Faculty Development

Faculty Development

Cool Tools for Teaching Workshops

Cool Tools Workshops introduce faculty to a variety of issues and strategies to complement or enhance current teaching methods.  These include high-tech, low-tech, and no-tech tools and workshops open to all, including but not limited to Adjunct Faculty, Full-time Faculty, Master's Instructors, and graduate teaching instructors. Descriptions and calendars can be found below.

 

May 2014 Cool Tools for Teaching Workshops


Register for these workshops here.

**CHOOSE WHICH ONES APPLY BEST TO YOU OR COME TO ALL**

Workshops on Preparing For Your Class
Tuesday May 6th
9-11am: Effective In-Class Discussions with Jan Gabel-Goes
12-2pm: Effective Board Work with Sarah Cox
3-5pm: Getting the Most Out of the D2L Gradebook with Julie Scott

Wednesday May 7th
9-10:30am: E-learning Basics with Gwen Little
12-2pm: Metacognition to Improve Student Learning with Sarah Cox
3-5pm: Team-Based Learning with Eli Collins-Brown

Workshop Descriptions

May 6th
9-11am: Effective In-Class Discussions with Jan Gabel-Goes
We all fear the "deer in the headlights" and the wan, wandering discussion in class. This highly interactive session will explore and demonstrate ways to prepare students for focused and engaging discussion, to manage discussions and address the most common discussion problems, and to assess students' participation in discussion.

12-2pm: Effective Board Work with Sarah Cox
Chalk or Dry Erase love it or avoid it?  In these days of PowerPoints and other multimedia to deliver content in the classroom, our board work skills might need some brushing up.  In this hands-on workshop we will look at some ways to improve our board work skills, use the board in new and interesting ways to capture student engagement, and learn how to present our materials using this piece of classroom technology effectively.

3-5pm: Getting the Most Out of the D2L Gradebook with Julie Scott
Description forthcoming.

May 7th
9-10:30am: E-learning Basics with Gwen Little
Description forthcoming.

12-2pm: Metacognition to Improve Student Learning with Sarah Cox
An awareness of the process of learning is crucial for student engagement and success. Metacognition actively engages the student in their learning through teaching three crucial skills: Planning/goal setting, monitoring progress, and adapting as needed. By teaching these skills to our students we provide them with the tools for success. In this workshop we are going to explore the murky depths of metacognition, have fun with some brain-based teaching strategies and see just how the use of "wrappers" can really change our student's learning outcomes.

3-5pm: Team-Based Learning with Eli Collins-Brown
Description forthcoming.

Workshops on Working with All Students
Monday May 12th; CELCIS Day - Best Practices in Working with International Students
9-10:30am: Developing International Students’ Writing Skills with Thomas Marks
11-12:30pm: Language Emergencies: Where to Put Out the Fires with Robert Dlouhy
1-2:30pm: Classroom Management in Working with International Students with Joel Boyd
3-4:30pm: Addressing Academic and Cultural Adjustment Needs of Iraqi Students with Tudy Boldin, Eva Copija, and Beth Ernst

Tuesday May 13th
9-11am: Working with Millennial Students with Tracey Quada
3-5pm: Working with Student Veterans with Office of Military and Veterans Affairs/Tracey Quada

Workshop Descriptions

May 12th : CELCIS Day – Best Practices in Working with International Students
9-10:30am: Developing International Students’ Writing Skills with Thomas Marks
The purpose of this workshop is to facilitate the successful completion of writing assignments by international students. I will first identify some differences between the writing skills of international students and U.S. students (cultural, rhetorical, grammatical), and identify some practical strategies for accommodating these differences. I will also provide some useful resources for teaching these students.

11-12:30pm: Language Emergencies: Where to Put Out the Fires with Robert Dlouhy
Description forthcoming.

1-2:30pm: Classroom Management in Working with International Students with Joel Boyd
This workshop is designed for instructors who have had or currently have international students in their classrooms.  Participants will be given a sheet of paper to write their questions on first. Then the workshop will begin with a short 15-minute introduction to CELCIS and a 15-minute general guidelines to working with international students.  The rest of the time will be devoted to questions from the audience. (I will need connections for my computer and a screen for my powerpoint presentation)

3-4:30pm: Addressing Academic and Cultural Adjustment Needs of Iraqi Students with Tudy Boldin, Eva Copija, and Beth Ernst
The purpose of this workshop is to share information about the academic and cultural adjustment needs of Iraqi students here on the WMU campus.  We will first discuss some background information about Iraqis attending U.S. universities, the content of a survey that was given to Iraqi students, the results of the surveys including cultural adaptation difficulties and emotional challenges, and finally, suggestions to assist faculty in working with these students.  There will be time for questions and discussion following the presentation.

