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 will explore how incorporation of instructional design principles into instruction can help enhance success in reaching expected learning outcomes. The session will begin with a brief overview of the principles of learning (what is learning and how does it work) and instruction (how can instruction be designed so that it facilitates learning). This 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. Finally, to encourage sharing of ideas, attendees will have the opportunity to present a case of their own for feedback from the audience. We will summarize 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.

Lesson Planning as Learning Planning

How can you plan learning? How can you plan class meetings that encourage and enkindle learning in and with your students, however diverse they might be? This workshop explores the stakes of these questions and possible cross-disciplinary responses to them. We will consider dynamic, creative approaches to planning and leading activities that seek to engender learning and achieve various kinds of learning objectives. The seminar will be in workshop format, so participants should bring a lesson plan from a class or discussion section that they have taught (or will teach, or would like to teach).

Inclusive Teaching in the College Classroom

This interactive workshop explores key concepts of cultural sensitivity and the practices of cultural competency, with emphasis on identity, diversity in the learning environment, and the climate for inclusion. Through case studies and small-group discussion, participants will develop skills to identify and employ inclusive pedagogies, specifically with a view to the roles and identities of new faculty transitioning from graduate instructorships into full-time teaching appointments.

Active Learning: Making the Most of “Lecture” Time

At universities everywhere, the academic teaching day is divided into blocks typically labeled as laboratory sessions, recitations, and lecture time, with lectures being the most common mode of instruction. However, education research has clearly shown that didactic lecture is probably the worst way for students to learn. So why is it so ubiquitous? Perhaps it is because teachers tend to teach the way they were taught. If this is true, it’s up to us to break the chain of passing down ineffective lecture modalities and move to more student-centered methods. In this workshop, we will explore a few ideas about how to use “lecture” time in more engaging ways.

Online Teaching and Learning: Challenges and Opportunities 

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.

Effective and Efficient Assessment

What do we hope students will learn in our classes? What do they actually learn and what evidence supports these claims? What aspects of the course help students learn and what aspects might actually hinder learning? This workshop will examine various informal and formal ways to assess student learning, along with sharing learning activities that require active engagement of our students. Finally, we will discuss ways to use student assessment data to improve curriculum, instruction, and future assessment endeavors.

Universal Design for Learning: Foundations and Applications

This workshop will provide individuals new to the idea of Universal Design with foundational concepts and frameworks as well as opportunities for application, while empowering individuals with UD familiarity with hands-on contexts and approaches for bringing UD directly into the classroom.