During the academic year, the Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL) offers workshops for all Georgia Tech instructors. These interactive workshops are designed to let you collaboratively explore and share practical, evidence-based best practices on pedagogical themes, and to gain new insight as you are equipped and inspired to try new things in the classroom.
We welcome faculty from across campus to partner with us as we develop new workshops for the Georgia Tech community.
Interested in a workshop topic not listed? CTL faculty can work with you to develop a teaching and learning workshop specifically for your unit. Please contact us to explore these opportunities.
Fall 2022 Workshops:
Help us select our three Faculty Development Workshops for Fall 2022 by letting us know your choices from this slate of 5 options:
- Engaging Students in Learning In and Out of the Classroom
- Grading Reimagined
- Making Groups Work Better
- Supporting Your Neurodivergent Students in the Classroom
- Teaching Now: Lessons Learned from Pandemic Teaching
Spring/Summer 2022 Workshops
Grading Reimagined: Rethinking Assessment with Emerging Grading Techniques
Kate Williams (CTL) and Will Howitz (Chemistry and Biochemistry) presented this workshop that invited faculty to consider alternative approaches to grading.
What if you could develop a grading structure that increases students' intrinsic motivation for learning and encourages them to use your feedback to improve their learning while reducing their focus on points? At this interactive session, participants will identify common challenges inherent in traditional grading. We will explore alternatives to traditional grading that could alleviate typical grading challenges while reinforcing student learning. Participants will create an implementation plan that will allow them to begin to incorporate elements of an emerging grading system that fits their specific goals and situation.
1. Identify pain points in traditional grading systems and consider ways alternative grading approaches can better support student learning
2. Compare the impact of alternative grading and traditional grading on student learning and instructor experience
3. Identify an opportunity to get started with specifications grading in your own teaching
Supporting your Neurodiverse Students in the Classroom
Recently, the number of neurodivergent students attending or working in higher education has significantly increased. However, college spaces are often designed for students who are neurotypical. These spaces can be difficult to navigate for faculty, staff, and students diagnosed with ADHD, dyslexia, dyscalculia, Autism spectrum disorder, and others who approach cognitive tasks differently. While the disability accommodations offered by universities are helpful, they are often insufficient for neurodivergent students to feel a sense of belonging in the classroom.
In this workshop, facilitated by PhD Candidate Paloma Casteleiro Costa, participants learned ways in which the presence of neurodivergence in the classroom, experienced by either the instructor or the student, may impact the teaching and learning in that space. They also learned how course design contributes to this impact. Participants came together to explore and reflect on teaching and learning strategies that create a supportive and inclusive classroom environment for all.
Fall 2021 Workshops
Reflective Teaching Conversation
During this Reflective Teaching conversation, participants considered the following questions:
- How do you promote belonging in your classes? How do you bring diverse perspectives into your classes?
- How do you provide students with inclusive and equitable feedback about their progress and performance in your class?
- How do you address microagressions and incidents of hate in your classes?
Our students bring their whole selves into their learning experiences including their social identities, academic backgrounds and life experiences. Just like in society in general, students may experience more or less privilege and/or disadvantage as a result of their positions within this diversity. As instructors, we can intentionally use inclusive teaching strategies to more effectively engage all students in meaningful and equitable learning experiences. Please join us to reflect on your experiences with inclusive teaching!
Sharing our strategies, challenges, and lessons learned with colleagues is a great way to grow as an educator and to support the growth of our colleagues. So please bring your favorite warm beverage and join our virtual conversation to share the ways you have been engaging your students to inspire and learn from your colleagues.
Flourishing as a Teacher, Now and In the Future
At this workshop, faculty reflected on the year and considered their well-being and how it impacts their teaching. Flourishing, a measure of overall well-being that focuses on cultivating purpose, personal growth, resilience, and values-alignment, is one way to shape that reflection and look ahead to the future. During this workshop, participants engaged in individual and group reflection activities using the PERMA model of well-being and the Harvard Flourishing Measure to process a challenging year and gain clarity on how to move forward in a way that promotes well-being for both faculty and students. Participants began to develop a plan for flourishing as a teacher in the coming year.
