What educational leaders have said about Ron's presentations in the U.S., Europe, Eastern Europe, Asia, and the Persian Gulf
U.S. Conferences and Universities
"Ron Berk is a remarkably funny man with teaching and evaluation material that is 'spot-on.' He does his research and can speak with humor and humility on a range of topics, including faculty evaluation, humor in the classroom, multimedia techniques, and teaching strategies for the net generation. His presentations are masterful--both engaging and informative."
BARBARA J. MILLIS, Director, Teaching and Learning Center, University of Texas at San Antonio
"I have worked with Ron for 15 years. He has brought an excellent perspective to the Lilly Conferences with his well planned and creatively presented workshops, seminars, and plenary sessions. His scholarly books and journal articles on the topics of humor and the evaluation of teaching are valuable contributions to higher education. For Ron Berk I extend my highest recommendation."
MILT COX, Professor of Mathematics and Director, Lilly Conference on College Teaching, Miami University
"There is only one Ron Berk, and there will never be another. Amazing, that after a successful, multi-decade academic career, he still has a sense of humor! Ron's workshops are not only entertaining, but beautifully crafted and well researched. He draws not only from the college-teaching literature, but also from his own experience and research on the Millennial student culture, which was key in the workshop I attended. The faculty there was spellbound as they waited for his next surprise, whether research findings, advice, participant activities, or humor. My guess is that we all would have enjoyed taking a statistics course from him, which is saying a lot. If you want an informative and dynamite keynote or workshop, I can strongly recommend Ron."
LINDA NILSON, Director, Office of Teaching Effectiveness and Innovation, Clemson University
"Academic Management Systems has long offered a User Group Meeting for our CoursEval software customers, but we've never brought in an outside keynote speaker. This year Ron Berk was our first. I had the sense from his writing and our phone conversations that Ron is a larger-than-life figure. His visit confirmed that. He magically managed to enlarge the lives of our customers. It's not magic, I guess, but more a deep familiarity with and excitement for the topic combined with the determination that no one leave the room without learning something significant. I won't give up much about his presenting style, partly because it beggars description. What I can say is that Ron was meticulous about finding out what we were interested in learning, and he prepared a focused, content-rich presentation. Most importantly, we all left the room smarter and more interested in student ratings of teaching than when we entered.
If there was a down side to the experience, it was that I ought to have budgeted more time for Q&A. Once warmed to the topic, conferees wanted to ask Ron questions, lots of questions. He graciously offered to continue the conversation(s) on LinkedIn or through his blog. Our users have already suggested that THEY'D come back next year if RON comes back next year. Note-to-self...."
BRIAN R. HOPEWELL, Vice-President for Business Development, Academic Management Systems, Buffalo, NY
"Ron conducted two days of professional development seminars that focused on 'Reducing Stress' and 'Humor in the Workplace' as well as increasing technological skills to create engaging presentations for today's tech-savvy learners. These occurred at Kodiak College, part of the University of Alaska, Anchorage. Ron was sensitive to the needs of participants and flexible in the design of content to ensure that the three seminars met the needs of both faculty and staff. The Retreat was a resounding success, largely as a result of Ron's ability to tailor the content to our specific needs, his ability to adapt to somewhat challenging conditions, his professional and entertaining instruction, as well as his thoughtful attention to detail--all of which ensured the success of each seminar. We highly recommend Ron as a presenter and look forward to future interactions with him."
BARBARA BOLSON, Director, Kodiak College, University of Alaska, Anchorage
"Professor Ron Berk could get a laugh out of the Venus de Milo! His workshops at the University of Colorado inspired graduate students to "share what I got here with others who couldn't make it to the workshop" and to "use humor as a tool to create a better atmosphere for the students." Fortunately, Dr. Berk's comfort with humor as a teaching tool is based on fascinating research and years of classroom practice. Don't miss a chance to have a speaker who will inspire, entertain, and convince even mathematicians that humor works as a tool for learning."
LAURA L. B. BORDER, Director, Graduate Teacher Program, University of Colorado at Boulder
"A keynoter and regular featured presenter at the annual Lilly Conference on College Teaching for over a decade, Ron Berk is among the most creative and original practitioners of the scholarship of teaching and learning. We invite him back to Lilly every year by popular demand, where he consistently presents to standing room only audiences. He will knock you on your silly while offering a plethora of highly effective methods for engaging Net Gener students through humor, music, videos, technology, and game techniques."
