Scholar Seminars

Scholar Seminars offer faculty the opportunity to highlight an aspect of teaching and learning in higher education that they have focused on through research, practice, or both. Faculty Seminars feature faculty from Northeastern, while our Visiting Scholars series invites faculty from other institutions.  

Faculty Seminars

Led by one of your faculty colleagues, Faculty Seminars showcase the teaching practices, approaches, research, or theories that guide one’s teaching of a specific subject or topic, while also offering the opportunity to discuss how such these approaches, theories, or practices inform teaching and learning in other fields.  Faculty seminars also highlight the approaches Northeastern faculty have used in researching teaching and learning. If you are conducting research that you would like to share with the Northeastern faculty community, please contact Dr. Cigdem Talgar (

Recent faculty seminars:

Dr. Chris Gallagher, Professor of English and Director, Northeastern University and
Dr. Neal Lerner, Associate Professor of English and Director, Writing Center

Whether you are new to teaching a writing-intensive class, an old-hand at integrating writing into your teaching but want to learn about current research and new techniques, or a disciplinary team who needs to respond to accreditation requirements for demonstrating the role of writing in your curriculum, this workshop is designed for you.  Writing scholars Neal Lerner and Chris Gallagher have surveyed and consulted with faculty teaching writing-intensive courses across the disciplines at Northeastern and have designed the workshop to meet your expressed needs and interests. They will present attendees with the latest research and best practices for incorporating writing effectively and efficiently into a range of course types across the disciplines.

Visiting Scholars

From time to time, CATLR invites scholars from other universities to share their research related to learning and teaching with the Northeastern faculty community.

Recent visiting scholars:

Fact is Fiction: What Does the Evidence Say About Teaching and Learning?
Dr. Adam M. Persky
Clinical Associate Professor, School of Pharmacy
Former Director, Center for Educational Excellence in Pharmacy
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Most instructors are not trained as educators. Consequently, our experiences and instincts, even books or popular press, influence the way we teach. However, do all these inputs to our teaching toolkit align with the evidence on learning? For example, there is a great deal of discussion about learning styles and how educators need to address them. However, there is a lack of clear evidence that learning styles exist or that matching the learning environment with learning styles leads to better learning.

Dr. Persky challenges the assumption of several deeply held beliefs about teaching and learning, and discuss alternative models based on cognitive psychology, neuroscience, and physiology that hold direct implications for teaching and learning in university classrooms.

Project-Based Learning
Dr. Jonathan Stolk
Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science
Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering

Project-based learning (PjBL) can serve as a key pedagogical approach for supporting broad learning goals such as critical thinking, design, professional skills, teamwork and collaboration, multidisciplinary integration, and lifelong learning. But deciding which particular goals are appropriate for a course, and designing and supporting projects in ways that promote these goals, can seem overwhelming to instructors. In this session, we will provide practical tools and guidance that help instructors make the shift from traditional to project-based learning, or to refine their existing projects to better support the desired learning outcomes.

Co-sponsored by the Center for Advancing Teaching and Learning Through Research and The College of Engineering

Cheating Lessons: How Research in Academic Dishonesty Can Help Us Build Better Learning Environments
Dr. James Lang
Associate Professor of English and Director of College Honors Program,
Assumption College
Author of Cheating Lessons: Learning from Academic Dishonesty (Harvard University Press, 2013)

When students engage in academically dishonest behaviors, they are reacting inappropriately to a course environment that has not sufficiently captured their attention or motivated them to learn. If we can gain a better understanding of the reasons for academically dishonest behavior, we can use that knowledge to build better learning environments: ones that foster internal motivation, promote mastery over performance, boost self-efficacy, and align with the best information we have about how people learn. Dr. Lang will provide a basic overview of this argument, adapted from his forthcoming book, and then invite participants to share their own experiences with academic dishonesty and the lessons they have learned.