Events



Starting Class in Ways that Get Students Interested and Motivated to Learn

Ian Hartshorn, CTL Graduate Fellow, Political Science

Monday, February 2 | 2:30 pm - 4:00 pm

Graduate Student Workshops

Location: Graduate Student Center 305

Summary: How can you get students engaged, active, and focused in the first few minutes of a class? What are the best ways to kick things off? How can you incorporate writing, discussion, group work, or problem solving into your class openers? In this workshop we’ll discuss getting your classes and recitations off to a strong start. Participants will have the opportunity to share their own strategies for getting students engaged as well as learn from their peers in other fields what works for them.
All graduate students are welcome.
Counts toward the CTL Teaching Certificate.

Strategies to Get Your Students Prepared for Class

Justin Bernstein, CTL Graduate Fellow, Philosophy

Wednesday, February 4 | 1:00 pm - 2:30 pm

Graduate Student Workshops

Location: Graduate Student Center 305

Summary: This workshop will focus on how instructors can assign and structure student work outside of class to improve student learning and make better use of class time. The group will brainstorm various techniques for getting students ready for each specific class meeting and more global ways to help students understand the relationship between what they do outside of class and inside of class. Above all this workshop will focus on they ways to take advantage of the time students spend preparing for class to encourage critical thinking and engagement with the material.
All graduate students are welcome.
Counts toward the CTL Teaching Certificate.

Engineering Faculty Teaching Forum:
Teaching In Active-Learning Classrooms--Using The Former Towne Library Space

Professors LeAnn Dourte, Bioengineering and Paul Heiney, Physics

Monday, February 9 | 12:00 pm - 1:15 pm

Faculty Events

Location: Towne 108

Summary: The Engineering Faculty Teaching Forum brings together faculty from across SEAS for informal conversations about teaching. Each discussion focuses on a different theme and is moderated by two faculty members. All faculty, from experienced to novice teachers, are invited to participate. To encourage open discussion, registration is limited twelve faculty.
The Center for Teaching and Learning provides lunch for all those who register in advance.

Facilitating Discussion

Bronwyn Wallace, CTL Senior Graduate Fellow

Monday, February 9 | 1:30 pm - 3:00 pm

Graduate Student Workshops

Location: Graduate Student Center 305

Summary: In this workshop, we will develop strategies for promoting effective discussion in the classroom. We’ll identify what we mean when we talk about “discussion”: what does a good one look like, and what pedagogical purposes does it serve? Then we will develop practices for discussion that address those goals: how to create an environment conducive to discussion, how to provide your students with what they need to participate meaningfully, how to develop strong questions to prompt compelling and useful conversations, and how to develop lesson-planning strategies that work for you toward facilitating discussion.
All graduate students are welcome.
Counts toward the CTL Teaching Certificate.

Teaching Students to Look at Data Critically

Jacob Nagy, CTL Graduate Fellow, Chemisty

Wednesday, February 11 | 12:30 pm - 2:00 pm

Graduate Student Workshops

Location: Graduate Student Center 305

Summary: The ability to comprehend and effectively analyze data is an invaluable skill with applications that transcend the classroom. However, effectively equipping undergraduate students with this ability can sometimes be a frustrating process. In this workshop, we will explore how primary research articles can be utilized as educational tools in teaching students to look at data critically. Research articles are not only the medium through which academic professionals predominantly communicate, but strong analytical reasoning skills are necessary for their comprehension. Accordingly, we will discuss how to constructively incorporate primary articles in the classroom and how this strategy can positively impact students’ abilities to reason critically throughout their academic careers and beyond.
All graduate students are welcome.
Counts toward the CTL Teaching Certificate.

Prioritizing Time in Class

Emmabeth Parrish, CTL Graduate Fellow, Materials Science and Engineering

Thursday, February 12 | 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm

Graduate Student Workshops

Location: Graduate Student Center 305

Summary: Class time is a scarce commodity. Making the most of it requires clear objectives, adequate planning and the ability to recognize what students need to do to achieve goals. In this workshop, participants will plan class periods that reflect their goals for their students by considering both how to cover content and how to use efficient in-class activities. Appropriate in-class activities for various time allotments will be considered. Participants will work together to analyze how others prioritize time in class and use this to improve their own preparations, class activities and time management. Participants will leave this workshop equipped with methods of prioritizing class time that can be implemented into their own teaching.
All graduate students are welcome.
Counts toward the CTL Teaching Certificate.

Beyond the Term Paper: Assigning Students Creative Written Assignments

Vanessa Williams, CTL Graduate Fellow, Music

Wednesday, February 18 | 4:30 pm - 6:00 pm

Graduate Student Workshops

Location: Graduate Student Center 305

Summary: When we assign our students written assignments, we hope to formulate assignments that will simultaneously generate a useful learning outcome and also motivate students to engage with a topic. In this workshop, we will discuss ways in which we can move beyond simply assigning a final paper, and instead find ways to generate assignments that fulfill a range of educational goals and also allow students to approach their work creatively and enthusiastically. Participants will share ideas across disciplines and come away with concrete strategies for trying out new types of assignment.
All graduate students are welcome.
Counts toward the CTL Teaching Certificate.

