Faculty Development Workshops

Teaching logo with firework background image

Faculty Development offers workshops throughout the calendar year. An up-to-date schedule is available via the LAI Events calendar.

Registration is requested for all workshops; please use this form to register.  

Topics we focus on include:

  • Course design: the welcoming syllabus; assignment and assessment ideas
  • Course delivery: active learning and student engagement techniques for facilitating face-to-face, hybrid, and online courses
  • Facilitating effective discussions
  • Grading: grading models (specifications grading, ungrading, etc.), giving effective feedback
  • Building critical thinking and scholarly reading skills
  • Inclusive teaching and building community 

Fall 2021 Workshops

Facilitating Discussions: Strategies for Synchronous and Asynchronous Conversations

Tuesday September 14, 3-4p, online in Zoom (register)

Are you and your students getting tired of message boards where they post a response and reply to two peers? Are you struggling with participation in face-to-face discussions? Join us for a look at different tools and methods for facilitating discussions in both face-to-face and online settings. We will share strategies for both synchronous and asynchronous conversations, with a special focus on crafting engaging questions and assessing participation. 

Participants will:

  • Discuss synchronous discussion methods for online and face-to-face conversations, such as full-group discussions, small-group work, and collaborative editing 
  • Differentiate asynchronous discussion methods, such as discussion boards, wikis, and blogs
  • Identify ways to design and assess discussions

Rethinking Grading: Methods and Models to Help Students Succeed

Wednesday September 15, 2-3:30p; face-to-face in Gelman 219 (register)

Logo for Rethinking Grading: Methods & Models

This workshop explores grading and assessment design on both the assignment and course levels. Participants will look at small but significant ideas for how to make grading more equitable and less burdensome for both students and instructors. Then, they will explore how alternative assignments such as open-ended or flipped exam prompts, simulations, research-based creative projects, and multimedia artifacts can promote active learning and critical thinking. Finally, they will explore grading models that can change the practices and anxiety around grading to make it more participatory, reflective, and conducive to student growth and development.

Participants will:

  • Describe grading strategies designed to foster growth and equity
  • Discuss alternatives to exams and research papers that promote student engagement, active learning, and efficient and effective assessment
  • Evaluate alternative grading models such as ungrading, standards-based grading, and the unessay.

Inclusive Teaching: Strategies for Engaging All Students

Tuesday September 21, 12-1p, online in Zoom (register)

Tuesday December 14, 3-4p, online in Zoom (register)

Logo: Teaching: Inclusive Strategies for Engaging All Students

Students are more likely to succeed when they feel valued and supported and when their instructors are aware of and attempt to counter systemic inequalities that affect their and their peers’ performance. In this workshop, we will review several strategies that create a more inclusive learning environment. We will strategize about implementing these techniques, addressing potential barriers and adjusting for specific course contexts. We will also reflect on moving from strategies to broader frameworks for thinking about inclusive and anti-racist pedagogies.

Participants will:

  • Explore different definitions of inclusivity
  • Identify low-barrier-to-entry techniques to create a more inclusive environment
  • Strategize about how to implement inclusive teaching techniques in different course contexts

Teaching Sensitive Topics in Challenging Times

Wednesday September 29,  10-11a, online in Zoom (register)

Logo: Teaching: Sensitive Topics in Challenging Times

Though worthwhile, it can be challenging to teach topics that involve arouse an emotional reaction, or invite strong political disagreements. Amidst a global pandemic, the racial justice movement, political transition, and environmental threats, even courses that don’t intend to discuss charged topics may find themselves doing so. This workshop will discuss best practices for handling these difficult conversations, whether spontaneous or planned. You will review several concrete strategies, talk through some case studies, and reflect on which may work best for you. 

Participants will:

  • Explore how to build a welcoming classroom climate that serves as a “brave space” for exploration and discussion 
  • Discuss how to frame and manage conversations around controversial topics you’ve chosen to discuss in class
  • Examine strategies for responding to controversial, contentious, or offensive comments that arise unexpectedly

Embedding Peer-to-Peer Teaching in Your Class

Wednesday October 6, 10-11a, online in Zoom (register)

Have you ever given a set of group work instructions only to experience silence and blank stares? Embedding the principles of peer education in classroom instruction can help students make the most of discussion, participation, and group and team work. Drawing on the resources and experiences of GW’s Peer Educator programs, this workshop will highlight this innovative practice and demonstrate how to use effective, research-backed peer education practices to enhance peer review and collaborative work in any course context.

Participants will:

  • Practice question, review, and critique strategies from the perspective of a peer educator.
  • Review best practices for peer education in post-secondary classrooms
  • Describe the differences between group and team work and explore best practices for each
  • Discuss the benefits of peer review and methods for incorporating it in different classroom contexts
  • Explore how peer education can not only support students in the class but those in the peer educator role

Designing Assignments to Promote Academic Integrity

Thursday October 7, 1-2:30p, online in Zoom (register)

How can you create assignments that decrease students’ motivation to procrastinate or cheat? This session will outline three research-based levels of design action to enhance academic integrity. Then, we will workshop your own assignments to enhance academic integrity. Please come with an assignment description that is formatted for a syllabus as well as a rubric, if one is available. If you do not have an assignment handy, you can work with a sample we provide.

Participants will:

  • Identify the origins of academic integrity violations and best ways to respond to them
  • Apply assignment interventions to improve academic integrity and engage students in learning

Worst Syllabus Ever: What to Avoid When Writing a Syllabus

Tuesday December 14, 12-1p, online in Zoom (register)

This workshop uses an example of what not to do to think about how to design syllabi that promote student engagement and incorporate principles of inclusive teaching. We will look at the worst syllabus ever, a course description and set of policies with close to 40 examples of language and practices that alienate students and fail to promote effective learning. After annotating the syllabus, we will discuss which elements are most urgently in need of revising and how to adjust them to promote student learning.

Participants will:

  • Identify syllabus language that does not create an inclusive classroom environment or promote student learning
  • Develop welcoming course policies and syllabus language 

Additional Standing Workshops

These workshops are offered on a rotating basis and can also be delivered to your program or department by invitation.

Building Community in Online Courses

How do you create a strong and committed community of learners when you are teaching fully online? This workshop highlights several synchronous and asynchronous strategies for fostering productive and collegial student-instructor and student-student connections in the emergency remote learning environment. 

Participants will:

  • Compare and contrast facets of community-building, such as strong introductions, low-stakes practice, and student and faculty presence
  • Apply principles of community-building to their course environments

Alternative Assessments: Moving Beyond Research Papers and High-Stakes Exams

This workshop explores how alternative assignments such as open-ended or flipped exam prompts, simulations, research-based creative projects, and multimedia artifacts can promote active learning, help students demonstrate what they’ve learned, and enable students to effectively find, evaluate, and present information. We’ll practice designing alternative assignments and discuss how to assess these projects. This workshop focuses on rethinking individual assessments; our Rethinking Grading workshop focuses on course-level grading schemes.

Participants will:

  • Explore the benefits of research paper alternatives for student engagement, active learning, efficient and effective assessment, and suitability for the emergency remote learning environment
  • Apply principles of inclusive teaching to and academic integrity exam and project development and deployment 
  • Develop approaches to assessing exam and research paper alternatives

Invited Workshops

Interested in a topic that's not listed here? Let us know! We can often collaborate with you to develop a workshop or facilitate an informal Teaching Cafe. Please contact us at datias@gwu.edu or pdinneen@gwu.edu to discuss.