The Teaching Professor Annual Conference offers a selection of half-day preconference workshops to further enrich your conference experience. 

The cost is $235 for each half-day preconference workshop. The half-day workshops are held Friday, May 29 in the morning and afternoon before the conference begins. Please note that all pre-conference sessions are a one-time synchronous program. They will not be recorded or available later for viewing or review for registrants.

Enrollment is offered during conference registration.
If you have already registered for the conference and would like to add a workshop to your registration, call 608-246-3590 to enroll.

Designing and Developing High Quality Online Courses

Friday, May 29, 2020; 8:30 am—noon

Brian Udermann, director of online education, University of Wisconsin – La Crosse

Brian Udermann Brian Udermann,
University of Wisconsin – La Crosse

The number of institutions in higher education offering online courses and degree programs continues to increase. However, many faculty are hesitant to develop and teach online courses with one of the main reasons for the hesitation being they don’t feel prepared to teach in the online environment. This workshop addresses topics such as course design and development, creating a comprehensive syllabus, course facilitation and management, engaging online learners, instructor presence, effectively using online discussions, and workload management when teaching online. The primary goal for this workshop is to prepare instructors to be successful teaching in the online environment.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Identify a variety of best practices related to online course design and facilitation
  • List the components of a comprehensive online course syllabus
  • Identify a variety of strategies to engage online learners
  • Identify a variety of strategies to effectively facilitate online discussions
  • Identify a variety of strategies to manage workload when teaching online

The Brain, the Body, and Best Practices for Learning Performance

Friday, May 29, 2020; 8:30 am—noon

Angela Zanardelli Sickler, associate director of study skills academy, Wayne State University

Angela Zanardelli Sickler Angela Zanardelli Sickler,
Wayne State University

Educational neuroscience is gaining speed across a myriad of academic settings. The most recent research in learning performance offers college students evidence-based study strategies which, when used consistently, can simplify their approach to mastering course content. While these findings are incredibly impactful, deep learning involves more than just the use of brain-based strategies. This interactive workshop highlights the importance of the brain-body connection by delving deeper into the correlation between cognitive performance and student wellness. Following this workshop, participants will possess a solid understanding of the role that stress, sleep, and exercise play in academic performance. In addition, attendees can expect to leave armed with applicable strategies to incorporate into their curriculum without sacrificing precious lecture time.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Describe the correlation between physical wellness and cognitive performance
  • Explain how chronic stress can cause challenges with processing, retaining, and retrieving newly learned material
  • Recognize common ineffective study habits used by students
  • Define the top seven evidence-based learning strategies
  • Incorporate impactful learning practices seamlessly into lectures

Engage, Prepare, and Empower Your Students through Universal Design for Learning

Friday, May 29, 2020; 8:30 am—noon

Thomas Tobin, program area director, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Thomas Tobin Thomas Tobin,
University of Wisconsin-Madison

How many of your students come to class fully prepared, having done all of the reading and eager to take an active part in the course? Yeah, ours never used to, either.

The reasons for this lack of student engagement and preparation can seem obvious: students’ laziness, their lack of discipline, or their desire to do the minimum possible. But these reasoned hunches are just plain wrong.

In this workshop, you’ll learn the real reason why learners aren’t as engaged as we’d like them to be (spoiler alert: it’s time management), and then you will learn, practice, and apply the principles of universal design for learning (UDL) with one of your own lessons or units. We’ll do this work together in order to lower barriers to fuller engagement, study, and participation for your students.

This workshop is highly interactive. Please bring or have access to your lecture notes, a lesson plan, or a syllabus for one of your courses or learning interactions, and we will address real challenges together.

UDL is work that pays you (and all of your students) back many times over, so come spend some time breaking down barriers with the author of Reach Everyone, Teach Everyone: UDL in Higher Ed (Tobin).

