Thank you for attending this year’s Kentucky Convergence Conference! Next year’s conference will be November 7-8, 2024, so save the date and be on the look out for more information in the spring.

November 9-10, 2023
University of Louisville Event and Conference Center at ShelbyHurst Campus
450 North Whittington Parkway, Louisville, KY 40222

Convergence is the single event that brings together professionals in information technology, academic libraries, online learning, and instructional design from all the public and private colleges and universities in Kentucky and the surrounding states. Sponsored by Kentucky post-secondary institutions and private sector partners, Kentucky Convergence is a conference that emphasizes innovations and best practices in the fastest-growing areas of higher education.

Hotel Information

Coming from out of town? You can find area hotel information at https://louisville.edu/conferenceservices/where.

Lightning Talk [clear filter]
Thursday, November 9

10:30am EST

Lightning Talks (See description for topics)
"Compliance on a Budget: Leveraging Power BI & SharePoint for Regular and Substantive Interaction (RSI) Compliance" - Jennifer Hurwitz and Lauren Bae

On July 1, 2021, the final rules on Distance Education and Innovation went into effect. At that time, the U.S. Department of Education updated the definition of distance education, which is used in determining financial aid eligibility for higher education institutions. "Regular and substantive interaction" was added to the definition, clarifying the difference between "distance education" and "correspondence education". Regular and substantive interaction (RSI) is critical for effective teaching; research shows that teacher-student interactions are essential to learning. Moreover, non-compliance with RSI could have significant financial consequences. Institutions failing to comply with RSI requirements could potentially lose eligibility for Title IV funds and could be required to return financial aid disbursed for courses found in violation. Therefore, an increased focus on the instructor's role in online course delivery and the importance of RSI between the instructor and students is critical for institutions to adopt. However, many universities are decentralized, which makes tracking RSI compliance difficult. Consequently, team members at the University of Louisville's Office of Online Learning designed a process using existing office tools and applications to boost online faculty compliance with the required annual RSI attestation. By implementing SharePoint, Power Automate, and Power BI, this business process solution saves cost but more importantly reduces administrative burden through automated communication while consistently tracking and reporting faculty attestations to each college and department. The purpose of this lightning talk is to provide an overview of the process, to impart lessons learned, and to share helpful resources.

"Avoid or Assimilate: Detecting AI Content in the Classroom" - Matthew Kirby

This lightning talk will offer an overview of how to detect AI-generated content in student work and the problems with relying on AI-detectors. The talk concludes with some tips and strategies on how to avoid AI-generated responses in the classroom.

avatar for Jennifer Hurwitz

Jennifer Hurwitz

Distance Education Compliance Manager, University of Louisville
I manage campus-wide compliance efforts to meet regulatory and accreditation requirements for distance education activities. In this role, I spend the majority of my time researching and implementing best practices related to regulatory and accreditation compliance in collaboration... Read More →
avatar for Lauren Bae

Lauren Bae

Online Program Manager, University of Louisville
Lauren serves as the Online Learning Program Manager at the University of Louisville. In addition to shepherding potential online programs through the review and approval process and coordinating with data, marketing, and enrollment services teams to prepare programs for launch, she... Read More →
avatar for Matthew Kirby

Matthew Kirby

Assistant Professor, Kentucky Community and Technical College
Matthew Kirby is an Assistant Professor in the Arts and Humanities division at SKYCTC in Bowling Green, KY. He teaches art and art history courses while composing paintings in his home studio.

Thursday November 9, 2023 10:30am - 11:15am EST
Room 15

11:30am EST

Lightning Talks (See description for topics)
"AI Chat: Love It, Hate It, Try It" - Patsy Carruthers

Let's Chat! AI bots such as ChatGPT present both opportunities and challenges for teaching and learning. This will be quick overview for those with little to no experience with AI Chat. Bring a laptop or mobile device to try it out after seeing it in action and learning a few guiding tips..

"Expanding Horizons: CS+ X Education at Small Liberal Arts Schools" - Sayani Sarkar

