2018 Guest Speaker/Topic

Catherine Haras is the Senior Director of the Center for Effective Teaching and Learning (CETL) at California State University, Los Angeles, where she is responsible for promoting faculty professional development through evidence-based teaching practice. CETL serves thousands of faculty each year. The center now plays a key organizational role in institutional change on campus and has a reputation as among the best in the 23-campus system. Professor Haras has directed the Center since 2011. She received her bachelor’s degree from Boston University and a Masters in Library and Information Science from the University of Washington and is tenured library faculty in the JFK Memorial Library.

Previously Professor Haras was in charge of curriculum for the university’s library, where she developed library curriculum and designed discipline-specific information courses for various colleges, including the School of Nursing. She is very familiar with the relevant set of standards governing the field of information and communication technology (ICT) literacy, and highly experienced in the education and/or instruction of persons in this field. She served on the international cut score panel that set standards for the Educational Testing Service (ETS) Critical Thinking certification, the first commercial assessment of information literacy. She has researched extensively the information-seeking behaviors (ISB) of the first commercial assessment of information literacy. She has researched extensively the information-seeking behaviors (ISB) of Latino undergraduates.

Her current research agenda is focused on the role self-awareness plays in development of faculty teaching identity, and self-regulated learning of faculty. Professor Haras is currently serving as a Distinguished Teaching and Learning Advisor with the American Council on Education (ACE) and was recently featured in a white paper (Brown & Kurzweil, 2017) on the role faculty development plays in student outcomes and institutional finances.

For many years Professor Haras was involved in the Pacific NW commercial fishing industry. She owned a CP (longliner) with her late husband and fished for crab and cod in Alaska.


“Teaching methodologies that work: Mindful instructional strategies to help dental hygiene students learn”


How do people learn, and what does this mean for your teaching? If you knew how your students processed information would you still teach them the same way?


Teaching is inseparable from learning, one of the few human activities dependent upon someone else—the learner—in order for it to have been said to occur (Hirst, 1967). Both teaching and learning are intensely social acts. In dental hygiene education, student learning depends on what the college educator does or does not do and is critical to patient outcomes. Faculty remain the single most important influence on their students’ success, and by extension, their students’ patients. How do we bridge these multiple audiences?


This daylong session is for educators who want to incorporate reflective best practices in the classroom. When we consciously process sensory input, and when we stop to think about how we think about our teaching, we stop time briefly and allow our brains to analyze and prioritize information:

  • In part 1 of this workshop, we will discuss the exploding science of learning and human cognition, and unpack how we learn. Then we will practice four simple classroom techniques that will help your students engage and take some of the burden off you, the educator. You will be able to reflect on classroom practice and set a new teaching “goal”. Our hope is for participants to internalize some of these techniques so you can stay inside the “teaching zone”. Topics include employing metacognition to increase awareness, using student misconceptions to drive learning, and why expert-novice differences matter, and how to adjust teaching based on prior knowledge.
  • In part 2 of the workshop, we will demonstrate active learning strategies specific to dental educators and your goal-driven students. Topics include: building metacognitive awareness in assertive students who do not know what they do not know, digital dissociation, the futility of multitasking, and asking what time--it isn’t. We will demonstrate how to restructure your syllabus making it more learner-centered and how students can take responsibility for their own learning.


  1. The attendee will be able to explain 3 keys on how people learn and/or the role that metacognition plays in learning.
  2. The attendee will be able to demonstrate one of four teaching techniques that create better conditions for learning.
  3. The attendee will reflect on their identity as an educator (i.e. what you do in class and/or your beliefs about students’ learning as these impact classroom teaching) and set new teaching goals.
  4. The attendee will use rubrics that identify how student-centered the course syllabus is.

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