University of Minnesota
Office of Human Resources

August 2014 Teaching Enrichment Series

The 2014 August Teaching Enrichment Series (ATES) was held on Wednesday, August 27, and Thursday, August 28. Concurrent workshops were held each day from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
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2014 August Teaching Enrichment Series schedule (pdf)

Wednesday, August 27

9 AM

An Introduction to Course Design

Presenter: Paul Ching
STSS Room 131A

Designing a course often seems like a fairly straightforward process: pick the books, plan the lectures/ discussions and write the questions for the exams/paper assignments. There is, however, another approach to designing courses—one that can make it easier for you to focus on goals that matter, create assignments that motivate students, and design lesson plans that help students successfully complete their assignments. This workshop will introduce you to the “aligned” or “integrated” course design approach, popularized by John Biggs, Catherine Tang and Dee Fink, among others. This workshop will also give you the chance to see and experience the difference between an “unaligned” and “aligned” course.


Creating Syllabi that Motivate Your Students

Presenter: Christina Petersen
STSS Room 114

Is your syllabus like an appliance manual? (Students expect one, but only read it when there's a problem). In this session we will present ideas to transform your syllabus into an attractive document that motivates students, yet still provides essential information they will need to do well in your course. We also present strategies to get your students to actually read your syllabus before there is a problem.


Active Learning 101: An Introductory Whirlwind Tour

Presenter: Barbara Beers
STSS Room 131B

This workshop is for those who are new to teaching, new to teaching in the US, or who are new to using active learning strategies. The participants will experience some basic active learning techniques, from the basic Think/Pair/Share to the Jigsaw Teamwork reading technique.


Student Mental Health: The Role of Faculty and Staff

Presenters: Provost Committee on Student Mental Health
STSS Room 220
Note: this workshop is two 45 minute sessions - 9 to 9:45 and 10 to 10:45 am

This 90-minute interactive session will highlight the state of mental health issues on campus, and provide practical language and concrete steps that faculty and staff members can utilize to assist students experiencing mental health-related issues. Presenters will also identify existing campus resources that support faculty and staff in responding to students. 


10 AM

Making Things Easier: Organize and Manage Your Site in Moodle

Presenters: Lauren Marsh, Kim Wilcox
STSS Room 131A

Moodle is a powerful tool that can quickly become unwieldy, for faculty and for your students. Explore student-oriented site design and organizational strategies that will enrich your Moodle course. Learn techniques for establishing instructor presence and communicating expectations that will improve the experience for both you and your students.  


Active Learning Classrooms: Environments for Deepening Student Engagement

Presenters: David Langley, Sue Wick
STSS Room 114

This session highlights a successful approach for instructors who are assigned to teach in one of the university’s Active Learning Classrooms. Four levers are emphasized in this approach: a) creating an environment that is problem-centered, b) designing authentic tasks and assignments that tap the collective knowledge of peers, c) encouraging visible displays of student thinking via white boards and monitors, and d) building alliances that demonstrate concern and support for student performance.


Art of Hosting in the Classroom: Getting Students Involved

Presenter: Pam Enz
STSS Room 131B

How can you integrate Art of Hosting methodologies into your classroom to enhance student involvement and critical thinking? Learn how one instructor has been doing this and getting great results. When students ask “why can’t all college classes be like this?” and learning objectives are being met, something positive is going on. Get tips and more in this workshop!



Take Your Course from Ready to Remarkable with Universal Design Principles

Presenters: Ilene Alexander, Tim Kamenar
STSS Room 131A

Designing courses to support the educational development of diverse learners enhances both learning and teaching. Drawing on principles of Universal Design for learning, this session focuses on three areas of course design and delivery: framing the syllabus as a learning document, making accessible presentations, and developing discussion activities for deep and broad engagement. To illustrate effective practices in classrooms across the curriculum, the presenters will share cases, resources and tools developed from actual classroom experiences.


