Diversity Teaching Workshops

Teaching workshops, that are part of the Center for Teaching & Learning's Teaching & Diversity Professional Development Series, engage participants with pedagogical practices that support a broad range of students. Participants learn how they can enhance students’ learning and academic success across cultural, social, and learning differences by adopting a strength-based, inclusive approach to teaching and learning grounded in the value of diversity. Workshops are interactive and involve participants in experiential, collaborative, and reflective learning experiences. 

The Center for Teaching & Learning (CTL) regularly invites experts on particular topics to facilitate workshops as guest presenters. Dr. Kirsten Helmer, Director of Programming for Diversity, Inclusion, & Equity with CTL, also regularly offers workshops. 

Workshops in Fall 2017

  • “Small Teaching: From Minor Changes to Major Learning” with guest presenter Dr. James M. Lang. Research from the learning sciences and a variety of educational settings suggests that a small number of key principles can improve learning in almost any type of college or university course, from traditional lectures to flipped classrooms. This interactive workshop will introduce some of those principles, offer practical suggestions for how they might foster positive change in higher education teaching and learning, and guide faculty participants to consider how these principles might manifest themselves in their current and upcoming courses.
  • “Creating Inclusive Learning Experiences” with Dr. Kirsten Helmer (CTL). Students bring a wide variety of prior experiences, ways of knowing and making sense of the world into our classrooms. As instructors, we need flexible frameworks for designing our courses and lessons in ways that provide students with multiple ways of engaging with course content, constructing knowledge, and demonstrating learning while accommodating cultural and learning style differences. 
  • “Diversity and General Education” with Dr. Kirsten Helmer (CTL) and Dr. Amer F. Ahmed, in collaboration with the General Education Council. This session provides information that will assist faculty who want to convert an existing GenEd course with a U/G designation to meet the new General Education Diversity Requirements, and faculty who want to propose a new course seeking a GenEd DU or DG designation. Members of the General Education Council will provide an overview of the expedited review process for current GenEd U/G courses. Dr. Kirsten Helmer and Dr. Amer F. Ahmed will engage participants in a conversation about ways to integrate the new diversity learning outcomes into a course (re)-design.


Overview of Past Teaching Workshops

Spring 2017

  • “Implicit Bias and Microaggressions in the College Classroom”—Facilitated by Dr. Kirsten Helmer (CTL), this workshop provided an introduction to the concepts of implicit, or unconscious, bias and microaggressions. The session aimed to raise awareness about what constitutes expressions of implicit bias and microaggressions, how these negatively impact student learning, and what we can do to work against them in classroom settings.
  • “Understanding and Combating Impostor Syndrome”—With guest presenter Valerie Young, internationally-known expert and author on impostor syndrome, this workshop had participants explore how to mitigate [their own] impostor feelings in themselves or others, recognize and address it in the classroom, and work to positively affect changes in academic culture that can fuel self-doubt in students and faculty.

Fall 2016

  • “Critical Perspectives on Technology—Mindful Tech: Finding Balance in an Age of Overload and Distraction”—Guest presenter Dr. David Levy, Professor at the Information School, University of Washington, discussed with participants the underlying philosophy for making mindful choices about the integration of technology into teaching and learning. He also guided participants through several contemplative exercises he has developed for increasing student focus and engagement. 
  • “Motivating Students by Teaching Inclusively”—Facilitated by Dr. Kirsten Helmer (CTL), this two-session workshop engaged participants with the Motivational Framework developed by Ginsberg and Wlodkowski (2009), which provides an interdisciplinary approach and a set of integrated norms and teaching practices that promote and support equitable learning for diverse learners in a safe, inclusive, and respectful learning environment. 
  • “Seminar Teaching”—This workshop was given by guest speaker Peter Lindsay, Associate Professor of Political Science and Philosophy and former Director of the Center for Teaching and Learning at Georgia State University.

Spring 2016

  • “Inclusive Practices for Teaching Students with Diverse Learning Needs”—This workshop featured a performance by recent UMass alum and musician Spencer Garfield, followed by a presentation by Dr. Nola Stephen (Student Development) and Benjamin J. Ostiguy (Disability Services) on the principles of universal design and differentiated instruction.

Fall 2015

  • “Understanding & Supporting the Academic Success of First Generation College Students”—This workshop was held with guest presenter Dr. Jesse Tauriac, Director of the Donahue Institute for Ethics, Diversity, and Inclusion; Associate Professor of Psychology, Lasell College.

For more information, contact Kirsten Helmer