GREGG WENTZELL, Assistant to the University Director, Center for the Enhancement of Learning & Teaching, Miami University Publications Manager, Lilly Conference on College Teaching
"Ron conducted a two-hour keynote on the use of technology and humor in the classroom for our teaching and learning conference. It was both very effective and entertaining. He not only got a roomful of reserved upper-mid-westerners laughing out loud, which is a nontrivial feat in and of itself, but he was also able to communicate his points with his explosive energy and passion. According to participants' evaluations, his keynote was the highest rated component of the conference. As the program chair, Ron was a joy to work with. I strongly recommend him as a keynoter at any teaching conference."
BRUCE KELLEY, Director, Center for Teaching and Learning, University of South Dakota
"Who says health care management professors don't have a funny bone? Just ask the faculty who attended Ron Berk's keynote last year at the annual meeting of the Association of University Programs in Health Administration (AUPHA), if they have stopped laughing yet! We laughed until we cried, jumped up and danced--and it's all on film! We liked him so much, we asked him back for our meeting this year on "Assessing Outcomes and Performance." Remember: For a good time, call Ron Berk!"
SHARON B. BUCHBINDER, Chair, AUPHA Board of Directors (2007-2008), Professor and Chair, Department of Health Science, Towson University
"Recently, Ron Berk provided an engaging, humorous, and insightful presentation on 'Humor and Multimedia.' He was rip-roaring hilarious. Our faculty members were on the edges of their seats from beginning to end. Ron's theatrical PowerPoint with animation, music, videos, props, and costumes was amazing. He possesses the unique ability to entertain, while modeling teaching excellence by combining humor with high-tech instructional strategies. Our faculty and staff acquired innovative ideas, tools, and teaching strategies to connect with students by bringing mundane content to life. His vast knowledge of course design was further demonstrated when he spoke to faculty during a Q & A follow-up technical session on how to transform a traditional PowerPoint into a theatrical production! Ron definitely rates: '3 thumbs' up!"
LYNETTE MACFARLAN, Professor and Co-Chair, Professional Enrichment Committee, Great Basin College
"Ron is one of the most creative and entertaining speakers I have ever seen. His knowledge of Millennials and use of technology are unparalleled. He inspires and educates you at the same time. I am very impressed by his enthusiasm and passion to teach others. Furthermore, he is very engaging."
MANOUCHER KHOSROWSHAHI, Professor of Political Science, University of Texas at Tyler
"It was my pleasure to invite Ron to speak at a conference I organized in 2006. Ron was thoughtful, entertaining, professional, and deeply knowledgeable on the topic he was asked to speak about, using humor to connect with Gen Y students. I highly recommend Ron as a speaker for those who wish to better increase the effectiveness of multi-generational teams in the business world or to better enable academics to understand today's students."
JAMES "JYM" BRITTAIN, Director, Center for Teaching & Learning, Northeastern State University
"Ron Berk presents like there is no tomorrow ... His keynotes and workshops provide the most thorough treatment of strategies for measuring teaching available anywhere, and he does so with wit and a knack for making technical issues understandable and putting them into an applied context. If you are involved in any aspect of faculty evaluation, Berk's insights will be helpful, but if you are directly involved with measuring teaching, they are invaluable."
MICHAEL THEALL, Professor of Education, Youngstown State University
"Dr. Ron Berk is a treasure! If you would like to experience the power of an intelligent, funny, and passionate speaker who truly cares about you, your students, and masterful teaching, you must go and experience his presentation. He is like a magician weaving music, visuals, research, timely information, and audience participation as he encourages us to use our own natural brand of humor and multimedia in the classroom to connect with our students. His words, music, and pictures still resonate in my mind and ears. I believe that is one of the greatest compliments you can pay a teacher and speaker."
DIANE FARROW, Instructor, School of Applied Business, Daytona State College
"It was refreshing to see that humor does, indeed, have a place in the college classroom and can serve as a vehicle to engage large classes. I was pleased to see that Ron made a point of defining (and having us define) what kinds of humor are appropriate and what kinds of humor are never appropriate in a lecture hall. The feeling I had after his presentation was that teaching is a great profession."
H. CRISTINA GEIGER, Director, Teaching & Learning Center, SUNY at Geneseo
"The faculty truly enjoyed and learned a great deal from Ron's entertaining, high-energy keynote on 'Humor in the Workplace.' I've received many positive comments from faculty. Even an administrator who works with a young group of professionals said she plans to implement several of his suggestions with her staff. Ron, thanks again for a terrific keynote!"
