These are the Mandatory and Elective workshops being offered throughout the academic year. To see the specific workshops offered this semester, please check the PFF schedule or subscribe to the PFF calendar.
Students working toward the PFF Certificate in College Teaching must take our 4 Mandatory workshops that form the foundations for the program. The first 2 workshops focus on the teacher as leader and scholar and help you begin a reflective practice process that will guide you in developing your teaching philosophy. The next 2 workshops focus on the teacher as designer and help you understand and practice principles of inclusive course and syllabus design. These 4 workshops will get you started on your teaching philosophy statement and course syllabus design, and prepare you to move effectively through your Practicum and Portfolio items in the next module. You should be able to complete the 4 Mandatory workshops in one semester.
M1 - Teaching Philosophy: Reflective Practice & Changing Contexts
M1a - Overview: Reflective Practice and Inclusive Pedagogy
M1b - Teaching Philosophy in Changing Contexts
M2 - Teaching Philosophy: Understanding Learning and Motivation
M2a - Learning and Motivation
M2b - Developing A Teaching Philosophy Statement
M3 - Course Design: Overview and Approach
M3a - Design Thinking: Backward Design for Inclusive Teaching
M3b - Pedagogy for Technology Integration
M4 - Course Design: Building a Syllabus
M4a - Student Learning Outcomes and Assessment Plans
M4b - The Syllabus as a Learning Journey Map
NOTE: Each Mandatory workshop comes in 2 parts as listed above. You must attend both sessions to complete each workshop. We also offer Intensive versions of these workshops on Saturdays where each workshop is completed in one long session from 9 am to 2 pm.
This workshop set focuses on the teacher as leader and scholar.
M1a - Overview: Reflective Practice & Inclusive Pedagogy provides an overview and introduces you to processes and tools to begin your reflective practice as an educator. Starting with your own lived experiences as learner and teacher, we will explore foundational concepts and models we can use to understand the importance of inclusive pedagogy. We will explore and define teaching excellence and the capacities of a good teacher, examining how and why we are accountable in our preparing students for their futures. Through this process, we frame teaching as an ethical responsibility we share to ensure inclusive and equitable learning opportunities for our students.
M1b - Teaching Philosophy & Changing Contexts introduces you to systems thinking and the complexity of the larger contexts in which we teach and learn. We look at the global paradigm shift toward a knowledge and creative economy - a technologically mediated, information-rich world marked by rapid and constant change. Continuing the exploration from M1a, we move from an examination of your individual assumptions, values, and beliefs as an educator to locating these in relation to the larger contexts of the mission of higher education. Looking both historically as well as at the current diversity of stakeholders in higher education, we will explore how we can position and align our individual emerging teaching philosophies with this larger context in which we teach.
M2a - Understanding Learning & Motivation. Learning is a cognitive, affective, and physical process; we are equipped to learn if we are engaged and motivated. Understanding how and why students are motivated to learn is a critical step in ensuring that our assumptions, values, and beliefs are supported by this empirical knowledge base. This helps us develop a robust teaching philosophy that can help us design more effective teaching and learning tools and processes.
M2b - Developing a Teaching Philosophy Statement. In this session, we revisit and review the concepts and models for thinking we have explored in the previous 3 sessions. We then bring it all together in consolidating and synthesizing your values and beliefs into the beginnings of your teaching philosophy statement.
M3a - Design Thinking: Backward Design for Inclusive Learning begins the our focus on the teacher as designer as a way into designing inclusive learning environments and processes. Reviewing and expanding our understanding of the complex, fast-changing global spaces in which we live, we ask what capacities we and our students need to flourish and succeed. In this context, we explore what Design Thinking or Design Science are and how their key concepts translate over to inclusive pedagogy and course design.
M3b - Pedagogy for Technology Integration. How do digital tools shift how we think about teaching and learning - not just in online spaces but in on-ground spaces? We cannot avoid digital technology, but when used thoughtlessly and gratuitously used digital tools are ineffective.This workshop focuses on student needs, backgrounds, and expectations, and different ways to intentionally integrate digital tools in designing courses and leading learning. We introduce you to frameworks that help us mindfully integrate digital tools and processes in our teaching-learning design.
M4a - Student Learning Outcomes & Assessment Plans. Powerful inclusivity begins with good, forward looking design, i.e. designing with the end in mind. In this workshop, we look back at what we've learned about learning and motivation, what we know about doing Good Work in complex contexts, and the dimension of digital tools and spaces in teaching and learning. This launches us into designing appropriate student learning outcomes (SLOs), mapping those to inclusive assessment plans that help both the teacher and learner gauge mastery levels throughout the learning journey. Through this process you create the basis for an effective course design that scaffolds students toward success.
