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Center for Teaching Excellence

  • Mungo Teaching Award Panel

GTA/IA Workshops and Events

The Center for Teaching Excellence is committed to planning and implementing professional development programming for graduate teaching assistants. Graduate student workshops and events are designed to address teaching challenges unique to being a graduate student.


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

You can choose to use the Calendar View of CTE events if you prefer.

January 2020

This workshop is a thorough overview of Blackboard's capabilities. Learn how to log-in, add course content, create announcements and send email. Explore online course design, the discussion board, see how to set up groups and use the Grade Center.  Register

Learn how to set up Blackboard assignments and SafeAssign plagiarism detection.  Register

Blackboard’s inline grading feature just got a lot easier to use. New Box View has been replaced with Blackboard Annotate. When you go to grade an assignment or a discussion forum, you will see the new Blackboard Annotate feature. You will be able to draw comments, make edit marks, type comments and more with this new feature. Participants will learn about the many new options to provide meaningful feedback to your students.  Register

Learn the basics of setting up and using the Blackboard Grade Center.  Register

Learn to create tests and surveys, to use pools of questions while creating these items, and to modify the deployment rules for individuals or groups of students.   Register

Learn how to hold meetings or teach a class with this convenient and reliable web conferencing tool. With Blackboard Collaborate Ultra, instructors can record sessions, share materials, allow participants to chat with each other, use a digital whiteboard, allow participants to share presentations, and more.  Register

Learn the basics of setting up and using the Blackboard Grade Center.  Register

In this session, participants will learn how to use the Blackboard Grade Center to their advantage and manage grades more efficiently. Creating and managing categories, weighting grades, dropping grades, downloading grades to work offline and using Smart Views are some of the topics to be covered. We welcome users with any level of experience, but this course is designed for instructors or graders who are already comfortable with Grade Center basics.   Register

In this session you will learn simple instructional techniques that benefit all users, technology tools that can be used to provide specific accommodations, and resources that are available to meet accommodation needs.  Register

Learn how to hold meetings or teach a class with this convenient and reliable web conferencing tool. With Blackboard Collaborate Ultra, instructors can record sessions, share materials, allow participants to chat with each other, use a digital whiteboard, allow participants to share presentations, and more.  Register

This workshop is a thorough overview of Blackboard's capabilities. Learn how to log-in, add course content, create announcements and send email. Explore online course design, the discussion board, see how to set up groups and use the Grade Center.  Register

Faculty, staff and graduate students are facing unique stressors in coping with the COVID-19 pandemic, while simultaneously navigating all the 'normal' stressors that come from balancing multiple personal and professional roles. Stress management is an important skill that can help us navigate successfully through the Spring 2021 semester. This presentation will focus on strategies for reducing common causes of stress, constructively dealing with inevitable stressors, handling feelings of overwhelm, and tips for maintaining good mental health throughout the spring semester and beyond.  Register

As an instructor, you know how to teach your discipline using best practices for creating a learning environment, and you have moved your understanding of a good online or hybrid course either partly or fully online. But what are your students’ perspectives on the shift to online courses this past year? What do they say they want, and need, from their courses and instructors, beyond the course content? What do they wish you knew about their “side” of the screen? Join us for a discussion of recent studies surveying student satisfaction and feedback about their satisfaction with online teaching, as well as student feedback and recommendations for better learning and engagement in both synchronous and asynchronous environments.  Register

Clearly articulating classroom expectations helps to set the foundation for a mutually beneficial course. Research shows that persistence and retention is connected to student's sense of belonging. Furthermore, students who engage in quality interactions with faculty are retained at a higher rate (Astin 1977, 1993).

This workshop is a required session for a certificate of completion in Fostering Proactive Learning Environments.  Register

Online courses present unique challenges and opportunities for both instructors and students. In this presentation, Ozgur Ince will discuss his experience converting a large introductory finance course from in-person to both synchronous and asynchronous online delivery. He will discuss best online teaching practices based on his experience and recent pedagogy. He will introduce strategies educators can utilize to tackle common challenges facing online learners, such as time management, lack of motivation, lack of interaction, and lack of community. He will also discuss alternative methods of delivery, student engagement using various online tools (such as polls, breakout groups, chat, discussion boards) and online assignments. The session will conclude with a question-and-answer session.  Register

February 2020

Join us for this interactive session as we discuss strategies to manage the workload for both students and instructors in online and hybrid learning environments. Suggestions for managing course logistics while engaging students in active learning and will be included.

