Educational Workshops

Designing Courses for Significant Learning

Quality course design is critical for retaining students. This workshop provides design styles for clear navigation and the alignment of course learning outcomes, activities and assessment. As evaluators for Quality Matters and our work with Dee Fink with faculty internationally, your faculty and course designers will benefit from our experience. Participants have appreciated the coaching they have received in redesigning their courses. This is a workshop that is excellent for administrators who need to evaluate the quality of courses as a part of faculty evaluation. In addition, the design for technology integration, accessibility for learners and assessing course quality are discussed.

Aligning Learning Outcomes, Activities and Assessments

This workshop is a shorter version of the Course Design for Significant Learning workshop. Participants will examine this alignment to be sure that students are being prepared to succeed and performing to the high standard in meeting course outcomes. They will also gain experience in writing measurable outcomes that are course-level appropriate. As course designers, faculty often create learning activities and assessments that don’t adequately measure the outcomes. This workshop will discuss integrated course design best practices and Dee Fink’s Taxonomy of Significant Learning.

Classroom Assessment Techniques

Engaging students through measuring the effectiveness of the course elements is a way to retain students. Faculty can use a variety of quick and easy strategies to measure student learning. Participants will learn ideas that deliver valuable information to make sure the student learning is on track. This helps to make sure that students are meeting the outcomes on formative and summative assessment. This workshop is a great combination with the Developing Rubrics workshop.

Developing Rubrics

Creating rubrics to assess students provide two positive outcomes. The first is that faculty have a set of established standards by which to use to assess learning activities. The second is that students have a set of established standards by which to succeed in delivering assignments. Every assignment in a course could have a rubric for success. These rubrics are also effective ways to measure projects and performance.

Designing Assessment Pathways for the Institution

Many times, portions are assessments are designed in isolation. Accrediting agencies and students are looking for a clear pathway that shows a planned system for institutional assessment from the unit and course level to the program or department level to the institutional level. This workshop works with the design so that faculty and students are burdened by piling up a greater number of assessments, but to embed the measurement of outcomes into assessments that are already occurring.

Designing Activities for Engaged Student Learning

Learning activities in a course make up the largest proportion of the time in which faculty teach and students learn. The activities are the bridge from outcomes to the assessment of outcomes. They also prepare students for success in the course and after graduation. Activities need to be as engaging as they can, involving active learning. Participants will examine their courses for active versus passive learning as they redesign assignments they recognize as not being as effective as possible. Learning activities are often the way students evaluate a course and measure their progress. Having engaging learning activities motivates a student to want to come to class.

Classroom Learning Presentation

Do you know that there are ways to present a course session so that you can use your time together optimally? Participants will discuss a teaching plan to deliver significant learning in the classroom and online environment. As both a faculty developer and dean, my faculty benefited greatly from the ideas shared with them to help their students walk out of the class talking about the content and experiences they learned. This workshop will deliver ways to help students organize their thinking and learning throughout the course session so they will remember it the next time you meet building on what they previously learned.

Learning How to Learn

One of the greatest failures of lifelong learning is when students who have been through years of school continue to ask the question, “How am I doing?’ Why don’t students know how they are doing? Why can’t students self-assess their progress in their learning. The answer is simple. We don’t teach them. This carries over from the classroom to the career. This workshop provides the strategies so students will be able to self-assess their improvement on their journey in lifelong learning as they continue to learn how to learn.

Measuring Course Quality

Do I have a good course? This is a question which is on the mind of most faculty. As educators we need to spend less time running the mechanics of the course and more time teaching students through impactful feedback. This workshop provides multiple strategies for measure a course’s effectiveness and quality. The ideas presented are proven to improve course quality through both informal and formal means. Strategies and rubrics are provided to help participants self-assess course quality.

Accessible Course Content for All Students

Many of our students are entering classrooms with learning challenges. It is up to faculty to ensure that all students have access to the course content and materials as a part of significant learning. The learning management system (LMS) your institution is hopefully using design standards to help make sure that content is accessible. However, we find that many of the faculty we work with aren’t preparing documents, handouts, and presentations in such a way to meet accessibility standards for all students. In the U.S. it is the law. For the world, it should a best practice. This workshop will help you uncover the ways to make your course accessible for all learners, so you can help your students use these practices in the workplace.

Teaching Like You Learned, Isn’t Preparing Students for the Future

Consider for a moment how you learned your discipline in higher education. Your professor may have already been 30 by the time you took the course. Your professor learned from someone who may have learned the discipline 30 years before that. If you are teaching the same way you may be using practices that are over 70 years old. Your students learn differently now. They think differently now. They are entering professional careers that are much different now and are constantly changing. “We are currently preparing students for jobs that don’t yet exist … using technologies that haven’t been invented … in order to solve problems we don’t even know are problems yet.”  — Richard Riley, former Secretary of Education

Creating Your Professional Portfolio

Often we are so busy teaching and working for the institution that we don’t take time to document the great work you do. For some, tenure and promotion will force you to gather your materials to demonstrate the quality instruction you deliver. Participants in this workshop will develop a system to record their accomplishments for use in the tenure process, grant submissions, licensure and certifications, partnership development and accreditation requirements.

Developing Centers for Teaching and Learning

A campus Center for Teaching and Learning is one of the most powerful organizations an institution can create. Directors can work closely with faculty to improve teaching and learning and to assist the institution in strategically planning for and the success of initiatives. Each center has a unique design based on the needs for a campus and provides the resources for faculty employees to succeed in the classroom and their professional duties.