Learning and teaching event archive

Learning and teaching archive

Below you will find an archive of our past events and programs on learning and teaching topics, listed in reverse chronological order. The Center for Faculty Development staff are able to consult with Seattle University faculty on any of these topics, and many other learning and teaching topics, as well.

Click the red plus below the year in order to view that year's list of events.


23FQ IPS-Active learning RRC

Image of many drops of water suspended on a delicate spiderweb. A banner across the corner reads Reimagine and Revise the Curriculum.

Photo of a notebook and pencil, the notebook reads:

An image of the cover of the book “Relationship-Rich Education”

An image of blue sky framed by the base of the Eiffel Tower, a banner in the corner reads Reimagine and Revise the Curriculum

An image of the Space Needle slightly tilted off-center


Image of a light covered in a concentric grid

Purple watercolor on white background - Ignatian Pedagogy Series - Inclusive Pedagogies

Image of a light covered in a concentric grid

An image of overlapping ovals in varying shades of red, orange, and yellow

Green watercolor on white background - Ignatian Pedagogy Series - Whole Person Education

An image of a line of small polished stones casting shadows

Image of a tilted landscape, viewed through a window

Image of a stylized human figure reading an open book - the text below reads Open Education Seattle University


Beads of water on a green plant leaf

Purple watercolor on white background - Ignatian Pedagogy Series - Inclusive Pedagogies

A light covered in a concentric grid

Image of the cover of bell hooks book Teaching to Transgress

A wall of windows on a building

A light covered in a concentric grid

An image of two freshly sharpened pencils next to a blank page

A light covered in a concentric grid

An image of two freshly sharpened pencils next to a blank page

Image of one individual highlighted in a crowd of people with network nodes overlaid on top

Image of an open book with some pages represented as raised hands

An image of the word JOY illuminated with lightbulbs


20FQ Holding space for current events - image of a newspaper on fire

20FQ Connecting class content to what matters - image of an SU student helping a child in a classroom

Image of three connected puzzle pieces, plus one not connected

Decorative image - Ignatian Pedagogy Series - Reflective Practice

Radical Hope - image of book cover

Image of fraying rope about to snap in two

Image of two red Seattle U T-shirts hanging up, with a logo that reads

Image of a purple brain on a black background

An image of the Earth with flowers and plants growing from the edges all the way around

An image of the Earth in the center of a large, colorful poster, with the words Laudato Si - Our Common Home written across it

Purple watercolor on white background - Ignatian Pedagogy Series - Inclusive Pedagogies

Image of a sketch of the human body


Text on a turquoise watercolor background

19FQ Assignment design - best practices from the HE literature

Metal cigarette lighter with flame

Schoolchild laughing with SU student

Abstract purple watercolor image on a white background,

Book cover for How Learning Works

Image of water in swimming pool

Image for Winter 2020 event

20SQ Teaching polarizing topics - image of a yellow

20SQ What do we mean by rigor - image of a giant stone hand

Image of honeycomb windows and sihouetted staircase

Image of road sign with up and down arrows


image of the book

Photo of the Pantheon ceiling in Rome

19WQ Leanne Betasamosake Simpson - Consent in education and land as pedagogy

Ignatian Pedagogy Series - Active learning - L

19WQ Experiencing our differences

19WQ Enhancing student motivation

19SQ In the nick of time - workshop - image with egg-timer

19SQ Idea-based learning

Ignatian Pedagogy Series - Inclusive Pedagogies


Gold watercolor on white background - Ignatian Pedagogy Series - Active learning

Less grading, deeper learning

To care and to care too much - outline of head full of cogs with hearts in them

Turquoise watercolour image on white

Cover of

Large sculpture of ear with ear trumpet

Image of broken ladder against an uneven wall



Spring 2017

Hands with turquoise background

“Why should I care?” Enhancing motivation throughout your course
Tue, Apr 18 
Wed, Apr 19 | 12:30–1:50 | Casey Commons | Lunch provided
Facilitated by Katherine Raichle

Do you sometimes wish that your students would be more motivated to engage with course material? It may be obvious to you why they should care, so why aren’t they more interested?

Students have numerous competing interests and obligations outside of class that undoubtedly influence motivation. At the same time, though, we know that the environment of the classroom and elements of one’s curriculum can also have an impact on student motivation. In this workshop we will explore several of these classroom and curricular factors and how you can readily put them to practice.