"In this lightning talk, I explore the transformative potential of CS+X education within the unique context of small liberal arts schools. By integrating computer science (CS) with diverse disciplines, small liberal arts schools provide students with a well-rounded education that prepares them to navigate the complex challenges of the modern world.
The talk will begin by highlighting the advantages of small liberal arts schools in fostering interdisciplinary collaboration and personalized learning environments. It emphasizes how the fusion of CS with other disciplines expands students' horizons and enhances their problem-solving abilities. Key elements of successful CS+X education at small liberal arts schools are discussed, including developing a diverse skill set, cultivating creativity and critical thinking, and preparing for various career paths. The talk showcases success stories and real-world applications of CS+X education within small liberal arts schools. From leveraging CS to analyze social phenomena to utilizing technology in the arts and humanities, attendees will discover the diverse opportunities and outcomes made possible by CS+X programs.
Attendees will gain an understanding of the transformative potential of CS+X education at small liberal arts schools, appreciating the value of interdisciplinary collaboration, customized curricula, and the mentorship of dedicated faculty. The talk concludes by highlighting the importance of preparing well-rounded graduates who possess technical skills, a broader perspective, and a deep appreciation for the liberal arts. "

avatar for Patsy Carruthers

Patsy Carruthers

Senior Director, UK Online, University of Kentucky
Patsy Carruthers is Senior Director of UK Online. A Murray native, Patsy earned her bachelor's degree in journalism and English from Murray State University and her MA Ed. from Northern Kentucky University. She has worked as a journalist, an educator, and a leader in educational media... Read More →

Sayani Sarkar

Bellarmine university
Dr. Sayani Sarkar joined Bellarmine University's Computer Science area in the fall of 2021. She earned her Ph.D. in Computer Engineering from the School of Computing and Informatics at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette in 2021. For her dissertation research, she investigated... Read More →

Thursday November 9, 2023 11:30am - 12:15pm EST
Room 15

1:45pm EST

Lightning Talks (See description for topics)
"Mindful Scrolling: Mindfulness Rhetoric and The Digital Realm" - Sarah Beach

This Lightning Round presentation is a sample of a piece of multi-modal scholarship on Buddhist mindfulness, rhetoric, and digital media. The piece will be submitted to a digital rhetoric journal as a guided meditation that supports media consumption through the lens of mindfulness, an Eastern philosophy with applications for the Western world. As a certified meditation coach and rhetorical scholar, my work blends mindfulness with the study of affect, embodiment, ambience, and circulation in digital spheres. In our current milieu, mindfulness may serve as one approach to re-frame our approaches to digital literacy, political communication online, classroom behaviors, and myriad other spheres. Mindfulness can serve as a rhetorical approach, as it asks questions regarding who and what counts as a rhetor, how we engage with digital technologies, and how humans as a species can engage with the changing arenas of AI, VR, ubiquitous technological devices, and rapid technological advances. For the Lightning Round, I propose to lead a short (5-6 minute) sample of the meditation project in person and then provide a brief explanation of my research and its applications in the classroom, rhetorical scholarship, the workplace, and beyond. I will also provide a handout with further information and links to find out more.

"Let's Be Still (And Other Nice Things): Lessons from Ancient Rome for Today's Higher Education Professionals" - Adam Shaw

Regardless of our role in higher education, we can be pulled in countless directions: technical support, instructional design, faculty development workshops, and all other sorts of things. Couple this with the demands on our attention from social media, advances in technology, and everything else going on in the world, and it becomes increasingly difficult to not only focus on the success of the courses we're developing, the projects we're leading, and the faculty we're working with, but to find satisfaction in these things. While many of these demands are the result of extraordinary advances and their effects on the pace of our lives, this longing for peace and fulfillment is nothing new. It dates back centuries to the Stoics and Ancient Rome (and beyond).

In this lightning talk—or, maybe think of it as a mental health check—we’ll explore some small, digestible takeaways from Stoic philosophy as they relate to the demands on higher education professionals in design and support settings today. Participants will leave not only with strategies they can immediately fold into their day-to-day roles, but with easy-to-use resources they can explore for further learning.


Sarah Beach

Assistant Professor, Spalding University
Sarah Beach is an Assistant Professor at Spalding University in Louisville, Kentucky. Her work focuses on the rhetorical implications of emotion in digital spaces through various lenses, including ambience, circulation, embodiment, and affect. In particular, memetic practices in digital... Read More →

Adam Shaw

University of Louisville
Adam Shaw is an Instructional Technology Consultant, Sr. for the University of Louisville's Delphi Center for Teaching and Learning. He has oven ten years of experience in instructional design and faculty development across the K-12 and higher education industries.

Thursday November 9, 2023 1:45pm - 2:30pm EST
Room 15

3:45pm EST

Lightning Talks (See description for topics)
"Tutoring Students Simplified with Technologies" - Mel Jones

During the session, I will demonstrate how I tutor my students online.  I will share some strategies and techniques by incorporating useful technologies in the process.