Active Learning In Large Classes

Tanya Singh, CTL Graduate Fellow, Biology

Friday, February 20 | 2:30 pm - 4:00 pm

Graduate Student Workshops

Location: Graduate Student Center 205 (2nd floor conference room)

Summary: Active learning has been proven to enhance the classroom experience by giving students hands-on experience in the skills that they need to learn and with the content of the course. While it is sometimes difficult to implement, active learning is particularly powerful in large classes. In this workshop participants will discuss different active learning techniques they can potentially use and consider how to both create moments of activity in a mostly lecture course as well as how to make an entire class period active. The group will also consider what types of active learning might work best in a given scenario.All graduate students are welcome.
Counts toward the CTL Teaching Certificate.

Engineering Faculty Teaching Forum:
Effective Lecturing

Professors Sanjeev Khanna, Computer and Information Science and Katherine Kuchenbecker, Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics

Tuesday, February 24 | 12:00 pm - 1:15 pm

Faculty Events

Location: Towne 108

Summary: The Engineering Faculty Teaching Forum brings together faculty from across SEAS for informal conversations about teaching. Each discussion focuses on a different theme and is moderated by two faculty members. All faculty, from experienced to novice teachers, are invited to participate. To encourage open discussion, registration is limited twelve faculty.
The Center for Teaching and Learning provides lunch for all those who register in advance.

Use and Abuse of PowerPoint

Lili Dworkin, CTL Graduate Fellow, Computer and Information Science

Thursday, February 26 | 1:30 pm - 3:00 pm

Graduate Student Workshops

Location: Graduate Student Center 305

Summary: PowerPoint presentations have become the standard in many classrooms. The tool can certainly be an effective pedagogical aid, but careless use can actually disengage students and impede the learning process. Potential benefits of PowerPoint include structuring and improving the clarity of a lecture, engaging students with a mixture of media types, and providing a focal point for the audience. However, there are an equal number of drawbacks and risks: discouraging interaction between the teacher and students, the reduction of complicated ideas to bullet points, and promoting student inactivity and inattention. In this workshop we will discuss when PowerPoint can be used beneficially, and share techniques for designing the most effective presentation.
All graduate students are welcome.
Counts toward the CTL Teaching Certificate.

Creating Assignments Across a Semester

Alice Hu, CTL Graduate Fellow, Classics

Wednesday, March 18 | 2:30 pm - 4:00 pm

Graduate Student Workshops

Location: Graduate Student Center 305

Summary: As TAs, teachers, and instructors, we would all like to see our students learn content, acquire skills, and develop more fully as critical thinkers. This workshop investigates how we can help our students reach these goals by planning assignments that build on each other throughout a semester. Participants will discuss: What kinds of assignments will best foster and gauge these skills, and how can designing sequences of assignments across a semester build on previously acquired skills while setting the foundation for new skills to be learned? We will also consider how to assess students’ progress and give them feedback along the way. This workshop will be a collaborative conversation, designed to help attendees develop concrete outlines for courses that they are currently teaching or will teach in the future.
All graduate students are welcome.
This workshop counts toward the CTL certificate.

Mentoring Undergraduate Students

Colin Smith, CTL Graduate Fellow, Neuroscience

Thursday, March 26 | 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm

Graduate Student Workshops

Location: Graduate Student Center 305

Summary: Opportunities to mentor undergraduate students are many and varied for graduate students interested in education. However, it is rare for graduate students to receive guidance or feedback on their mentorship or supervision of undergraduate students. In this workshop we will discuss various mentoring relationships and styles that can create nurturing productive partnerships between graduate students and undergraduates. We will consider a many different approaches and styles of mentorship as well as strategies to deal with unexpected situations. In addition to these general discussions, this session will include discussion of specific issues relevant to attendees.
All graduate students are welcome.
Counts toward the CTL Teaching Certificate.

Teaching with Objects

Philip Webster, CTL Graduate Fellow, Religious Studies

Monday, March 30 | 11:30 pm - 1:00 pm

Graduate Student Workshops

Location: Graduate Student Center 305

Summary: Objects can liven up a classroom. They can turn abstract discussions concrete, elicit new forms of student participation, and energize new modes of learning and engagement. In this workshop, we’ll explore ways to use objects to reach your own teaching goals and get students excited about your field. We’ll discuss types of objects that can be used in teaching, precious or quotidian, as well as which types of objects are best used in what ways to reach specific pedagogical goals. We’ll have a person from the Penn Museum who, drawing from her own experience, will help guide our discussion.All graduate students are welcome.
Counts toward the CTL Teaching Certificate.

“Mapmaker, Mapmaker, Make Me a Map”: Teaching With Maps

Ben Christinger, CTL Graduate Fellow, City and Regional Planning

Thursday, April 2 | 3:30 pm - 5:00 pm

Graduate Student Workshops

Location: Graduate Student Center 305

Summary: Mapmaking challenges students to examine information differently, possibly revealing patterns or trends in information and texts that are not always noticeable at first glance. In the session, participants will discuss how to present and engage students with course content in spatial ways. This workshop welcomes students from disciplines like Earth and Environmental Science, that lend themselves easily to mapmaking, as well as other disciplines like English, where mapmaking has recently become an important classroom tool. In all cases, participants will consider several mapmaking applications (including those available at Penn and others that are freely accessible online) to discover how to design a useful mapmaking assignment, and create a map of their own.
All graduate students are welcome.
Counts toward the CTL Teaching Certificate.