Teaching Workshops

The following are examples of workshops offered to Faculty and instructional staff at large, although custom-designed workshops are developed upon request. Approximately 30 workshops are offered each semester.

  • Assessment: More Than Just Grades
    Students are conditioned by long-standing teaching practices in higher education to expect a mid-term and a final as dominant determinants of their learning.   In this workshop pedagogical questions will be posed for thoughtful consideration of alternative assessment practices.   What aspects of your courses help students learn?  What aspects might interfere with student learning?  How do you know when learning is happening and what kinds of techniques provide that insight?   How does the instructional design process inform the choice of assessment strategies and tools?  Particular kinds of learning activities will be explored:  projects, products, exhibitions, performances, case studies, clinical evaluations, portfolios, interviews, oral exams, etc.
    • Learning Outcomes:
      Participants will reflect on and question current assessment practices relative to their impact on learning and explore alternative practices.   Participants will consider a more active feedback paradigm and more consciously interwine teaching and assessment practices and their potential to positively impact learning.
  • Creating Independent Learners
    This workshop focuses on strategies for helping students make the transition between dependent and independent learning.    Motivation is central to independent learning, but how specifically are students motivated?  What role does learning environment play in creating independent learners?  What instructional strategies encourage independent learning?   How does the role of instructor and students shift in the process of developing more independent learners?
    • Learning Outcomes:
      Participants will be able to define the characteristics of independent learners, describe the rationale and goals for developing independent learners, and explore examples of independent learning in classroom settings and situations.
  • Designing and Grading Subjective Tests
    This workshop will focus on using and grading subjective tests (e.g. short answer, essay) to optimize student learning and reduce grading time.  The workshop will include practice in designing subjective tests that optimize student learning, ways to grade subjective tests using grading rubrics in order to reduce grading time and increase feedback to students, practice designing grading rubrics for subjective tests, opportunities to share ideas and discuss best practices with colleagues.
    • Learning Outcomes:
      Participants will practice designing subjective tests that optimize student learning and receive feedback from other participants.  Participants  will be able to create rubrics that reduce grading time and increase feedback to students.  Participants will receive and give feedback on rubrics that are created in the workshop.
  • Engaging the Brain: Techniques to Promote Intrinsic Motivation
    The purpose of this workshop is to explore the sources of intrinsic motivation and how to identify and capitalize on them in teaching.  The participants will specifically explore the use of metaphors, similes, and analogies to increase student engagement in this session and be introduced to many other sources for continuing the learn about techniques that engage the brain and result in better learning.
    • Learning Outcomes:
      Participants will be able to list at least five teaching techniques that increase engagement, apply at least two intrinsically motivating teaching techniques to their discipline/content area, continue their study and practice of brain-based teaching and learning with references and resources provided.
  • Facilitating Classroom Discussion
    Often, attempting to facilitate classroom discussions can present some common pedagogical challenges and questions.  For example, how do I encourage shy students to participate?  What do I do about the "dominator" who wants to do all the talking?  What techniques can I use to keep the discussion on track?  What learning outcomes are best achieved by facilitating classroom discussions?  How do I create a "safe" climate for students to speak and share their ideas?  These and many other questions are explored through this session.  The goal is for each participant to walk away with specific strategies for addressing these challenges and questions.
    • Learning Outcomes:
      The participants will learn specific strategies for confronting challenges of engaging students in fruitful classroom discussions.
  • Immersion Learning: Situated, Contextual, Experiential
    This workshop is intended to provide exposure to Gardner's Multiple Intelligences, Bennett's Teaching Type Inventory, and Kolb's Experiential Learning research and practice. Participants will explore these approaches in the context of their own and student preferences.  Resources, references, and guidelines will be provided to help participants facilitate change in instructional processes.
    • Learning Outcomes:
      Participants will be able to articulate at least three personal preferences impacting teaching decisions, identify at least four types of classroom tools and skills designed to assess a wide variety of learners/learning styles, assess current teaching based on practice that evaluates process within the context of interactive, comprehensive, contextual, and experiential learning.
  • Innovative Assessment of Learning
    Creative assessment techniques (CATS) for enhancing learning is the focus  of this workshop.  Sternberg's quote, "When students think to learn, they learn to think" captures the essence of the techniques that participants will explore.  The techniques are based on Classroom Assessment Techniques by Thomas Angelo and Patricia Cross and Learner-centered Assessment on College Campuses by Mary Huba and Jann Freed.   The techniques explored conform to the four elements of learner-centered assessment.
    • Learning Outcomes:
      Participants will think creatively and out-of-the box about both formative and summative assessment, explore assessment from a learner-centered perspective, consider the four elements of learner-centered assessment, reflect on their current assessment practices, and work collaboratively with peers to apply innovative assessment to courses.
  • Instructional Design: Steps to Effective Instruction
    What are the fundamental questions an instructor asks when designing a learning experience, class session, or course?  How and why is assessment of student learning an integral part of instructional design?  What are strategies for setting students up for success?  What activities (in the context of your course) best facilitate learning?  What is the role of "practice" in learning?  These questions will be explored in the teaching context of the workshop participants.
    • Learning Outcomes:
      Participants will be able to write instructional objectives based on the content and the learners they will be teaching, list five steps in designing an effective instructional session, and benefit from peer input and evaluation.
  • Learner-Centered Teaching in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics)
    This workshop will include hands-on and minds-on demonstrations of learner-centered STEM teaching including simple, easy, and fast ways to engage students and increase learning, seven key principles for getting students to connect with the material in your courses, and opportunities to share ideas and discuss best practices with colleagues.