The Flipped Classroom

Presenter: Bill Rozaitis, Michelle Driessen
STSS Room 114

Have you heard the term “flipped classroom” and wondered what this practice is and how it might relate to your own teaching? This workshop explores the concept of the flipped classroom and considers the promises and challenges posed by the practice. Participants will be introduced to examples of flipped courses, will consider how (and whether) the flipped classroom approach will work in their own teaching context, and will receive information to help them begin planning for “the flip.”


eLearning Support Showcase

Presenters: Service Representatives
STSS Room 131B

Learn about the wide variety of support options available to faculty interested in exploring academic technology. Hear a series of rapid presentations with usable tips and takeaways. Meet academic technologists, librarians, consultants, trainers, and support professionals, the people who can help you effectively integrate academic technologies into your courses.


Engaging Quiet Students

Presenters: Caroline Toscano, Colleen Meyers
STSS Room 220

Do you wish the quiet students in your class would express their ideas more? This workshop will explore different reasons students do not participate in classroom discussions, and what instructors can do in terms of structuring the classroom climate to engage them more. Learn what to do and what not to do when working with reserved students through a combination of case studies, brainstorming, and research on best practices.  



Ideas from Neuroscience to Enrich Your Teaching

Presenter: Janet M. Dubinsky, Ph.D.
STSS Room 114

As the field of Neuroscience has uncovered and is exploring the cellular and circuit basis for learning and memory, ideas spill over into the practical realm of teaching. In this workshop, for faculty and instructional staff, we will review the big ideas from the neurobiology of learning and discuss how these might influence pedagogical strategies you could use in your teaching. Lunch provided.

Registration is closed for this course


Thursday, August 28

9 AM

Using Clickers in the Classroom

Presenters: Bill Rozaitis, Paul Baepler
Coffman Memorial Union 324

This workshop is for instructors new to student response systems (or “clickers”) who would like an introduction to what they are and how they might be used. We will discuss the pedagogy of clicker use: the concept of active lecturing, strategies for using clickers to encourage student learning, and the range of questions that one might use with clickers. NOTE that this session is not “hands-on” technology training and will not focus on the practicalities of using any particular clicker system.


Game On: Applying the Principles of Gamification

Presenter: Mary Jetter
Coffman Memorial Union 325

Pedagogical gamification is more than using game mechanics to make your class more entertaining. In this workshop, you’ll learn about the principles of pedagogical gamification and how they can be applied to your course. Specifically, you’ll learn gamification methods and techniques and participate in an activity to experience the motivational hook of gamification.


Sparking Effective Peer-to-Peer Feedback

Presenter: Ilene Alexander
Coffman Memorial Union 326

To engage our students in providing astute, insightful feedback to peers’ work, we teachers need to develop feedback processes that (1) invite questions from those who create the work, and (2) integrate feedback practices that call students to “Read and Respond like Real Readers,” whether they are reading images, words, performances or screencasts. The 4R framework will underscore discussion of ways to develop peer-response protocols as part of a “feed forward” learning strategy.


Preventing/Addressing Academic Dishonesty

Presenters: Sharon Dzik and Jessica Kuecker Grotjohn
Office for Student Conduct and Academic Integrity
Coffman Memorial Union 319

Occasionally, as a paper or test is being graded, something may appear odd or suspicious or in some other way cause you to wonder if the student is cheating or plagiarizing. This can feel demoralizing, especially for someone whose life work is in the pursuit of academic excellence. In this workshop, Sharon Dzik and Jessica Kuecker Grotjohn from the Office of Student Conduct and Academic Integrity will discuss strategies and resources to assist you in these matters so they can be addressed with minimal difficulty and allow you to stay focused on your teaching and research.


10 AM

How to "Kill" It: Designing and Performing Your Way to Better Presentations

Presenter: Paul Ching
Coffman Memorial Union 324
Note: this workshop is two hours - 10 to noon

Good presentations can inspire, while bad presentations can also inspire…dread, boredom and, occasionally, pity. This workshop will provide strategies to create and give presentations that are memorable, attractive and engaging. You will learn how aspects of story-telling, graphic design and theatre can help you “kill” your next presentation. If the very thought of performing gives you anxiety, don’t worry--we will also address managing performance anxiety.


Keep Your Student Teams on Track

Presenter: Christina Petersen
Coffman Memorial Union 325
Note: this workshop is one hour and 45 minutes - 10 to 11:45 am

Teamwork projects are a great way for your students to tackle a complex assignment, learn from each other, and practice valuable interpersonal skills. The downside is that students often complain about working in teams. In this workshop we will provide you with simple, evidence-based guidelines for designing an effective teamwork project that sets up your students for success. We also will introduce tools and resources to ensure your students stay on track all semester long.


