Designed to help faculty with planning and thinking creatively about teaching.
All of our workshops this semester are designed to respond to the iGen topic. Come to one or come to all, you will find we can assist you in tackling the challenges this generation poses to the teaching and learning. We are also ready to give departmental presentations to maximize your use of CTE resources.
- To register, please email the center with your request. If you have any questions about the workshops in general or particular workshops that interest you, please contact us.
CTE workshops are not lectures, so come prepared to work on issues in your own teaching, reflect on your teaching goals, and get some practical takeaways that you can apply in your courses. Here is your slate of teaching workshops to help you build and maintain momentum in your teaching this semester!
iGen: 2 Parts
In past two years (and especially last semester) our students in class demonstrate passivity, addiction to technology, lack of social skills, and more. Of course, this is a generalization, as is the labeling of any group. As much as we are reluctant to lump this generation into one category, it does appear that iGen (born roughly 1995–2013) has certain characteristics, both weaknesses and strengths. This is not an issue unique to Plattsburgh; there is a great deal of literature that seeks to identify and address the concerns these characteristics raise for teaching these students in college. You can access a great deal of information on this topic on the CTE website, but there is nothing like an in-person conversation to clarify the issues and stimulate ideas. These two workshops will seek to identify what the characteristics and concerns (and potential strength) are, and to construct strategies to address them.
Whether you have been teaching for many years or a few, it is always helpful to have an opportunity to review the fundamental best practices of excellent teaching. In this workshop we will review the established best practices in course design, assessment, lecturing, classroom management, teaching persona, and use of multimedia and presentation software. Attendees are encouraged to bring their own techniques to offer to a collaborative discussion.
CTE Express: 5 Things You Need to Know Right Now About iGen
CTE Express—information sessions of 30 minutes or less—offers busy faculty a quick and easy way to learn about new pedagogical research. Led by Jessamyn Neuhaus, this session on iGen/Gen Z draws on published scholarship, the work of the CTE Faculty Learning Community, and our observations of today’s SUNY Plattsburgh students during teaching consultations and classroom visits. It will also give you three specific suggestions for what everyone can do to facilitate iGen student learning.
Delivering Course Design
Your syllabus is written, your texts are in, you know your material. You’ve done this before. So why not start thinking about how to improve the delivery of your content? It’s bad practice (and bad manners) to change course requirements during the semester, but there is nothing wrong with adapting to the various factors that affect your students’ learning and your teaching as you are working your way through the course. The purpose of this workshop is to give you tools for effective improvement of teaching techniques throughout the semester.
The Learning Brain
Current research on the brain has yielded information that can have significant impact on how we design courses and teach our content. What is particularly helpful is understanding how the brain processes information through the various layers of memory, vision, and emotion. We will review some of the literature of neuroscience and discuss how what scientists are learning about the brain can inform how we are teaching.
The Drive to Learn: Fostering Intrinsic Motivation
A workshop on matching learning objectives and assignments in a way that emphasizes what motivates students to become responsible learners. We will also talk about the particular characteristics of our students and the challenges of helping them developing intrinsic motivation.
Everything is going well in your class, and you feel pretty confident about your students’ learning and their engagement in the classroom; then spring break happens. They come back and seem to have not been energized by their break, but enervated by it. Each semester has its rhythm and during the spring semester the students seem particularly vulnerable to the pull of the change in weather and the expectation of a summer break that involves working, traveling, vacationing, and probably not much of academics. Let’s talk about strategies for conquering the mid-semester blues and ensuring that the second half of the semester is as productive as the first!
Finding Meaning in the COS
This is a workshop on how to interpret and respond to course opinion surveys. The purpose of this workshop is to give you the tools to understand the elements of the student surveys that are most relevant to efficacy in teaching and suggestions on how to address those elements in a productive way and sustained way.
Student Engagement: Two Parts
A common source of frustration for faculty these days is the passivity of students in the classroom. I share this frustration. It is very demoralizing to walk into a classroom with a passion for one’s discipline and feel as though that passion and energy is disappearing into a black hole of disinterest. At the very least, it makes teaching less enjoyable, and at worst, there is the concern that our students are not learning. What engages or engaged you as a student? You don’t have to be an entertainer to keep students’ attention and encourage them to work in your class. Students tend to be more engaged with course materials and activities when they clearly see the relevance to their own interests, when they are appropriately challenged, and when they have a clear sense of what is expected of them and how they will be assessed.