At the end of this session, participant will be able to:

  • Describe how to organize a course for easy navigation and information retrieval
  • Create a consistent course schedule
  • Design engaging activities for automated grading
  • Identify effective communication strategies for large cohorts of students  Register

Effective teaching is a critical element in the university classroom. With an increasing number of students with Specific Learning Disabilities (SLD) pursuing college degrees, university faculty benefit from understanding the characteristics and impact of learning disabilities on their students. This presentation will provide insight into the variety of characteristics of SLD’s and the challenges that this diverse population of students encounter in college. A further goal is that this understanding will increase your confidence in partnering with students with SLD’s to provide effective accommodations that “level the playing field” for them such that they are able to access and master the material from your class.

This workshop is a required workshop for the Teaching Towards Inclusive Excellence (TTIE) certificate of completion.  Register

Are you ready to explore what PowerPoint can do beyond the basic slides and templates? This workshop will show participants how to include audio and video, customize templates, use animation, and create videos. Workshop participants should have PowerPoint installed on their device before the session to gain first-hand experience during the workshop. Participants will occasionally be asked to share their screen during this workshop.  Register

Many of us teach 'large' synchronous online classes, with 'large' defined as classes with more than 250 students. In such cases, Blackboard Collaborate functionalities are somewhat restrictive. Despite Blackboard Collaborate restrictions, how can we teach such classes in ways that strive towards good student outcomes and high levels of student engagement?

This presentation will have two sub-parts. Initially, the presenter will share experiences from Fall 2020. Thereafter, the plan is to have an interactive session, with participants sharing ideas around how to improve student outcomes and maintain student engagement.  Register

All learners have varying needs and abilities. Universal Design for Learning (UDL) employs a variety of instructional methods to eliminate barriers to learning and offer all students opportunities for learning success. This interactive webinar presents the impact of accessibility and the integration of tools and resources that facilitate multi-modal learning for everyone, along with proven strategies for implementing accessibility and multi-modal learning into physical and digital classroom environments.

Participants will compare foundational concepts of universal design (UD), universal access (UA), and Universal Design for Learning (UDL); apply principles of UD, UA, and UDL to access the abilities of all students; and review instructional and assistive technologies as tools to facilitate Universal Design for Learning (UDL).

This workshop is an elective for the Teaching Towards Inclusive Excellence (TTIE) certificate of completion.  Register

As the university shifts to remote teaching, it is important to create and maintain an online environment of integrity. Faculty, administrators, and students all play a role in maintaining an ethical campus community. This webinar will explore trends in the online classroom, and tools and best practices to promote academic integrity in the creation and implementation of final assessments.

This workshop is a required session for a certificate of completion in Fostering Proactive Learning Environments.  Register

This hands-on workshop is a continuation of the 'PowerPoint Tools and Techniques: Helping Faculty Create Effective Presentations' workshop. The focus will be on providing group feedback, evaluation methods, and looking at various exercises that can be used to improve existing presentations. 

Workshop Prerequisites
Attendance at a 'PowerPoint Tools and Techniques: Helping Faculty Create Effective Presentations' Workshop and creation of a PowerPoint presentation

  • Participants need to have an existing PowerPoint presentation loaded onto their computer that can be shared during the workshop.
  • Workshop participants should have PowerPoint installed on their device before the session to gain first-hand experience during the workshop.
  • Participants will occasionally be asked to share their screen during this workshop.  Register

The teaching philosophy statement provides a concise description of a faculty member’s teaching approach, methods, and experience. Departments require a teaching philosophy statement as part of the tenure and promotion process.

