James Lang is an author, Associate Professor and Director of English at Assumption College, and former assistant director at the Searle Center for Teaching Excellence at Northwestern University. Lang's practical suggestions on how teachers can improve learning have helped instructors to simplify their classrooms and increase the quality of learning. His advice has been effectively and successfully applied in classrooms nationwide. He has delivered public lectures and faculty workshops at more than a hundred colleges or universities in the United States and abroad.
FROM MINOR CHANGES TO MAJOR LEARNING
On May 18, 2018, James Lang visited faculty as a keynote speaker. James discussed principles that faculty could use to enhance opportunities to make small changes in classroom design, engage in classroom practice, and communicate with potentially influential students. He explained the importance of the retrieval of foundational knowledge saying, “If you want to remember something, you have to practice remembering it.” James’ address also highlighted different strategies to promote retrieval practice in the classroom. Overall, the lecture centered on discovering “what works” for students in helping them become sufficient and curious learners.
PROMOTING MASTERY AND MINDSET
At a faculty workshop on May 18, 2018, James promoted the book, The Meaningful Writing Project which explains how to make college meaningful for students by assigning meaningful assessments. These assignments should be based around engagement with others, learning that connects to the past and future, and opportunities for agency. James focused on the idea of giving students as many opportunities to choose as possible to foster a sense of personal value in the work that they do. He also offers suggestions on how to reorganize classroom material in small ways to make big differences.