By the end of this workshop you will:

  1. Better understand what factors can influence students’ motivation
  2. Identify several practical changes that you could put in place immediately
  3. Consider how to structure future courses to enhance motivation from the outset

Request a consultation on this topic. 

multi-colored water
Reflection—Habit of mind, tool for deep learning, and instrument of assessment

Wednesday, April 26 | 12:30-1:50 | Casey Commons | Lunch provided
Facilitated by June Johnson Bube (Core Writing Consultant and Director of Writing Studies)
Co-sponsored by University Core

We know a lot about reflection. Reflection fosters deep learning by promoting metacognition, synthesis, and the transfer of knowledge from one situation to another. It plays a role in disciplinary ways of knowing and doing. Furthermore, reflective thinking and writing are embedded in Seattle University’s Core and Undergraduate learning objectives as skills and values, and as reflective scholar-teachers ourselves, we all believe in reflection’s pedagogical value. 

Yet, even with this consensus, questions remain:

  • How do we construct good reflective writing assignments and teach this habit of mind?
  • Knowing that students need guidance and practice in writing reflectively, how do we help students acquire this tool for self-assessment of their learning?
  • How can we design and integrate reflection assignments so that they serve as assessment instruments?
  • Would it be worthwhile to have a common set of expectations, specific learning objectives, and assignment guidelines?

This workshop will focus on these questions. Using several short assignments as a departure point, we will discuss topics from among the key concepts in reflective pedagogy, such as: metacognitive reflection versus discernment reflection; reflection versus reflexivity; reflection as a mode of thinking, not a genre; earning insights through introspection and critical analysis; adopting provisional, dialogic thinking; appreciating ambiguity and delaying closure; and achieving self-understanding. We will share how we use reflection in our classes.  As a group, we will brainstorm strategies for formalizing and scaffolding our teaching of reflection. We will discuss whether it would be worthwhile to have a common set of expectations, specific learning objectives, and assignment guidelines. Several rubrics for reflective writing will be distributed for pedagogical adaptation and innovation.

Request a consultation on this topic.

Woman in reflection
Inviting a global, intersectional feminist awareness to the classroom

With special guest, Ken Bugul, and SU faculty
Thu, Apr 27 | 12:30-1:50 | Casey Commons | Lunch provided
Facilitated by Christina Roberts, English
Co-sponsored by SU’s Indigenous Peoples Institute

Join SU faculty and special guest Ken Bugul in a discussion about global, intersectional feminisms.

This dynamic panel of educators and scholars will interrogate cultural biases, reflect upon their own values and assumptions, and consider how we can be intersectional in our conversations, classrooms, and in our engagements around social justice.

Ken Bugul is a Senegalese writer who, in novel after novel for the past thirty years, has painted a picture of her life as a woman, of her loves, of the relationship between her continent of Africa and the West. “To write”, she says, “is to dazzle the senses, and the senses are colourless.” She is the subject of the 2013 film, Ken Bugul: Nobody Wants Her, directed by Silvia Voser.

Request a consultation on this topic.

Winter 2017

Hear me out! Perspective-taking in the classroom and beyond
Tue, Jan 24 | 12:30-1:50 | Casey Commons | Lunch provided
Facilitated by Holly Slay Ferraro | Albers

Education is a collaborative experience. Yet think back on some of your educational experiences: As a student or faculty member, have there been times when you resisted sharing your opinion for fear of how others in the room would respond? Conversely, were there times when someone shared an opinion and you didn’t really listen because it was at odds with your own? Do you find this behavior replicated in  meetings or in other venues where the ostensible goal is learning and sharing?

You are invited to engage in a workshop on perspective-taking if the answer to any of these questions is “Yes, I’ve been in that classroom/meeting!” In this workshop, we’ll look at how identity impacts perspective-taking. That is, how might our values and how we want to be viewed by others get in the way of listening and speaking? We’ll also look at how asking questions helps us to better understand others and to be understood by them.

Finally, we’ll develop strategies to help students meaningfully exchange perspectives. Our goal is to better equip ourselves and our students to create inclusive classrooms where important discourse can happen.

Request a consultation on this topic.

