skip to Main Content
Faculty Seminars header

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.

Spring 2021 Faculty Seminars options are:

Lindsay Onufer, Teaching Consultant

Facilitator: Lindsay Onufer,
Teaching Consultant,
Teaching Support
Phone: 412-383-4321

Seminar Description

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.

Seminar Objectives

Upon completion of the Hybrid and Online Teaching & Learning Seminar, instructors will be able to:

  1. Describe online teaching pedagogical best practices
  2. Evaluate the application of Canvas online learning tools in courses
  3. Apply evidence-based strategies in structuring their own online course modules
  4. Explain how to establish instructor presence and communicate effectively with students in online courses
  5. Design class activities or assignments using educational technologies tools
  6. Design formative and summative assessments for your own online course
  7. Strategize how to support struggling learners in online courses

Seminar Requirements

Participants in this seminar will be required to participate in three 90-minute synchronous meetings via Zoom and complete deliverables outside of meeting times in an online course environment. Participants will also take part in online asynchronous discussions, the creation of collaborative documents, and engage in self and peer assessments. Faculty interested in enrolling should plan to spend approximately 3 hours per week on seminar tasks and deliverables.

This seminar is project-based; Using a sandbox Canvas course shell, participants will revise or create online course content and assess and provide feedback on their colleagues’ content.

Seminar Dates

Meetings will take place every Wednesday from 2-3:30 p.m. starting Jan. 15 and concluding on March 4. Four meetings will be face-to-face and the other four will take place online using web conferencing. Participants will be expected to have completed a full Introduction to Canvas training workshop offered by the Teaching Center prior to January 17. 

  • Jan. 15: Face-to-Face
  • Jan. 22: Online
  • Jan. 29: Face-to-Face
  • Feb. 5: Online
  • Feb. 12: Face-to-Face
  • Feb. 19: Online
  • Feb. 26: Online
  • March 4: Face-to-Face

Description to administrators:

The number of hybrid and fully online courses has been on the rise because their flexible nature enable working students or students with impairments to take classes. Assistance to faculty on teaching online has been mainly on the technology side. However, pedagogical knowledge of how to teach online is a critical component in faculty’s knowledge base. This semester-long Hybrid/Online Teaching and Learning Seminar offers faculty an opportunity to learn best practices of online teaching. This seminar has seven bi-weekly modules. Module topics include orientation, demystifying online teaching and learning, course content organization, pedagogical use of instructional technology, activity and assignment design, and providing feedback, etc.

Participants will receive a certificate of completion at the end of this seminar. Participants meet only three times throughout the semester and the rest is online self-paced learning. The convenient hybrid format gives faculty great flexibility to direct their attention to their priorities during the seminar. The target audience are faculty who are new to online teaching or have some experience but wish to expand it. Faculty from other campuses are also welcome to enroll. Web conferencing tools will be able to facilitate the face-to-face sessions for faculty from regional campuses.

Nancy Reilly, Director, Office of Measurement & Evaluation of Teaching

Facilitator: Nancy Reilly, Director,
Assessment of Teaching (OMET)
Phone: 412-624-6148

Seminar Description

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.  You will complete your study by the end of the spring 2020 term. Therefore, it is necessary for you to teach in the spring 2020 term.  Once you have finished all deliverables in a timely manner, you will receive a letter of completion.

Seminar Objectives

Upon completion of the Scholarship of Teaching & Learning Seminar, you will be able to:

  1. Identify the steps in SoTL research
  2. Formulate a good research question
  3. Take necessary steps to conduct a research study in your classroom for the purposes of improving your own teaching.
  4. Present research results in the format of a virtual poster

Seminar Requirements

  • Identify a problem that affects the teaching and learning process in your classroom.
  • Develop a literature review.
  • Plan a study investigating that problem.
  • Administer the research plan in the spring 2020 semester.
  • Collect and have the data analyzed.
  • Draw conclusions based on your findings.
  • Present to the cohort of this SoTL Seminar about your research and a virtual poster that can be used in upcoming conferences in which you can share your findings with professionals from other institutions.