M4b - The Syllabus as a Learning Journey Map. Too often, syllabi are looked at on the first day of class, never to appear again, except for hasty references to test dates and deadlines for assignments. This workshop will help you reframe syllabi as maps for teaching, and especially, maps for learning so that your syllabus becomes a living working tool in the classroom. We will also explore criteria for inclusivity in developing course policies and practices as well as for presenting syllabi to students.
To earn the PFF Certificate in College Teaching, you must take 9 Elective workshops. Elective workshops focus on classroom processes one must consider to foster engagement, knowledge, and skills. In addition to the regular Elective workshops that are repeated, new workshops are added each semester. You should be able to complete their 9 Elective workshops over two semesters.
What happens when, after all our efforts to avoid it, we determine that one of our students has committed plagiarism? How can we approach a situation like this as constructively as possible, turning what could become a negative interaction into a more positive learning opportunity? In this workshop, first, we will focus on addressing plagiarism from a pedagogical perspective. We will talk about how to discuss plagiarism with students, how to reinforce and practice rules of appropriate and effective use of sources, and how to motivate students to avoid committing plagiarism in the future. Second, we will focus on addressing plagiarism from an administrative perspective. We will consider how and when to file official incident reports. We will articulate the roles and responsibilities of each stakeholder (instructors, administrators, students) in this process, and identify ways of working with and through departmental and institutional policies to serve our own and our students' best interests.
Plagiarism is not as straightforward as we might think. This workshop looks at different forms of plagiarism including "accidental" plagiarism. We will explore strategies for preventing plagiarism as well as finding teachable moments when we discover plagiarism.
What's an academic portfolio? Do I really need one? What's included in it? How do I build one? This workshop helps you explore the importance of academic portfolios and best practices for using them strategically to develop your career as a researcher/scholar and educator. As part of this exploration, we will each create a draft sketch of our own academic portfolio.
Higher education is changing in response to larger global trends of increasing diversity and emerging opportunities and needs, with digital tools that allow new ways of teaching and learning. The "best way" to teach is in flux; teachers face dramatically different teaching and learning issues than their predecessors, and students are expecting teachers to bring certain values and methods into the classroom. In this context of greater diversity, multiple perspectives, and digital innovation, what does it take to teach inclusively and responsively? This workshop introduces you to skills and capacities that will help you teach openly and flexibly, take teaching risks in innovating teaching processes, and work creatively in responding to emerging student needs and interests.
We know formative assessment and feedback are critical to helping students engage and master knowledge and skills. What about feedback for teachers? This workshop uses principles from reflective practice to help you think beyond end-of-course evaluations to design ways to gather feedback about your teaching. We will explore self-assessment strategies as well as mid-semester student feedback.
This workshop introduces you to different types of rubrics and how to use them to scaffold students' learning, rather than simply using them as a grading tool. We will look at analytic, holistic, and single-point rubrics and discuss the appropriate contexts to use each type of rubric. The workshop will engage you in hands-on design and crafting of a sample assignment and its rubric.
This workshop lays the foundations for teaching inclusively in classroom contexts where overt and hidden identities, perspectives, expectations, and assumptions meet. Using the metaphor of relationships, we examine the values and assumptions we and our students bring to classroom interaction and derive principles for developing classroom cultures of connection, respect, and empathy.
Feedback tells us where we are in relation to our goals, thus giving us the opportunity to re-calibrate and improve our efforts toward success. But often, feedback frustrates and dismays students. This workshop explores different strategies and activities (written and oral) that can help provide timely, strategic, and meaningful feedback that will help students improve their learning.
This workshop deconstructs the notion of "difficult" learners - are they rude and rebellious, loud and lackadaisical, disrespectful and disruptive? They can also be moody and marginalized or silent and sullen. Also difficult are introverted and introspective students, as are the creative ones. Over-confident and underconfident students are equally difficult. We then explore principles in working with this diversity in behavior to give you the best chance of diffusing troubling patterns of interaction and to proactively invite engagement.
When group projects work well, they offer engaging and rich learning processes that not only help students master content but also nurture critical skills for success such as inter-personal skills, leadership, reflection, and self-management. This workshop explores principles for integrating group projects in our courses and strategies for optimizing results while avoiding the potential pitfalls for participation and learning engagement.
Grading can be a nightmare for both professors and students. Students dread getting back grades, often disregarding comments we have spent what seems an inordinate time writing. This workshop explores strategies to develop a student-focused grading plan that helps students to improve mastery levels from one assignment to the next.
We design teaching with the hope that our students will prepare, that they will actively read the assigned material, and come to class ready to learn. But do they? And why not? This workshop helps us understand common barriers to preparation and covers strategies to scaffold preparation so that students are better able to be active, engaged learners in class.
This workshop helps you select an inclusive grading approach that is aligned with learning outcomes, optimizes student learning, while not putting an unnecessary burden on the instructor. We explore self- and peer-grading, contract grading, grading on a curve, standards-referenced grading, and considerations for weighting grades. We also examine ways to minimize student complaints about grades through examining ways to address concerns.