ALLISON D. GARRETT, Vice President for Academic Affairs, Oklahoma Christian University
"Every so often, there comes along a truly outstanding educator, one who is not only an expert in his field, but who is much more than that. Ron Berk is just such an educator. When Ron spoke to our faculty, he literally transported them into a two-hour experience in which humor, the use of media and technology, and new ways to think about teaching helped them to consider learning through the eyes of our students. In short, Ron is a master at helping his fellow educators challenge their professional complacency and imagine a classroom where learning becomes more exciting and user friendly. You owe it to yourself to experience Ron. I promise you, you won't be disappointed."
CHARLES T. LOPRESTO, Associate Professor of Psychology and Director of Teaching Excellence, Loyola College in Maryland
"Ron is an outstanding educator and innovator. His work in using humor in the classroom is outstanding and has positively impacted thousands of students' lives. He is a great presenter and delivers meaningful, useful and enjoyable workshops."
TERRY DOYLE, Professor and Senior Faculty Developer, Ferris State University
"I came away from Ron's keynote with a much richer appreciation for the use of multimedia in the classroom to reach the Net Generation. Additionally, I haven't laughed that hard in a LONG time. What a GREAT session!!!!"
CLAIRE BIANCALANA, Executive Secretary, California Community College Chief Instructional Officers Conference
"Ron's ability to convince others to embrace new methodologies is his legacy. I first saw Ron do a presentation on integrating humor into the classroom. But, more than the suggestions, what struck me was a sincere desire to improve the classroom experience for other educational professionals. That continuous improvement mantra, applied to the university environment, is one that I have chosen to steal. Thanks, Ron."
LEE BARTLETT, 2003 Honored Professor / Visiting Instructor, Miami University
"Ron, thank you for the most informative learning strategies seminar I've ever attended. Your innovative techniques are most useful for improving students' interest in course content, even if it's a subject outside of their major. Many of the professors in our Master Faculty training program are employing your techniques. Some have described how your use of animation, music, and video clips, plus props to illustrate concepts has improved learning. What makes these techniques so effective is matching them to the students' interests. Some of the strategies also inspire ideas that work well without technology. Keeping students engaged is a goal we all share and, with your guidance, seems achievable."
RICHARD TAMBURO, Professor of Statistics, Daytona State College
"As one who uses technology extensively in my courses, I thought I had little to learn about multimedia integration--until I attended Ron's workshop. Ron's presentation on the effective use of video and music in the classroom was truly masterful, plus he delivered it with such wit and humor. If you have an opportunity to attend one of Ron's workshops, do not pass it up."
MICHAEL MILLER, Associate Professor of Sociology, University of Texas at San Antonio
"Ron Berk's information on the Net Generation and the multimedia techniques to teach them was right on target for these K-12 classroom teachers. His use of humor, music, videos, and games was entertaining and extremely useful. Ron's techniques are very creative and imaginative and kept the audience engaged and interested."
DONNA L. MANERING, Program Development Director, Illinois Education Association
"Ron Berk is a fabulous, funny fellow for faculty. I have enjoyed and benefitted from his humorous and informative keynotes and workshops over the years. Using his techniques, even the most conservative professor can learn to bring some humor into the classroom, and do so without offending anyone. His presentations include a spectacular multimedia PowerPoint(R) with music, videos, and games. Don't come late or you'll miss his blockbuster opening. Ron takes you on a wild and dramatic ride through the peaks and valleys of humor with joviality, jollity, and frivolity."
NEIL DAVIDSON, Professor Emeritus, Former Associate Dean for Undergraduate Studies, University of Maryland, College Park
"Ron Berk delivers a superb presentation! The quality of the content, coupled with his unique delivery, allows faculty participants to view strategies for effective teaching and assessment of student learning in new ways. He provides a fresh perspective that allows for levity and humor in the all too serious world of academia. In a most interactive and dynamic way, Ron is able to model a variety of ways in which educators can 'lighten up' their classrooms and lectures, thus, more effectively engaging all of their students."