May 13th
9-11am: Working with Millennial Students with Tracey Quada
Description forthcoming.

3-5pm: Working with Student Veterans with Office of Military and Veterans Affairs/Tracey Quada
Western Michigan University’s Office of Military and Veterans Affairs, in collaboration with a variety of on- and off-campus constituents, provides services and programs to student veterans. The transition from “soldier to student” can be challenging, so this office strives to make that transition smoother and, in doing so, impacts the retention of this unique population. Learn about the history of the office and its continuing efforts that have earned WMU national ranking as a top military friendly institution. Attendees will take away classroom strategies for influencing the success of this increasing, and important, student group.

Workshops on Applying Technology in the Classroom
Wednesday May 21st
9-11am: Effective Online Discussions with Andrea Beach and Gwen Little
12-2pm: Infographics with Sarah Cox
3-5pm: Gaming the Classroom with Kevin Abbott

Thursday May 22nd
9-11am: Websites and Apps for Teaching and Learning with LaShaunda Webb
12-2pm: Introduction to Social Media with Josh Kohnert
3-5pm: Camtasia Relay with John Mackenzie and Brad Morgan

Friday May 23rd
9-11am: Advanced Social Media with Josh Kohnert
1-2:30pm: Work Smarter not Harder with Gwen Little
3-5pm: Doc Cam Best Practices with MaryKate Bodnar, Latif Ibraheem, Charlie Reinhardt, and Angela Willson

Workshop Descriptions

May 21st
9-11am: Effective Online Discussions with Andrea Beach and Gwen Little
Description forthcoming.

12-2pm: Infographics with Sarah Cox
Description forthcoming.

3-5pm: Gaming the Classroom with Kevin Abbott
This workshop will go over the basics of game design and offer an interactive example of applying standard game dynamics to academic subject matter. It will also help attendees to evaluate their own content to determine if it's a good fit for becoming a game.

May 22nd
9-11am: Websites and Apps for Teaching and Learning with LaShaunda Webb
There are some websites and apps that I think professors would be interested in for teaching and student engagement such as: Educanon, TeachEm, TodaysMeet, StudyBlue, and Thinglink.

12-2pm: Introduction to Social Media with Josh Kohnert
Description forthcoming.

3-5pm: Camtasia Relay with John Mackenzie and Brad Morgan
This workshop is a guided tour of Camtasia and Camtasia relay. Camtasia Relay is a presentation capture tool that streamlines the sharing process for educators at all levels. Learn how to create video tutorials or record feedback for students, all with only a few clicks! Please come prepared with your laptop to follow along with the demonstration.

May 23rd
9-11am: Advanced Social Media with Josh Kohnert
Description forthcoming.

1-2:30pm: Work Smarter not Harder with Gwen Little
This workshop will explore a variety of tools in E-learning which will help with course management.

3-5pm: Doc Cam Best Practices with MaryKate Bodnar, Charlie Reinhardt, Latif Ibraheem, and Angela Willson
This workshop is designed by five WMU T.A's to showcase and share experiences of using the Doc Cam for teaching and learning can be interactive, inclusive, flexible and multi-modal across curricula. This piece of technology, often left on the sidelines, can be a re-energizing side-step to providing a powerful presence in the classroom. Join our workshop for half an hour on the wonders of a Doc. Cam.

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PAST Cool Tools for Teaching Workshop Descriptions

Best Practices for Teaching with Student Response Systems (Clickers)
Student response systems (Clickers) offer an interactive tool that can keep student attention during lectures, gather instant comprehension data from students during class, and help students see their own learning in comparison with their peers in a safe way.  There are definite best practices associated with clickers, and participants will leave with an understanding of the pedagogical theory and research behind the use of clickers, as well as best practices for implementing them.

Bridging the E-learning Gap
This workshop is aimed at helping faculty bridge the gap between the design of their elearning course space to the reality of their face-to-face classroom. Come prepared with a few ideas and your laptop!

Camtasia Relay
This workshop is a guided tour of Camtasia and Camtasia relay. Camtasia Relay is a presentation capture tool that streamlines the sharing process for educators at all levels. Learn how to create video tutorials or record feedback for students, all with only a few clicks! Please come prepared with your laptop to follow along with the demonstration.

