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Engagement and alignment: these two characteristics underlie vibrant, successful, and truly challenging courses. For the instructor, engagement and alignment allow more time to explore the most fascinating aspects of a discipline with students, mean fewer surprises in assessment outcomes, and optimally less time spent dealing with student concerns over grades, assignments and the purpose and rationale of the course.

Join us August 24-28 to explore the tools that make it happen. Come for one workshop, or sign up for all of them: we look forward to your participation and contributions during this week of learning and preparation.

Theme 1. Engagement: Inspiring Students to Learn

The Engagement series examines practices that motivate and inspire students to achieve more than they ever thought they could. We’ll explore:

  • setting a tone for learning;
  • using technologies to increase student interaction and provide prompt feedback;
  • exploring course material actively and critically, and
  • getting everyone involved, even in large class settings.

What you’ll learn about in this series can significantly impact student attendance, attitude, experience and success.

Theme 2. Alignment: A Shared Roadmap for Success

This series explores the design of thoughtful and systematic frameworks that prioritize the most essential ideas, knowledge, skills and attitudes students need to acquire in your course. A well-designed framework clarifies what students will be able to do by the end of the course, how they will achieve those outcomes, and how that learning will be assessed in ways consistent with the course requirements and the course’s purpose. This series will explore the alignment of:

  • course outcomes
  • classroom activities
  • assessment, and
  • feedback.

Real and fair challenge lies at the heart of students’ experiences of success. This series focuses on the mechanics of consistently producing such opportunities for a diverse range of students.

Past offerings

Show current offerings

Monday, August 24, 2009

Making Multiple Choice Work for You

Registration for this event is now closed.
Schedule: Monday, August 24, 2009, 09:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Location: Past Workshop
Instructors: David DiBattista
Multiple-choice tests are the most widely used form of objective assessment in college and university settings, but using them effectively is not always a simple matter. Because writing structurally sound, high-quality items requires some expertise, participants began by considering guidelines that can make the task much easier. They also examined strategies for writing multiple-choice items that assess students’ higher-level thinking rather than their ability to remember facts. Finally, participants considered the Immediate Feedback Assessment Technique (IFAT), a new multiple-choice response form that not only promotes learning, but is also strongly preferred by students. This session was designed to provide instructors with practical tips that they can start using immediately in their everyday teaching. Attendees were encouraged to bring along a copy of one of their own multiple-choice tests that they could refer to during the session.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

9:30 AM

Roadmaps for Success: Clarity in Course Design

Registration for this event is now closed.
Schedule: Tuesday, August 25, 2009, 09:30 AM – 11:30 AM
Location: Past Workshop
What can help instructors and students navigate a course successfully and fruitfully? A well-structured and stimulating course syllabus is one of the maps both instructors and students can use. In this workshop, participants examined approaches to course design that prioritize student development of the most essential and critical concepts, skills, and attitudes and employed appropriate assessment strategies to measure students’ achievement of those learning outcomes. Participants examined a process for course design and developed a plan for reflecting the results in their own course syllabus.

1:00 PM

Day One: The Power of First Impressions

Registration for this event is now closed.
Schedule: Tuesday, August 25, 2009, 01:00 PM – 03:00 PM
Location: Past Workshop

The first thirty minutes of any course are prime real estate.
Students’ first impressions can have a lasting impact on their commitment, perseverance, success and experience in a course. This workshop explored strategies for capturing student engagement from the very beginning and the essential elements for setting the tone and culture of a course. Participants left the session with a personal plan for preparing a great session for the first day of class.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

9:30 AM

Aligned Assessment: Learning Outcomes Grow Up

Registration for this event is now closed.
Schedule: Wednesday, August 26, 2009, 09:30 AM – 11:30 AM
Location: Past Workshop

This session explored the challenges of truly accurately assessing the many things we aim for students to learn in our courses. Participants explored a number of effective approaches to assessment that get beyond reliance on pencil and paper testing, and a number of innovative approaches that enrich the student achievement data provided by pencil and paper testing. Accurate and fair assessment requires advanced planning and clear analysis of student learning goals: this session provided the tools to reflect on and improve participant's practice.

1:00 PM

Energizing the Student Experience in Large Classes

Registration for this event is now closed.
Schedule: Wednesday, August 26, 2009, 01:00 PM – 03:00 PM
Location: Past Workshop

Active learning takes place when students intellectually engage with the problems of a discipline. When students

  • apply,
  • analyze,
  • synthesize,
  • evaluate, or
  • reflect upon
the concepts and information of a course or discipline, they are more likely to understand and apply concepts in complex ways, and to become more critical, discerning, and independent learners within their disciplines.

But is that really possible in large class settings, in lecture halls with fixed seating, or in courses where there is a massive quantity of information to get through?

This session explored well-tested strategies and activities that have inspired active learning on this campus, in the kinds of settings described above. From the low-risk activity to liven up a dull lecture, to more complex and challenging ways to infuse entire courses and programs with active learning, the instructors offering this session provided the how-to, the why-to, and even the when-not-to of inspiring active learning.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

9:30 AM

High Impact Feedback

Registration for this event is now closed.
Schedule: Thursday, August 27, 2009, 09:30 AM – 11:30 AM
Location: Past Workshop
Instructors: Dorothy Spiller

Feedback tells students where they stand in a course and what they need to improve. It tells them if they really understand the material at a high level. Sometimes it feels as though we need to do something different to get students to really take that feedback to heart – but what? This session examined how to structure feedback so that it motivates students to learn, and also how instructors can help students to learn to both give and take feedback constructively, both face-to-face, and in writing.

1:00 PM

Identifying Students at Risk – And What to Do Next

Registration for this event is now closed.
Schedule: Thursday, August 27, 2009, 01:00 PM – 03:00 PM
Location: Past Workshop
Instructors: Mohsan Beg, Karen Roland, David Ryan-Soderlund

Instructors face unexpected challenges when students exhibit symptoms or behaviours consistent with emotional or psychological fragility or extreme stress. Unaddressed, these challenges can escalate, disrupt the classroom, and most importantly endanger the safety and well-being of both the student at risk and others in the classroom. It’s important to know the ground rules for managing such situations ethically and with the best prospects for a positive outcome for everyone:

  • What are the indicators that a student may be at risk?
  • How can an instructor intervene safely, effectively, and professionally? What are the limits?
  • How, when, and where should a student be referred for further support?
  • What are the applicable guidelines for privacy and confidentiality?
Using role plays and case studies, this workshop helped prepare participants for those moments when they’re suddenly faced with a sensitive situation in the classroom or in working with students one-on-one.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Creating Your Teaching Dossier to Reflect Pedagogical Priorities

Registration for this event is now closed.
Schedule: Friday, August 28, 2009, 09:30 AM – 12:00 PM
Location: Past Workshop
Instructors: Alan Wright
University of Windsor instructors were invited to a workshop to support the development or revision of a professional teaching dossier. The teaching dossier allows teachers to describe, in one succinct and cogent narrative, their aims, activities, and accomplishments as a university educator. The workshop accommodated doctoral students establishing their teaching identities, early-career faculty seeking to establish their teaching profiles, tenure-track teachers required to design or re-write their dossiers in preparation for formal evaluation procedures, instructors preparing materials for teaching award submissions, and teachers at all career stages who wish to enhance pedagogical practice through reflection and dialogue. Workshop facilitator Alan Wright, who has published and directly supported dossier development in various university settings in Canada and the USA since 1990, will host follow-up workshops throughout the fall semester to help those instructors who make the commitment to complete their dossiers.