Spring into Teaching 2024

On a green background, a light blue spring has the text Spring into Teaching Refresh and Expand written over it

Join the Center for Teaching and Learning for Spring into Teaching - Refresh and Expand, a series of online events from January 16-19 to help you refresh your course design and expand your teaching techniques. Spark an idea in as little as 15 minutes or come all 5 days. Learn on your own in an asynchronous session, share with your colleagues in a workshop or meet one-on-one with a CTL consultant in our Syllabus Clinic.

See the schedule below and click on the links for detailed information.

 

Tuesday, 1/16  Wednesday, 1/17  Thursday, 1/18  Friday, 1/19 
Learn together
10:00 AM

Listen to Learn: Distracted Students
How do we reawaken their attention in classes

(60 min)

One Look Back, Two Steps Forward: Learning Through Reflection
Help students better understand their thought processes 
(90 min)

ChatGPT Use Among UMass Students
Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) in action

(60 min)

Thriving Together: Enhancing Student Wellbeing in Larger Classes
Explore inclusive strategies for creating student-centered learning environments

(90 min)

Take a Break
One-on-One
1:00 PM - 2:00 PM
 
2:00 PM - 3:00 PM
 

 

On Demand
Explore by Yourself
Flash 15: Keywords
Help students navigate course readings
Flash 15: Assignment Wrappers
Encourage students to engage with feedback
Flash 15: Interrupted Case Studies
Invite students to go beyond surface-level
Flash 15: Cooperative Work Group Contracts
Help students improve group work
Flash 15: Random Calling
Diversify student voices in your course

 

Learn Together

Listen to Learn: Distracted Students

Date: Tuesday, 1/16, 10 am, on Zoom

Facilitators: Beth Lisi and Brian Baldi, CTL

It feels like students are more distracted than ever—can we reawaken their attention? Listen to Learn works like a book club, but with podcast episodes. On your own, before the session, listen to the Tea for Teaching podcast episode “Distracted” with author and professor James Lang, and then join us for a discussion about the major ideas explored in the episode and implications for our teaching, including what we can learn from playwrights and poets to hold attention, and how best to use technology in the classroom.

Register here

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One Look Back, Two Steps Forward: Learning Through Reflection

Date: Wednesday, 1/17, 10 am, on Zoom

Facilitators: Sara Cavallo and Brian Baldi, CTL

Reflection helps us process our previous experiences and make decisions about what to do next. In the classroom, reflective activities can help students better understand their thought process and monitor their own growth as learners. This type of metacognitive reflection, or “thinking about thinking,” has been identified as a key competency for self-directed learning. Join us for a workshop that explores the relationship between reflection, metacognition, and how we learn. In this session, we will share reflective activities that can be used in a variety of class contexts, from short activities to larger assignments.

After this workshop, you will be able to:

  • Define reflection and metacognition
  • Explain the relationship between reflection, metacognition, and how we learn
  • Adapt some reflection activities to your own teaching context

Register here

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ChatGPT Use Among UMass Students

Date: Thursday, 1/18, 10 am, on Zoom

Moderator: Colleen Kuusinen, CTL

Panelists: Becky Miller (Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, CNS), Siobhan Meï (CICS), Christina DiMarco-Crook (Food Science, CNS)

What do we do when we don’t know what to do? These panelists will share what they did when faced with the challenges of generative AI and what it would mean to their teaching. Three members of the SoTL Working Group engaged in scholarly inquiry to understand if, how, and why students were using—or not using—ChatGPT. Panelists will also discuss how the scholarship of teaching and learning (SoTL) has helped them create community with other like-minded faculty to navigate this and other teaching problems they have faced.

Register here

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Thriving Together: Enhancing Student Wellbeing in Larger Classes

Date: Friday, 1/19, 10 am, on Zoom

Facilitator: Kirsten Helmer, CTL

Student wellbeing and connection are critical for learning, growth, and achievement. Teaching larger classes, however, presents unique challenges in offering individualized support and fostering the deep, meaningful connections that are essential for student success. This interactive workshop is specially designed to equip you with diverse, inclusive strategies for creating student-centered learning environments that nurture student well-being in a variety of teaching contexts.

Here's What You Can Expect:

  • Discover how you can build relationships with your students throughout the semester through intentional touchpoint activities.
  • Leave equipped with a toolkit of easy-to-implement strategies to boost student motivation, belonging, and learning outcomes by enhancing student wellness in any learning environment.
  • Consider the practical application of these strategies by discussing sample case scenarios.
  • Develop a personal action plan for integrating wellness-enhancing strategies into your classes from the start.

Join Kirsten Helmer, Director of Programming for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion with the CTL, for a session that promises not just insightful dialogue, but also practical strategies for fostering an environment where every student can thrive.

Register here

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One-on-One

Syllabus Clinic

Dates: Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, 1/17-19, at 1 pm and 2 pm, on Zoom

Meet with a CTL consultant to review your syllabus, even if it’s still in draft form. We can discuss questions about your syllabus and your course such as:

  • What does my syllabus convey about what it will feel like to take this course?
  • Am I meeting all the UMass requirements?
  • How do my assignments and assessments consider the potential use of generative AI tools?
  • Are my policies inclusive AND mindful of my capacity and workload?

Multiple but limited slots available at 1 pm and 2 pm Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. You must register and submit your draft syllabus by 12 pm the day before your desired consultation slot to allow the CTL consultant sufficient time to review your syllabus.

Sign up for a consultation here.

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Explore by Yourself

Flash 15

Date: Available on demand at any time during Spring into Teaching

Watch a 15-minute asynchronous session to learn a new proven teaching technique.

Register here for one or all of the sessions in our single registration form.

Keywords: help students navigate course readings

Facilitator: Brian Baldi, CTL

This teaching activity encourages close reading of texts and can be particularly helpful in theory-based courses in the humanities and social sciences (or any course that involves complex readings). Register here for one or all of the sessions in our single registration form.

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Assignment Wrappers: encourage students to engage with feedback

Facilitator: Sara Cavallo, CTL

This strategy encourages reflective practices that supports building study skills and fostering deeper engagement with course materials before or after students complete big assignments including exams, papers, and capstone projects. Register here for one or all of the sessions in our single registration form.

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Interrupted Case Studies: invite students to go beyond surface-level

Facilitator: Beth Lisi, CTL

Do you want to spark curiosity? Interrupted case studies is a teaching activity that uses real-life scenarios to prompt student discussion, exploration, and risk-taking. Learn how to use it and adapt it to your teaching context. Register here for one or all of the sessions in our single registration form.

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Cooperative Group Work Contracts: help students improve group work

Facilitator: Colleen Kuusinen, CTL

How can you move students beyond the “divide and conquer” approach to group work towards true cooperative learning and its potential for transformational learning? Explore a type of group work contract that supports students to build towards a more inclusive form of group work. Register here for one or all of the sessions in our single registration form.

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Random Calling: diversify student voices in your course

Facilitator: Claire Hamilton, CTL

This systematic evidence-based strategy for eliciting student class participation diversifies student voices, increases overall student engagement, and promotes classroom equity and belonging. Register here for one or all of the sessions in our single registration form.

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