Learning Outcomes:

  • Identify current learning interactions that often go differently than planned
  • Map the principles of universal design for learning (UDL) onto course- or unit-level learning outcomes
  • Apply the principles of UDL to lower barriers for challenging learning interactions
  • Transfer UDL principles specifically to writing-based activities and assignments in your courses
  • Create multimodal learning interactions to increase learners’ engagement, access to information, and/or choice for action & expression

Humanizing Your Online Class

Friday, May 29, 2020; 1:00—4:30 pm

Oliver Dreon, associate professor and director, Center for Academic Excellence, Millersville University of Pennsylvania and Greg Szczyrbak, learning technologies librarian, Millersville University of Pennsylvania

Greg Szczyrbak Greg Szczyrbak,
Millersville University of Pennsylvania
Oliver Dreon Oliver Dreon,
Millersville University of Pennsylvania

We’ll discuss how the “science of emotion” can inform the design and facilitation of online class. Building on traditional instructional design which focuses on fostering presence and building community, research on the affective dimensions of learning offer additional strategies for effective online classes.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Outline how the affective dimensions of learning impacts online student success
  • Examine how teacher immediacy can support the design and facilitation of online classes
  • Analyze how control value theory informs instructional design
  • Identify strategies for making the online space more affectively supportive

OER by Design: Developing Your Course with Open Educational Resources

Friday, May 29, 2020; 1:00—4:30 pm

Olena Zhadko, director of online education and Susan Ko, faculty development consultant in the Office of Online Education and Clinical Professor in History, Lehman College, CUNY

Susan Ko Susan Ko,
Olena Zhadko Olena Zhadko,

This unique, hands-on workshop is for those who want to better understand and promote the most effective and intelligent use of Open Educational Resources (OER) in their own courses and at their own institution.

The presenters, both experienced faculty developers with expertise in online education and open educational resources, will provide guidance and practical tips to help participants “unpack” the elements of effective OER use. Participants will learn how to search, identify, evaluate, and integrate OER, and why course design for online delivery is a critical element for successful implementation of OER. They will emerge from this workshop with a draft plan for designing or redesigning a course with OER, and with materials and resources, all of which are made available to them as OER, that they can apply to their own courses. Additionally, workshop presenters will share a model for an online faculty development program to support course planning with OER at their own institution.

Feedback and facilitation from the workshop presenters and peers will enable each participant to take an active role and engage in hands-on and reflective activities and discussion throughout.

Participants are strongly encouraged to bring a copy of a recent course syllabus.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Become more familiar with the key issues and challenges pertaining to OER
  • Learn how to more effectively search for and evaluate OER using appropriate standards and criteria
  • Recognize the importance of course design in successful implementation of OER
  • Draft a design plan that can be used to implement OER within a course

Mapping a Landscape of Opportunity: Removing Roadblocks in Faculty Development

Friday, May 29, 2020; 1:00—4:30 pm

Bethany Lisi, director of faculty development initiatives, University of Massachusetts Amherst and Michele L. Vanasse, project assistant/consultant for the Midterm Assessment Process (MAP) at the Center for Teaching & Learning (CTL) at the University of Massachusetts Amherst

Michele L. Vanasse Michele L. Vanasse,
University of Massachusetts Amherst
Bethany Lisi Bethany Lisi,
University of Massachusetts Amherst

When instructors participate in a faculty development program, they demonstrate an interest in learning new information that they can apply to their work as educators and academics at their institutions. As faculty developers, we are committed to not only sharing pedagogical knowledge and innovative strategies, but also demonstrating “best practices” for deeper understanding. However, are we only designing programs for a single “faculty archetype” in mind, or are we supporting the learning of all faculty? In our efforts to support the growth and development of our instructors, are we unintentionally constructing roadblocks to learning? In this workshop, we will identify potential barriers by examining our own existing or prospective faculty development programs through the lens of Universal Design for Learning (UDL) and use various mapping exercises to surface new opportunities to support learning. Workshop participants will identify roadblocks and opportunities using process maps, affinity maps, and empathy maps—visual structures that can be adapted and applied in other faculty development work.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Describe the three principles of UDL in the context of faculty development
  • Develop a plan to apply and evaluate the UDL approaches they wish to implement in their own faculty development programs


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