Possible Event Topics
Advanced Techniques for Discussion and Active Learning
This session is for instructors who have some experience teaching in discussion mode or other active formats. It will provide an opportunity to explore a range of structures for class activities. Participants are strongly encouraged to bring a description of their favorite activity and/or one with which they would like help.
Designing and Managing Collaborative Learning
The use of student groups is common in many types of courses, including labs, recitations, and lectures. In this session, participants explore issues of planning assignments, forming and managing groups, and fairly assessing learning in order to help decide when and how to best use this teaching method. (Can be done in a one– or two–part version)
Teaching Large Classes
How do you actively involve students in the class when it is impossible even to know all of their names? How do you provide feedback on learning when simply collecting homework is a major strategic operation? Teaching large classes introduces a unique, and sometimes overwhelming, set of challenges in addition to the everyday challenges of teaching. Fortunately, many who teach large classes at Ohio State have developed effective strategies for overcoming these obstacles and engaging students in learning. We invite you to join us in this discussion to ask questions, share successes, and learn from each other. We also hope to capture your ideas in a resource guide that will be made available to others.
Who Are Our Students?
What experiences and preparation do they bring with them? What are their time commitments? How are they the same as students five years ago? 10 years ago? 20 years ago? How are they different?
Improving Students’ Study Skills
How do students study for your classes? Are there ways to improve their study skills? How can we teach students how to learn best in our classes?
How Understanding Learning Styles Can Improve Teaching and Learning
Knowing how your students learn is key to helping you design and conduct a successful class. This session explores differences in learning and teaching styles, how to determine appropriate classroom approaches based on those styles, and how to help motivate students.
Managing the Classroom
This session explores ways you can promote civility in the classroom through the use of effective classroom management skills. It also develops strategies for handling common student complaints.
Developing Effective Presentation Skills
Good presentation skills are important in helping students learn the material and keeping them engaged. This session explores ways to get students actively involved in a lecture and also receive information about general delivery techniques, such as using examples and pacing.
Facilitating Classroom Discussion
Class discussion can be an effective method for getting students involved in most types of classes. In this session, you can learn how to encourage and maintain student involvement, respond to individual contributions, and employ questioning strategies.
Promoting Classroom Civility
This session focuses on our personal definitions of acceptable behavior and how these may influence our strategies for handling student disruptions in the classroom. Participants explore potential triggers for incivility, styles for communicating with students collaboratively, issues to consider in creating a constructive classroom environment, and tools for repairing relations with students when problems do arise.
Teaching International Students
Over 4000 of Ohio State’s students are international. What does this mean for us as teachers in the classroom? How can we best help them to succeed? What are ways to maximize their unique contributions, experiences, and knowledge for all our students? We explore issues such as communicating expectations, assessing writing by students for whom English is a second language, and encouraging participation.
Designing Effective Writing Assignments
The best–planned assignments can be ineffectual. This is especially so with writing assignments, when the students do not produce what we instructors imagine they can and should. When our assignments fail us, the place to begin looking for problems is in the written assignment (prompt). Did we provide it in writing? In the written prompt, have we been too reserved in explaining the assignment, afraid to give away too much? Have we been explicit about the expectations for student writing that we implicitly have? Is the prompt clear in how the assignment fits the course’s overall objectives, so that the assignment directly addresses the problems we want students to explore? These and other issues of designing effective writing assignments are discussed in this session with writing consultants from the Center for the Study and Teaching of Writing.
Taking the Guesswork Out of Multiple–Choice
Are essay tests always better than multiple–choice? While there is, in some disciplines, a feeling that essay tests are morally superior to “multiple–guess,” the answer, of course, depends on the circumstances and on the goals of the tests. The key is to make sure you’re testing what you really want students to know. In this session, we discuss some of the issues and techniques of exam construction. Please bring some of your own exam questions to add to the discussion.
Helping Students Find and Evaluate Internet Resources
With the explosion of content on the Internet, the quantity of online material has increased exponentially. While students now have more resources literally at their fingertips, they may not have the skills to find and evaluate them efficiently and effectively. Staff members from Library User Education join us for this discussion on how to help students develop proficiency in using the Internet as a research tool.
Preventing Internet Plagiarism
The Internet can make it easier for students to do research. Unfortunately, it also makes it easier for them to plagiarize, whether intentionally (e.g., purchasing papers on–line) or unintentionally (e.g., failing to give appropriate attribution). Staff members from Library User Education join us to explore the problem and its causes. We also discuss strategies for preventing plagiarism and, when all else fails, for detecting it after it has occurred.
Responding to Student Writing
Co–sponsored by the Center for the Study and Teaching of Writing, ESL Composition Program, and UCAT
- What concerns do Ohio State students bring to writing assignments?
- What additional concerns do ESL students have that native speakers do not?
- What are effective strategies for teaching writing to linguistically diverse students?
- What are effective strategies for responding to writing?
Writing consultants facilitate a discussion concerning the role of instructors in creating the opportunities for all students to develop as writers. Workshop participants work collaboratively in small groups to develop efficient and effective response strategies for meeting the needs of linguistically diverse undergraduate and graduate students.
