames the forthcoming book Ignite: A Decolonial Approach to Higher Education through Space, Place and Culture (Pipe & Stephens (Eds), 2023; Vernon Press).

Learn More about Ideas Shared in the Episode

  • Elon University Center for the Advancement of Teaching and Learning. “Assessing Student Learning.
  • “Guidelines for Oral Assessments and Exams.” Office of Teaching and Learning. University of Guelph. Accessed April 10, 2023.
  • Moon, Jennifer A. A handbook of reflective and experiential learning: Theory and practice. Routledge, 2013.
  • Pipe, Laura May, and Jennifer T. Stephens. 2021. “Toward a Liberated Learning Spirit: A Model for Developing Critical Consciousness.” Journal of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning 21 (2): 121-139. [Open Access]