Justin’s book on high structure course design coming in late 2024 or early 2025 in the Macmillan Scientific Teaching series! Click here to be notified when it is available!

Justin gives engaging and interactive workshops, keynotes, plenary talks, seminars, and panel discussions to faculty, staff, administrators, and students on the broad topics of course and curriculum designevidence-based teaching practicesSoTL and DBER, and evaluation of teaching practices.

Below are some the most popular topics within these spaces but please contact Justin for workshops or talks on other topics related to higher education teaching and learning.


Specific to your situation

All workshops and talks include pre-workshop Zoom meetings and surveys with relevant stakeholders in order to make the workshops or talks as specific as possible to your university and situation. 


Customizable to your needs

  • Length (60 minutes to several hours)
  • Audience (all faculty, early career faculty, future faculty (graduate students and postdocs), staff, or administrators)
  • Frequency (one-time or multi-session)
  • Format (in-person, Zoom, or hybrid)


“After attending three of his workshops, it is my belief that Dr. Justin Shaffer is a rising star in pedagogy, one of the new generation to come after foundational folks like Drs. Felder & Brent, Wankat, and Stice. Only one unique attribute is his expertise in both chemical engineering and quantitative biology. Justin is revitalizing pedagogical methods with great intellect, energy, and more diversity experience than most others in the field. It has been a pleasure to learn from him.”

E. Dendy Sloan, University Professor Emeritus, Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, Colorado School of Mines

High structure course design

Introduces how scaffolding students through the pre-class, in-class, and after-class learning experience of high structure course design improves student learning, engagement, and course outcomes. Includes hands-on guided development of high structure course materials (including learning objectives, reading guides, in-class active learning exercises, and assessment ideas) so that participants leave with tangible additions to their courses and teaching.




Active learning 101 for STEM courses

Introduces attendees to tried-and-true active learning approaches that can be used in any type of STEM class of any size, from 10 students to 440 students (which Justin has done!). Includes individual and group approaches, analog and tech-dependent ideas, and ways to promote the use of active learning and to overcome potential barriers to faculty and student resistance.



Best practices with classroom response systems

Walks participants how to best make use of all of the “bells and whistles” with modern classroom response system including making good use of different question types (multiple choice, multiple select, numerical, text entry, target) and peer instruction methods to enhance student engagement and learning in STEM courses.





Getting started with SoTL and DBER

Provides an overview of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) and Discipline-Based Education Research (DBER) to help faculty, staff, and students learn the basics of how to scholarly and scientifically assess courses, curriculum, teaching, and student learning and affect.

Evaluation of effective teaching

Highlights the various ways of evaluating teaching and course design and provides suggestions for a more holistic evaluation experience (including student evaluations, self-reflections, and peer observation programs) so as to provide data to formatively improve teaching, course design, and student outcomes.