Seminar Dates

  • Friday, Sept. 13, 2019:  1 – 3 p.m.
  • Friday, Oct. 11, 2019: 1 – 3 p.m.
  • Friday, Nov. 8, 2019:  1 – 3 p.m.
  • Friday, Jan. 10, 2020:  1 – 3 p.m.
  • Friday, Feb. 7, 2020: 1 – 3 p.m.
  • Friday, March 20, 2020: 1 – 3 p.m.
Lindsay Onufer, Teaching Consultant

Facilitator: Lindsay Onufer,
Teaching Consultant
Phone: 412-383-4321

Lizette Munoz Rojas, Teaching Consultant

Facilitator: Lizette Munoz Rojas,
Teaching Consultant
Phone: 412-383-7152

Seminar Description

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.

Seminar Objectives

Upon completion of the Classroom Assessment Seminar, instructors will be able to:

  1. Design formative and summative assessments and assessment tools which demonstrate alignment with specific, measurable learning objectives, instructional activities and resources, and to learner interests and/or needs.
  2. Use assessment data to deliver effective feedback focused on improving student learning.
  3. Use assessment data to inform course, assessment, and teaching improvements.

Seminar Requirements

  • semester-long course assessment plan
  • unit-long assessment plan
  • diagnostic assessment
  • three classroom assessment or small teaching assessment techniques
  • mid-semester indirect assessment
  • summative assessment

Seminar Dates

  • Friday, Sept. 20, 2019:  1 – 3 p.m.
  • Friday, Oct. 25, 2019: 1 – 3 p.m.
  • Friday, Jan. 24, 2020:  1 – 3 p.m.
  • Friday, Feb. 28, 2020: 1 – 3 p.m.
  • Friday, March 27, 2020: 1 – 3 p.m.
Max Glider, Media Specialist

Seminar Description

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.

Seminar Objectives

As a result of completing this seminar, participants will be able to:

  1. Explain and apply best practices of interactive multimedia design and pedagogy.
  2. Develop interactive multimedia project plans including project objectives, resources, and timelines.
  3. Identify an appropriate platform for the delivery of interactive multimedia content.
  4. Use appropriate educational technology tools to create engaging, educational, interactive multimedia resources.
  5. Practice iterative design to periodically assess, revise, and improve an interactive multimedia project.

Seminar Requirements

  • Attendance at one of the half-day sessions (offered twice for scheduling convenience).
  • Attendance at three other sessions, including at least one a la carte session and additional existing Teaching Center workshops.
  • The writing and iterative revision of a project plan.
  • As this is a project-based seminar, participants will work with Teaching Center facilitators to determine other deliverables appropriate to their goals and timeline.

Seminar Dates

Two introductory sessions will be offered in order to accommodate the schedules of as many participants as possible:

  • Monday, Sept. 16, 9 a.m. – Noon
  • Tuesday, Sept. 17, 1 p.m. – 4 p.m.

A la carte sessions will be scheduled with input from the participants who want to attend them.

Faculty are welcome to bring their team (staff, TAs, etc.) with them to this seminar, but not to send their team in their place.

John Radzilowicz, Teaching Consultant

Facilitator: John Radzilowicz,
Teaching Consultant,
Teaching Support
Phone: 412-624-6596

Seminar Description

Faculty Pathways - Highly Engaged, Highly Interactive Instructor

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 will be offered remotely in the Spring of 2021, allowing an opportunity to practice applying teaching strategies in an online or hybrid mode.

Seminar Objectives

Upon completion of the Highly Engaged, Highly Interactive Instructor Seminar, instructors will be able to:

  1. Use a student-centered learning approach using best practices for interactivity, engagement, and positive impact.
  2. Recognize and avoid common pitfalls in their teaching practice that lead to students’ disengagement.
  3. Apply high engagement/impact learning techniques to their specific discipline and courses.
  4. Evaluate the effectiveness of high engagement/impact instructional practices.

Seminar Requirements

  • Attendance at three, 90-minute long, cohort Zoom meetings during the semester.
  • Implementation and evaluation of specific instructional changes to at least one course.
  • The writing of two reflective essays detailing the development and/or implementation of new strategies and practices, that may be posted on the Teaching Center web site.
  • Peer observation and feedback review process inside the cohort.
  • Possible presentation of their work at Pitt’s Teaching Conference, or at another appropriate venue.

Seminar Dates

  • Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2019:  1 – 2:30 p.m.
  • Wednesday, Oct. 9, 2019: 1 – 2:30 p.m.
  • Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2019:  1 – 2:30 p.m.
  • Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2020:  1 – 2:30 p.m.
  • Wednesday, March 18, 2020: 1 – 2:30 p.m.
Back To Top