JEANNETTE MOLINA, Director, Dual-Degree Programs, ESOL, SUNY-Geneseo; Former Assistant Vice Provost for Academic Affairs and Director, Center for Teaching and Learning Resources, University of Buffalo
"After seeing Ron Berk's workshop on 'Creating Parodies...' and his parody of 'Deal or No Deal' at the Lilly East Conference on College and University Teaching, I knew I wanted to incorporate his style, humor, and multimedia expertise into my own classroom. For that reason, when teaching my students the risk and pay off associated with plea bargaining, I now transform myself into Howie Mandell and one student negotiates the best sentence/deal possible from the prosecutor/banker. This hands-on, interactive game (Deal or No Deal) with music, images, and student participants keeps undergraduates entertained, engaged, and as a result, skillfully educated."
AMY CASS, Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice, California State University, Fullerton
"Ron Berk's workshop is one you must attend. He gives you numerous ideas and strategies for your teaching, especially a variety of possibilities for using humor. In addition, you become an active participant in the workshop by role-playing one of Ron's students and trying out his techniques for yourself. That experience will convince you that the strategies really work so you can consider how to create and implement similar approaches in your teaching. His workshops always inspire me to try something new in my classroom."
OLGA BREZHNEVA, Assistant Professor, Dept. of Mathematics and Statistics, Miami University
"Ron Berk has been a featured speaker at our annual conferences for more than a decade. Each year Ron takes an important current education topic and by using various forms of media such as music and videos in his PowerPoint presentations, as well as his own truly enjoyable sense of humor, helps the audience to learn and develop their skills while enjoying themselves. Ron has the ability to engage his audience and present technical information in a way that is meaningful and memorable."
RICHARD G. ALLAN, Vice President for Instructional Development, Evaluation Systems group of Pearson
International Conferences and Universities
"Ron Berk's keynotes and workshops at our conferences have been widely acclaimed. He has educated, enthralled, and entertained audiences of up to 2,000 participants. He has the rare knack of introducing humour into his presentations whilst at the same time communicating key messages grounded in educational research. He is the only speaker we have invited again and again to contribute to our conferences. We in medical education are not known for a sense of humour, but I noted one participant actually fell off his seat with laughter! I have participated in numerous international meetings and, without doubt, Ron Berk must be included in the top 5% of speakers on the international scene."
Professor RONALD M. HARDEN, General Secretary of the Association for Medical Education in Europe (AMEE), University of Dundee, SCOTLAND, UK
"Ron performed the best 'educational' show in the history of medical education faculty development workshops in Taiwan. If you have not seen Ron's presentation, the following comments by the professors who attended can give you an idea of his impact: 'We now know how to apply the 14 evaluation tools effectively!' 'Ron is kind of Broadwayish, which inspires me to be creative and lively.' 'I could apply his techniques to my clinical practice teaching!' 'Amazing! I have never seen such teaching that combines music, videos, TV programs, and games to achieve learning outcomes!' 'PERFECT!' As a coordinator for Ron's visit to Taiwan, I witnessed firsthand his dedication, preparation, and impeccable presentations with a Broadway touch. He has the amazing gift to transform serious topics into understandable and entertaining presentations. He is not to be missed."
MING-JUNG HO, Associate Professor, College of Medicine, National Taiwan University, TAIWAN
"When exposed to Ron Berk's amiable personality in his workshops, the social distances of a multicultural audience fade away in a matter of minutes. Through rational and meaningful use of humor, Ron not only unites his audience around a common goal, but also ignites an almost spontaneous motivation to collaborate toward reaching that goal. In this creative context, the transfer and acquisition of knowledge are natural outcomes. Based on his professional experience and expertise, he then goes on to present his teaching and assessment strategies. Those practical strategies readily meet the needs of a wide spectrum of real-world teaching applications."
YUCEL GURSEL, Assistant Professor and FAIMER Institute 2007 Fellow, Dept. of Medical Education, Dokuz Eylul University School of Medicine, Izmir, TURKEY
"Ron Berk's multimedia presentations are extremely professional, and they are given with great commitment. Since the content is of really high quality, the audience learns a lot, despite laughing most of the time. This is the most enjoyable way of learning anyone can experience."
CHRISTINA STAGE, Professor, Dept. of Educational Measurement, Umea University, SWEDEN
"Professor Berk's 14 strategies offer answers to the basic faculty development questions on how to set up and execute the whole faculty evaluation process. The strategies are described with concrete examples, so that they can be implemented almost 'as is.' Although Prof. Berk's presentation is rather unconventional, it gives a novice all the necessary instruments to develop an evaluation method suited for his or her school. Being at one presentation is worth more than most (conventional) how-to-dos."
