Center For Teaching And Learning

CTL Schedule

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CTL FALL 2016 Schedule


Blackboard Walk-Ins

Get one-on-one help with any issue in using Blackboard.  No registration needed, just drop in.

Location:  Admin 212

Tues  8-23, 10:00 to 2:00       Wed. 8-25, 10:00 to 2:00


Anatomy of a Writing Assignment

Most students benefit from receiving a written assignment sheet for major assignments, but writing a good one can be tricky. Instructors must thread the needle between a very brief description that fails to enlighten and a very detailed one that can overwhelm.  Participants will learn about helpful elements to include in a writing assignment, discuss ways to make these elements work for their assignments, and take home an assignment template that they can adjust to fit their own needs.  The first 10 participants to sign up for each session will receive a $100 stipend.

Presenter: Amanda Johnston, Center for Writing and Learning

Location: Admin 212

Wed 8-31 (4:30 to 5:30 with snacks and cold drinks)  Thurs. 9-1 (noon to 1:00 lunch)


It’s a Wrap:  Reflecting on Learning

John Dewey said it well: “We don’t learn from experience, we learn from reflecting on experience.”  Often it can be challenging to help students shift their focus from the grade to the learning. A “wrapper”-- a useful tool to promote this type of reflection—asks about their process in doing an assignment and what went well or badly. The best wrappers are keyed to a specific test or assignment.  Participants will see examples of several wrappers and have the opportunity to create one for a test or assignment of their own.  One participant at each session will win a copy of How Learning Works: Seven Research-Based Principles for Smart Teaching by Ambrose et al.

Presenter: Susan Hall, Center for Teaching and Learning

Location: Admin 212

Tues 9-6 (noon to 1:00 with lunch)       Wed 9-7 (8:00 to 9:00 with breakfast)


Organizing Ideas—Beyond the Outline

The research is clear; students who do some written planning for a paper typically produce better products.  However, an outline is not the only way to do that planning, and in fact, the outline has some important limitations.  Participants will learn several other planning tools and discuss ways to help students use them effectively.  The first 10 participants to sign up for each session will receive a $100 stipend.

Presenter: Amanda Johnston, Center for Writing and Learning

Location: Admin 212

Mon. 9-19 (noon to 1:00 with lunch)        Tues. 9-20 ((8:00 to 9:00 with breakfast)


Top 10 Ways to Change Student Motivation

The old proverb reminding us that we can lead the horse to water but not make it drink captures an important truth about human motivation.  Intrinsic motivation—the desire to drink the water-- is much more powerful than extrinsic forces like rewards and punishments.  Participants will discuss the difference between intrinsic and extrinsic motivation, as well as ten practical strategies for helping students build intrinsic motivation for course work.  One participant at each session will receive a copy of Linda Nilson’s College Teaching at its Best: A Research-Based Resource for College Instructors.

Presenter:  Rachel Walker, Psychology

Location: Admin 212

Wed. 9-28 (4:30 to 5:30 with snacks and cold drinks)   Thurs. 9-29 (noon to 1:00 with lunch)


Text My Students?  Are You Serious?

Having occasional communication with their faculty outside of the classroom seems to help students persist in college. Overwhelmingly, students prefer to communicate through texts, but many instructors resist texting students for several practical reasons.  Free apps such as Remind and Slack allow users to employ the app—rather than their personal phone number—for texting. Participants will learn to use these apps and explore additional ways that they can strengthen communication with students.  One participant at each session will win a Kindle Fire.

Presenter:  Lucretia Fraga, Education

Location: Admin. 212

Mon. 10-17 (noon to 1:00 with lunch)            Tues. 10-18 (noon to 1:00 with lunch)


Lightning Rounds: Four Smart Ways to Use Blackboard

Blackboard, UIW’s learning management system, offers so many features that it’s hard to know where to begin.  In a session that borrows from speed dating, four Blackboard gurus will each demonstrate one highly useful Blackboard function and discuss how they make it work in their classes. One participant will win a Kindle Fire.

Presenters:  Alicia Rodriguez (Finance) on inline grading, J. T. Norris (Accounting) on Kaltura, Tim Greisdorn (Finance) on achievement tools and Reid Fisher (Athletic Training) on Study Mate flash cards.

Location:  Dreeben 109

Fri. Oct 21 (noon to 1:00 with lunch available from 11:30 on)


“I Think He Wrote Something on My Paper”—Overcoming Problems with Written Feedback

After making thoughtful comments on a set of student papers, we like to think that students read and use that advice.  Composition research suggests that our hope may be misplaced; students often have difficulty making sense of our feedback, let alone using it.  Participants in this session will learn strategies for making written feedback more understandable, for using occasional face-to-face conferences, and for encouraging students to put feedback to use.  The first 10 participants to sign up for each session will receive a $100 stipend.

Presenter: Amanda Johnston, Center for Writing and Learning

Location: Admin 212

Tues. 10-25 (4:30 to 5:30 with snacks and cold drinks)        Fri. 10-28 (noon to 1:00 with lunch)   


Playing Games in the Classroom

That common student question, “Will this be on the test?” makes instructor’s hearts sink, often signaling minimal engagement with course material.  Role-playing is one effective tool for helping students build a deep and personal connection with the subject of the course.  Participants will learn about what are sometimes called “role immersion games” and discuss possible strategies for using that approach in their classes. One participant at each session will win a copy of Minds on Fire: How Role-Immersion Games Transform College by Mark Carnes.

Presenter:  Paul Lewis, Philosophy

Location: Admin 212

Tues 11-1 (4:30 to 5:30 with snacks and cold drinks)                     Fri 11-4 (noon to 1:00 with lunch)


The Active Learning Discussion Group

When we use new teaching strategies, things don’t always go as planned, so it can be helpful to trade experiences with colleagues.  Perhaps you are exploring cooperative learning, collaborative learning, service learning, discussion-based learning or something else.  If you are interesting in stepping away from the classroom podium at least once in a while, you’re welcome in this discussion group.  Feel free to attend just once or every month.  While there will be a short informative presentation each month, most of each session will be devoted to informal discussion of what’s going on in participants’ classes.

Facilitators:  Sara Tallarovic, Biology, and Susan Hall, Center for Teaching and Learning

Location: Admin 212  

Option 1 Tuesdays at noon to 1:00 with lunch:  9-13, 10-11 and 11-8


Book Club: Whistling Vivaldi by Claude Steele

Social psychologist Claude Steele pioneered research on stereotype threat, the notion that awareness of a negative stereotype about ourselves is likely to depress our performance in that area.  He maintains that the phenomenon is a broad one; for instance, when primed to think of the relevant stereotype, white males performed more poorly on an athletic task than black males and women did more poorly on a math test than men.   Steel argues that stereotype threat is particularly dangerous to minority students, often prompting weaker academic performance in college than might be expected given their actual preparation. Written in an engaging and conversational style, Whistling Vivaldi does three things: it elucidates the concept of stereotype threat, it gives readers a look at how this body of research developed, and it suggests practical strategies for lessening the impact of stereotype threat in our classrooms. Participants will get a copy of the book when they register.  

Facilitator: Osman Ӧzturgut, Research and Graduate Studies

Location: Admin 212   Three Wednesdays: 11-2, 11-9 and 11-16 (noon to 1:00 with lunch)


Register for any session at

 For more information, contact Dr. Susan Hall ( or 283-5030) or Kathy Allwein ( or 283-6359).