Conference Information

15th Annual CCTL Conference on Teaching and Learning

2016 CCTL Conference

The 15th Annual Conference on Teaching and Learning will take place Jan. 11-12, 2016. Niagara University's Committee on College Teaching and Learning has selected Dr. Ken Bain as the keynote speaker for the 2016 conference.


President, Best Teachers Institute, Ken Bain spent much of his academic career at Vanderbilt, Northwestern, and NYU, before becoming Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, and Professor of History and Urban Education (National Center for Urban Education), University of the District of Columbia, a post he left in July 2013. He was the founding director of four major teaching and learning centers: the Center for Teaching Excellence at New York University, the Searle Center for Teaching Excellence at Northwestern University, the Center for Teaching at Vanderbilt University, and the Research Academy for University Learning at Montclair University. In the 1970's and early 80's he was Professor of History at the University of Texas--Pan American, where he also served as director of that school's University Honors Program and as founding director of the History Teaching Center, a pioneering program sponsored by the National Endowment for the Humanities to promote greater collaboration between history teachers on the secondary level and university and college research historians. From 1984 to 1986, he served as director of the National History Teaching Center, which had a similar mission on the national level.

His historical scholarship centers on the history of U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East (principal works include The March to Zion: United States Policy and the Founding of Israel, 1980, 2000), but he has long taken an interest in teaching and learning issues and in recent years has contributed to the scholarship in that area. Internationally recognized for his insights into teaching and learning and for a fifteen-year study of what the best educators do, he has been invited in recent years to present workshops or lectures at over three hundred and fifty universities and events--in the United States, Canada, Mexico, South America, Europe, Asia, Africa, and Australia. His learning research has concentrated on a wide range of issues, including deep and sustained learning and the creation of natural critical learning environments.

His now classic book What the Best College Teachers Do. (Harvard University Press, 2004) won the 2004 Virginia and Warren Stone Prize for an outstanding book on education and society, and has been one of the top selling books on higher education. It has been translated into twelve languages and was the subject of an award-winning television documentary series in 2007.

The sequel, What the Best College Students Do, also from Harvard University Press, won the Virginia and Warren Stone Prize in 2012, and has become an international best seller. So far, it has been translated into two languages besides English (Korean and Spanish), but other editions are forthcoming.

He has won four major teaching awards, including a teacher-of-the-year award, faculty nomination for the Minnie Piper Foundation Award for outstanding college teacher in Texas in 1980 and 1981, and Honors Professor of the Year Awards in 1985 and 1986. A 1990 national publication named him one of the best teachers in the United States.

He has received awards from the Harry S Truman Library, Lyndon Baines Johnson Library, the Ford Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the International Studies Association, among others. He is currently completing his third book on U.S. relations with the Middle East (The Last Journey Home: Franklin Roosevelt and the Middle East).

Call for Proposals

Educators from across the United States and Canada who can contribute their experience and expertise with active and integrative learning, in its many varieties, and discuss how it is best encouraged and assessed, are invited to submit proposals for presentations and panels focusing upon their efforts to promote learning within individual courses, curricula or programs.

Presentations will occur during concurrent sessions on Monday, Jan. 11, and Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2016. Proposals should include a 300-word description of the proposed session including the title, author(s), and the institution and position of each author. The description should include a statement of how the audience will be engaged. The concurrent presentation times are either 45 or 60 minutes in length. If you have a preference, feel free to include that in your proposal, although your first choice is not guaranteed. There will also be a poster session on Monday, Jan. 11, 2016. Poster proposals should be in the same format as concurrent session proposals and should describe the content of the poster.

Proposals should be submitted electronically via The deadline for proposals  is Friday, October 30, 2015. Notification of acceptance will be given in late November. Please note that all presenters must register for the conference. Accepted presenters have the option of including their paper archived on the NU website. The deadline for papers will be Monday, Dec. 14, 2015. Further information will be provided in acceptance letters.

Conference Schedule at a Glance for Monday, Jan. 11, 2016

1:30-3:30 p.m. Registration St. Vincent's Hall, 4th Floor Atrium
1:45-2:30 p.m. Concurrent session I St. Vincent's Hall, 3rd Floor
2:30-3:30 p.m. Reception and poster session St. Vincent's Hall, 4th Floor Atrium
3:30-5 p.m. Keynote address: Dr. Ken Bain                                                                     St. Vincent's Hall, Amphitheatre

Conference Schedule at a Glance for Tuesday, January 12, 2016

8:30-9 a.m. Registration and continental breakfast   St. Vincent's Hall, 4th Floor Atrium
9-10 a.m. Plenary session I: Dr. Ken Bain St. Vincent's Hall, Amphitheatre
10:15-11 a.m. Concurrent sessions II St. Vincent's Hall, 3rd Floor
11:15 a.m.-12:15 p.m. Concurrent sessions III St. Vincent's Hall, 3rd Floor
12:30-1:15 p.m. Lunch (included) Gallagher Center, Lower Level
1:30-2:30 p.m. Concurrent sessions IV St. Vincent's Hall,
3rd Floor
2:45-3:30 p.m. Plenary session II: Dr. Ken Bain                                        St. Vincent's Hall, Amphitheatre

2015 Conference

Resources 2015 Conference:

Thank you to everyone, particularly the CCTL members, presenters, and Dr. Maryellen Weimer,  our keynote speaker, all of whom helped to make the 2015 conference a tremendous success.