Certificate in University Teaching Seminars

The Certificate in Teaching (CUT) seminar series offers a crash course in the essentials of teaching in higher ed. Most departments require a certain number of seminars to earn a CUT. Learn more about CUT requirements.

The 8-part series consists of the topics listed below. Each seminar is offered once per academic year. Dates/times for the seminars are announced on the FPP listserv and appear on the Graduate School calendar.

Fundamentals of Instructional Design

This seminar explores how the incorporation of instructional design principles into instruction enhances success in reaching expected learning outcomes. The session begins with a brief overview of learning principles (what is learning and how does it work?) and instruction (how can instruction be designed so that it facilitates learning?). The overview will be followed by a review of a variety of higher education cases, focusing on the nature of the learning in each case and what the instruction might look like. We will end with a debrief session emphasizing how you might go about critiquing and enhancing your instruction to more fully engage your students and help them achieve expected learning outcomes.

Leading an Effective Classroom Discussion? Questions are the Answer

One of the critical features of an active learning environment revolves around students having opportunities to engage in productive classroom discussions about important concepts.  Classroom discourse can take on many forms and requires thoughtful consideration and planning by the instructor to be truly effective. This workshop will focus on facilitating effective classroom discussions using a variety of questioning strategies to promote student engagement and while serving as an assessment tool for instructors. Participants will observe a model teaching lesson that highlights various questioning techniques in action, critique a short videotaped lesson segment regarding the instructor’s questioning skills, and learn tips for improving their own questioning skills in various instructional situations.

More Than a Post-It: How Detailed Lesson Plans Make a Difference

When you’re busy, it’s easy to underprepare for teaching sessions. A few bullets on a post-it might seem adequate to “get through” a lesson. Teaching according to our values—including equity, connection, inclusion, accessibility, and other fundamental pedagogical foundations—take more preparation. This session will describe ways to use lesson planning to ensure that all learners can engage and flourish, course outcomes are met, common pitfalls can be (mostly) averted, and your teaching aligns with your intentions for effective and empathetic instruction. Participants are encouraged to have an existing or anticipated lesson plan—even a brief one—in mind during the session.

Navigating Challenges of Diversity in the Classroom

This workshop provides an opportunity to work through true-to-life scenarios related to teaching, diversity, and inclusion. In small groups, participants will role-play reactions to case studies using a framework designed to build equity literacy. Participants apply the framework to various contexts, familiarizing themselves with its steps in preparation for applying it in their teaching practices.

Active Learning: Making the Most of “Lecture” Time

Lecture continues to be the most common mode of instruction in higher education. That doesn’t have to be a bad thing! You don’t have to full-on “flip your classroom” to make ample use of evidence-based methods for improving student learning. Whether you teach small or large classes, in-person or online, this workshop is intended to build your toolbox of active learning strategies that can be applied across courses, reshaping “lecture” time to center student engagement in the process of learning.

Online Teaching and Hybrid Learning

Teaching an online course is very different than teaching students face-to-face. Learning to effectively use instructional technologies is part of the challenge. So is interacting with students that you don’t see in person. This workshop will explore the unique challenges and opportunities in an online class and will provide strategies for delivering online content, engaging remote students, and creating an online conversation. Also covered will be techniques for assessing online students and methods for providing meaningful and timely feedback.

Assessment for Learning: Engaging Students, Improving Performance

Assessment means more than just testing and grading. Assessment can also be used to engage students and improve their academic performance. For assessment to be effective, it must be grounded in sound instructional design, and aligned with ambitious and specified learning goals. The first part of the presentation will discuss the importance of aligning assessments with course goals, before turning to a discussion of the differences between formative and summative assessment, and how a professor can use feedback to support student development. Ample time will be provided to ask questions, and participants will walk away with practical strategies and a deepened appreciation for the centrality of assessment for effective teaching.

Universal Design for Learning (UDL): Advancing the Inclusiveness and Impact of Your Instruction

This workshop will provide individuals new or newer to the UDL principles with foundational concepts and collaborative opportunities for the practical application of UDL in your classroom instruction. Learn why to use UDL, what the UDL lens offers, and how to do UDL. Bring yourself ready to engage.