Teaching and Learning Conference

Keynote Speakers

Todd ZakrajsekMotivating and Engaging Your Students: Strategies for Teaching From the Psychology of Learning
Todd Zakrajsek

What can instructors do to facilitate learning when they encounter students who seem uninterested and even apathetic toward course content and assignments? Part of the responsibility for learning belongs to students, but as faculty, we can find new ways to motivate, inspire, and maybe even cajole students to learn. During this session, the engagement strategies suggested will be used to demonstrate the power of active learning. In the process, we will explore how instructors can make classroom learning, perhaps one of the most artificial learning settings, a more meaningful experience for students. The session facilitator will include theories of learning and motivation as a basis for creating and demonstrating strategies to increase student engagement in course content and class sessions.


Todd Zakrajsek is the Executive Director of the Academy of Educators in the School of Medicine and an Associate Professor in the Department of Family Medicine at UNC-Chapel Hill. Todd is the immediate past Executive Director of the Center for Faculty Excellence at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Prior to his work at UNC, he was the Inaugural Director of the Faculty Center for Innovative Teaching at Central Michigan University and the founding Director of the Center for Teaching and Learning at Southern Oregon University, where he also taught in the psychology department as a tenured associate professor. Todd currently directs four National Lilly Conferences on College and University Teaching and Learning. Todd also sits on two educationally related boards: ERI for Lenovo Computer and TEI for Microsoft.

Dr. Zakrajsek received his Ph.D. in Industrial/Organizational Psychology from Ohio University. He has published and presented widely on the topic of student learning, including workshops and conference keynote addresses in 42 states and 6 countries.