Spring 2020 Workshops
Given the special circumstances of Spring 2020, the Center for Teaching and Learning worked in conjunction with Professional Education, C21U, OIT, and the Library to lead a series of working webinar sessions on course design, student engagement, and assessment strategies for remote learning. Audio versions of those workshops can be found on our Teaching & Learning Buzz page. Video recordings are available on the Remote Teaching Academy Canvas site.
Keep Teaching: Thank a(n Online) Teacher Webinar
In April 2020, CTL hosted its first webinar - Keep Teaching: Advice from Thank a(n) Online Teacher Recipients. Rebecca and Carol were joined by our CTL colleague Dr. Vincent Spezzo, Program Manager for Teaching and Learning Online, to talk about some of the behind-the-scenes logistical aspects of teaching remotely, including managing your time in the "always on" remote environment, integrating your TAs into remote teaching, providing effective student feedback, and taking care of your own well-being at this time. Our panelists were Dr. Polo Chau, Associate Professor, Computational Science and Engineering; Dr. Michael Schatz, Professor, Physics; and Dr. Joel Sokol, Professor, Industrial and Systems Engineering.
Listen to the Teaching & Learning Buzz podcast recording of the event below or download via Soundcloud.
Think Globally, Teaching Locally
Graduating global citizens is one of Georgia Tech's strategic goals, yet many students don't have the opportunity to study abroad. What are we doing at home to help students engage in global challenges and develop intercultural communication skills? In this workshop, we invite participants to consider how to integrate the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in their courses will help foster global citizenship no matter where students are learning. We argue that the SDGs can be incorporated into any course regardless of discipline. Faculty members from diverse programs at Georgia Tech will share examples of how that have incorporated the SDGs into their courses. Workshop participants will have the opportunity to articulate their vision for how the SDGs may work in their own courses and identify (and propose) resources that can help support them in realizing it.
- Shatakshee Donghde, Associate Professor, Economics
- Jairo Garcia, Part-time Lecturer, City and Regional Planning
- Britta Kallin, Associate Professor, German
- Raghuram Pucha, Senior Lecturer, Mechanical Engineering
- Rebecca Watts Hull, Serve Learn Sustain
- Evan Mallen, Center for Teaching and Learning
- Sebnem Oscam, Atlanta Global Studies Center
- Carol Subino Sullivan, Center for Teaching and Learning
Grading: Are Both Equity and Rigor Possible? (October 2019)
Grading is the teaching interaction most fraught with tension in the faculty-student dynamic. What a faculty member may perceive as upholding rigorous standards, a students may view as unforgiving and harsh. Is it possible to be both equitable and rigorous in our approach to grading? In this workshop, we will consider common grading practices through the lens of equity to in order to identify opportunities to restore some humanity to the grading process while still using grades as an accurate reflection of students learning.
Brain-Based Teaching: Using Neuroscience to Enhance Student Learning (September 2019)
Engaging students in active learning is an important goal for any instructor, but how does it work? In this workshop, we will investigate the science of how we take in, store, access information, and troubleshoot what happens when students fail to learn. Come and find out how to forst active learning with teaching practices that support what we know about the neuroscience of learning. Guest facilitator Dr. Mary Holder, Academic Professional, Neuroscience and Psychology.
Using Assessment and Grades to Promote Generation Z's Learning (February 2018)
Generation Z has arrived and is in your classroom! This generation believes that grades and learning matter. However, this generation is also experiencing unprecedented levels of anxiety, depression, and loneliness—and therein lies a challenge. How do we uphold disciplinary standards and at the same time help these students succeed? How do we help students become “more comfortable” with thinking under pressure, struggling to make sense of concepts, and taking risks that lead to learning? Generation Z is driven by different motivations, characteristics, and concerns than previous generations—and understanding their mindset and goals can help us make sense of how to educate them. Join your colleagues to learn more about Generation Z—and find out about specific assessment and grading practices that are helping this generation move forward.
