Each semester, we host two types of events: workshops in the CAT for faculty across disciplines, and custom workshops and seminars requested by departments, programs, or groups.
Burnout: Teaching, Emotional Labor, and Exhaustion
Wednesday, October 6 | 4:00–5:00 p.m. on Zoom | Sign up to attend
Burnout has been rampant in academia during the pandemic. During this session, which will be part expert panel, part conversation and Q&A, we will discuss the chronic exhaustion and overwhelm many of us have reported experiencing while teaching during the last few semesters. Participants will have an opportunity to learn more about burnout, to share their experiences, and to ask questions of our panelists:
- Melissa Bolen, Clinical Coordinator of FSU’s Employee Assistance Program
- Robert Eklund, Associate Dean for Faculty Development and Advancement, College of Education
- Karen Oehme, Director of FSU’s Institute for Family Violence Studies and Research Associate in the College of Social Work
- Jeannine Turner, Associate Professor in the Department of Educational Psychology and Learning Systems
Navigating Hot Moments in the Classroom
Wednesday, Nov. 10th | 12:00–1:30 p.m. on Zoom | Sign Up to Attend
Lee Warren describes hot moments in the classroom as those times “when people’s feelings—often conflictual—rise to a point that threatens teaching and learning. They can occur during the discussion of issues people feel deeply about, or as a result of classroom dynamics in any field.” Though some of us feel confident navigating classroom conversations that can get heated, others may dread these moments, fear saying the wrong thing, freeze up, or even change what they teach in an effort to avoid them. Since hot moments can happen in any class, it helps to be prepared. That way, you already have a plan in mind when emotions rise and it’s harder to think clearly. In this workshop, participants will discuss navigating hot moments and share strategies for maintaining a good classroom climate despite moments of conflict, including by turning hot moments into learning opportunities.
Custom Workshops and Seminars
Departments, programs, or groups can request that we design and facilitate workshops, seminars, or series of events on a wide range of topics related to teaching at FSU. After you make a request, we will reach out to discuss the needs of the group and what kind of programming would work best in the context. We find that this type of discipline-specific work is particularly fruitful, and we look forward to working with you and your colleagues.
You can email us to make a request. The following are some examples of topics you can select, or you are always welcome to request something different:
We can guide groups of faculty through the process of designing a course, from setting goals for student learning to creating all of the other aspects of the course (exams, assignments, activities, and so on) that help students to achieve those goals. Course design is a multi-day process, so we meet for several days in a row, once a week for several weeks, or another configuration that works for everyone’s schedule. Groups often work together to redesign courses with multiple sections that they all teach. Each fall, we host a course design seminar for new faculty across disciplines at FSU.
Curriculum Design or Refinement
We can guide groups of faculty through the process of designing or revising curricula. This process begins with drafting goals for the whole curriculum (e.g., program goals) and working backward to review and improve the processes (e.g., sequences of courses) through which students achieve those goals. It also involves reviewing and improving assessment strategies, which provide information to both faculty and students about students’ progress toward the goals as they move through the curriculum.
Although the process of curricular design (or refinement) is complex and requires time and support, it can result in better alignment of course and program goals, enhanced coherence within the curriculum, a more logical and transparent rationale behind course sequencing, and improved learning outcomes. In other words, it can clarify the relationship between our stated goals for students and what they actually spend time doing in our courses. Through improved assessments, faculty are better able to identify strengths and gaps in the curriculum, build on the strengths, and address the gaps to improve student learning and success. Finally, engaging in the process provides faculty with opportunities to discuss their pedagogical values and reflect on their teaching practices.
We can discuss the research on learning and what it means for our teaching, including how to create learning-centered syllabi, how to use class time effectively, and other related topics.
Teaching with Writing
We can design and facilitate a wide range of workshops, seminars, and other programming on teaching with writing, from how to use brief in-class writing activities in courses in any discipline, to supporting faculty who use writing as the main mode of teaching and learning in a course. We can help you to design, sequence, and scaffold writing projects; respond effectively to student writing; and evaluate and grade students’ work. We can also facilitate grade-norming sessions for faculty who teach the same writing projects across multiple sections.
Active Learning in Large Classes
We can share examples and resources for facilitating active learning in large courses, and help faculty to identify or design and facilitate activities in a class of any size or modality.
We can share exam design resources (e.g., guides to writing good questions) and guide faculty through a process of designing exams that more accurately measure student learning. We can also introduce a variety of approaches to using exams as learning opportunities, including by creating two-stage exams, assigning exam wrappers, and teaching students to improve their metacognitive strategies.
We can facilitate workshops in which we guide faculty through a process of developing assignments that advance students’ learning and scaffolding those assignments so that students can produce better work. We can also help faculty to write or revise assignment descriptions that more clearly define the purpose, task, and criteria for success.
What is the difference between simply assigning a project, and effectively using a project as a mode of teaching and learning in a course? We can facilitate workshops that answer that question and provide resources for teaching through projects in any discipline.
Designing & Facilitating In-class Activities
As Terry Doyle says in Learner Centered Teaching, “the one who does the work does the learning.” We can guide faculty through a process of ensuring that students are doing work that will help them do the learning that you want them to do during class time. We can provide examples and resources to help faculty select or design activities, and we can share tools and best practices for facilitating those activities in courses of any size or modality.
Providing Feedback on Student Work
We can design and facilitate workshops in which faculty discuss recent research on the role of instructor feedback in student learning, and develop strategies for providing targeted, timely feedback on student work. We can customize these workshops in a variety of ways, including by inviting your group to bring examples of your students’ work for discussion.
Monitoring Students’ Progress
How do we know whether students are learning what we intend for them to learn in our courses? We can facilitate workshops that will help faculty to answer that question, and provide a variety of strategies and resources for monitoring student progress—and helping them to monitor their own progress—in any course.
We can discuss the various aspects of classroom climate, help faculty gather information about the climate in their classrooms, and share practical strategies for creating the kind of climate most conducive to learning.
We can discuss research on student motivation and learning, what it means for our teaching, and help faculty make concrete changes to their courses that will improve student motivation and persistence.
Interpreting and Responding to Student Evaluations
We can share strategies for analyzing and interpreting the data collected at the end of each semester, and help faculty to make the best use of the feedback students provide in their comments. We can also discuss a variety of effective ways to collect feedback from students throughout the semester, so faculty don’t have to wait until a course is over to adjust it for better results.
Collecting Evidence of Effective Teaching
We can help faculty plan how best to collect and present evidence of their teaching effectiveness in preparation for department evaluations, building tenure and promotion files, and other purposes. We can also facilitate workshops for faculty on developing teaching philosophies and writing teaching statements.
Evaluating Teaching in a Department or Program
We can meet with faculty and administrators to discuss their existing system for evaluating teaching, including which aspects are and are not currently working, and share a variety of approaches that could be explored and potentially implemented in the department or program. If faculty do decide to revise the way teaching is evaluated, we can create programming and provide resources to help with the transition to a new system.