In addition to events scheduled during the semester, CFCD organizes workshops during June and August. Freed from the weekly demands of the semester, these workshops allow us to step back and re-envision our courses and our teaching. These sessions require an RSVP; readings are sent out ahead of the first session. Dates are publicized on this site and via email.
Course Design This three-day workshop will focus on the essential steps of developing a successful course, from the initial insight and planning phase through the design of both the syllabus and major assignments. Beginning with goals specific to the course and discipline, we will work to create a semester of work that maximizes student learning without overburdening the professor. Participants will have time to work on their own courses — either a new class or one in need of reinventing — as we consider some of the best practices available to us as educators. We will consider such topics as structuring the syllabus, sequencing assignments, teaching critical thinking, making the best use of student writing and exams, integrating work done outside of class with in-class activities, developing an approach to grading, and ascertaining what students have really learned. Breakfast, lunch, and materials are included.
Teaching Writing-Rich Courses In this workshop, we’ll consider ways of building greater attention to writing into our courses. Topics include commenting efficiently on student papers, handling paper load, using peer review and/or tutors to get the most out of student drafts, and (everyone’s favorite) dealing with student grammar. Over the course of two days, we study some proven tools and practices that help ensure that students emerge from the semester as stronger, more self-aware writers, and we’ll discuss how to do all this without increasing your work load. We will also discuss ways of using writing to generate better class discussions and to promote greater learning of course content. Breakfast and lunch each day, plus a copy of John Bean’s book Engaging Ideas, are included.
Best Practices for the College Classroom: Lectures Small Groups It might seem that lectures and small group work are polar opposites, but many of our classes regularly employ both practices. In this one-day workshop, we’ll explore ways to get the most out of each of these activities. Rather than pitting one against the other, we’ll consider how to make each of them fully effective. In the end, what comes into view is a classroom with a varied pedagogy, to the benefit of all involved.
Syllabus Design This session is designed for faculty who want to tweak their syllabus one last time before the semester begins. We will have sample syllabi on hand as we work through our own courses, looking at both the way the course unfolds (the plan) and the way it is presented to students (the document).