Featured Speakers

Caroline Bennett

Dr. Caroline Bennett is the John E. Sharp & Winifred E. Sharp Professor in Civil, Environmental, and Architectural Engineering at the University of Kansas (KU). She serves at the Lead for the KU School of Engineering Engaged Learning Initiative, and also served as a Faculty Fellow with the KU Center for Teaching Excellence from 2012-2016. Caroline works in multiple leadership roles at KU focused on bringing about change in higher educational practices, including serving on the university’s Executive Data Governance Council, chairing the Academic Systems Steering Committee, co-leading an AAU mini-grant that is piloting STEM faculty interactions with learning analytics data, and co-leading the NSF-funded TRESTLE network. She has a long history of deep engagement with educational change initiatives at the University of Kansas. Caroline joined the KU faculty in 2006 after earning her doctorate from the University of Cincinnati. She is a licensed Professional Engineer in the State of Kansas.


Learning Analytics for Long-term Faculty Culture Change---Michael Dennin

Much of the early applications of big data and learning analytics in education has been focused either changing individual courses or predicting and influencing student behavior. Typically, because of where the analytics projects sit administratively and the data that is accessible, there has been limited focus on faculty culture and influencing the attitudes of faculty toward their role in student success. Recent examples of moves in this direction have been faculty facing dashboards that provide faculty richer information on the students in their courses. In this talk, I will discuss both structural and strategic elements that have come together to allow UCI to focus on the connection between learning analytics and faculty culture at the institutional level.

Dr. Michael B. Dennin is the Vice Provost for Teaching and Learning, Dean of Division of Undergraduate Education, and a Professor of Physics & Astronomy at the University of California, Irvine. Focused research in the areas of Biophysics and Condensed Matter Physics followed a Ph.D. from UC Santa Barbara. He is an Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellow and a Research Corporation Cottrell Scholar. Professor Dennin's main research interest is systems that exhibit emergent properties. These include the behavior of complex fluids, such as foam and sand, as well as the complex dynamics of biological systems. 

Professor Dennin is well-known for popularizing science for the public. He has taught many online courses on the nature of science, including team teaching a MOOC based on the television program, The Walking Dead. He has appeared on a number of television programs, including Spider-man Tech, Batman Tech, Star Wars Tech, and Ancient Aliens.