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Instructional Design Studio

Instructor-led workshops

#AMINEXT? Classroom Conversations in the Shadow of Gun Violence

Gun violence has a marked effect on the way we conduct business on campus, the way we feel when we send our kids off to school, and the way we conduct conversations in our classrooms. It has also become increasingly clear that classroom climates are echoing the politically divided climate in our country. This makes the work of fostering civil discourse, maintaining professional neutrality, and creating inclusive environments more difficult but more imperative than ever. Research shows that schools who are proactive and equip teachers to face these challenging situations head on have significantly better outcomes for classroom management and the welfare of their students and faculty. This workshop is designed to give instructors a toolkit to draw from to help them navigate classroom conversations about gun violence, school shootings, or community injustice.

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AR / VR in the Classroom

Augmented reality and virtual reality has taken off in the higher education classroom. Over the last five years, use of VR has increased 85% in educational settings. There are some great case studies and examples of best practices emerging from instructors all over the world. This workshop walks you through several exampls of how innovative instructors have used this in their opwn classrooms and shows you how to incorporate this into your own classroom in simple, easy-to-access ways.

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Class and room management

Every instructor and meeting facilitator has had a session where the room just got away. Before you knew it, you were out of time and you hadn’t even covered what was most important! Maybe participants didn’t listen or disregarded the instructions, the conversation collapsed or someone dominated the group discussion or no one wanted to speak at all. Fortunately, there are tried-and-true ways to handle all of these situations. This workshop teaches eight specific room management strategies to faculty and administrators to strengthen their facilitation skills. Whether you are managing a large lecture hall of students, a table of faculty working to come to consensus over an issue, or a small group of students you will find something that will make facilitating meetings and classes easier.

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Clickers in the Classroom

Student response systems, colloquially known as "clickers," keep students engaged during class and allow instructors to immediately assess progress and comprehension. This workshop will familiarize you with the TurningPoint Cloud system while exploring how the tools can support and enhance your classroom activities. You will also be provided with a TurningPoint Cloud Instructor Kit which includes everything you need to start using clickers right away.

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Creating and Using Rubrics

Rubrics are an extremely powerful and effective teaching tool that help save time when you grade and give students clear criteria that they can use to self-evaluate. In this class we will learn about the three most common types of rubrics that are used for grading, including a type of rubric called a single-point rubric that can be used to grade work where the parameters for success are not clearly defined and change from student to student. In addition to this, we'll workshop a new rubric or a rubric that you are already using, learn how to use it for student self-reflection and benchmarking, and learn how to use the rubric tool by putting it up on blackboard.

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Creating AR / VR models

This session will explore the creative aspect of incorporating AR / VR into your course. Available on PCs running Windows 10, Paint 3D is a great tool to add those creative elements. It can sometimes be a challenge to keep things interesting, so help your students stay engaged by adding fun 3D elements to your curriculum. This workshop will cover some basic functions of Paint 3D to get your creative juices flowing.

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Editing lecture captures with Camtasia and Office Mix

Recording your lecture in advance can better prepare your students. In addition to that, we can use edited videos to share skills, present research, and document events. In this session, we will cover editing with Camtasia and Office Mix. Cropping, cutting, splicing, and adding effects are some essentials that can make for a polished product.

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Flipping the classroom

The flipped classroom, at its core, is an instructional model where students gain their first exposure to learning prior to class and focus on the processing and higher level thinking in class where they can be guided by the instructor. This workshop will help you learn the mechanics of flipping and work with you to strategize to present materials before class in ways that make sense and ensure that your students will do the work and come to class prepared.

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From syllabus to Grade Center

Blackboard's Grade Center is a powerful, easy-to-use tool that can help you track student performance in any course. In this class we'll start with a syllabus and build out a full Grade Center from there. We'll talk about some schemes for using Blackboard to track face-to-face activities like participation and attendance. We'll look at different ways to manage categories that have lots of columns, and we'll discuss how the Grade Center can be set up to help you easily identify and contact students who are underperforming. Bring your own syllabus questions and so we can figure out solutions together!

