Less is More – How and Why Focusing on Fewer Concepts is Good for Student Learning – Tuesday, March 5th, 1 to 2 p.m.: Engagement Questions and Resources

Update: College of Engineering faculty, the ​​Less is More – How and Why Focusing on Fewer Concepts is Good for Student Learning Event was held on Tuesday, March 5th, 1:00 to 2:00 pm at Kearney 311 and via Zoom. Below you will find details about the event, including pre/post engagement survey questions and recommended resources for further exploration. We encourage you to engage with our survey questions and review the provided resources. We aim make the recording accessible soon.

Event Description

Even though the research consistently shows that focusing on fewer topics and developing deeper understandings is better, we often find ourselves trying to “cover” more material in our classes. Join us to explore the powerful concept of ‘Less is More’ in education. Hear from our expert panelists as they blend research insights with personal experiences to argue why deeper engagement with fewer topics can significantly enhance student learning. This session promises a thought-provoking discussion on content choices and strategies to maximize learning outcomes. You’ll walk away with fresh perspectives on how to enrich your teaching content. Come for lunch, a stellar panel, and good conversation!


  • Regan Gurung, Associate Vice Provost & Executive Director of Center for Teaching and Learning  
  • Inara Scott, Senior Associate Dean, College of Business  
  • KC Walsh, Senior Instructor II, College of Science

Pre-Engagement Questions

Before the event, consider these questions. We encourage you to submit your responses via our survey using your OSU ONID. Your input will help shape our discussions and initiatives.

  1. What challenges have you faced when feeling like you have to cover a certain amount of material in your courses? And why? (E.g., where do the challenges/pressures come from?)
  2. What are your beliefs about covering lots of material vs. covering less but in more depth? 
  3. Can you share an example where focusing on fewer topics in greater depth had a noticeable impact on student engagement or understanding?

Less is More Resources

For those interested in a deeper dive on the topic, here is a resource from our panelists we recommend: In her latest publication, Rising to Meet the Challenge of Generative AI, Inara Scott looks at “HOW we should be redesigning our courses with less content and more thinking. We all know what we are teaching needs to change, but may not have an idea of what that actually looks like in practice. The article “offers a framework for assessing what essential content needs to stay, what can go, and how we move forward.” (Scott, LinkedIn)

Post Engagement Questions

After the event, we welcome your feedback and insights. Please submit your responses via our survey using your OSU ONID.

  1. What are one or two things you are thinking about doing as a result of this session?
  2. If you had the freedom to redesign your course without the pressure to cover a specific amount of material, how would you approach it, and what changes would you implement? 
  3. What could be helpful to you to implement these ideas? (Examples: follow up one-on-one or small group discussion, additional resources, etc.)
  4. Do you have any resources related to the topic you’d like to share with us? Explain.
  5. Do you have any lingering questions related to the topic?

Related OSU Resources

The topics in this event may spur questions that our colleagues are here to discuss. They provide one-on-one consults and more! Check out their resources.

College of Engineering Faculty – Thank You for Participating

College of Engineering faculty, your expertise and passion for teaching are what make the College of Engineering a leader in innovative education. This event is a stepping stone towards transforming our classrooms into vibrant, engaging spaces where students and educators alike thrive.

Upcoming Spring Events – Mark your calendars!

This is one of a series of events sponsored by the college of Engineering administration and organized by the College’s Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL) Fellows. Mark your calendars for the Spring Events!

  • Active Learning II – Applications and Examples from STEM Courses: April 12th, 12:00 to 1:00 p.m.
  • Flipped Classroom: May 13, 4:00 to 5:00 p.m.

Stay tuned for additional information!


Inara Scott, ‘Rising to Meet the Challenge of Generative AI’ [2024] JLSE 00(00): 1–9. https://doi.org/10.1111/jlse.12141

Image Credits

  • Photos of College of Engineering event by Cub Kahn
  • Other images generated by Midjourney