Limed: Teaching with a Twist – Episode 4

Dr. Sarah Morrison-Smith is a new faculty member at Hamilton College, where the institutional culture leans away from PowerPoint in the classroom. Our panel of Jill McSweeney, Scott Spurlock, and Christina Wyatt reinforce the ethos that PowerPoint is a great tool… when you use it well, and they provide tips and advice for Sarah in her new position and her Computer Science classroom.

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

View a transcript of this episode.

About the Guest 

Sarah Morrison Smith is an Assistant Professor at Hamilton College and has been teaching computer science at small, liberal arts colleges for the past four years. In her teaching, Sarah focuses on practical applications of computer science for the betterment of humanity, particularly with regard to accessibility. Her research focuses on building systems that support collaboration, especially when working remotely. More info about Sarah’s lab can be found at

About the Panel

Woman standing in a wooded area. She's wearing a black jacket and a scarf with various shades of red. She has glasses on top of her head, and she's looking back over her shoulder.

Jill McSweeney has been working in Educational Development for almost a decade. She began her work at Dalhousie University, in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, where she completed her PhD, and is now an Assistant Director for the Center for the Advancement of Teaching and Learning and an Assistant Professor at Elon University. She actively engages in scholarship around educational development and the scholarship of teaching and learning, publishing in journals such as Teaching and Learning Inquiry, the International Journal of Academic Development and The International Journal of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning. She approaches her teaching and educational development work with the focus of facilitating a space where learners and colleagues can create connections and meaning with themselves and their learning/teaching. To learn more about her teaching and ongoing scholarship, visit her on Twitter or her Faculty Profile.

Headshot of white male wearing a checkered blue and white shirt

Scott Spurlock is an Associate Professor of Computer Science at Elon University. He teaches a variety of courses, including Algorithm Analysis, Computer Vision, and Data Mining and Machine Learning. He enjoys experimenting with new teaching approaches, such as Scrumage (Improving Content Learning and Student Perceptions in CS1 with Scrumage) and Ungrading (Improving Student Motivation by Ungrading), that structure courses in ways that improve student attitudes and motivation. In addition to Computer Science Education, his research focuses on applied machine learning and computer vision. Visit his website and connect on LinkedIn.

Young woman standing in front of a tree

Christina Wyatt is a senior Finance and Economic Consulting double major at Elon University. While she is originally from Sarasota, FL, she plans to move to northern Virginia post-grad and work at Capital One located near Washington DC. Christina’s interest in research stems from her insatiable pursuit of knowledge, which she’s embedded in her research as both a CEL Student Scholar with Elon’s Center for Engaged Learning as well as her independent body of economic research. After beginning her independent research and her research role as a CEL student scholar 2 years ago, she’s seen her work flourish in unexpected ways—she’s attended 3 national and international conferences on engaged learning, been awarded the Cavarretta Award for the thesis she’s publishing in economics, and has had the opportunity to publish numerous blog posts on the subject of student advocacy. Beyond her research and classwork, Christina can be seen in Elon’s design thinking spaces (whether it be the Doherty Center for Creativity, Innovation and Entrepreneurship or the Maker Hub) creatively thinking and encouraging others to do the same.

Resources Related to This Episode 

  • Blum, Susan Debra, and Alfie Kohn. 2020. Ungrading: Why Rating Students Undermines Learning (and What to Do Instead). Morgantown, WV: West Virginia University Press.
  • Pollard, Shannon, and Robert C. Duvall. 2006. “Everything I Needed to Know about Teaching I Learned in Kindergarten: Bringing Elementary Education Techniques to Undergraduate Computer Science Classes.” ACM SIGCSE Bulletin 38 (1): 224-228.
  • Software/technology referenced in this episode