Rock the Future: TRI-C hosts OATYC for the first time
The 2022 Ohio Association of Two-Year Colleges (OATYC) Annual Conference was held at Tri-C Eastern on October 7th.Tri-C was able to hold the conference for the first time after two years of delay because of the Covid-19. The conference included 250 participants from all 2-year colleges on Ohio. Michelle Hampton, Faculty Professor and organizer of the event expressed her enthusiasm on “being able to host such an important event that brings together Professors to share and learn from the best teaching practices”.
Dr. Todd D. Zakrajsek started the conference with a presentation on how to become an increasingly inclusive instructor. He discussed about different biases that can affect instructors like implicit bias, similarity bias, confirmation bias etc. Dr. Zakrajsek pointed out how being aware of these biases can help in managing them. “Every student is going through a struggle you know nothing about”, he ended emphasizing the importance of considering students background and condition.
The conference then proceeded in session A where eight-different presentations were held and the participants had the chance to follow the ones of more interest to them. John Kerezy, Associate Professor of Media and Journalism Studies at Cuyahoga Community College talked about disinformation campaigns. He explained what disinformation campaigns are and how to spot them. As a tool that can help for that, Kerezy introduced “Spot the Troll” ,a website that examines content and decides if its from a legitimate account or an internet troll. “The more students pay attention to misinformation, the better the world will be”, he concluded.
One of the presentations in the second session was “Pedagogy or Andragogy: Which Is Most Appropriate in Higher Education?”, held by Bryan Gerber, Associate Professor of Psychology at Stark State College. Andragogy refers to the methods and practices used in teaching adult learners. The participants shared their experiences and discussed about knowing where to use andragogy and when pedagogy always considering the diversity of community colleges. Supriya Draviam a professor in the English department at Cuyahoga Community College, said that “intrinsic motivation can be brought to life”. “A professor should be able to inspire and help students know themselves better “, she added.
At the end of the conference two students received a $2000 scholarship . This was a way to make students more involved in the conference. Each professor had the right to nominate students they thought would deserve it. Then the selection process was done by short to highlight the theme of the conference and not allow biases to decide who would be the winners.
The conference addressed a wide range of topics and helped instructors connect with each other and learn how to improve their teaching practices.