CTL Teaching Talks and Teaching Tech Talks

Professional Development Teaching and Learning Talks

The Center for Excellence and Innovation in Teaching is pleased to offer a variety of Teaching and Learning Talks, focusing on teaching and the professional development of faculty and graduate-student teachers.  

Please click on the course links below to register.


FALL 2015


  • September 17th at 3:30pm

Mugar Memorial Library, Conference Room

Creating Effective Learning Environments: Five Easy Steps to Peer Instruction

A 90-minute, hands-on and participatory workshop to introduce active learning environments and peer instruction. The workshop is intended for both STEM and non-STEM faculty, at any stage of their career. Participants will observe peer instruction and be able to describe the basic components and its conceptual basis. Participants will practice using clicker questions to drive peer discussions. They will be able to describe the elements of good clicker questions, use these elements to analyze clicker questions and create their own clicker questions in their discipline. Finally, participants will begin to develop a plan to transform a short segment of a standard lecture into one that utilizes peer instruction and personal response. 


  • September 22nd at 12:30pm

Mugar Memorial Library, Conference Room

Flipped Classrooms, Blended Learning

In this 90 minute workshop, the participant will build the background knowledge, develop the skills, and begin to reform their course content to create flipped and blended classes. Participants will be able to describe flipped and blended learning and the rationales and benefits of changing the structure of classroom and out-of-classroom time. Participants will be able to describe the three main structural components of a flipped and blended class, termed first exposure, practice and feedback, and future explorations, as well as the different student outcomes for each, and the pedagogical relationships between them. After the workshop, participants will be able to apply the principles of flipped and blended instruction to one of their courses, analyzing the content and exercises within their learning goals and transforming a traditional approach into a blend of online pre-session, in-class engagement and post-class follow up.


  • October 1st at 9:30am

Mugar Memorial Library, Conference Room

Measuring Active Learning in Classrooms

Measuring the amount and type of active learning in classrooms requires the use of an observational protocol. This 90-minute workshop introduces the use of the Generalized Observation and Reflection Protocol (GORP) to assess active learning in the classroom. The workshop is intended for faculty, as well as advanced graduate students and postdocs interested in teaching. Participants will become familiar with recent results of using the COPUS protocol and explore the differences in types of classroom instruction and the link between active learning in the classroom and student learning outcomes. Participants will develop the background necessary to evaluate protocols, address the challenges and issues of implementing observations, and be able to articulate how to use the data from classroom observations to inform and advance instruction.


  • October 5th at 10:30am

Mugar Memorial Library, Conference Room

An Introduction to Active learning

In this 90 minute workshop, participants will be exposed to the cognitive framework behind active learning and be introduced to active learning techniques that improve critical thinking and teamwork. The workshop is intended for faculty, as well as advanced graduate students and postdocs interested in teaching. Participants will be able to describe how and why students benefit from active learning, be able to describe the learning cycle and how it frames active, in-class learning. Participants will explore examples in problem-based learning and inquiry-based labs, in-class approaches that advance critical thinking. Participants will explore how teamwork can enhance active learning and lead to students uncovering information in class, specifically cooperative learning and peer instruction. Participants will also be exposed to group testing as a mechanism for assessing and rewarding group learning.


  • November 3rd at 11am

1 Silber Way, Kenmore Conference Room, 9th floor

Developing Learning Outcomes

Increasingly, institutions are asking faculty to state explicitly what students are expected to learn in the courses and programs for which they are responsible. This workshop will provide a rationale for developing learning outcomes at the course and program level, as well as hands-on practice writing them. Participants in this workshop will learn how to write learning outcomes that are both specific and measureable. We will also discuss how to assign appropriate measures to assess different kinds of learning outcomes. Participants should bring their own course or program materials to work with during the session.


  • November 9th at 2pm

1 Silber Way, Kenmore Conference Room, 9th floor

Overview of the Assessment Process

In this workshop the University’s Director of Learning Assessment will describe the purpose of program assessment and how assessment can provide faculty with a means to ask fundamental questions about the programs they design and teach.   The workshop will provide an overview of the process, beginning with defining learning outcomes to “closing the loop” and using the results of assessment for curricular change.  Participants will learn the essential elements of a basic departmental assessment plan and come away with the tools to get started.


  • December 2nd at 10am

1 Silber Way, Kenmore Conference Room, 9th floor

Teaching with Student Portfolios

Are you thinking about evaluating students using a portfolio-based approach? This workshop will present a brief history and the pedagogical rationale for portfolio teaching and some practical ideas for successfully implementing portfolios—paper-based or electronic—into the classroom. Participants will learn about different types of portfolios, look at examples, and gain the tools to get started with this student-centered method.