Opening up another door to the classroom: Inviting our selves and our students into the authentic play of dialogue and research
Wed, Jan 25 | 12:30-1:50 | Casey Commons | Lunch provided
Facilitated by Jennifer Schulz | Arts & Sciences

As you walk through the door into your classroom, are you ever afraid of what Parker Palmer calls, “the judgment of the young?” Speaking in the voice of the students, Palmer fearfully imagines them thinking: “We are here only because we are forced to be here. So, whatever you have to do, get it over with, and let us get on with our lives” (from Courage to Teach 48). If this sounds familiar, now consider what your students imagine you are thinking about them.

The problem is that misperception becomes expectation, which gets in the way of genuine experience in the classroom. And how do we do lab research, analyze a poem, debate the sociology of media and political campaigns in a shared, exciting, and generative way - that is, “make something happen” - when we have such a short time in which to overcome these expectations?

This workshop offers an example of how to open that other door into your classroom through which expectations (and anxieties) can give way to present and creative experience.

Drawing from a growing body of research on the importance of attending to emotional (alongside intellectual and social) dimensions of learning in a college classroom as well as from phenomenologist Hans Georg Gadamer’s discussion of play and genuine dialogue, this workshop presents a framework for thinking about how to foster curiosity among students and between students and faculty. This culture of curiosity sparks, in turn, a collaborative approach to learning that is driven by listening, finding a shared language, and using this shared language to launch new discoveries: all crucial practices in the research process.

Come to this workshop ready to suspend critical thinking and analysis (at least for the moment) and engage in a process of creative play in which no one knows more than anyone else, in which we can’t predict what will happen, and in which we will all be in it together.

Request a consultation on this topic.

Moving beyond chalk and talk: Implementing project-based learning
Mon, Jan 30 | 12:30-1:50 | Casey Commons | Lunch provided
Facilitated by Katherine Raichle | Arts & Sciences

Do you sometimes wish that your students would be more motivated to engage with the course material? Are you struggling to identify how to deepen student learning of course content? Perhaps you are seeking new ways to bridge the gap between course content and application? 

Project-Based Learning (PBL) is an effective pedagogical tool that has been shown to increase student engagement, motivation, application of course material, and enhanced critical thinking skills. Moreover, there is also evidence that PBL enhances instructor satisfaction of course delivery. 

What is PBL? PBL involves guiding students through a quarter-long project specifically aimed to further your students’ understanding of an identified discipline-specific challenge, content area, and/or skill. A PBL project could include addressing a real-world question within your field or furthering and deepening students’ understanding of a particular theoretical model, to name only a couple examples.  

By the end of this workshop you will:

  1. Better understand Project-based Learning (PBL),
  2. Better understand its pedagogical advantages,
  3. Cover an example of its implementation,
  4. Vet a class of your own that you would like to consider for PBL.  

Request a consultation on this topic.

Juggling the linguistic diversity ball: How focusing on the reading–writing connection creates instructional opportunity
Wed, Feb 1 | 12:30–1:50 | Casey Commons | Lunch provided
Facilitated by Dr. June Johnson Bube (Core Writing Consultant and Director of Writing Studies)
Co-sponsored by the University Core

Sometimes faculty teaching in the Core may feel as though we are juggling too many balls at once: delivering our content-rich Core courses; teaching to the Core’s complex learning objectives for our students’ growth as writers; and meeting the learning needs of our culturally and linguistically diverse students.

While all our students face the academic literacy challenges of managing hefty reading assignments with difficult vocabulary in preparation for writing in the disciplines, these challenges loom larger for our multilingual students. For us, juggling that third ball—that is, providing appropriate instructional help for these students—may feel daunting at times.

Research in writing across the curriculum and game-changing policy statements advocate a culturally sensitive, respectful pedagogy that rejects a difference-as-deficit model (focus on linguistic errors). To help us re-envision our task, scholar-teachers in second language writing offer useful instructional strategies. Perhaps the best news from this research is that, rather than increasing our instructional load, adapting teaching strategies for students working in a second or other language actually makes us more effective in teaching ALL of our students.

One main instructional strategy targets the reading–writing connection. As Dana Ferris and John Hedgcock write in Teaching L2 Composition: Purpose, Process, and Practice (2014) “One cannot successfully teach writing without simultaneously teaching reading” (94). In this workshop, we will explore several of these instructional strategies: attention to the microskills of reading competency and focus on write-to-read and write-to-learn activities. Incorporating these strategies as part of your assignment scaffolding will benefit not only your multilingual students, but all of them.

