From time to time I am available to facilitate workshops for groups of faculty or teaching assistants. Topics are listed below.
Inclusive classrooms support rigorous academic work and deep learning by all students, who feel they are supported in learning, can civilly express their views, are respected, and belong in a community of learners. This interactive workshop highlights effective, research-based practices in three areas: teaching transparently to level the playing field, building diversity and inclusion into the course structure, and creating a class climate that welcomes and includes all students. Participants will consider their course goals and methods of assessment; the messages they send, verbally and nonverbally, about inclusion, fairness, expectations, and chances for success; and explore ways to build community and positive relationships between the instructor and students and between the students themselves.
Designing More Effective Assignments
This workshop introduces 5 evidence-based principles for effective assignments. The goal is to create assignments that are clear, fair, and interesting – and feasible for students to do and faculty to assess. Participants will have time to work on a new assignment or revise an existing one, circulate their ideas, and serve as mutually supportive responders to others’ assignments.
Good discussions can engage students and deepen their thinking, but research suggests there are some common obstacles and unproductive patterns that can make good ones hard to achieve. If we attend to a handful of different components – and start our preparations well before the discussion itself – we can increase the odds of facilitating inclusive discussions in which respectful and well-prepared students participate and understand what they’ve learned.
The Art of Asking Good Historical Questions
“Questions promote thinking before they are answered,” observed Maryellen Weimer in a May 2014 article in Faculty Focus. “It is in the interstices between the question and the answer that minds turn.” History instructors ask questions all the time – to frame our course goals, guide students’ reading, facilitate discussions, design active learning tasks, promote student reflection, and assess students’ understanding. Despite how frequently we ask questions, many of us received little training in how to do so. In this workshop, participants will hear findings from scholarship of teaching and learning on the powerful benefits of good questions, learn the characteristics of effective and ineffective questions, connect specific questions to specific types of historical thinking, and refine questions for their own courses.
Using Deliberative Dialogue to Learn History
Deliberative dialogue is a tightly structured process in which participants systematically consider different perspectives. Although it is often used to facilitate respectful and in-depth discussion on contemporary political issues, it can work well in history courses to promote perspective-taking and the use of evidence and reasoning without the polarization and competition of debates. It can also be a useful change from discussions that tend to be dominated by a handful of students. Adaptable for almost any contested issue from the past or to deepen understanding of historiography, the format has been cited by the AACU as a “powerful pedagog[y] that promote[s] civic learning.”
Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information or if you are interested in arranging a workshop.