"Course Marking & More: Institutional Supports for OER" - Leah Halliday

Open educational resources (OER) are freely available, openly licensed educational materials that can be used to replace or supplement traditional textbooks. OER can help to reduce the cost of education and improve student outcomes. Affordable Learning Kentucky is a program of the Kentucky Virtual Library and the KY Council for Postsecondary Education that is dedicated to promoting student success and educational equity by leveraging affordable resources and supporting the adoption, adaptation, and creation of OER in the Commonwealth. Course marking is one way that institutions can support the uptake of OER. Course marking is the process of identifying courses that use OER. This can be done by creating a database of OER courses or by adding OER information to course catalogs. Course marking can help students to find courses that use OER and can also help instructors to identify OER that they can use in their courses. This lightning talk will highlight some approaches to course marking that institutions can consider as well as other ways that institutions can support the uptake and use of open and affordable resources.

avatar for Mei Jones

Mei Jones

Associate Professor, Henderson Community College
I am an associate professor teaching math courses since 2012 at Henderson Community College. I started teaching math courses since 2004 at Ivy Tech Community College and University of Southern Indiana. I received my Bachelor of Science in Math and Statistics from Purdue University... Read More →

Leah Halliday

Coordinator, Affordable Learning KY, KY Council on Postsecondary Education
Leah Halliday is the coordinator of Affordable Learning Kentucky, a Kentucky Virtual Library program focused on supporting and promoting the use of affordable and open educational resources to foster student success and equity at institutions of higher education across the Commonwealth... Read More →

Thursday November 9, 2023 3:45pm - 4:30pm EST
Room 15
Friday, November 10

9:15am EST

Lightning Talks (See description for topics)
"Straightforward Mapping Using the Web-Based Mapping Platform Felt" - Sarah Watson

Incorporating digital mapping projects into the classroom can be difficult due to the different levels of technical expertise students process and limited course time to dedicate to teaching students the necessary skills to use complex GIS platforms. However, sometimes examining and visualizing spatial data can enhance course learning objectives and provide students with important opportunities to think about data creation and data visualization. This brief talk will highlight one platform that can reduce some of the time and expertise difficulties around adding digital mapping projects to class assignments. Felt is a new multimedia web-based platform that allows for the straightforward creation of maps and spatial narratives. It serves as a productive introduction to digital mapping that can offer a beginning point for students to branch off to more complex software and analysis, or it can be the single platform students use to create assorted visualizations that complement other classroom activities. In this lightning talk, I will highlight some of the features of Felt including how to upload data and generate a simple map, collaborate on projects, and customize style options with an eye toward how this tool can enhance student work in the classroom.

"Using ChatGPT to Teach Ethics" - Gene Kleppinger

I changed my Beginning Ethics class for Fall 2023 to have a strong focus on ChatGPT as an example of generative artificial intelligence. My reasons include: (1) many/most students are aware of ChatGPT and may have used it to create answers for their instructors’ questions; (2) it can be used for good or evil, so it has immediate target value for an ethics class; and (3) I can demonstrate its results openly to inspire students to follow good practices for critical thinking and academic integrity. The first writing assignment consists of reading a text about ethics generated by ChatGPT and critiquing it, describing what it “gets right,” and then supplementing it with examples of relevant moral decisions from their own lives. The AI theme continues through the exploration of nine theories in ethics, focusing in part on how the principles of each theory might be related to answering the general question “How can I use ChatGPT the right way?” After we cover the theories our attention shifts to some issues in current life, such as euthanasia, equality and discrimination, and war and peace. What ChatGPT generates about those issues is both interesting (as basic information) and provocative (as rhetoric for personalized critiques on the various alternative positions). Generative AI tools are extremely powerful, and with great power comes the burden of great responsibility.


Sarah Watson

University of Kentucky
Sarah Watson is the Maps & Geospatial Services Manager at the University of Kentucky Libraries. In this role, she oversees the Gwen Curtis Map Collection and GIS Lab, provides consultations related to maps, GIS, and data visualization, and contributes to the development of digital... Read More →
avatar for Gene Kleppinger

Gene Kleppinger

Manager, Online Learning, Eastern Kentucky University
Dr. Gene Kleppinger is the Online Learning Manager for EKU and also teaches courses in philosophy. He has been the system administrator for the Blackboard Learn LMS since 2000, and has taught philosophy courses face-to-face and online since 1980. He is quite famous for his neckties... Read More →

Friday November 10, 2023 9:15am - 10:00am EST
Room 15
  • Timezone
  • Filter By Date Kentucky Convergence Nov 9 -10, 2023
  • Filter By Venue 450 N Whittington Pkwy, Louisville, KY 40222, USA
  • Filter By Type
  • Birds of a Feather
  • Keynote
  • Lightning Talk
  • Presentation
  • Sponsor Presentation

Filter sessions
Apply filters to sessions.