Request a consultation on this topic. 

Acknowledging settler-colonialism in the classroom
Thu, Feb 9 | 12:30-1:50 | Casey 517 | Lunch provided
Guest speaker: Prof. Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz (Cal State East Bay)
Co-sponsored by SU's Indigenous Peoples Initiatives 

US policies and actions related to Indigenous peoples, although often termed "racist" or "discriminatory," are rarely depicted as what they are: classic cases of imperialism and a particular form of colonialism—settler colonialism. The history of the United States is a history of settler colonialism, which forms its socio-political-economic foundation. The objective of US policies was to terminate their existences as peoples—not random individuals. This is the very definition of genocide in international law, and that policy remains in effect today. It is important for faculty to understand settler colonialism in order to deal with the attitudes that it gives rise to, namely an assumption of "white" supremacy, or more accurately, the supremacy of European and Euroamerican values and knowledge systems.

Request a consultation on this topic.

Before you press “Send”: Email strategies for professional and positive relationships with your students 
Tue, Feb 14 | 9:30-1:00 | Casey Commons | Lunch provided
Wed, Feb 15 | 9:30-1:00 | Casey Commons | Lunch provided
Facilitated by Bryan Ruppert | Albers

Email is an easy-to-use form of communication between faculty and students. We can email them and they can email us about any topic related to the course from anywhere and at any time of day—or night.

Yet how often do you feel that:

  • you’re overwhelmed by the sheer volume of email from students?
  • you spend a disproportionate amount of time replying to an email that took a student only a few moments to send?
  • you agonize for far too long over how to phrase something in an email to a student?
  • you wish you could pull an email back after having hit “send?”

In this half-day workshop, we’ll look at what communication research and one instructor’s application of that research suggest are successful practices in email use in the Seattle University context. We’ll review emerging basic etiquette in professional email and explore how to apply this etiquette to our own context of emails to and from students. Together we’ll identify common themes in faculty–student email communication and draft email templates for recurring message types.

You’ll leave the workshop with a sense of when email can work for or against student learning and professional formation. Importantly, you’ll also see how you can reduce the time you spend in your inbox.

Request a consultation on this topic.

Faculty Learning Community #5: 
Race in the college classroom: Pedagogy and politics

Co-sponsored by the Office of Institutional Inclusion and Chief Diversity Officer

What are the challenges facing a college professor who believes that teaching responsibly requires an honest and searching examination of race?

In Race in the College Classroom, edited by Bonnie TuSmith and Maureen T. Reddy, twenty-nine professors from the sciences, social sciences, humanities, and education seek to answer this question as they discuss the multiple facets and implications of teaching race in a racialized society.

Among other aspects, the authors address the temptation not to challenge students for fear of reprisals, how the classroom environment is itself structured by race, and the varying ways that faculty of color and white faculty are affected by teaching about race in their classes.

In this four-session Faculty Learning Community over winter and spring (facilitator TBA), we will progress through the chapters of the book and will reflect on how we currently address race in our own classrooms and what transformative practices will help us do so better.

5a. What's in it for you? 

Over the four sessions, this book and our discussions will help you:

  • Build a community of colleagues with whom to discuss the pedagogical challenges of race
  • Find ways to dismantle the structures of race that often unwittingly operate in our classrooms
  • Explore strategies to transform student learning by addressing race, rather than circumventing it 

This community is for any faculty members who wish to strengthen their understanding of how race affects the academy in general and their own classes in particular. Whether in a discipline that addresses race as a regular part of the curriculum or one that tends to avoid it, this learning community will benefit all who wish to engage in racially just pedagogies.


Fall 2016

Teaching for critical thinking: Tools and techniques to help students question their assumptions

One of the few areas of agreement between educators, employers, and politicians is the need for graduates to be able to “think critically,” yet how that looks in reality can vary greatly between disciplines.

In Teaching for Critical Thinking, Stephen Brookfield distills these many approaches to create a basic protocol of critical thinking that focuses on students uncovering assumptions, exploring alternative perspectives, and taking informed action. Through a shared understanding of what constitutes critical thinking and how we might capture it, Brookfield goes on to provide broad principles and targeted exercises and activities that we can adapt to our different disciplinary settings.