Concept Maps: How Can I use them in my class?
Are you looking for alternative assignments that reflect your students' thinking process, comprehension of materials and ability to present ideas and concepts? This Cool Tools session will look at the benefits of  concept mapping in the classroom. We will first look at the theory behind the use of concept mapping. We will then look at the practical side of integrating concept maps into your syllabus as assignments and how to use them for assessment. We will look at examples from several different disciplines, including Business, Math, Science and the Humanities. We will also learn how to teach students to effectively create concept maps and learn how you can create effective rubrics for assessing concept maps. We will also have a chance to explore web-based tools for concept mapping and finally create concept maps of our own.

Course Redesign
This is a two-part session. Please sign up for both days. This session will help you rebuild a course from the ground up, ensuring that it is on strong pedagogical footing. It is intended for people who are actively redesigning a course, or are soon to start.

Creative Commons
We’ve all heard of Creative Commons (CC) and seen presentations and other materials online that say “licensed for use under creative commons”.  But what is it and how can it benefit use as instructors? In this workshop we will address both sides of Creative Commons.  How to make use of materials already licensed under CC and how we can apply a CC license to our own materials.  We’ll take a look at some CC plug-in tools that enable you to apply CC license from within a software package.  And we’ll then take a look at where you can use your licensed materials. This workshop is part hands on and part presentation please bring mobile device, e.g. laptop, tablet, netbook.

Demonstrating “Professional Competence” through Multiple Approaches
Participants will leave this workshop with a teaching portfolio model that incorporates multiple approaches for maximizing student completion of the ICES Online end-of-course evaluation AND other approaches to gathering formative data for self-assessment of their teaching that will directly support their demonstration of professional competence for tenure and promotion.

Effective Board Work
Chalk or Dry Erase love it or avoid it?  In these days of PowerPoints and other multimedia to deliver content in the classroom, our board work skills might need some brushing up.  In this hands-on workshop we will look at some ways to improve our board work skills, use the board in new and interesting ways to capture student engagement, and learn how to present our materials using this piece of classroom technology effectively.

Effective Dialogue
Can classroom discussion really be an effective teaching and learning tool? Bring your thoughts and ideas, comments etc. to this workshop on all things classroom discussion.  We’re going to take a look at how classroom discussions should lead to greater student understanding of the content.  But often this doesn’t happen.  What approaches can we adopt when we find they’re just not talking?

Effective In-Class Discussions
We all fear the "deer in the headlights" and the wan, wandering discussion in class. This highly interactive session will explore and demonstrate ways to prepare students for focused and engaging discussion, to manage discussions and address the most common discussion problems, and to assess students' participation in discussion.

Effectively Utilizing Group Work (Part I and II)
This session works to assist instructors with the implementation of group work in courses both large and small. Participants will leave with an understanding of why and when to use groups, what they can accomplish, and how to help groups work effectively. Session I focuses on Getting and maintaining student cooperation: team norms, contracts, and follow through, and observing teamwork: formal vs. informal group management. Session II focuses on Designing assignments for group work: changing methodologies and rubrics to reflect the group situation as part of the grading process. Linking assignments to learning outcomes.

Ever Study Note Blues: Too Cool for School Tools
The connected world can be a distraction in the classroom, but the i-generated assignment can capitalize on student's virtual attention.   In this hands-on workshop, participants will take the next steps in collaborative teaching and learning. By diving into Diigo and considering  how we might use Study Blue and Evernote among others,  we will discover the power of integrating some of the tech study tools that can capture your students enthusiasm for studying. Please bring your laptop computer to this session.

Evidence-based strategies for improving time management and self-directed learning
Educators often lament the poor study skills and time management issues of their students. This workshop will draw upon psychological literature to supply practical solutions for ameliorating these concerns. The focus will be on techniques that college educators can teach students or incorporate into their course structure. This workshop will cover topics such as metacognitive skills, student motivation, student procrastination and planning errors, promotion of active reading skills, and the SAFMEDS flashcard method.

Facebook in the Classroom
Students are creating online lives that seamlessly integrate with their offline lives using Web 2.0 technologies such as blogs, Twitter, wikis, social bookmarking, video and photo sharing and social networking sites, such as Facebook.  As of October 2012, there are one billion monthly active users. Approximately 81% of our monthly active users are outside the U.S. and Canada. There were 584 million daily active users on average in September 2012 and 604 million monthly active users who used Facebook mobile products as of September 30, 2012 (http://newsroom.fb.com/Key-Facts). Students check FB before they check their email.  Many no longer check email on a regular basis because everyone they care about staying in touch with is on FB.  So what does this mean for college and university instructors who are trying to engage their students in their learning by 'meeting them where they are'? Wide ranging opinions abound about whether or not professors should 'friend' their students on FB because of its 'social' nature.  But recently much has been written about ways to use Facebook as an approach to connecting and engaging students in their learning.  FB has also made some changes in their functions that allow for individual instructors to have a bit more control over how they connect with their students. This workshop will explore some of these suggestions and will involve hands-on activities in FB.  We will be using a private FB group called Using FB in College Courses (WMU).  You can request membership to this group by going to http://www.facebook.com/groups/168791489934132/.

