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Marla Thompson, DBA


Dr. Marla Thompson has served as an Adjunct Professor at Life University, the largest Chiropractic and Business College in the Southeast for the past ten years. She teaches hybrid, online, and in-class business and marketing courses to both traditional and non-traditional, undergraduate, graduate and doctoral students. Marla employs a unique pedagogy called Authentic Assessments (AA), which involves unifying traditional forms of teaching in combination with real-world tasks that allow learners to exhibit meaningful comprehension and critical thinking. Additionally, she leverages a variety of stimulating active learning strategies that engage students through the development of critical thinking skills that allow them to learn across multiple domains. Marla’s visionary collaboration has earned her awards, accolades and national recognition. In 2019, she was awarded the Vulcan Materials Company Teaching Excellence Award, which honors an outstanding professor who demonstrates strong academic skills in the classroom and provides leadership and support in other areas of campus life.  Marla travels throughout the world to demonstrate her pedagogy to academicians to teach 21st century learners.




Integrating textbook theory and contemporary culture with real-world experiences can result in elevating learners’ skill beyond their own beliefs. This session presents educators with concepts aimed at tapping effective teaching techniques that energize learner engagement, fuel creativity and foster reciprocal knowledge. Contemporary engagement activities are designed to help facilitators integrate textbook theory into real-world situations, thus “connecting the dots.” The exercises prepare learners for the competitive global environment in which they will have to compete.


Learning Outcomes: Attendees will walk away with ideas to:


  • Invigorate 21st century learners;

  • Enhance critical thinking;

  • Leverage community partners to create real-world projects that impart insightful student learning outcomes; and

  • Engage the disengaged by incorporating multiple teaching approaches.

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