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Spring 2014 Events


Seminar on Course Design

Thursday, April 3rd, 1:00 PM – 4:00 PM | Gates-Blake 133

RSVP Required

This seminar is a pre-requisite for our other PFF programs, so we strongly encourage you to take this seminar several quarters before you plan to go on the job market.  The Seminar on Course Design examines the foundational concepts in teaching and learning and how to apply these ideas in a course plan that will support student learning and provide evidence of student learning.   During the seminar, participants will create a plan for learning in the course, explaining to the other participants how this learning is linked to the final graded project, regardless of whether the course is their own or one institutionally prescribed. They will also begin to analyze their teaching goals and consider how to align those goals with student, program and/or institutional needs.

Since this seminar also interrogates ways of determining whether and how a course might be improved, it serves as a critical piece of learning for advanced graduate students who are preparing teaching documents for prospective employers.  As such, this workshop is required before graduate students may enroll in either the Workshop on Teaching Portfolios and the Workshop on Philosophy of Teaching Statements.

After completing the seminar, we highly suggest you take “Creating Assignments to Structure Your Course” before taking the Workshop on Course Design.

Creating An Enabling Classroom Environment

Friday, April 11th 11:30 AM – 1:30 PM | Gates-Blake 133

RSVP Required

**The "Creating an Enabling Classroom Environment" Workshop is designed to help graduate students think about their classrooms as environments which can be unknowingly affected by bias, both from instructors and from students. By examining a series of case studies with peers, participants will be asked to reflect on various ways student learning can be either enabled or disabled by the syllabi, classroom topics, and discussion practices put in place by their instructors. In this way, the workshop hopes to foster a conversation about the best practices and effective strategies that can be brought into the classroom to create enabling learning environments for all students.

Seminar on Teaching Portfolios     

Thursday, April 17th 1:00 PM – 4:00 PM  | Gates-Blake 133

RSVP Required

The Seminar on Teaching Portfolios is available only to students who have taken the Seminar on Course Design first.  Assembling a Teaching Portfolio allows graduate students to think, talk and write about teaching with precision and sophistication. Teaching Portfolios function both as heuristics for critically analyzing one’s teaching successes and failures and as a way for graduate students to practice presenting themselves as knowledgeable, confident and reflective classroom instructors. This Seminar describes and evaluates potential components of the Teaching Portfolio and involves participants in critical exercises around the construction of the Portfolio.

Stories from the Academic Job Market: The Humanities

Thursday, April 24th, 3:30-4:30 | Gates-Blake 133

Please RSVP Come hear from graduate students who have been successful at various stages of the academic job market. Preparation is key to successfully navigating the process!

Our panelists are:

● Brady Smith (English) ● Josh Adams (CMLT) ● Nicholas Koziolek (Philosophy) ● Megan Nutzman (Classics) ● Alisha Lola Jones (Ethnomusicology)

Stories from the Academic Job Market: The Humanities

Friday, April 25th, 11:00-12:00 | Gates-Blake 133

Please RSVP Come hear from graduate students in the Social Sciences Division who have been successful at various stages of the academic job market. Preparation is key to successfully navigating the process!

Our panelists are:

● John Acevedo (Law and History) ● Sheila Willie (History) ● Alexandra Moffet-Bateau (Political Science) ● Laura Doering (Booth and Sociology) ● Jackie Sumner (History)

Workshop on Collaborative Learning

Friday, May 2nd, 9:30 AM - 12:00PM | Gates-Blake 133

RSVP Required We often hear that collaborative exercises (both inside and outside the classroom) are "a good thing" but, more often than not, they are done for their own sake, under the expectation that if students are made to work in groups, magic will happen and they will spontaneously learn more. However, collaborative exercises are rarely effective if they are not aligned with a course's learning goals. In this workshop, we will discuss examples of collaborative exercises that were designed to meet specific learning goals in a UChicago course. Participants will also discuss how these types of exercises could be applied in their own fields.

Led by Borja Sotomayor (Computer Science)

Technology and Collaborative Learning

Tuesday, May 6th 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM | Gates-Blake 133

RSVP Required

Technology such as discussion boards, blogs, and wikis, when used appropriately, can foster collaborative learning during and between class meetings. In this workshop, we will explore how these three tools can be used to help students achieve learning goals. We will consider the characteristics of these three types of collaborative technologies, the type of assignments they are useful for and how to use them effectively. We will examine a few examples of effective use of these technologies and we will do a small group hands-on exercise to develop an assignment using one of these technologies. Bring your laptop or tablet for a taste in using technology for collaborative learning.

Led By: Cecilia Lo (IT Services & Music)

Eat. Teach. Talk. Run!

Tuesday, April 29th | Gates-Blake 133

Please RSVP (Pre-registration is not required, so feel free to bring friends the day of! We are just trying to get a sense of how much food to order.)

EAT: banh mi sandwiches and dessert!
TEACH: Hear 4-minute flashtalks on new ideas in teaching presented by other grad students.
TALK: Consider – in small groups – which of the ideas presented deserves the “best idea” award
RUN: Return to Lab/Library/Classroom!

Workshop on Course Design

Wednesday, May 14th, 1:00PM - 4:00PM | Gates-Blake 133

RSVP Required

ONLY students who have participated in the Seminar on Course Design within the previous 12 months may register for the Workshop. The Workshop on Course Design continues to critically examine ways the course syllabus can improve both classroom teaching and learning. Graduate Student participants will be expected to submit a draft of a syllabus two days before the workshop via chalk.

Workshop on Assignment Design

Friday, May 16th 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM | Gates-Blake 133

RSVP Required

We highly recommend students take this between the Seminar and Workshop on Course Design or after completing both. In the Seminar on Course Design, we learned how to plan our own courses using the principle of 'backwards design' -- generating learning goals and final assignments by answering the question, 'What knowledge, concepts, skills or values do I want students to gain from taking my course?' In this follow-up workshop, we continue the process by planning out the major assignments that will both structure and motivate students' learning throughout the term. We will generate and discuss an assignment-centered 'course skeleton' by answering the question, 'What will students need to do in order to meet the learning goals for my course?' In addition to having attended the seminar on course design, attendees must bring in a set of three to five learning goals and a final assignment description to use in generating their assignment-centered course skeletons.

Led By: Brandon Cline (Divinity)

Workshop on Teaching Portfolios

Thursday, May 29th, 1:00PM - 4:00PM | Gates-Blake 133

RSVP Required

The Workshop on Teaching Portfolios is ONLY open to students who have completed the Seminar on Course Design AND the Seminar on Teaching Portfolios within the past 12 months. Workshop discussion and activity revolve around portfolios submitted by participants. Each participant will present a draft of two documents from his/her Teaching Portfolio two days before the workshop, and will receive feedback from the group.