Classroom Assessment Techniques: But Wait There's More!

Presenters: Anita Gonzalez, Barbara Beers
Coffman Memorial Union 326

Classroom Assessment Techniques (CATs) are quick, informal methods of getting feedback on student learning. But wait, there's more! CATs may also be used to assess teaching, structure interactive lectures, and promote peer learning. In this workshop learn about the many types and uses of CATs. We will also consider how to align CATs with your teaching goals.


Item Analysis: Data for Efficient & Effective Test Writing

Presenter: Lynn Sax
Coffman Memorial Union 319

You spend considerable time identifying course objectives and writing questions to assess learning. Don’t stop now! Consider using item analysis to identify patterns of student misunderstanding of content as well as to point to possible problems in question construction. Armed with this data (and if you’d like, a consultation with OMS and/or CTL staff) you can target areas for more instruction, identify effective questions, and discover which questions and distractors can be strengthened.

This interactive session will include sample reports from the Office of Measurement Services as well as practical strategies on how to use this information. 


11 AM


Multiple Choice Exams: Select All that Apply

Presenter: Jane O'Brien
Coffman Memorial Union 319

Multiple choice exams:
a. often test primarily factual recall and lower order thinking
b. can provide a more valid measure of learning than open ended questions
c. are tricky to write and prone to student guessing
d. all of the above

If you chose ANY of the above, this workshop is for you. Join colleagues for an interactive session on practical and creative ways to write questions that engage students in deep learning. 


Online Security

Presenter: Mark McKay
Coffman Memorial Union 326

Testing protocols and proctoring arrangements for hybrid and online courses can be complicated. In this workshop, we'll discuss U policy in this area and present options that various departments use. We'll also demonstrate Proctor ā€‹Uā€‹, an online exam security system.


12 noon

Discussions that Engage All Students

Presenters: Colleen Meyers, Deb Wingert
Coffman Memorial Union 324

Are you concerned about discussions that get out of control? Students that talk too much or too little? Discussions that take too much of your class time? Join us for this highly interactive session to expand your repertoire of basic discussion tips, strategies, and tools guaranteed to actively engage students representing diverse background and knowledge levels in your class. This workshop is designed for faculty, staff, and TAs who instruct undergraduate and graduate students from any discipline in any instructional setting (lab, recitation, clinic, seminar, large class, or small class).


Teaching Critical Thinking

Presenter: Anita Gonzalez
Coffman Memorial Union 325

Students from all disciplines are asked to “think critically” about their subjects, but do they know what instructors are seeking? Although critical thinking is highly regarded in academia and the work place, how do instructors design learning activities and assess this elusive goal? In this workshop, participants will define critical thinking within the context of their respective disciplines, map learning activities that cultivate critical thinking, and consider methods to assess critical thinking.


Grading Rubrics: Efficient and Effective Tools for Measuring Student Learning

Presenter: Jeff Lindgren
Coffman Memorial Union 326

In this workshop, participants will consider how, when, and why rubrics may be useful tools in assessing learning outcomes. The characteristics and construction of rubrics will also be discussed. In addition, participants will have the opportunity to construct their own rubric based on effective design principles.


Making the Grade(s)

Presenter: Jane O'Brien
Coffman Memorial Union 319

For many instructors, grading is the their least favorite part of teaching. Philosophical issues (curving? inflation?); logistic challenges (partial credit? late work penalty?) and the sheer volume of work to grade can make it easy to lose sight of the connection between grading and learning. Join us for an interactive, systematic look at how to make grading work better for you and for your students


Related Events

New TA Orientation

The Center for Teaching and Learning, in conjunction with Academic Technology Support Services, is hosting an orientation for new teaching assistants. You'll learn some teaching strategies you can use right way, learn more about Moodle, and get some tips for having a great first day and first week. The orientation will be held on August 26th from 1:30-4:30 pm in Mayo Auditorium.

New P&A Instructor Orientation

The Center for Teaching and Learning, in conjunction with Academic Technology Support Services, is hosting an orientation for new P&A instructors, including adjunct faculty. Join us to learn more about the campus resources available to you as well as collect tips on course design. The orientation will be held on August 26th from 1:00-4:00 pm in STSS 131B.