Be a Star Conference Presenter: Design a Session That Reflects How People Learn Best


Be a Star Conference Presenter: Design a Session That Reflects How People Learn Best

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For our September monthly webinar series we took a deep-dive into what makes a strong presentation. This was a great opportunity for speakers at NAAEE's upcoming Conference, environmental educators who consistently speak in front of audiences, and anyone interested in sharpening their communication skills.

Educators know, based on years of research, that effective learning happens when learners are:

  1. Actively engaged (as opposed to passive recipients of information)
  2. Equal partners in the learning process
  3. Socially engaged
  4. Connected to information that directly relates to their everyday lives
  5. Supported over sufficient time for learning to not only be absorbed but applied

Despite this, educators continue to go to professional meetings like NAAEE and “deliver” presentations to “deficient” colleagues as if they were lecturers in a mid-20th century classroom. In this webinar, free-choice learning experts John Falk and Judith Koke will engage participants in an exploration of what good educational practice and learning science research say about how to create effective conference posters and presentations that better reflect how professional learning should happen in the 21st century.

Speaker John Falk

John is Executive Director of the Institute for Learning Innovation and Emeritus Sea Grant Professor of Free-Choice Learning at Oregon State University. He is a leading expert on free-choice learning; the learning that occurs when people have significant choice and control over the what, where and when of their learning.  His current research focuses on understanding the identity/self-related reasons people utilize free-choice learning settings during their leisure time; studying the community impacts of parks, museums, libraries, zoos and aquariums and helping cultural institutions re-think their educational positioning in the 21st century.


Speaker Judith Koke

Judith is a respected museum educator and free-choice learning research with over 25 years’ experience leading museums to a more visitor-centered approach. Her key strengths include integrating field and organizational visitor research into evidence-based decision-making, and creating innovative solutions that can be measured for efficacy and impact. Her experience in research, management and education combine to bring a uniquely practical, yet evidence-based perspective. Currently the Deputy Director of the Institute for Learning Innovation, Judith has taught in graduate programs at the University of Toronto, George Washington University and the University of Colorado.