Center for the Advancement of Faculty Excellence (CAFE)

Programs and Events

Faculty Zoom Sessions

Multiple dates & times: Online via Zoom

These are informal discussions about whatever attendees want to talk about. Sometimes I’ll suggest a topic or we’ll have special guests. Other times, we talk about teaching ideas and solutions, I can give a little bit of tech help, or we just hang out.

No registration needed, just click the link to join in.

Technology Tuesdays Webinar Series

Tuesdays Feb. 2 through May 4, 3:00pm – 4:00pm: Online via Zoom

Join CAFE every Tuesday to refresh your knowledge about the many tools and technologies available at CPP to support remote teaching.

Please register for each session individually:

Recordings of past sessions can be found on our Remote Teaching: Teach Well page.

Specifications Grading & Mastery Learning Series

Multiple dates & times: Online

Are you tired to death of grading? Many professors feel that grading is so painful, often useless in helping students to learn, and yet is paradoxically so necessary. In collaboration UCI and SJSU, we’re offering a series on mastery learning and specifications grading systems.  Register for the series or individual sessions.

  • uesday April 20, 2:00pm – 3:00pm: Using specifications grading to enhance student learning in writing-focused STEM courses. Steve Mang, UCI, & Kate McNelly, Emory University
  • Wednesday April 28, 2:00pm – 3:00pm: Implementing specifications grading & mastery learning in STEM teaching. Robert Talbert, Grand Valley State University
  • Wednesday May 5, 2:00pm – 3:00pm: Implementing specifications grading for in-person, blended, & online teaching. Julie Mendez, Indiana University-Purdue University Columbus
  • Wednesday May 12, 2:00pm – 3:00pm: Ungrading – expanding the grading discussion. Renée Link, Will Howitz, & Kate McNelly
  • Wednesday May 19, 2:00pm – 3:00pm: Scaling up a specifications grading system in a lab course with more than 1000 students. Rissa Sorensen, Central New Mexico Community College

CAFE Canvas Workshops

Fridays Apr. 16 through May 14, and Monday May 24 through Friday May 28, 12:00pm - 1:00pm: Online via Zoom

Join the Center for the Advancement of Faculty Excellence (CAFE) on select Fridays through April and May to learn about various aspects of Canvas, including:

  • Apr 23: Course Tools - led by Thomas Jenkins & Tommy Gaston
  • Apr 30: Communicating in Canvas - led by Eric Davis
  • May 7: Introduction to Grading - led by Victoria Bhavsar & Donya Rahimi
  • May 14: Accessibility in Canvas - led by Erick Zelaya & Richard Feldman

Repeat noon-hour workshops will be held during "Canvas Week" in late May:

  • May 24: Navigation & Course Settings – led by Donya Rahimi
  • May 25: Course Tools - led by Thomas Jenkins & Tommy Gaston
  • May 26: Communicating in Canvas - led by Eric Davis
  • May 27: Introduction to Grading - led by Victoria Bhavsar & Donya Rahimi
  • May 28: Accessibility in Canvas - led by Erick Zelaya & Richard Feldman

Please register for any and all workshops you wish to attend using your Cal Poly Pomona email address. Don't hesitate to direct any Canvas-related questions to

Faculty Zoom: Featuring the 2021 Wall of COOL

Friday April 23, 2:00pm – 3:00pm: Online via Zoom

Join us for a special Faculty Zoom session where we will honor the 2021 Wall of COOL awardees! Help us congratulate this year’s winners, and learn about some of the innovative and effective ways CPP faculty are using technology to help students succeed.

CHAI Accessibility & Quality Assurance Workshops

Friday April 23, 12:00pm - 1:00pm: Online via Zoom

Join CAFE and our Accessibility Champions to learn more about accessibility and quality assurance. Find answers to your inclusivity questions and get assistance with making your course material accessible by attending Friday CHAI Office Hours with Zahra Sotoudeh (CENG)!

Recordings of past workshops can be found on the CHAI page.

Engaging the Digital Student Initiative – Summer Institute June 2021: What’s in a Grade?

30-day online institute (June 1 – 30, 2021) with synchronous sessions on Fridays: 10:00am – 12:00pm and 1:00pm – 3:00pm

You’re invited to take a deep dive into your grading practices and grading systems. What changes can you make to the way you assess students’ learning to make it more equitable for all learners? Are there ways to grade more inclusively, allow multiple means of representation in assignment submissions, or adjust how students’ learning is assessed to encourage diversity, inclusivity, and equity? And, very importantly, how do you set it up in Canvas?

Attendees should be comfortable with basic aspects of online computer use including web browsing and sending/receiving emails with attachments. We have a limit of 40 total participants (looking for 25 STEM and 15 non-STEM faculty). Participants are accepted first-come, first-serve in their category, based on a completed application. Registration deadline is Friday, May 21.

Visit the EDSI page for more information.

Teaching Experiment Academy Bootcamp

July 6 – 19: Remote synchronous with asynchronous work component

The Teaching Experiment Academy (TEA) invites STEM faculty to redesign or partially redesign an existing course, guided by mastery learning models, employing a specifications grading system. From Summer 2021 to Spring 2022, work with 30+ colleagues from UCI, SJSU, and CPP to reconsider how course grading systems can motivate to learn, not just to comply. Start with the Summer Bootcamp July 6 – 19.

See the Call for Participation for more details.