What is your teaching philosophy? How do you articulate it, and what should you include? In this workshop designed specifically for faculty, we will discuss the statement’s purpose and strategies for composing the statement, incorporating time for individual brainstorming, group discussion and feedback. Participants will leave with an outline of their statement and guidelines to continue crafting it. Come to this workshop to revise, revamp, and renew your current teaching philosophy statement.  Register

How do you keep your students focused during a 60+ minute online class? Do you notice long periods of silence during your class when you ask questions or you struggle to keep lively discussions going? This workshop will provide participants with practical tips and tools to keep students engaged in a synchronous online environment. Strategies to maintain interest and excitement throughout the semester will also be shared.  Register

March 2020

In this session we will discuss the academic misconduct trends we are seeing online and in person with our students. Additionally, we will discuss how to identify and address these common violations while maintaining a productive instructor/student relationship. Lastly, we will discuss how to report a concern of academic misconduct and ways to address the concern with your students(s).

This is a required session for a certificate of completion in Fostering Proactive Learning Environments.  Register

Large classes often necessitate the need for using exams with multiple-choice questions (MCQs) to assess student learning and streamline the grading process. However, many problems exist with these types of questions, in particular the difficulty in assessing higher level learning or deeper understanding when giving students an answer choice. Further, it can be daunting for instructors to write “good” questions that actually assess the students on what is intended. How do instructors write good MCQs that ask students to do more than simply regurgitate facts and content?

In this workshop we will explore the structure of MCQs along with their strengths and inherent weaknesses. Participants will learn how to create effective questions based on quality learning outcomes, with practice constructing both a good question (the stem) and appropriate (and fair) answer choices. We will also address common issues with multiple-choice exams and how instructors can use these exams as immediate feedback to evaluate their own instructional effectiveness.  Register

It’s time to start thinking about your Summer or Fall course! Where do you start? What details and requirements must be included? How can you revise your course assessments and activities to make it flow better, and align to your priorities? Join other faculty in this two-part webinar series to help you get started and address these kinds of questions.

Part 1, 'Review, Revise, Realign” (the Learning Outcomes, Assessments, and Activities) will take you from an initial reviewing of your current course learning outcomes into a discussion of how to ensure they align appropriately with assessments for in-person or online courses. What assessments will work better in different types of learning modalities and environments, and what should you reconsider? How will this work with certain class sizes or scenarios? This will be followed by reviewing, revising, and/or redeveloping the associated student activities, both for within and outside-of-class settings.

Both parts of this series will be highly interactive, with other faculty colleague participants playing an important part in contributing ideas and recommendations and producing a positive webinar outcome for every participant. Bounce ideas off each other, hear what others are doing, while following along with the webinar facilitator's steps for development and recommendations. Bring a past syllabus to start working on it as we go through the webinar!  Register

Teaching large courses can present some real challenges for faculty. This is especially true in the online learning environment, where we don’t have the benefit of meeting with students face to face. Make plans to join your colleagues for this interactive workshop as we explore best practices for teaching large distributed learning courses.  Register

It’s time to start thinking about your Summer or Fall course! Where do you start? What details and requirements must be included? How can you revise your course assessments and activities to make it flow better, and align to your priorities? Join other faculty in this two-part webinar series to help you get started and address these kinds of questions.

Part 2, 'Planning, Policies, Particulars” (of the Schedule, Policies, and Other Important Aspects) involves the bigger picture planning stage - how can those assessments and activities fit together, or be organized into a cohesive series of modules as part of a larger whole? What works best with respect to in-person, synchronous, or asynchronous learning? What aspects of activities and assessments need to be considered (e.g. grading, time management), and what else should be included or revised?

Both parts of this series will be highly interactive, with other faculty colleague participants playing an important part in contributing ideas and recommendations and producing a positive webinar outcome for every participant. Bounce ideas off each other, hear what others are doing, while following along with the webinar facilitator's steps for development and recommendations. Bring a past syllabus to start working on it as we go through the webinar!  Register

Learn best practices for your online course from a veteran instructor. Ideas for how to design and deliver your course will be shared including tools that will save you time in creating assessments and grading them, tips and new ideas to engage and motivate learners, and methods to help keep you connected to your learners. See why teaching online can be just as fun and rewarding as teaching in the classroom!  Register

The Resilience in the Classroom training is a 50-minute training that focuses on three major components of resilience—self-compassion, dealing with failure, and coping skills, and how to incorporate these components into the classroom. Resilience is associated with academic success and psychological well-being. This session will help instructors identify how they can strengthen students’ resilience and help them adapt to change and hardships by integrating these core competencies into their curriculum.

