DEC/CAFE Workshops

Flexible Teaching and Learning Workshop Series

The Digital Education Collaborative (DEC) and the Center for Faculty Enrichment (CAFE) are offering a series of workshops to help instructors prepare courses for the fall 2020 semester. These workshops will focus on pedagogy (why we do what we do) and technology (how to use appropriate tools) for in-person, hybrid, and online teaching.  We will emphasize developing practices that are specific to your course context; therefore, prior to each session, faculty will complete a situational analysis of the course(s). Each session will be 90 minutes with the option of an additional 30 minutes small group discussion for more focused mentoring. All workshops before August 17th are Zoom sessions; beginning August 17th, participants will have an in-person or remote option.

To register, click here!

If you are unable to attend a workshop, CAFE and DEC offer one-on-one appointments and small group sessions for programs and departments.


Course Design 101+

Facilitators: Pam Tracy, Director, CAFE; Julie Mersiowsky, Director, DEC

In this session, we will begin with the principles and practices of backward course design to facilitate aligning student learning outcomes with assignments with learning activities. Building on your course design, we will walk through a Canvas course template that you can use in your courses.

  • Tuesday, July 14 from 1-2:30pm
  • Wednesday, July 15 from 1-2:30pm
  • Friday, August 7 from 1-2:30pm
  • Monday, August 10 from 1-2:30pm


Flexible Learning Environments: How to Blend or Flip Your Classroom

Facilitators: Julie Mersiowsky, Director, DEC; Adam Franssen, Asst. Director, CAFE

Within the context of one course, blended teaching and learning takes place both asynchronously and synchronously–in person and virtually.  When you flip your classroom, students study course content outside of class and class time is devoted to activities that provide students with the opportunity to practice and engage with course content.  In both environments, active learning and engagement are emphasized. In this workshop, you will identify activities and assignments within your class(es) that lend themselves to be flipped or blended into online or remote environments.

  • Thursday, July 16 from 1-2:30pm
  • Wednesday, August 12 from 1-2:30pm


Teaching Writing Online

Facilitators: Heather Lettner-Rust, CAFE Teaching Writing Consultant; Marcus Christian, Instructional Designer, DEC

Using writing as a thinking and assessment tool for teaching is a great way to understand where your students are. You’ll see their strengths and their gaps in thinking and in style. As we move forward to the fall, teaching and using writing in the online classroom can be a useful shift in tools that supplement or replace your current practices. During the workshop, we will discuss ways to support your course outcomes and ways to utilize tools already in Canvas (paper markup, electronic rubrics, and Grade Assist).

  • Tuesday, July 28 from 1-2:30pm
  • Tuesday, August 18 from 1-2:30pm


Teaching Speaking

Facilitators: Kris Paal, Teaching Speaking Consultant, CAFE; Ronda Scarrow, Teaching Speaking Consultant, CAFE; Marcus Christian, Instructional Designer, DEC

With fall quickly approaching, join us  for an in-depth presentation and discussion on how to reach your student learning outcomes through engaging speaking assignments, instruction, and delivery options for students.  During the workshop we will discuss such things as audience analysis, creating speaking content, delivery approaches, and rubrics.  Additionally, we will address best practices for creating and assessing speaking assignments in an online environment, with attention given to technology resources available through Canvas and beyond.

  • Thursday, August 6 from 1-2:30pm
  • Friday, August 21 from 1-2:30pm


Diversity, Inclusion, Equity in all Learning Environments

How Do I Manage this?: Integrating Diversity, Inclusion, and the Lived Experience into the Learning Environment

Facilitators: Dana Miller Kieran, Director of Disability Resources/ADA Coordinator; Shayla Betts, Assistant Professor of Social Work; Jonathan Page, Director of Multicultural Affairs

In recent events, from the pandemic through the climate of social unrest, it is now more important than ever that faculty and staff meet the needs of our students in and beyond the classroom.  In this session, we will focus on strategies and practical takeaways to implement within courses, provide an understanding of backgrounds and characteristics of students as they return to campus, and address key pedagogical challenges that the current climate has created.  Additional supporting resources will be provided.

  • Wednesday, July 29 from 1-2:30pm
  • Thursday, August 20 from 1-2:30pm


Designing Assignments and Learning Activities

Facilitators: Pam Tracy, Director, CAFE; Marcus Christian, Instructional Designer, DEC

This session will focus on best practices for creating and facilitating asynchronous and synchronous teaching and learning activities such as discussions, quizzes, think-pair-share, etc.

  • Tuesday, July 21 from 1:00-2:30pm
  • Friday, August 14 from 1:00-2:30pm


Teaching, Learning and Effective Communication Practices

Facilitators: Pam Tracy, Director, CAFE; Julie Mersiowsky, Director, DEC; Dean Boyle, Instructional Technology Specialist

In this session, we will consider effective communication practices to stay connected with students, develop community, and encourage student resiliency within the specific context of your course(s). We will discuss specific relational and learning communication strategies and useful technology to help you achieve your goals.

  • Thursday, July 23 from 1:00-2:30pm
  • Wednesday, August 19 from 1:00-2:30pm


Collaborative Learning and Group Projects

Facilitators: Adam Franssen, Asst. Director, CAFE; Ashley Leslie, Instructional Designer, DEC

Effective collaborative learning is possible when instructors design activities and assignments that are meaningful and tied to course learning outcomes. In this session, we will discuss different approaches to incorporating group work, small group discussion, and other types of peer-to-peer learning in all learning environments.

  • Wednesday, July 22 from 1:00-2:30pm
  • Monday, August 17 from 1:00-2:30pm


Faculty Wellness: Taking a Moment for your Self-Care

Facilitators: Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) Psychologists

As educators, we often tell students about the importance of self-care practices but it can be challenging to find the time to practice what we preach and use wellness strategies for ourselves. This interactive session will review what the research says about the importance of self-care, specifically in the workplace. We will also review and practice evidence-based strategies focused on increasing relaxation and mindfulness.

  • Friday, August 28, 3:00-4:30pm


Research with Students: Using R for Statistical Computing and Graphics

Facilitator: JoEllen Pederson, Assoc. Professor, Sociology/CAFE Faculty Consultant

Are you interested in using R or Rstudio in your classes?  R is a free, open-source software environment for statistical computing and graphics. It runs on a wide variety of UNIX platforms, Windows and Mac. Come see how to get started with R and how easily it can be incorporated into your data driven courses. Unlike SPSS, students can run R/Rstudio on their laptops and you can see their progress using No need for computer labs or print outs. Everything can be done online. This workshop will be focused on getting started with R and

  • Friday, July 17 from 1:00-2:30pm
  • Tuesday, August 4 from 1:00-2:30