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Giving Effective Feedback

Feedback is an essential part of a student's development and is often one of the most time consuming things that an instructor can do...but did you know that not all feedback is effective? This research-based workshop will help you learn to leverage your time, various instructional tools, and resources. By the end, you'll be able to give feedback that is meaningful, efficient and helps the student work towards meeting set goals on their own.

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Introducing... Collaborate Ultra!

Blackboard Collaborate Ultra has replaced the old-style Blackboard Collaborate as of Fall 2017. This new collaborate is a browser-based solution that no longer needs any downloads or installs to run. It also includes updated and upgraded versions of the features you're used to using in Collaborate. Applications and files are easier than ever to share, it's simple to set up and manage breakout rooms, and navigation has been made even more intuitive. Register for this workshop to learn how to use Collaborate Ultra and see how you can integrate it into your online classroom, use it for virtual office hours, create recordings of lectures, and so much more!

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Keeping up with what they know: integrating formative assessment in the classroom

Incorporating formative assessments into your teaching not only informs your instruction but it can improve student engagement and encourage critical reflection. This workshop will teach you assessment strategies that you can use right away in your classes and also help you coach your students to use the formative data to their advantage as well.

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Online Instruction: Pedagogy and Practice (FULL)

Update: As of 8/24/2017, registration for this class is closed and all spots are taken. To be put on the wait list for the Winter term session please email Elizabeth Royal at 


This ten-week hybrid class will give you the opportunity to hone your online instruction strategies. This class takes a deeper dive into the mechanics behind planning an engaging, interactive, and student centered online class.  We’ll cover topics like active learning, formative and summative assessments, and instructor presence. We’ll spend the in person sessions mapping our courses and sharing ideas with each other.

Even  if  you  are  not  teaching  a  fully  online  course,  you  are  welcome  to  enroll.  Last  term’s instructors were surprised by how much information from the course worked in their face to face classes, too!

The course is designed for instructors of all skill levels, from the new instructor to someone who has been teaching for a while and just wants an infusion of new ideas and streamlined strategies.

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Rethinking the Syllabus

Compliments to your Syllabus that Enhance Readability

How many times in your teaching career have you had to tell a student that the information they are asking about is in the syllabus...if they'd only read it and look it over. This workshop explores three different ways to help your students understand your syllabus! We'll cover creating and using pacing guides, interactive syllabi, and infographic syllabi. IDS will provide the template and technical support and you’ll provide the syllabus - we’ll work together to create something you can use over and over again in your classes and increase student understanding of your expectations, the workload, and the class as a whole.

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Roundtable Discussion

We close our Summer Series with open discussion. Share your ideas, your concerns, your plans with your colleagues. What has you excited about teaching next term? Is anything causing trepidation? Do you have a plan for an approach or activity that you want to share or get input on? As part of this discussion, you can also help IDS shape our coming workshops -- what topics would you like to see us address in the coming year?

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Stepping Up Your Lecture Game

The current story around lecturing is that it is bad and boring, ineffective, and should be avoided at all costs. But the truth of the matter is, sometimes a lecture is the best way to communicate a concept or process. The question then becomes: how can we make our lectures more effective? In this session we will look at some strategies and techniques that you can use to make your lectures more engaging and memorable, whether you're lecturing online or in the classroom.



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Wireless Devices: From Distraction to Engagement

Restricting students' use of laptops and phones in the classroom ahs been shown to reduce student distraction. But it's difficult to enforce and prevents students from using devices for note-taking or research. Studies have shown that including interactive tasks such as formative assessment can help to maintain student focus without restricting the use of wireless devices. In this session we'll explore the Top Hat Classroom system and other tools that run on students' devices.

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Working with media: creation, storage, and publication

Understanding how media files (images, video and audio) are stored and compressed can free up room on your hard drives, preserve and enhance their quality, and enable you to confidently prepare media for publication. Have you ever been told by a publisher that you needed to resubmit your artwork in a different format, been sent an image or movie you couldn't open, or wondered which settings to use on your digital camera? This workshop will give you the knowledge and skills to solve these dilemmas yourself, using only free tools.

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