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Center for Teaching Excellence


Graduate Teaching Assistant

Pedagogy Workshops and Events

In our effort to help keep faculty at the forefront of the ever evolving understanding of how students learn and what types of best practices good teachers should engage in, the CTE offers workshops and events that give faculty the building blocks they need in order to engage their students and design good courses that foster student learning.

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


January 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

While prior knowledge is essential for new learning, prior knowledge that is incomplete, confused and/or flawed becomes a barrier to learning. Thus faculty who develop strategies for identifying students’ prior knowledge and strategies for making visible students’ unstated misconceptions and flawed understanding can help remove barriers to learning and potentially accelerate student learning.

This workshop will review the compelling literature on this topic, provide examples of prior knowledge assessments from a variety of disciplines, give attendees practice in identifying common misconceptions and develop assessments and learning activities for addressing these common misconceptions.  Register

College classrooms are intended to be places where students learn to engage in reasoned discussion about complex issues and learn from others’ perspectives. In fact, research has demonstrated that engagement with controversial topics can enhance students’ learning and critical reasoning skills. Many faculty members are reluctant to include discussions of controversial topics in their courses, however, because of the challenges that can arise if disagreements become emotionally charged.

Join facilitator Christy Friend for an interactive session that explores strategies for fostering productive controversial discussions. Topics will include identifying course content that may provoke controversy, setting discussion guidelines, introducing sensitive topics and establishing a civil, inclusive classroom environment in which issues are discussed respectfully. The session will end with an open question-and-answer session and a discussion of issues that have arisen in attendees’ own teaching.  Register

In a global information environment, is answer-finding still the best approach for students to learn? The ability to think critically, applying strategies across situations, is more important than ever before. Teaching critical thinking requires students to explore topics that may not be clearly defined. Such activities require continual synthesis (inductive) and analysis (deductive) practice using many variables. Students ask questions to find answers. Successful instruction in this context requires association between hierarchal learning theory and instructional practice. Come join the discussion relating theory to practice in teaching critical thinking.  Register

Team assignments are pedagogically sound and beneficial practices, but incorporating them effectively into course learning outcomes and managing them strategically in the classroom can be challenging. In this interactive workshop, Barbara Bolt and Lindsay McManus will share best practices for designing, detailing and assessing team projects in the undergraduate classroom.  Register

February 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

In this workshop we will discuss the issues we find in student academic writing, the frustrations we’ve experienced and some possible concrete strategies we can implement to improve writing experience and production in the university classroom.

Although teaching writing can be a joy, grading it can be a real drag. The researched strategies suggested in this session will help shift that balance to favor the satisfaction we find in teaching writing assignments.  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

As higher education evolves and our student body diversifies, teaching today’s undergraduate students has significantly increased in complexity. This interactive workshop will explore research and best practices in engaging and supporting “Generation Z” — students born after 1995 — in the classroom and beyond, addressing motivation, expectations, technology use and approaches to learning.  Register

 

March 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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