Workshop/Webinar Topics

The following workshops have been offered previously and can also be customized to institutional contexts or needs. Please reach out if you are interested in scheduling a workshop or webinar.

How to Structure, Support and Grade Student Reflection: Lessons from the Literature

Instructors in all disciplines use some form of reflection to help students engage in deeper learning about course content and ideas. Especially when using active learning and inquiry-based methods, we use reflection to make the thinking process visible. In addition, the sudden rise in online and hybrid learning has left us wanting a better sense of what and how our students are learning. Yet student reflection can be messy, subjective, and elicit student resistance. How do we best structure and scaffold reflection with our students? Which prompts and what type of feedback is best? How often should we use reflection? And how can we possibly evaluate and grade the reflective process? In this session, we will explore the emerging literature about structuring, supporting, and assessing student reflection, discussing cautions and proposed best practice. A number of frameworks and examples will be shared and the presentation will include time for independent and small group reflective questions and discussion.

Facilitating Engaging Online Synchronous Sessions

From the occasional live session in an online class to a shift to completely online synchronous teaching during a pandemic, college educators are quickly learning to embrace “remote” teaching. In this session, we will explore various factors related to facilitating engaging online synchronous sessions, including developing social presence, creating a sense of community, and designing engaging small and larger group activities and discussions. Connections to the educational literature will be shared along with practical tips and lessons learned (the hard way) as we explore and engage in interactive methods.

Taking Stock of Your Overnight Course Redesign

We’ve had to make many changes to our teaching this semester without the luxury of time to be fully thoughtful and strategic. As our term winds down, let’s take a moment to reflect upon our successes and lessons learned for long term benefits. In this session, we will share strategies as we walk through a modified “action research” approach of gathering student feedback and our own reflections to take those lessons into the future. 

Eight “Low-Prep” Active Learning Methods to Add to Any Course – Even Online!

Engaging in active learning often means strategic and logistical planning and preparation. Yet there are methods we can use that do not require much preparation or extra time to implement. In this session, we will showcase eight active learning techniques, the rationale behind their use, as well as tips for implementation in both face-to-face and online formats. 

Facilitating Discussions for Critical Thinking in Online Discussions

Discussions are common teaching methods for promoting critical thinking and reflective thought among students. However, discussions can suffer from surface-level responses, uneven participation, and a lack of direction. In this workshop, participants will explore a framework for facilitating discussions toward deeper inquiry and have a chance to practice dissecting and facilitating a discussion. We will share and explore best practice and tips for online discussion facilitation as well as appropriate question stems and questioning strategies.

Online Grading and Assessment: Effective strategies to save your sanity 

We often dread grading time. But how do we make course assessment and grading less of an afterthought and more of a fundamental component that we actually look forward to? In this workshop, we will discuss effective practices regarding designing assessments, developing purpose and transparency, and providing feedback. From formative Classroom Assessment Techniques to the use of rubrics for summative assignments, we will also share time-saving strategies.

Teaching for Critical Thinking, Problem Solving, and Skill Development

We have many different learning goals for our students, yet we often attempt to use just one or a few teaching methods to achieve these various goals. In this session, participants will explore a framework for matching their intended learning goals with the most appropriate teaching methods. In particular, we will explore in some depth teaching for problem-solving using mental models, teaching for critical thinking using inquiry-based methods, and teaching for skill development using modeling, practice and effective feedback. We will explore the underlying rationale for using these particular ways of learning, look at some examples, and discuss best practices. 

Are they really learning? Methods for gathering formative feedback to improve teaching    

Our tests, papers, and assignments allow us to see how well students have learned. But, there are ways to find out more about what they are learning along the way. What did students actually learn from the last class activity or homework? Are they starting to grasp the important concepts or organize their thinking in ways consistent with the discipline? What methods can we use that allow us insight into our students’ thinking and learning progress, without taking too much time? In this session, we will explore and see examples of a variety of methods for gathering feedback on student learning.

When voices get hot: Preparing yourself for constructive dialogue in the classroom

In today’s classrooms, we strive for open discussions about potentially sensitive topics and we want all voices to be heard. Yet we are also responsible for maintaining a civil tone and protecting students against microaggressions. This session is designed to provide faculty members with not only the awareness but also the skills to be equipped to address difficult classroom situations.