Unleashing Student Creativity through Alternative Approaches to Course Assessments (April 2018)
In this workshop we will explore a variety of alternative approaches to course assessments, in hopes we can inspire you to make small changes that may have big impact on how your students engage with their coursework. Drawing on examples from your Georgia Tech colleagues, we will focus on ways to give students choice when the method doesn’t matter as much as the content, and ways to move them toward deeper learning and application of concepts, without entirely re-inventing your course. Imagine a world where students show up at class excited about a project they are working on, where they respond to homework prompts with ingenuity and personality, and where they thank you on your end-of-semester evaluations for the opportunities you’ve given them to create, to express themselves, to think in unusual ways, and to enjoy your course.
Dealing with the Unexpected (October 2017)
Teachers typically get ready for class by thinking about the content for the day. What will be your focus? Do you have the Powerpoints slides you need? How will you engage your students? Then the unexpected occurs--and it has nothing to do with what you’ve prepared. A student’s comment pushes a hot button. You’re confronted about a grade. You see an open backpack that contains a gun. Students are talking about the suicide of a peer. There’s a major emergency event on campus. Suddenly you find yourself at loss—this is not what you had in mind when your appointment letter said “teach!” Because real people enroll in our courses, teaching today involves facilitating difficult conversations, managing hot moments, encountering mental health issues, and responding to tragedies. Join us for a discussion of what to do when the unexpected occurs!
Avoiding the CIOS Surprise: Creating an Effective Learning Environment (September 2017)
The Course Instructor Opinion Survey (CIOS) is an important tool that instructors use to receive feedback about their teaching effectiveness. Unfortunately, the feedback comes after the class is over, too late for instructors to adjust their teaching approach and improve the learning environment for their students. In this workshop, we will consider how what we know about how students evaluate course and instructor effectiveness can be used to make adjustments in our teaching choices. In addition, we will explore opportunities to uncover what students are thinking earlier in the semester when you still have time to adjust the course.
Engaging Students in Online Discussions (April 2017)
Online discussions can extend classroom conversations and learning by giving students more time for critical thinking and more opportunities to interact with the instructor, TAs, and their peers. As a result of the communication and interaction, students will be able to develop a connection with each other and form a learning community. In this workshop, we will share with you findings from a research project on how faculty and students use online discussions at Georgia Tech. We will also discuss best practices for effectively facilitating online discussions to engage students.
Designing and Developing Videos for Teaching and Learning: Strategies and Resources (February 2017)
Videos have been predominantly used for instruction in online and flipped classes. However, many instructors find it challenging to design and develop quality videos for effective learning because it requires significant investment of time, efforts, and resources. In this workshop, we will invite instructors, instructional designers, and video production professionals for a discussion on pedagogical strategies, development guidelines, and resources for creating interactive videos to engage students and improve their learning experience.
Helping Students Struggle: Focusing Effort on What Really Matters (November 2016)
Some of the struggles students experience when they take courses at Georgia Tech are useful and contribute to their learning. Other struggles, however, feel unproductive to students—and then they adamantly complain about you and/or the course at the end of the term in their evaluations. What makes the difference? When do students view their work in a course as worthwhile? What makes students feel that you want them to succeed? How can you help students value their course experience with you? Join your colleagues for a lively discussion about rigor, struggle, and the rewards of teaching.
Teaching Students Across Multiple Backgrounds and Abilities (October 2016)
In order to be successful in many of our courses, students need to be able to build on knowledge and skills they acquired in previous courses and experiences. However, many times, faculty discover that their students enter their classes at different levels of preparation to meet our expectations. In this workshop, we will explore strategies to help these students activate or acquire the requisite prior knowledge, while keeping the course moving at the right pace to meet the needs of more prepared students.
Encouraging Intellectual Development and Critical Thinking (September 2016)
The ability to think critically is a key skill for individuals making their way in the world today. In this workshop, we will explore the nature of critical thinking, the stages of intellectual development our students typically exhibit, the connection between the two, and the best ways to support our students’ development in the context of the classes we teach.