    • Learning Outcomes:
      Participants will experience learner-centered approaches for teaching in STEM disciplines.  Participants will create learner-centered activities for their own course(s) and receive feedback from other participants.
  • Motivating the Unmotivated
    Everyone who teaches faces the challenge of having at least some unmotivated students.  The quotation, "Whatever level of motivation students bring to the classroom will be transformed, for better or worse, by what happens in that classroom," suggests that instructional strategies offer opportunities that can make a difference.   This workshop explores strategies for identifying sources of motivation and aspects of teaching that enhance motivation.
    • Learning Outcomes:
      Participants will learn specific strategies for identifying student needs/expectations that provide insight into techniques/strategies that foster motivation.
  • Optimizing Teaching for Diverse Learners
    This workshop focuses on assessing instructor teaching and student learning styles and optimizing teaching to enhance the learning of all students.  Participants will explore Gardner's multiple intelligences, Kolb's learning cycle, learning channel preferences, and teaching goals.  Practical tips will be offered for aligning teaching styles with students' learning styles. 
    • Learning Outcomes:
      Participants will assess their own teaching/learning style and reflect on how these impact their teaching, learn specific strategies (using a variety of models/frameworks) for assessing student learning styles, and discuss ways to structure lessons to match their instructional strategies with students' diverse learning styles to favorably impact learning.
  • Problem-Based Learning
    This workshop will focus on using problem-based learning approaches such as case studies, role plays, games, and simulations to help optimize student engagement and learning.  The workshop will include resources for ready-made problem-based learning strategies, practice using problem-based strategies (with an emphasis on case studies), ways to structure courses to incorporate problem-based approaches, opportunities to share ideas and discuss best practices with colleagues.
    • Learning Outcomes:
      Participants will engage in and analyze problem-based learning activities for their effectiveness in optimizing student engagement and learning.  Participants will be able to design problem-based tools, lessons, and activities to incorporate in their own courses.
  • Promoting Academic Honesty
    Wouldn't it be nice if none of your students were engaged in academic dishonesty?  Yes, it would, but don't count on not needing specific tools to address this issue in your teaching toolbox!  In this workshop, you'll explore tactics and strategies for proactively promoting academic honesty as well as reducing (if not eliminating) cheating in your classroom should it occur (during tests, on out-of-class assignments including papers, and/or in any other form).
    • Learning Outcomes:
      Participants will walk away with strategies and tactics to implement  in their courses  1) to promote academic honesty, 2) reduce dishonesty, and 3) to respond effectively to cheating if it should occur.
  • Strategies for Teaching Large Classes
    The likelihood of teaching large classes continues to increase as a result of budget constraints.  This workshop explores the challenges that instructors face when class size increases.  How do your responsibilities change?  How do student responsibilities change?  How specifically do classroom management issues change?   How do you structure the class to provide opportunities for learner-centered activities and assessment?   What modifications do you make in your syllabus to address the challenges of teaching large classes?   Strategies for addressing these challenges/opportunities will be explored and experienced.
    • Learning Outcomes:
      Participants will explore and experience instructional strategies for addressing the learning challenges/opportunities in large teaching venues and walk away with at least three specific strategies to incorporate into their teaching.
  • The Taming of the View: Preventing Death by Powerpoint
    The technology tool that is most used in college classrooms today is PowerPoint.  Some researchers lament that students are experiencing "death by PowerPoint."   This workshop is intended to explore the benefits and the pitfalls of the use of this tool.  Examples will be provided to demonstrate effective and less effective use.   
    • Learning Outcomes:
      Participants will be able to identify effective strategies for using PowerPoint as well as recognize ineffective uses.  Participants will identify and explore salient characteristics of effective presentations.
  • Using Rubrics to Assess Student Performance
    What are rubrics and why are they so useful in assessing student performance particularly on subjective assignments such as essays, term papers, reports, presentations, projects, etc.?  The purpose of this workshop is to communicate the benefits of using rubrics, to explore different formats for rubrics, and to engage in the process of creating a rubric.  You will also be introduced to websites that provide templates and a time-saving process for helping you to create rubrics as well as thousands of examples of rubrics used in diverse disciplines. 
    • Learning Outcomes:
      Participants will be able to articulate what a rubric is,  the elements that comprise one, and the benefits of using rubrics.  Each participant will also be able to create a rubric.
  • Who's In Charge?  Challenges and Strategies in Classroom Management
    Classroom management presents a host of challenges.  Instructors have faced some of them for decades.  Others are relatively new (such as ubiquitous technology brought into class by students).   No prescriptive solutions exist because how each instructor meets the challenges is dependent on beliefs about students and the perception of one's  instructional role.  Explore diverse options and strategies for addressing these challenges.  Also, learn what students prefer that instructors do when facing classroom management challenges.
    • Learning Outcomes:
      Clarify what classroom management entails.  Identify your most problematic classroom management challenges and explore strategies for addressing them.  Reflect on your teaching philosophy and how it impacts your instructional decisions for managing such challenges as student technology use in class, cheating, arriving late/leaving early, and other classroom management issues.
  • Other Offerings:
    • Cooperative Learning: Making Small Group Learning Work
    • Documenting Teaching Effectiveness: Creating a Teaching Portfolio
    • Introduction to Online Teaching
    • Podcasting in Instruction
    • Program Level Assessment
    • Social Networking as a Teaching Tool
    • Technology in Education: Emerging Tools and Practices
    • Using iTunes and Arizona Youtube for Instruction