Faculty Seminars are educational experiences designed exclusively for faculty. The intent of Faculty Seminars is to deepen and enrich the teaching practice of faculty by focusing on an aspect of their teaching. Faculty Seminars and Learning Communities operate as a cohort.
Faculty are experts in their field; however, many faculty may desire an opportunity to delve more deeply into teaching and teaching practice. For faculty who want to develop a richer, more research-guided teaching practice we present five unique seminars for faculty development. The seminars are designed to give faculty access to a community of practice, or cohort, that nurtures and develops their teaching practice while staying focused on research guided principles. Faculty commit a certain amount of time and are supported with guidance, resources, and support.
Faculty will improve their teaching practice, receive professional enrichment, and build a stronger community of professional practice amongst their fellow faculty.
Faculty should expect to meet once a month with their cohort (a total of eight meetings over a year, or four meetings over a semester). There is outside reading and writing, and faculty will develop materials that can be used towards their own teaching evaluation or portfolios. Faculty may also wish to pursue writing a piece for a journal based on the work they do in their seminar.
Remote attendance for faculty at regional campuses is available.
Faculty Seminar Descriptions
Hybrid and Online Teaching & Learning Seminar
- Since last spring, faculty delved into remote, hybrid, and online instruction and have increased their educational technology tool comfort and skill levels. However, given the sudden shift to remote learning, many instructors did not have the time or opportunity to explore hybrid and online learning pedagogical best practices prior to beginning to teach online. In the Hybrid and Online Teaching and Learning Seminar, an 8-week project-based course, faculty will have the chance to reflect on their online teaching experiences, collaborate with colleagues, discuss the advantages and challenges of online teaching, expand their online teaching skills.
- This seminar is a faculty learning community in which all participants progress as a cohort and provide support and feedback to each other. Participants will meet synchronously online via Zoom for 90 minutes three times (on Fridays from 2 pm – 3:30 pm) during the seminar. Participants will also need to complete a full Introduction to Canvas training workshop offered by the Teaching Center if they have not already done so. The remainder of the seminar will consist of asynchronous online learning tasks such as discussions, readings, and hands-on work revising or developing online course content using Canvas.
- Participants will receive a certificate of completion upon completion of all requirements. This seminar is designed for faculty who would like to address challenges they encountered while teaching online or those who would like to expand their online teaching skills; This might include faculty who plan to revise hybrid or online courses they taught in the past or those who are developing new hybrid or online courses. Faculty from regional campuses are also welcome to enroll.
The Scholarship of Teaching & Learning Seminar
- Taking a scholarly approach to teaching and learning, you will, individually but alongside and with the support of a cohort of faculty, plan and administer a study aimed at improving learning in your classroom.
- In this seminar, you will not only learn, but also participate, in the steps of SoTL research. You will identify a problem, issue, concern in your classroom teaching, conduct a literature review, design a research plan, identify or create measurement instruments, collect data, have the data analyzed, write up the results, and present a virtual poster to the class.
- The cohort will meet monthly for two terms to learn the process of research as it applies to your problem. Once you have finished all deliverables in a timely manner, you will receive a letter of completion.
Classroom Assessment Seminar
- In higher education, assessment is often portrayed as a necessary evil – something instructors do in addition to teaching. In fact, assessment is a fundamental part of the teaching and learning process. When instructors wonder, “Do my students get it?” assessment can provide the answer. Further, when assessment is well-designed, it can inform improvements to student learning and instructional practices.
- In this Seminar, instructors will learn evidence-based best practices to select and design a variety of class-level assessments meant to drive and evaluate student learning in their courses. The Classroom Assessment Seminar was designed to be customizable based on instructors’ level of assessment expertise. Assessment beginners will have access to additional resources to help them build strong foundational knowledge. Instructors with more assessment experience can select resources that are appropriate to their needs. Participants who are interested in learning how to use educational technology tools to deploy assessments in their courses will also have the option of consulting with an embedded educational technology consultant.
- Participants will earn a certification in recognition of completion of this Seminar.
Multimedia Bootcamp for Interactive Course Design
- Interactive e-learning and digital multimedia such as videos and podcasts can offer instructors a host of exciting opportunities to present ideas and teach skills in new and innovative ways. However, creating this content can be a challenge for inexperienced users of multimedia software and audiovisual hardware.
- In this seminar, instructors who have specific plans to embark on a medium-to-large scale instructional multimedia or interactive project will participate in a hands-on, project-based learning experience. Participants will gain a deeper knowledge of all aspects of instructional multimedia production — from project planning to design to technology — all while working on their own projects. The seminar will begin with a half-day introductory session covering the principles of good instructional multimedia, how to manage a digital media project from start to finish, and how to choose the right technology and online platform for delivery. The remainder of the seminar will consist of a la carte workshops tailored to the needs of participants in the areas of audio and video production, illustration, and interactive e-learning, as well as sessions about iterative design and accessibility best practices.
- This is a DIY (“do-it-yourself”) seminar, meaning that while Teaching Center staff will be leading the workshops and providing assistance, instruction, and productive feedback, it is the participants themselves who will be doing the work of content creation. This is intended for participants to put these skills into practice and utilize them going forwards. We have designed this seminar specifically to help instructors get the most out of the resources that we offer in the Teaching Center’s Media Creation Lab. Given the scope of many multimedia projects, faculty attending the seminar are encouraged to invite others on their team to also participate in workshops as needed.
Highly Engaged, Highly Interactive Instructor Seminar
- Driven by clear and significant educational research, teaching within Higher Education has begun a slow but steady transformation from an instructional paradigm to a learning paradigm or, perhaps more to the point, from a teacher-centered approach to one that is student-centered. Student-centered learning involves shifting the instructor/student roles away from the traditional mode where instructors are active and students are passive, to one where the students are actively engaged in their own learning. The use of successful strategies to foster student-centered learning are often referred to as “high impact” and “high engagement” practices because research has shown them to result in high retention rates, high levels of student activity, and student behavioral changes that lead to meaningful learning gains.
- This seminar is designed to help University of Pittsburgh faculty learn the use of these evidence-based techniques, tools, and strategies for handling both common and uncommon teaching challenges in traditional face-to face classrooms, as well as in remote and hybrid instructional delivery modes. Faculty members will learn best practices for creating learning activities and learning environments that are both “high impact” in terms of learning outcomes and “high engagement” in terms of student interaction. At the end of the program, participants will receive a Seminar Certification in recognition of their accomplishments.
- This seminar allows an opportunity to practice applying teaching strategies in an online or hybrid mode.