Course and Curriculum Design
The following workshops can be combined with others from the Teaching or Evaluation of Teaching sections to create a full-day experience or a multi-part series that meets your needs.
High structure course design
High structure courses are those wherein students are actively engaged in the learning process via pre-class content acquisition and assessment, in-class active learning and problem solving, and after-class review. Accumulating evidence shows that high structure courses improve student learning, reduce or close achievement gaps, and increase students’ feelings of belongingness. In this workshop, participants will be exposed to the benefits of high structure course design, see examples of high structure courses in action, and begin to develop ideas for how to add high structure components to their own courses. This workshop can be delivered as a single session, expanded to a full-day session, or split up as a four-part series: 1) introduction to high structure course design, 2) pre-class, 3) in-class, and 4) after-class components. See a condensed, didactic version of an introduction to high structure course design workshop by Justin below.
Backward design and learning objectives
Backward design is a way of thinking for course and curriculum development wherein instructors first decide on the learning objectives that students should be able to accomplish, second on the assessments that will measure students’ progress towards achieving the learning objectives, and third on what learning activities (i.e. what happens in class) will help facilitate the first and second steps.
An effective and thorough syllabus is a document that features not only a list of topics to be covered but course learning goals, a summary of course activities, a clear grading policy, and course policies including communication, classroom etiquette, and student support. A template will be provided that covers these features and many more.
Evidence-Based Teaching Strategies
The following workshops can be combined with others from the Course Design or Evaluation of Teaching sections to create a full-day experience or a multi-part series that meets your needs.
The evidence is overwhelming that active learning yields improved student outcomes. This workshop will give participants first-hand experience in trying out different active learning techniques including think-pair-share, an introduction to personal response systems, and group quizzes, and will provide resources for using them and assessing them effectively in the classroom.
Personal response systems
The use of personal response systems is a fantastic way to get students engaged in class and to measure student learning in real time. This workshop will demonstrate effective and novel methods of using personal response systems moving beyond the typical multiple choice question format. Issues with technology requirements, grading, and management will also be discussed.
Creating effective assessments
Alignment is the key word to consider when designing effective assessments, whether they are pre-class quizzes, in-class exams, or after-class homework or projects. In this workshop, participants will learn how to design a myriad of assessments by aligning their course learning objectives with the goals of each assessment so as to more effective measure student learning and progress through a course.
Case studies are fantastic ways to get students actively engaged in the learning process via the power of narrative and stories. In this workshop, participants will explore the elements of effective case studies, see examples from existing case studies, and learn how to design their own case studies for their courses. Advice will be given from the perspective of a case study author, user, and reviewer.
Time management and student communication
Effective time management is key when you have several classes and hundreds of students at a time. Tips for managing time and student communications will be shared including designing specific course policies, using specific software, and setting clear boundaries.
Developing effective student study skills
Students may need help transitioning from high school to college and developing effective study skills so as to be able to succeed in their college courses. This workshop will give practical tips and strategies to help students develop study skills including metacognition, retrieval practice, spacing, and self-regulated learning.
Creating a welcoming and supportive classroom environment
Having a positive classroom environment where students feel respected and welcome not only helps everyone feel more at ease but it makes learning a more enjoyable process. In this workshop, participants will learn effective strategies for creating a positive classroom environment including the importance of using names, how to handle difficult discussions or questions, and how to form functional student groups.
Using ChatGPT for inspiration and creativity
We need to think of ChatGPT as a tool to promote creativity and productivity for students and faculty alike. In this workshop, concrete examples of using ChatGPT to write assessment questions of all types, create practice study guides for students, and to get help with lesson development.
Evaluation of Teaching
The following workshops can be combined with others from the Course Design or Teaching sections to create a full-day experience or a multi-part series that meets your needs.
Collecting and addressing student feedback
End of course evaluations are too late to collect student feedback as the course is now over and you can’t make any changes to benefit these students. In this workshop, participants will learn how to collect student feedback during the semester, how to analyze it, and how to report back to your class on how you are addressing the feedback.
Evaluation of effective teaching
Teaching can be evaluated by multiple stakeholders (by students, by other faculty or administrators, and by the instructor themselves) and at several time points (prior to the start of a course, during a course, and at the end of the course). Participants will explore how to use potentially new types of methods (e.g. mid-course surveys, peer observations, self-reflections) to add more nuance and rigor to the teaching evaluation process.
Discipline-Based Education Research (DBER)
The following three workshops can be combined to create a full-day experience or a three-part series.
How to get started with DBER
Many faculty want to rigorously assess a novel classroom intervention or study student attitudes to a course module but do not have the training in education to do so. In this workshop participants will learn the basics of designing an educational research study including question and study design, measurement considerations, instrument choice, human subjects protocols, and how to find collaborators.
Designing quantitative and qualitative DBER studies
This workshop explores detailed considerations of what is needed when designing a DBER study from both the quantitative and qualitative sides. Topics discussed include study population size and reproducibility, quantitative data analysis, statistics, and software choices, and qualitative data analysis, surveys, and interviews.
Publishing DBER manuscripts
Publishing an educational research manuscript intended for a DBER audience has similarities and differences to publishing manuscripts in other fields. This workshop will highlight the unique requirements for publishing DBER manuscripts, identify journals for where to publish DBER work, and will offer advice for success from an author and editor points of view.
Future Faculty training
The following five workshops can be combined to create a full-day experience or a five-part series.
Teaching while you are in graduate school or in a postdoc
It could be a rocky and difficult road if you are a graduate student or postdoc and interested in teaching while you are employed to primary be doing research. However, there are methods based on effective communication and clear expectations that can help smooth this path and make it a success.
Searching for a teaching-focused faculty position
As only one-third or less of higher education faculty positions are now full time and tenure-track, it may be warranted to consider the alternative, fruitful, and rewarding teaching-focused faculty career path. In this workshop, graduate students and postdocs will be prompted to explore their career interests in teaching, exposed to details about teaching-focused faculty careers and the differences to tenure-track careers, and given resources to help find the perfect teaching-focused faculty position.
Applying for teaching-focused faculty positions
Applying for a faculty position can be a time-intensive and arduous experience, but strategies can be implemented to make the process more efficient and successful. In this workshop, participants will be guided through the application process and materials including the cover letter, teaching statement, research statement, diversity statement, and references.
What to expect in your faculty interview
So you have secured a faculty interview – congratulations! Now time to prepare. In this workshop, participants will be guided through the stages of a typical faculty interview including the phone/zoom interview and the on-site interview. Advice will be given from the perspective of an interviewee and an interviewer.
Nailing the teaching demo in your faculty interview
When you have an interview for a faculty position, you will most likely need to give a teaching demonstration of some kind. This workshop will provide tips and advice for succeeding in this component of the faculty interview from the perspective of an interviewee and an interviewer.