Using a Teaching Portfolio for Self–Improvement and P&T (for faculty only)
In the past few years, professional portfolios have become increasingly popular in documenting teaching effectiveness of university faculty. These are often used for instructors’ self–reflection and improvement as well as for academic personnel decision–making. This workshop for faculty addresses issues concerning developing and using a professional portfolio. The workshop includes an overview of the key functions of a professional portfolio, discussion of items to be included, development of a philosophy of teaching statement, introduction to strategies for collecting and synthesizing data, construction of the portfolio, and recommendations of using portfolio materials for various purposes, including for peer review of teaching and in compliance with the current Office of Academic Affairs guidelines for promotion and tenure dossiers. Other issues of special concerns of faculty are addressed. Faculty from all disciplines and ranks are welcome to attend.
Planning Ahead for an Academic Job Search
Thinking about applying for faculty positions? Don’t know where to begin? Join us for a discussion about the first steps in this process. We talk about what you can do right now to prepare yourself, as well as what information you could be collecting and organizing that will help you document and present your teaching effectiveness in the job search process. This workshop is appropriate for TAs who plan to go on the job market soon and have not yet attended a previous UCAT workshop on this topic. We also offer a variety of follow–up workshops on constructing a personal philosophy of teaching statement, assembling a teaching portfolio, writing about teaching in your CV and cover letter, and the academic job interview process.
Developing a Teaching Portfolio for the Academic Job Search (for TAs only)
This workshop presents information on how to document and present your teaching effectiveness throughout an academic job search. We address the major issues involved in preparing a teaching portfolio, such as constructing a personal philosophy of teaching statement, general strategies of collecting and synthesizing data, assembling a teaching portfolio, and ways of using portfolio materials in a job search.
Documenting Your Own Teaching for Self–Improvement and P&T (for faculty only)
Professional portfolios have become increasingly popular in documenting teaching effectiveness of university faculty. These are often used for instructors’ self–reflection and improvement as well as for academic personnel decision–making. In this workshop, we discuss developing and using a professional portfolio. Topics include an overview of the functions of a professional portfolio, what items might be included, developing of a philosophy of teaching statement, and some strategies for collecting, synthesizing, and presenting data. We explore how individual faculty members might document and present their own teaching effectiveness for peer review of teaching and in compliance with the current Office of Academic Affairs guidelines for P&T dossiers.
Reflective Teaching Statements for Faculty
Reflective teaching statements are an important part of documenting teaching effectiveness by university faculty. These are often used for instructors’ self–reflection and improvement as well as for academic personnel decision–making. This workshop for faculty addresses issues concerning developing and using a reflective teaching statement. The workshop includes an overview of the structure of such a statement, discussion of ways to begin reflection on your teaching effectiveness, and ideas on how to use this process both to support documentation of your teaching and to improve your teaching practice. We also consider strategies for collecting and synthesizing data that support your self–assessment, and constructing a portfolio in compliance with the current Office of Academic Affairs guidelines for Promotion & Tenure dossiers. Faculty from all disciplines and ranks are welcome to attend.
Issues Facing Women as Teachers in Higher Education: The Question of Authority
How does one have authority? This is a question many women in higher education ask, especially as they move into new roles (e.g., from graduate student to faculty member, from TA to independent instructor, from new professor to mid–career or senior faculty). And whether it’s a question of classroom management or intellectual authority, it’s not an easy one to answer.
The Academic Balancing Act: Teaching, Research, Service, and “Life”
What are you learning in your early time as a faculty member at Ohio State? How is it different from what you had expected? What will you do differently in the approaching quarters? For those who are finding keeping up with teaching, research, service, and other aspects of their lives to be a daunting task, we offer this workshop. Facilitators and participants discuss the demands on their time, ways to balance responsibilities, and skills to better manage and fulfill the roles expected of faculty members. Although this session is geared toward relatively new faculty, all faculty are welcome to attend and participate.
Effective Grading: A Tool for Learning and Assessment
Join your colleagues for four meetings at which we will discuss the book Effective Grading: A Tool for Learning and Assessment (a copy of the book will be provided free to each participant). This well–written book approaches grading not as a separate activity but as an integral element at every stage of the larger process of teaching and learning. The authors address issues such as designing a course and evaluating one’s teaching, establishing grading criteria, and providing students with useful feedback. The book also includes many practical examples and case studies.
How People Learn: Brain, Mind, Experience, and School
Have you ever wondered just how your students’ minds work? If so, join your colleagues to discuss How People Learn: Brain, Mind, Experience, and School (Bransford, J.D. et al., 2000). This popular and informative book reviews scientific research on the brain and explores its implications for classroom teaching and learning. Topics include the differences between expert and novice learners, motivation for learning, and the design of learning environments. (You can preview the book.)
The Art of Changing the Brain
Have you ever wondered what is going on inside your students’ brains when you are teaching them? If so, this may be the event for you! The Art of Changing the Brain: Enriching Teaching by Exploring the Biology of Learning, by James Zull, was released in 2002 and quickly became a best–seller. Zull, a biochemist, explores brain structure and function and the implications of this for the way we teach. The book is peppered throughout with real stories of Zull’s experiences as a student, professor, and faculty developer.
The group will meet for four sessions to discuss selected chapters of the book, to exchange reflections and practices, and to apply ideas from the book to their own courses. We will focus on the following topics:
- Session 1: Starting with the Students (how students learn, who students are, motivation, classroom management, etc.)
- Sessions 2 and 3: Teaching Methods for Active Learning(contextual teaching and learning, discussion, lecture, problem–based learning, teaching with technology, etc.)
- Session 4: Assessing Student Learning (designing assignments, authentic assessment, grading, etc.)
Contact us if you’d like to talk about developing an event for your unit.