Faculty Guide to Career Services
As faculty member at WMU, you have a powerful impact on the career paths of your students. Students see faculty members as their link to the professional world beyond the university. We recognize and appreciate this unique relationship and welcome the opportunity to work collaboratively with you to meet their career development needs.  Join us to learn how we can support you and the resources we have for students. It is recommended that attendees bring their laptops or tablets to fully participate.

Flipping the Classroom
'Flipping' the classroom is not a new concept but is currently getting a lot of press in higher education.  So what is it and how do you do it?  What are the advantages and challenges?  What resources are available to you at WMU to do this flipping?
The flipped classroom is actually a 'pedagogical model in which the typical lecture and homework elements of a course are reversed" (Educause, 2012). It transfers the responsibility of 'getting' content from the professor to the student.  There are many ways to flip your classroom, but the most talked about method right now is to record your lectures and have the students watch them before coming to class so that you can spend precious face-to-face class time applying the content to real-life situations or scenarios, or for actual practice time or hands-on time.
In this workshop, you will be introduced to the concept of flipping the classroom, why you may want to try it and how to start thinking about redesigning your course to be flipped.  We will also explore some resources that will help you create the necessary pieces to be successful.  You will leave with a plan and next steps to take to flip your classroom. To get the most out of this workshop, please bring a laptop.

Fostering Effective Discussion in Class and Online
We all fear the “deer in the headlights” and the wan, wandering discussion in class.  This highly interactive session will explore and demonstrate ways to prepare students for focused and engaging discussion, to manage discussions and address the most common discussion problems, and to assess students’ participation in discussion – both in class and online. Please bring your laptop computer to this session. This session is immediately followed by a hands-on session incorporating the content with Elearning, presented by the FTC. You may enroll in either or both sessions.

Heated Conversations with Positive Outcomes
An interactive workshop that will provide instructors with the resources and know-how to facilitate sometimes difficult discussions. An important aspect of developing critical thinking skills is creating an environment in which diversity of thought is valued and different ideas can be challenged. Learn how to create meaningful discussions while creating an inclusive space for a wide-range of ideas.

Introduction to Elearning
This session is designed to present instructors with the nececessary knowledge and skills to incorporate Elearning into their courses. In this session, you will be introduced to all the tools needed to become a proficient user of Elearning. The discussion for each tool will include time for hands-on experience.

iPad Apps (Tablets)
Tablets have been all the craze over the couple years. They are portable, easy to use, and yet their potential in higher education is still much of a mystery. This session will introduce you to the secret world of applications (apps) for iOS and Droid tablets. These apps are designed to make your work-life balance a little more equal as well as introduce you to technology many of your students are already using. A brief introduction of presenters' "go to apps" will start the discussion. Please bring your tablet and make sure you have your respective account for downloading apps set-up.

Metacognition to Improve Student Learning: Peeling Back the Wrappers
An awareness of the process of learning is crucial for student engagement and success. Metacognition actively engages the student in their learning through teaching three crucial skills: Planning/goal setting, monitoring progress, and adapting as needed. By teaching these skills to our students, we provide them with the tools for success. In this workshop we are going to explore the murky depths of metacognition, have fun with some brain-based teaching strategies and see just how the use of "wrappers" can really change our student's learning outcomes.

Online Quizzes, Tests, and Assignments: Pearls and Perils
There are excellent reasons to put quizzes and tests online, and to have students submit papers and projects through the Learning Management System (LMS). Such approaches can free up class time for more active learning and can support faster feedback. There are pedagogical and logistical challenges, however, that need to be considered and addressed. Participants will leave this workshop with an understanding of the pros and cons of online testing and assignment submission, and approaches to making them work in their specific course contexts. This session combines both theory and application. Please bring your laptop computer to this session.

Pod and Video Casting
Podcasting and video casting can be a great way to “push the content delivery out of the classroom” or supplement in-class explanations of key concepts.  Done right, they are easy to create and easy to maintain and update.  This session will introduce participants to simple approaches to pod and video casting using university supported technology. Arrangements may be made with the teacher for one-on-one hands-on training following the session. Please email our office for more information.

