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.
- 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)
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.
- 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)
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.
- 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)
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com to discuss.