International Students: The World in Our Classrooms
Culture shock seems a thing of the past with more international students coming from globalized societies. And yet, many experience isolation in adjusting to American academic norms. This workshop looks at the adjustment challenges of international students and how these challenges are shared by many American students. We also explore how to better use the opportunities that diverse global cultures, values, and learning norms bring to our classrooms.
Classroom discussions can suffer from long painful silences, students who dominate and don't give others a chance to join in, or students who derail the discussion by taking things off on a tangent. This workshop helps you derive principles and strategies to and practice how you can scaffold and lead effective discussion preparation and meaningful discussion processes in class.
Lectures are a college instruction staple that have been criticized as boring and useless. Yet, mindfully designed lectures can engage students in active learning processes, even in large classes. This workshop introduces strategies for developing lectures that engage students in actively constructing knowledge and in assessing student learning as part of the lecture process.
From a teacher's perspective, course content is relevant simply because we select and cover the key ideas of a subject area. But what does it look like and feel like from a student's perspective? What makes our course content relevant and meaningful to our students outside of the idea that it's important in our discipline? In this workshop, we will examine factors such as readiness levels, interests, and needs that prevent course content from being relevant to our students. We will then explore strategies that address these factors, to proactively design our assignments and teaching processes to make course content relevant, sustain engagement, improve students' mastery of material, while building critical skills and capacities for life-long learning. The usefulness of making content relevant increases engagement within the course, as well as course retention
To teach inclusively means to differentiate learning processes so that no student is left behind. This workshop explores the myth of learning styles and reframes learning styles as modalities or representation and multi-literacies: visual, auditory, kinesthetic, text- or number-based, logical, interpersonal, and intrapersonal, among others. This workshop examines strategies to include all students while supporting each one to expand his or her learning and communication range.
As Bret Enyon and Laura M. Gambino note, "ePortfolio practice builds over time and across boundaries, linking courses and disciplines, co-curricular and life experiences." For over twenty-years, portfolios have been discussed for their potential to help students and teachers see learning and growth in and out of the classroom. With proper design and implementations portfolios can serve as a powerful pedagogical and assessment tool. This elective will look at different uses of portfolios to enhance student learning. Participants will create a plan to use portfolios in a manner fitting with their syllabus design and/or student learning goals.
Online learning, with its advantages of being location free and flexible in structure has helped to increase access to education. It can be a powerful ally for inclusive pedagogy. However, online teaching requires a shift in how we think about, and design, learning processes - we cannot simply replicate what we do in physical classrooms into an online space. This workshop introduces you to principles for designing and facilitating effective online teaching.
SILENCE - it's seen as awkward, even threatening. Students and teachers feel uncomfortable when silence descends and seems to dampen classroom interaction. This workshop surfaces our assumptions and beliefs about silence. We will explore how we can use silence intentionally to engage learners, support thinking, and enhance discussion and deep learning.
This workshop introduces you to the concept of a Socratic Seminar, a mode of discussion and inquiry based on using critical thinking questions to probe a topic. Learn how to apply questioning as a way of learning to engage students in a more robust exploration of multiple perspectives on a topic.
The first day of class can be intimidating and bewildering for both teacher and student. But, with good planning and the right strategies, what we do on the first day of class can set the tone and establish a strong game plan for the rest of the semester. This workshop explores principles for building community, clarifying learning processes, and developing a First Day plan that you can use.
In this workshop, we explore the ability-disabilities continuum both visible and invisible that is present in our classrooms. The workshop introduces principles of Universal Design for Learning (UDL) that ensure mindful attention to creating equitable access and opportunities for success for all students.
This hands-on workshop based on Linda Nilson's book, The Graphic Syllabus and Outcomes Map, helps you think about how you can visualize and sequence your learning outcomes and your syllabus. This can help students better understand the learning process in your course and the pathways to achieving the expected outcomes. In the process, you gain clarity on how your outcomes, assessments, and teaching are coherently connected.
Web 2.0 tools such as social networking sites, blogs, image and video-sharing sites, and wikis are changing the flow and use of information in teaching and learning. This workshop explores the opportunities Web 2.0 tools provide for students to engage in and develop higher-order thinking skills and information literacy in searching, finding, evaluating, selecting, and connecting information, even as they develop disciplinary content knowledge. We will also explore best practices in integrating and managing the use of Web 2.0 tools for teaching and learning.
This workshop focuses on the writing and revising process in writing your Teaching Philosophy Statement. We will work on how you can use a rubric to draw from and structure your workshop reflections and notes, as well as self- and peer-review strategies to develop a concise but comprehensive Teaching Philosophy Statement. Bring your reflections and notes, as well as any rough drafts you have done so far.