Prezi in the Classroom
Prezi is a presentation alternative to PowerPoint.  While PowerPoint utilizes the "slide" function to display linear progressed shows, Prezi escapes those boundaries by providing an opportunity to visualize and story tell.  Prezi is design as a canvas where you zoom to different components of your presentation.  This session introduces the basic functions and discusses the "Do's and Don'ts" to using Prezi.  At the end of the session, participants will walk away with their first Prezi presentation.

Service Learning
While the elements of the traditional classroom such as lectures, books, and papers, are important parts of student learning, they have limited potential to offer students a strong connection to the world outside of WMU.  One way to supplement the student experience is through service learning.  Requiring students to volunteer or complete community service is NOT service learning.  Service Learning is a distinct strategy that requires careful planning, and integration of classroom curriculum and instruction with meaningful service. It involves assessing a community need, collaboration outside of the classroom, and reflection on the experience, including drawing connections back to the curriculum.  In this workshop we will discuss service learning, hear success stories, and learn practical strategies for implementing service learning.

"Sizzling Syllabi" - The Foundations: Best Practices in Syllabus Construction and First Week of Class
Research demonstrates that our syllabus and our first class sessions of the semester set the stage for our own and our students’ success. Too often, however, we just aren’t sure what belongs in a syllabus, how much detail is enough or too much, and how to convey expectations without turning our syllabi into 20 page tomes. Further, we are not sure how to use the first class sessions and worry that time taken away from plunging into content will put us behind before we even start. This session directly addresses these concerns. Participants will leave with the template for effective syllabi, and a selection of approaches to integrate in the first week to promote the understanding of expectations, build community in class (regardless of its size), head off common student concerns, and set the stage for learning.

Text Analysis Tools for Any Discipline
Many scholarly disciplines require deep and close analysis of text-based data, whether it be a digitized text of an 18th century novel or a bank of bog entries from the web. This Cool Tools session will introduce users to freely available digital tools used for text mining and text analysis. Participants will get to play around with different resources and technologies that facilitate text analysis and data mining and explore the different level these tools visualize textual data. Participants will each need a computer.

Textbook Alternatives
Increasing costs for traditional textbooks and course packs continue to be a problem for students as well as faculty. Fortunately there are high quality alternatives to textbooks which can be used to cover the same learning objectives in many cases. This workshop will explore options offered through open educational resources projects, as well as resources and services from WMU Libraries.

Tips for Writing IDP and IDT Grants
This Cool Tool session will help participants think through the process and review the guidelines for successful submissions. We will also show examples of past submissions that were awarded grant funds. Participants are encouraged to bring in their in-process proposals for feedback.

Twitter in the Classroom
The micro-blog social media platform, "Twitter" is a great tool to use in classroom engagement both in and out of the classroom.  It is also a platform most faculty and staff do not use already, thus making it easier to create a spot for students to connect with faculty.  The session will include a walkthrough of the basic functions of the site and demonstrations where this tool could be applied to the classroom and beyond.

Understanding and Applying Social Media
As social media become more ubiquitous, people around the world have developed new methods of student engagement. This session will explain different forms of social media, and will discuss how you can use them in your classes. Please bring your laptop computer to this session.

Using Cases for Problem Based Learning
“Cases” – real-life or simulated situations (written or multi-media) that offer realistic issues associated with our course content and skills – can serve as powerful foundations for student problem-solving and critical thinking. Participants will discuss the use of cases with facilitators from different disciplines and will leave with concrete ideas about how to find or create, utilize and assess case-based work in their courses.

Using Grading Rubrics to Improve Student Performance -and cut down your grading time!
Rubrics lay out clear expectations for student work, identifying what excellent, average, and poor performance looks like for our assignments.  They assist students in understanding and working toward our expectations, and assist us in justifying the grades and feedback we give.  Participants will leave with an understanding of the fundamentals of rubrics, where to find pre-designed rubrics that can be applied directly to our assignments or easily modified, and if necessary, how to start from scratch building rubrics. This session is immediately followed by a hands-on session incorporating the content with Elearning, presented by the FTC. You may enroll in either or both sessions. Please bring your laptop computer to this session.

Using iClicker: An Introduction to the Hardware and Software
Are you a first-time iClicker user? Or, have you used iClicker before but would like a refresher on the basics? If so, then this is the session for you! During this interactive session, you will learn how to:

  • Set up your iClicker course
  • Use iClickers in the classroom
  • Utilize the iGrader grade book
  • Integrate with your Course Management System

If you wish to have an expanded knowledge in using the system, then stick around for the second session.

 

Office of Faculty Development
Western Michigan University
Kalamazoo MI 49008-5268 USA
(269) 387-0732
faculty-development@wmich.edu