2018 Conference


Our keynote speaker on Feb. 1 will be Michelle Miller, author of “Minds Online: Teaching Effectively Using Technology

Keynote Address: Design for the Mind: Strategies from the Psychology of Learning

Attention, memory, and higher thought processes are three aspects of the mind that are particularly critical to learning, and are areas where instructional technology can be the most helpful. In this talk, Dr. Michelle Miller will explore principles connected to these three aspects of the mind, emphasizing the unique advantages that technology offers as we strive to use these principles in our teaching.

About Minds Online

From wired campuses to smart classrooms to massive open online courses (MOOCs), digital technology is now firmly embedded in higher education. But the dizzying pace of innovation, combined with a dearth of evidence on the effectiveness of new tools and programs, challenges educators to articulate how technology can best fit into the learning experience. Minds Online is a concise, nontechnical guide for academic leaders and instructors who seek to advance learning in this changing environment, through a sound scientific understanding of how the human brain assimilates knowledge.

Drawing on the latest findings from neuroscience and cognitive psychology, Michelle Miller explores how attention, memory, and higher thought processes such as critical thinking and analytical reasoning can be enhanced through technology-aided approaches. The techniques she describes promote retention of course material through frequent low‐stakes testing and practice, and help prevent counterproductive cramming by encouraging better spacing of study. Online activities also help students become more adept with cognitive aids, such as analogies, that allow them to apply learning across situations and disciplines. Miller guides instructors through the process of creating a syllabus for a cognitively optimized, fully online course. She presents innovative ideas for how to use multimedia effectively, how to take advantage of learners’ existing knowledge, and how to motivate students to do their best work and complete the course.

For a generation born into the Internet age, educational technology designed with the brain in mind offers a natural pathway to the pleasures and rewards of deep learning.

About Dr. Miller:

Dr. Miller’s research focuses on language and memory. Specifically, she has studied how normal aging affects the ability to produce and comprehend language, language production in brain-injured individuals, and how people produce and comprehend descriptions of interpersonal violence, such as crime reports published in the mass media.

Dr. Miller also has interests in applied cognitive psychology, particularly how different pedagogical strategies affect student comprehension and retention of material in the social and natural sciences.

Dr. Miller was honored to become one of NAU’s President’s Distinguished Teaching Fellows in 2011.

Photos from Sunshine 2018

Call for Papers

Participants from all sectors of higher education in and beyond the state of Florida are encouraged to submit proposals for presentations, workshops, and posters related to contemporary challenges in college teaching. Topics may include technologies for active learning, engaging students in online environments, ensuring accessibility for all students, teaching in politically and socially complicated moments, the scholarship of teaching and learning, and exploring the role/s of faculty in promoting and assessing student success.

  • Research sessions will feature panels of presenters sharing research findings on related topics
  • Application sessions will include short presentations and conversations on programming and class activities
  • Poster sessions will feature visual presentations on both research and programming topics

Successful sessions will ideally highlight transferability of the concepts and ideas presented to other contexts and other institutions. The majority of attendees at our conference are faculty members, with a few instructional designers and faculty developers present as well.

The deadline to submit a proposal was October 31, 2017. Acceptance notices were distributed on November 13.

Agenda at a Glance

Wednesday, January 31

  • 12:00 – Registration opens
  • 1:00 – Concurrent sessions begin
  • 5:00 – Adjourn
  • Dinner on  your own

Thursday, February 1

  • 8:00 – Buffet breakfast
  • 9:00 – Concurrent sessions begin
  • 10:00 – Plenary address by Michelle Miller
  • 9:30 – Concurrent sessions begin
  • 12:00 – Buffet lunch
  • 1:00 – Concurrent sessions begin
  • 5:00 – Adjourn
  • Dinner on your own

Friday, February 2

  • 8:00 – Buffet breakfast
  • 9:00 – Concurrent sessions begin
  • 12:00 – Adjourn; boxed lunches provided

Detailed Agenda

The finalized version of the agenda is now available.

Conference Registration

All attendees and presenters are required to pay the full conference registration, which helped support the cost of meeting rooms and catering.

Registration closed in January.

2018 Conference Archived Materials

Click here to access the presenter-provided handouts from the February 2018 conference.

Conference Hotel

Located directly on the white sand beach, the Sirata Beach Resort enjoys unparalleled views of the Gulf of Mexico (see http://www.sirata.com/). The group rate for our rooms will be $139/night for Jan. 31 and Feb. 1–this is a significant discount from the usual rate!

Participants may also book rooms at this same promotional rate for three days before the conference, and rooms may be booked for the same special rate for three days after the conference. Parking will be free, but resort fees and taxes will apply.

Click here to download the room reservation form, print it out, complete the required fields, and return directly to the Sirata Beach Resort (groups@sirata.com). This is the ONLY method to lock in the conference rate; regular room rates will be higher!

Note that reservations must be made by January 8, 2018 to enjoy our discounted room rate!


Driving Directions and Transportation Options

The Sirata Beach Resort’s address is 5300 Gulf Blvd, St. Petersburg, FL 33706 (view on Google Maps).

The closest airport is the St. Pete-Clearwater International airport (code PET)–it’s about 20 miles away, and usually takes 30-40 minutes by car. The larger airport which may have more (and better?) flight options is Tampa International (code TPA)–it’s 30 miles away, and usually takes 35 miles using freeways and a toll road. Orlando International Airport (MCO) is about two hours away from the hotel by car.

The hotel does not have an airport shuttle, and public transportation options are impractically slow. The safest bets are to rent a car or hire a taxi.

Local Restaurants

There are three restaurants within the hotel itself:

Even if you do not have a car, there are numerous places to eat dinner within a ten-minute walk:

Nearby Attractions

There are numerous attractions worthy of note within a short drive. The beach itself is steps away – no car needed for that one!

Typical drive times from the conference venue to the attractions are listed.

©2016 – Salvador Dalí Museum, Inc., St. Petersburg, FL
©2016 – Salvador Dalí Museum, Inc., St. Petersburg, FL