Skip to Content

Center for Teaching Excellence


Center for Teaching Excellence

Events Calendar

Throughout the year, the CTE hosts events catered to USC Faculty and Staff. Our events allow participants to explore a broad range of topics important to both novice and veteran college teachers. Most workshops are facilitated by veteran faculty from USC and are designed to be highly interactive.

Click on the "+" sign next to each event to see description.


March 2017

We hope, as educators, that by the time students graduate they will have grown in their understanding of issues related to diversity and in their ability to engage in diversity-related discourse. Indeed, we argue, in order to maximize students’ contributions to progress in our society, this is a must. 

Despite growing resolve to facilitate this growth, challenges facing educators may result in missed opportunities. The overarching aim of this session is to create space for much-needed dialogue about these realities. Panelists will share varied perspectives on these issues and will describe strategies to advance diversity-related educational outcomes in spite of the challenges of doing so.  Register

Are you looking for light at the end of a long, dark tunnel of grading? Searching for a more efficient way to evaluate student work while providing meaningful feedback? Then this session is for you! A rubric is a pre-determined set of content and quality guidelines that can speed up grading, as well as provide consistency and richer feedback in your courses. Join us to see how you can develop a simple grading rubric, upload it into Blackboard and start scoring assignments online with ease.  Register

If you plan to develop a new course, revise an existing one or simply want to think about the possibilities, consider an approach that begins with the end in mind, and don’t neglect the importance of student motivation in your redesign. Yes, grades motivate students — at least, most students. Therefore if the assessments, which determine the students’ grades in your course, are aligned closely with the goals of your course, then you have created a strong motivation for student learning.

Begin with the end in mind: What will students who successfully complete your course be able to do long after your course ends? This workshop will work step-by-step with the “backward design” model for course creation, providing you with ideas and examples for aligning your course content, goals and assessments, and addressing student motivation.  Register

FLIP: Focus on Learning, Innovation and Pedagogy is a faculty discussion group, ideas lab and learning community focused on topics related to the theory and practice of teaching and learning. FLIP is open to faculty members, instructors, postdocs and graduate students who want to study, discuss and try out various evidence-based approaches to instruction, including student-centered learning, discipline-based education research, flipped classrooms, problem-based learning (PBL), case studies and other forms of active learning. More Information

In the field of distance education, we find that creating quality online courses can sometimes become a challenge due to time constraints, minimal collaboration, and lack of faculty and administration buy-in. Course design may take months and in extreme cases, years to develop. Deadlines, fear of reaching out to colleagues, working in isolation, or restrictive schedules can affect our work, which prevents us from meeting our student’s needs.

With the introduction of the Agile process and collaborative tools, Instructional Designers are now able to use these resources to produce more courses at a faster rate without sacrificing quality. Collaborating within the design process ensures that courses meet their prescribed goals and outcomes, content and assignments align, and end product meets the needs of students.

This presentation will provide: 1) an introduction of this collaborative course design process, 2) tips and tools to incorporate in current processes, and 3) focus on the course design benefits of integrating collaboration into your course design process to build quality courses.  Register

The ability to ask "good" questions — thought-provoking, critical thinking, at a deeper level of thinking — and the application of this technique in discussion sections and courses, is often an overlooked and underdeveloped skill of instructors. With experience, what instructors find is that even discussion sessions take significant planning and preparation as well as practice. 

In this workshop, effective methodologies and best practices for asking good questions, techniques and styles for leading and facilitating classroom discussions, as well as directing student responses, will be addressed and modeled. GIAs, GTAs, and instructors at all levels of teaching and experience are welcome.  Register

Virtual reality is appearing in a growing number of  industries.  Google Expedition has taken children to the moon.  Samsung can take you to the Rio Olympics while sitting in your living room. Marriott brought a seaside resort to major cities, complete with salt air and wind.

We have yet to reach those sophisticated applications, but we are moving forward.  Join your colleagues in the Pedagogical Technology Community of Practice for an update on USC’s own efforts in virtual reality. Register

April 2017

FLIP: Focus on Learning, Innovation and Pedagogy is a faculty discussion group, ideas lab and learning community focused on topics related to the theory and practice of teaching and learning. FLIP is open to faculty members, instructors, postdocs and graduate students who want to study, discuss and try out various evidence-based approaches to instruction, including student-centered learning, discipline-based education research, flipped classrooms, problem-based learning (PBL), case studies and other forms of active learning.  More Information

Do you want to start making or improve your lecture videos but you don’t know what tools or resources are available? Find out how to utilize the best tools to make your lectures the engaging and effective resource you intend them to be. 

In this webinar, two experts in instructional development and design will share a variety of tools available to record videos and the resources on campus to help instructors be successful.  Register

Active learning is a student-centered approach in which short, easy, pre-planned activities are used to engage the student to be an active participant in their learning. Techniques such as think-pair-share, one-minute paper and other such exercises have been shown to improve student learning of material and engagement in the course. However, active learning strategies can be difficult for new instructors to implement because they require preparation and skills in guiding and moderating the learning activity.  

In this workshop, we will examine the three fundamental principles of learning integrated into active learning techniques and examine the planning system necessary to incorporate them. Attendees will actively participate in several active learning techniques applicable to a wide range of classroom settings. Join us to learn helpful tips on what you can do, how to do it and why active learning in the classroom is important to student learning.  Register

When used strategically, social media can be a powerful tool for boosting student engagement in college courses. But not all tools or techniques are equally effective. Join us for this lively workshop in which you’ll learn from a pro the best social media strategies for enhancing meaningful student engagement in your course.  Register

Are you stressed? Who isn’t? Do you realize that “stressed” spelled backward is “desserts”? We sometimes turn to unhealthy behaviors to put a Band-Aid on stress. But there’s a better way.

In this interactive workshop, we’ll explore the body’s stress response and how to handle it. We’ll also discuss and practice long-term stress management strategies. You’ll learn how to debunk some stress myths and create practices that will help you sail through turbulent times.  Register

FLIP: Focus on Learning, Innovation and Pedagogy is a faculty discussion group, ideas lab and learning community focused on topics related to the theory and practice of teaching and learning. FLIP is open to faculty members, instructors, postdocs and graduate students who want to study, discuss and try out various evidence-based approaches to instruction, including student-centered learning, discipline-based education research, flipped classrooms, problem-based learning (PBL), case studies and other forms of active learning. More Information

For ease of reading, all trademark and brand name references have been removed but must be taken as read.