Center for the Advancement of Faculty Excellence (CAFE)

Best Practices Online Workshops

These are asynchronous online workshops consisting of short videos highlighting specific topics related to teaching best practices. New workshops are added from time to time so keep visiting to see new content.

Organization of your course as a logistical project and as an intellectual project is both the most important and the easiest-to-accomplish factor in helping your students succeed. This workshop gives concrete strategies for both kinds of organization.

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This is the first video in a series of three. It talks about the time available in a semester (less than we think!) and pedagogical strategies to help students transition to the semester pace. The video ends with some of the good things about semesters, like not having classes start on January 2!

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This is the second video in a series of three. This one talks about how to use a semester calendar so you can get a jump on pre-planning to make sure your course includes active learning and checkpoints to help students stay on top of their semester. An actual course example is used.

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This is the third video in a series of three. This video talks about using class agendas to cope with much shorter class periods in the semester system. Turns out, it’s possible to do a lot of active learning even in a 50-minute class, if it’s carefully planned.

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Learn about Active Learning and its researcher-proven effectiveness. This workshop will introduce you to six popular active learning strategies that you can implement right now in your own course.

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References:

  • Bonwell, C., & Eison, J. (1991). Active learning: Creating excitement in the classroom (ASHE-ERIC higher education report ; 1991, no. 1). Washington, D.C.: School of Education and Human Development, George Washington University.
  • Chasteen, S. (2017, June 20). How do I help students engage productively in active learning classrooms? Message posted to https://www.physport.org/recommendations
  • Felder, R., & Brent, R. (2016). Teaching and Learning STEM: A Practical Guide. Hoboken: John Wiley & Sons, Incorporated.
  • Flaherty, C. (2017, June 27) Smarter Approach to Teaching Science. Retrieved from https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2017/06/27/carl-wieman-makes-evidence-based-plea-better-science-instruction-new-book
  • Wieman, C. (2017) Improving How Universities Teach Science: Lessons from the Science Education Initiative. Cambridge, Massachusetts : Harvard University Press

Discover how you can use Quality Matters (QM) in your own course as you. The Quality Matters (QM) online workshop provides an introduction to QM and how it is being used at Cal Poly Pomona, along with resources to get you started in applying QM to your own course.

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This includes three videos. The first, describes the principles of investing over reacting, as well as using your brain wisely. The second, describes the principle of telling the truth and making friends by calendaring and seeking out multi-section collaboration. The third, describes getting clarity and focus by pruning your classwork and using the Pomodoro technique.

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Screenshot of a blackboard course with labs organized per week

screenshot of blackboard course showing a preparation checklist

Learn about hybrid online teaching, the flipped pedagogical approach, and the differences between them. This workshop will introduce you to technologies capable of creating and delivering instructional materials online.

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Ruth Ahn (Faculty Center, Education), Yam Lee (Chemical & Materials Engineering), and Jennifer Mahlke (Communication), with help from Bonnie Thorne (CFA Lecturer Rep, Psychology) teamed up for a series on topics in teaching and career management. Following are the recordings from the Zoom sessions.

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