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2014 QEP Symposium

Stocking Your Digital Toolbox for Teaching and Learning

Event Details

  • Second Annual QEP Technology Symposium
  • University of South Carolina Upstate
  • Health and Education Complex (Building T on this PDF campus map)
  • May 14 - 15, 2014: 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

We invite you to attend the 2014 University of South Carolina Upstate Technology Symposium. The Symposium is a valuable opportunity to share your ideas and explore a variety of strategies, approaches and outcomes while networking with others from our local community who share an interest in teaching and learning with technology.

Symposium Schedule

You may download the symposium schedule as a PDF here. Planned events include the following:

  • Keynote address by John Burney (see below): "Role-Playing, Engaging Students, and Overcoming Faculty Fears of Active Learning."
  • Plenary session with John Burney and Jeanne Skul: "A Conversation on the Future"
  • Plenary session with Tasha Thomas, Araceli Hernandez-Laroche, and their students: "A Conversation on STEP-UP Lessons Learned."
  • Presentations by members of the QEP Faculty Cohort about teaching and learning in digital environments.
  • Informal lunchtime presentations and conversations.

How to register to attend

To register to attend the symposium, complete this online form.

  • USC Upstate students, faculty and staff: free of charge (registration is required for lunch reservations).
  • General public: $25 registration fee.

Who Should Attend

The Symposium is open to the Upstate community and area universities, colleges and schools. The symposium will include presentations by faculty and students who have been teaching and learning in our technology intensive courses as a part of the Student Technology Enrichment Program. In addition, we welcome a wide range of presenters (novice to expert, faculty, staff and students) and a variety of presentation formats. The symposium offers an opportunity to share and learn about innovative uses of technology in teaching and learning in the liberal arts and the professions. We hope to create new connections among all participants (faculty, staff and students) who are interested in exploring technology tools to enrich and enhance teaching and learning.


The conference is an opportunity to discuss and learn more about topics related to:

  • Teaching and learning with technology
  • Strategies to develop explore and develop digital literacy
  • Innovative projects for enhancing/enriching learning with technology tools
  • Exploration of new tools and practices for technology infusion in teaching
  • Course redesign to feature technology infusion
  • Experiences/lessons learned to inform teaching practice

Keynote Speaker

"Role-Playing, Engaging Students, and Overcoming Faculty Fears of Active Learning"

Vice President for Academic Affairs, Dean of the Faculty, Professor of History
Doane College

John Burney Headshot 
A Nebraska native who received a Ph.D. in European history from the University of Kansas, John served as Vice Provost for Academic Affairs at Drake University (Des Moines) and Vice President for Academic Affairs at Loras College (Dubuque) before starting as Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of the Faculty at Doane in June 2010.

John works with all aspects of the academic programs and academic support services to create an environment in which faculty and students can achieve success in teaching and learning, helping to lead significant curriculum revisions at all three institutions where he has served as an administrator. As chair of the Reacting Consortium -- a member organization devoted to the development of imagination, inquiry, and engagement in higher education -- John has helped to promote the use of Reacting to the Past role-playing games in general education. He has conducted workshops and collaborative sessions on a variety of topics:

  • active learning,
  • role-playing,
  • teaching critical thinking,
  • using technology to enhance learning, and
  • best practices in general education.

Unconference Sessions

We will have a number of sessions in which participants address ideas that they bring to the conference. These are called unconference sessions.

What is an unconference session?

The shortest answer is that an unconference is a highly informal conference session. Two differences are particularly notable:

  1. The unconference sessions program isn't set beforehand; instead, it's created during the actual meeting with the help of all the participants rather than beforehand by a program committee.
  2. At an unconference session, there are no presentations -- all participants in an unconference session are expected to talk and work with fellow participants in every session.

Here are the key characteristics of an unconference session:

  • It's collaborative: There are no spectators because everyone participates.
  • It's informal: The emphasis is on productive, collegial work or free-form discussion.
  • It's spontaneous and timely: The topic is decided on by all the participants the day the session occurs.
  • It's open and online: participants make sure to share their notes, documents, pictures and other materials before and after the session on the web and via social media.
  • It's both fun and intellectually engaging.

How do I propose an unconference session?

To submit and/or vote on sessions ideas, go to this link.


For more information, contact Cindy Jennings by email or by phone at (864) 503-5470.

Contact Us 

Cindy Jennings
Director of QEP
University of South Carolina Upstate
800 University Way
Spartanburg, SC  29303
Phone: (864) 503-5470
Fax: (864) 503-5065