These two workshops address the core structure of a face to face classroom: the lecture, and the assignments and activities. We will work together to understand how to construct and deliver lectures that engage and instruct, and how to design complementary assignments and activities that reinforce the instruction in a manner that takes into account the characteristics of Generation Z.
Hotshot: Victoria Reynolds — Motivation & Assessment
Augmentative and alternative communication refers to any mode of communication that replaces or supplements speech, such as sign language, a text-to-speech app or a communication board. It is an important area of speech pathology practice, yet students traditionally find it a difficult area to master. Further, while the issue of physical accessibility is widely-known in the community, communication accessibility is not. I've tried to solve the problem of student engagement by recruiting them to a social justice cause, all from the comfort of their own classroom, and with a little help from some friends.
Joining the Common Problem Project
The Common Problem Project, which has been running for three years now in collaboration with three other SUNY campuses, Oneonta, Oswego, and Cortland, has been re-infused with a new, NSF grant award. Right now, we are completing the last year funded by the SUNY Improvement Grant, and we will have a number of faculty participating in the fall. The next round will have faculty specifically from STEM partnering with Humanities faculty/classes. Course development would take place in the fall of 2018 (for which faculty will receive a stipend) and the collaborative teaching will begin in spring, 2018.
The project entails faculty partnering to engage your students with a common problem, providing them with the opportunity to use problem-based learning techniques and to work together to solve a problem from the unique perspective of their disciplines. This pedagogical experiment can be a way to really address multiple facets of the challenges we face with this generation of students.
Problem Based Learning
In PBL classrooms, rather than spending time memorizing blocks of information, students learn the basics by working on problems. PBL give students the opportunity to learn content through analysis and application. As a learner-centered pedagogy, PBL is a prime candidate for a teaching technique that encourages students to take responsibility for their learning in a process of intellectual struggle with their peers. In this way, they learn autonomy, resilience, and how to interact positively with others. This problem-based learning workshop will offer both the theoretical foundations for PBL, as well as specific techniques for implementing it in your classroom. Beware: this is not for the faint of heart. PBL requires that, to some extent, you step aside and let learning happen without you running interference.
Moodle Design for Student Engagement
While it is perfectly acceptable to use Moodle in a basic formatting fashion, don’t you wish your sites had some personality and style? If you consider your course site to be an extension of your own teaching and classroom, why not make it as inviting and accessible as possible? In this workshop I will show you how to make your Moodle course as efficient as possible and give it a shine that welcomes your students to the process of learning outside of the classroom.
OER: Open Educational Resources
Open educational resources (OERs) are freely available and openly licensed teaching and learning materials that include everything from full textbooks to quiz banks to student study aids. SUNY Plattsburgh is participating in a state funded effort to increase OER adoption at public universities in the state with a program to be announced this spring. In this workshop you will learn how to use OERs and why their use makes strong pedagogical sense.
Faculty Hotshots: Successful Classroom Secrets
We think our faculty have something pretty great to share with you, let us know if you would like to present your successful classroom secrets with them.
Faculty Learning Communities
Each semester, a group of interested faculty will meet monthly to discuss a selected reading. Faculty may sign up by responding the the CTE’s email communications regarding upcoming FLCs at the beginning of the semester. Reading materials are provided free of charge with the intention that the faculty attend the scheduled group meetings.
- The first new FLC is based upon Peter C. Brown, Henry L. Roedigger, and Mark A. McDonald’s 2014 book Make it Stick: The Science of Successful Learning. This text will help us to understand learning processes and to devise teaching techniques that can effectively address the challenges posed by the I Generation (iGen). For more information: Chronicle of Higher Education.
- The second new FLC will draw from Small Teaching: Everyday Lessons from the Science of Learning, by James M. Lang. This book examines how it is we learn and offers very practical (and reasonable) techniques to improve student learning. For more information: October 2017.
- The third FLC is a continuance of last semester’s group (additional faculty are welcome): iGen: Why Today’s Super-Connected Kids are Growing Up Less Rebellious, More Tolerant, Less Happy — and Completely Unprepared for Adulthood — and What That Means for the Rest of Us by Jean M. Twenge, Ph.D.