Saundra McGuire, Sixth Annual Kemper Speaker on Excellence in Teaching and Learning

Nov. 16, 2017

Sixth annual Kemper Speaker on Excellence in Teaching and Learning
Saundra Yancy McGuire

Provost Julian Schuster invites the Webster University community to activities, featuring the sixth Annual William T. Kemper Speaker on Excellence in Teaching and Learning, Saundra Yancy McGuire. 

McGuire is the director emerita of the Center for Academic Success and retired assistant vice chancellor and professor of chemistry at Louisiana State University, and a renowned author and speaker on the topic of how to teach students to excel academically. 

Webster continues to implement purposeful initiatives in support of the strategic plan, and McGuire’s expertise lends itself well to the campus-wide focus on creating a global, student-centered experience.

Theme two of the strategic plan stresses the importance of providing students with opportunities for engagement, discovery and the development of competencies that will help them to be successful at Webster and beyond. McGuire’s work will not only serve students directly, but her talk and workshop for faculty will help instructors at Webster use specific strategies that place students in greater control of their academic success.

McGuire will be on campus Friday, Jan. 19, for a student workshop and faculty talks. Students interested in tips for success or instructors wondering how to better support student learning and motivation, are invited to participate. 


Metacognition:  The Key to Acing Courses (and Life)

Friday, Jan. 19,  at 9 a.m.

Browning Auditorium

All students who are admitted to Webster University have the ability to ace their courses. However, most students did not acquire effective learning strategies in high school, and resort to memorizing information just before tests. This strategy usually yields poor results, with students earning grades much lower than their ability. This interactive workshop will introduce students to cognitive science based learning strategies that help all students experience meaningful, transferable learning that can lead to A’s in their courses and success in life.


Increasing Student Motivation: Strategies that Work

Friday, Jan. 19, noon

East Academic Building 102

Lunch provided. RSVP to

Motivating today’s students to actively engage in learning activities proves challenging for most faculty.   Very often millennial students do not respond as did students in the past to extrinsic motivators such as bonus quizzes and extra credit assignments. However, as James Raffini presents in 150 Ways to Increase Intrinsic Motivation in the Classroom, when the psychoacademic needs of students are met in creative ways, student motivation soars. This presentation will engage faculty in a discussion of addressing student needs for autonomy, competence, relatedness, self-esteem and enjoyment in order to significantly increase student motivation.


Get Students to Focus on Learning Instead of Grades: Metacognition is the Key

Friday, Jan. 19, 2:30 p.m.

Browning Auditorium – Reception to Follow

21st Century students come to college with widely varying academic skills, approaches to learning, and motivation levels. Faculty often lament that students are focused on achieving high grades, but are not willing to invest much time or effort in learning. This session will focus on the importance of helping students acquire simple, but effective learning strategies based on cognitive science principles. Attendees will engage in interactive reflection activities that will allow them to experience strategies that significantly improve learning while transforming student attitudes about the meaning of learning.

More about Saundra Yancy McGuire

McGuire has delivered keynote addresses or presented workshops on metacognitive learning strategies to help students succeed at over 300 institutions in 44 states and eight countries. Prior to joining Louisiana State University (LSU), she spent eleven years at Cornell University, where she received the coveted Clark Distinguished Teaching Award. Her best-selling book, Teach Students How to Learn, was published by Stylus in 2015. The student version of this book, Teach Yourself How to Learn, will be available in January  2018.

Her most recent awards include induction in 2017 into the LSU College of Science Hall of Distinction, receiving the 2017 American Chemical Society Award for Encouraging Disadvantaged Students to Pursue Careers in the Chemical Sciences, and receiving the 2016 AAAS Lifetime Mentoring Award. She is an elected fellow of the American Chemical Society (ACS), the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and the Council of Learning Assistance and Developmental Education Associations (CLADEA).

Further opportunities for students, faculty and academic partners

Those who are interested in issues addressed in McGuire’s talks, such as student motivation and agency, student success, and metacognition, are invited to participate in the 2018 Teaching Festival, to be held Feb. 12-16. Check out the 2018 Teaching Festival website for further information.

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