KEN HINOMIZU, Associate Professor, Department of British-American Studies, Nanzan University, Nagoya, JAPAN
"Professor Ron Berk deserves the title of 'Dr. Humor.' His well-planned, creative, and entertaining keynotes in Taipei and Taichung added a totally new perspective on the critical issues in faculty evaluation and multimedia in teaching. The audience of medical faculty and students were infected with his enthusiasm, passion, humor, and humility. It was a privilege for me to have the opportunity to work with Ron and I very much appreciated his efforts and contributions to medical education in Taiwan. I highly recommend attending his keynotes and workshops. Don't even hesitate. You won't regret it!"
JEN-HUNG YANG, Dean, School of Medicine, and Professor of Dermatology, Chung Shan Medical University, TAIWAN
"I would highly recommend Ron Berk's dynamic and very funny keynote on 'Humor and Multimedia' to any faculty audience. He'll have you rolling in the aisles and learning valuable teaching techniques at the same time! Here are a few comments by SAIT faculty and staff: 'Every minute of Ron's presentation kept me interested and enthused, and his energy and enthusiasm were off the charts!!' 'Ron was an excellent presenter and very entertaining.' 'Dr. Berk gives instructors valuable take-aways to enrich and enliven their students' interest in the classroom.' Finally, 'A must-see for all instructors!'"
PHILLIP HOFFMANN, Associate Dean of Degree Studies and Teaching Excellence, Southern Alberta Institute of Technology Polytechnic, Calgary, AB, CANADA
"Professor Ron Berk is one of the funniest people I know. If you get the chance to go to one of his keynotes, or, even better, a workshop, GO. Ron can bring to light any topic and can teach you techniques for using humour in medical education to brighten up the dullest of subjects. Further, his workshop on faculty evaluation is also a winner. I regularly quote his work recommending the use of at least three sources of evaluation data for decision making. In the new Association for the Study of Medical Education (ASME) booklet in the Understanding Medical Education series on Evaluation, I included detailed descriptions of Berk's 13 strategies for evaluating teaching."
DAVID WALL, Deputy Regional Postgraduate Dean, West Midlands Deanery, Birmingham, ENGLAND, UK
"I attended a seminar at Chung Shan Medical University Hospital, Taichung, Taiwan, where Ron Berk was one of two keynote speakers. His unique presentation on "Humor and Multimedia" focused on "student-centered" teaching by reflecting the values and behaviors of the current net generation while adding interesting descriptions of difficult to digest biostatistical topics. His love for teaching and ability to incorporate the music and video interests of this generation in his PowerPoint radiated as he provided direction and inspiration to the participants. Thank you, Ron, for a very entertaining and informative afternoon."
PETER H. HARASYM, Professor and Associate Dean, College of Medicine, i Shou University, Kaohsiung, TAIWAN
"Put aside any fears that a conference session on how to use humour (yes, I am from the UK!) in your teaching will necessarily involve well meaning, but painful, attempts to make the audience laugh. Ron is a natural, funny guy, but also tells you a lot about the art and science of using mirth to maximize meaning and memory. Take his medicine - you may not need it, but your students might!"
STEPHEN GREENWOOD, Director, Teaching and Learning for Health Professionals, University of Bristol, ENGLAND, UK
"Ron Berk's keynote at National Taiwan University on strategies to evaluate teaching was a blockbuster event. It was chock full of meaningful content for faculty and administrators, but it was Ron's use of humor, music, sound effects, and video clips that made the material unforgettable. His entertaining spin on 14 serious techniques and the state-of-the-art research and practices, plus online administration secrets, had a powerful impact on the participants. He gave us a lot to think about and inspired us to consider improving our current evaluation practices. Thanks for such a special experience."
ANGELA FAN, Deputy Dean, National Yang Ming University, TAIWAN
"In Ron Berk's workshop, at first I thought I'd just had a laugh for a couple of hours, but I can honestly say that I have applied some of the techniques Ron presented in my own classroom. As workshops go, you can't bet better than being entertained and informed at the same time. My only concern is that it made other workshops appear pale and boring!"
KIRSTY FORREST, Consultant Anaesthetist, Academic Unit of Anaesthesia, University of Leeds, ENGLAND, UK
Ronald A. Berk, PhD
Biostatistics and Measurement
The Johns Hopkins University
10326 Hickory Ridge Rd., Apt. 618
Columbia, Maryland 21044
Office: (410) 940-7118
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