This is a required session for the Mental Health and Well-being Competency Program for Faculty certificate.  Register

Universal Design of Learning (UDL) is an approach to teaching that ensures that all students can learn and express their knowledge through engagement that highlights their learning styles and interest. In this session, we will explore the basic concepts of UDL, discuss simple ways to offer varieties in how we engage students, how students represent their knowledge, and how we introduce content. Resources for learning more about UDL will be shared.

This is an elective workshop for the Teaching Towards Inclusive Excellence (TTIE) certificate of completion.  Register

Are you interested in teaching online courses? In this webinar, we will explore the basics of online teaching and the components of an online course. As we walk through the 3Ds Instructional Design Model: Design, Develop and Deliver, you will be introduced to best practices for online teaching in preparation for modifying a current face-to-face course for online delivery or creating a new online course.  Register

Research literature on the effectiveness of discussion boards on engagement specify that responsibility lies with instructors to create atmospheres that support, encourage, and foster high quality discussions in online courses. Students report high levels of satisfaction with their online courses when they are socially active and participate in online discussion boards. This workshop will focus on methods, strategies, and tools that can be used in online courses to enhance engagement and participation.

This is an elective session for a certificate of completion in Fostering Proactive Learning Environments Register

Come develop a deeper understanding of inclusive excellence and why it is central not only to how we prepare students to lead, but also to how we engage all members of our USC community. Learn about the ways in which the Office of Diversity and Inclusion seeks to operationalize inclusive excellence, as well as how we intend to use our equity and inclusion strategy to track the University’s effectiveness in four primary areas: compositional diversity, achievement, engagement and inclusion.

This workshop is a required workshop for the Teaching Towards Inclusive Excellence (TTIE) certificate of completion.  Register

In this webinar, we'll cover how to Design your course to maximize student learning, with an emphasis on planning. We’ll discuss using Backward Design; aligning outcomes, assessments, and activities; and organizing your course into modules. We’ll also discuss factors you'll need to consider in planning, such as interactions (between students, faculty, and content) and Chickering and Gamson’s Seven Principles – which outlines the foundation for making your online course active, cooperative and relevant. And as a bonus for attending, we’ll through in some handy templates to help you get started!  Register

April 2020

This webinar covers how to Develop the materials and structure for your online course. You'll learn what makes a high-quality and accessible online course, how to choose or create instructional materials and rubrics, how to best organize your course information and materials in Blackboard, and how to select video recording and web conferencing tools for asynchronous and synchronous courses.  Register

Engaging in conflict is challenging whether you are an experienced instructor or new to your role. A likely strategy is to ignore the behavior due to our own discomfort, concern over retaliation or fear that our intervention may cause more harm or disruption. Through case study examples this workshop will explore Gerald Amada’s research from Coping with Misconduct in the College Classroom and provide participants with tangible strategies to disruptive behavior in a confident and fair manner.

This is a required session for a certificate of completion in Fostering Proactive Learning Environments.  Register

Student progress in a course is determined via a series of measures, or assessments, implemented by instructors to fully evaluate what students are actually learning and understanding. Good assessments help students learn in tandem with instruction and engage students directly with the material. By using active learning techniques, a student-centered approach in which pre-planned activities are used to engage the student as an active participant in their learning, instructors can measure “in the moment” a student’s level of comprehension, critical thinking, skill development, and achievement of learning outcomes. Commonly used techniques such as think-pair-share, one-minute paper, concept mapping, and others have been shown to improve student learning of material and enhance the presentation format of a course. However, active learning strategies can pose problems for implementation, in both face-to-face and especially the online environment.

This webinar examines the three key student learning benchmarks that should be integrated into active learning techniques, and explores the planning system necessary to incorporate such activities for both face-to-face and online active learning assessments. To illustrate these, attendees will participate in several active learning techniques and practice examples applicable to a wide range of classroom formats and different kinds of learning outcomes. You will learn helpful tips on what you can do, how to do it, and how easily active learning can be implemented in the any classroom delivery style.  Register

This webinar covers how to Deliver your online course for maximum impact. Join us to learn how to build rapport with students, foster a community of learners and provide meaningful feedback. The session will end with tips to consider to facilitate an engaging and successful online course.  Register


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