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Shamini Dias, PhD 
Jeremy Schnieder PhD 
Preparing Future Faculty
Claremont Graduate University
135 E 12th Street
Claremont, CA 91711
(909) 607-6225 l

Workshop Catalog Workshop Catalog


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.

Mandatory Workshops

For students earning the PFF Certificate in College Teaching, there are 4 Mandatory workshops. The first 2 workshops help you understand teaching and learning in postsecondary contexts, and to begin a reflective practice process that will guide you in developing your teaching philosophy. The next 2 workshops teach you the principles of course and syllabus design. These 4 workshops prepare you to work on your Practicum and Portfolio items in the next module. You should be able to complete the 4 Mandatory workshops in one semester.

  1. Introduction, Reflective Practice, & Teaching Philosophy
  2. Understanding Learning and Motivation & Changing Contexts in Higher Education
  3. Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs) & Aligning Assessments to Outcomes
  4. Designing Effective Syllabi & Pedagogy for Tech Integration

Introduction, Reflective Practice, & Teaching Philosophy

This workshop begins your journey through the PFF program and provides an overview of how the different areas of teaching and learning fit together. We will explore and define teaching excellence and the capacities of a good teacher. We will examine 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.

The workshop begins a reflective process for becoming aware of and understanding our assumptions, values, and beliefs about teaching and learning. The workshop introduces you to a Reflections Journal and prepares you to work strategically in the Mandatory and Elective workshops to explore and shape the ideas and perspectives you need to craft your teaching philosophy statement and design a course syllabus.

Understanding Learning and Motivation & Changing Contexts in Higher Education

Learning is a cognitive, affective, and physical process; we are neurologically equipped to learn if we are engaged and motivated. As educators, understanding how and why students are motivated to learn can help us design more effective teaching and learning tools and processes. This workshop introduces you to useful learning and motivation theories. From this we derive fundamental pedagogical principles we can use to design and facilitate learning.

The world is changing radically. The world our students come from is nothing like the world we experienced as students ourselves. Their futures are likely to be even stranger. Are we ready as college educators to prepare these students to succeed in their emerging futures? This workshop introduces you to the global paradigm shift toward a knowledge and creative economy - a technologically mediated, information-rich world marked by rapid and constant change. We will explore the implications of this for us as teachers in college classrooms.

Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs) & Aligning Assessments to Outcomes

Knowing our destination helps us plan and track a journey more successfully. Effective teaching-learning processes begin with the destination – or student learning outcomes (SLOs). This workshop introduces you to backward design principles (McTighe & Wiggins, 2005) in course design, starting with the SLOs. We will explore learning outcomes taxonomies to create SMART learning outcomes (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Results-Oriented, and Time-Bound). Bring a syllabus you are developing or revising to maximize your learning in this workshop.

Assessment must be more than just measuring student performance at mid-terms and finals. A good assessment plan should help both the teacher and learner gauge mastery levels throughout the learning journey. This workshop explores how assessment processes can be aligned to learning outcomes in order to ensure students remain engaged and on track for success in your course.

Designing Effective Syllabi & Pedagogy for Tech Integration

This workshop will help you develop syllabi that are living documents and course navigators for students, rather than documents they only look at on the first day and around finals week. We will explore syllabi samples to derive necessary and secondary content, principles of good syllabus construction, and presentation techniques that integrate the syllabus more effectively into the teaching-learning process.

There is no avoiding digital technology in our classrooms. Yet, technology thoughtlessly and gratuitously used is ineffective. This workshop introduces you to frameworks that help us mindfully integrate digital tools and processes in our teaching-learning design so that technology becomes a way to improve teaching and enhance learning.

Elective Workshops 

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.

  1. Academic Integrity: Preventing Plagiarism
  2. Academic Portfolios
  3. Agile Teaching: Developing Capacities for Responsive Teaching
  4. Assessing Your Teaching: Beyond Course Evaluations
  5. Creating Classroom Community
  6. Creating Rubrics and Assessments
  7. Designing for Diversity
  8. Effective Feedback
  9. Engaging Difficult Students
  10. Facilitating Group Projects
  11. Grading Strategies
  12. Helping Students Prepare for Class
  13. How To Grade
  14. International Students: The World in Our Classrooms
  15. Leading Good Discussions
  16. Lectures That Engage Thinking
  17. The Myth of Learning Styles
  18. Principles of Online Teaching
  19. Silence in Classrooms: A Pedagogical Tool
  20. Socratic Seminars for Critical Thinking
  21. Strategies for the First Day of Class
  22. Synthesizing Knowledge
  23. Universal Design for Learning (Dis)Abilities
  24. Visual Syllabi and Outcomes Maps
  25. Web 2.0 in Teaching and Learning
  26. Writing Workshop: Teaching Philosophy Statement

Academic Integrity: Preventing Plagiarism

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.

Academic Portfolios

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.

Agile Teaching: Developing Capacities for Responsive Teaching

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.

Assessing Your Teaching: Beyond Course Evaluations

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. 

Creating Classroom Community

Students are more engaged in learning when they are in a meaningful and safe learning space. This workshop examines what is means to be part of a community and how that is different to being part of a team. Through this exploration, we derive principles and strategies for nurturing trust, safety, and meaningfulness toward classroom communities that optimize learning.

Creating Rubrics and Assessments

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.

Designing for Diversity

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.

Effective Feedback

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.

Engaging Difficult Students

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.

Facilitating Group Projects

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 Strategies

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.

Helping Students Prepare for Class

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.

How To Grade

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. 

Leading Good Discussions

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 That Engage Thinking

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.

The Myth of Learning Styles

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.

Principles of Online Teaching

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 in Classrooms: A Pedagogical Tool

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.

Socratic Seminars for Critical Thinking

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.

Strategies for the First Day of Class

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.

Synthesizing Knowledge

We know that transmission modes of teaching are not effective if we want to do more than teach content knowledge. To help students learn content coherently, while also developing their critical thinking ability, we must engage them in active, knowledge construction. This workshop looks at different ways to synthesize information to build knowledge that connects with students' lived experiences in meaningful ways. NOTE: This is a Summer Intensive week workshop. To earn credit toward the PFF Certificate, you must take this workshop if you take 4 or more workshops in any given Summer Intensive week. This workshop will enable you to consolidate your immersive learning experiences across multiple workshops. Rather than write separate reflections for each workshop you have taken, you will write one longer, reflection essay that responds to all the workshops you have taken. In addition, this workshop will count as a separate Elective Workshop for which you earn credit by writing a reflection.

Universal Design for Learning (Dis)Abilities

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.

Visual Syllabi and Outcomes Maps

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 in Teaching and Learning

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.

Writing Workshop: Teaching Philosophy Statement

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.


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