In this four-session Faculty Learning Community over fall and winter, facilitated by Dean Peterson (Economics), we will progress through the chapters of the book and will consider how we might focus on critical thinking more proactively and transparently in one of our own courses.

Over the four sessions, this book and our discussions will help you:

  • Clarify what critical thinking looks like in your own discipline
  • Develop teaching methods that explicitly promote critical thinking among your students
  • Explore critical thinking approaches that you might be able to adapt from other disciplines

This community is for any faculty members who wish to strengthen their students’ critical thinking in discussions, reading, and writing, whether in face-to-face, online, or hybrid courses.

Request a consultation on this topic.

Borrow this book from the Center's Library.


Intersectionality in action: A guide to faculty and campus leaders for creating inclusive classrooms and institutions

There has been much public debate recently on how to create a campus culture where all members feel included and supported. Brooke Barnett and Peter Felten have collected eleven essays into one learned guide for faculty and campus leaders in their efforts to create inclusive classrooms and institutions that do more than celebrate cultural difference and discourage intolerance of others.

This groundbreaking book aims to help readers, no matter what position they occupy on campus, develop the knowledge and capacities necessary to do this essential work and is premised on the understanding that identity, oppression, power, and marginalization cannot be addressed by looking solely at single identities.

In this three-session Faculty Learning Community facilitated by Natasha Martin (Associate Vice President for Institutional Inclusion and Chief Diversity Officer) over fall and winter, we will progress through topics of intersectionality and 1) the recruitment and retention of students, faculty, and staff; 2) the development of inclusive leaders, governing bodies, and advisory boards; 3) the campus environment; and 4) the larger world.

Over the four sessions, this book and our discussions will help you:

  • Understand the multi-dimensional nature of intersectionality as a concept of identity formation;
  • Develop campus leaders and structures that sustain an inclusive campus community;
  • Create opportunities for civic engagement that are inclusive and transformative; and
  • Link how working at the intersections of identity can lead to a more just and humane world.

This community is for any faculty member or academic leader who wishes to explore means of creating a more welcoming and inclusive campus environment using the lens of intersectionality.

Request a consultation on this topic. 

Borrow this book from the Center's Library.

Find out about "faculty learning communities" and see the Center for Faculty Development's current FLC offerings. 

Designing writing assignments that work for your course, your students’ learning, and you
Wed, Oct 19 | 12:30–1:50 | Casey Commons | Lunch provided
Facilitated by Dr. June Johnson Bube (Core Writing Consultant and Director of Writing Studies)
Co-sponsored by the University Core

  • Have you ever been inspired by an idea for a writing assignment but then had reservations about how it furthered your course goals?
  • Have you ever given a writing assignment in class and then received emails from puzzled students asking for clarification?
  • Have you ever read a set of papers and discovered that only a few students in the class were prepared for the complexity of the writing tasks you had given them?

Creating effective writing assignments is one of the most challenging aspects of teaching and is closely related to the University Core curriculum’s emphasis on encouraging students to become competent, flexible academic writers.

Effective writing assignments stimulate students’ learning and creative/critical thinking and result in papers that are interesting for you to read and grade. 

In this workshop we’ll consider the challenges of designing writing assignments and will discuss the features of best practices according to the research on student writing. The second half of the workshop will offer you the opportunity to share and receive feedback on a writing assignment you are using this year in a Core class you are teaching.



Canaries in the SU coalmine? International students and a thriving classroom
Tue, Oct 11 | 12:30-1:50 | Casey Commons | Lunch provided
Wed, Oct 12 | 12:30-1:50 | Casey Commons | Lunch provided
Facilitated by David Green
Co-sponsored by the Office of Global Engagement

Fifteen percent of SU’s students are international, according to our latest figures (fall 2015). Their presence brings opportunities to encourage understanding and communication across cultures, but the reality in the classroom can often feel very different.

We hear concerns that class dynamics noticeably shift as the proportion of international students increases; in last year’s campus climate survey, 20% of students reported experiencing tension in classroom discussions that they felt was specifically due to the international status of some class members. In addition, bringing international and US students together for group tasks and projects can pose challenges for both sets of students – and for their professors.

Yet while it is tempting to see international students as a group with unique issues, they have more persuasively been likened to “canaries in the coalmine” of higher education, alerting us to potential issues in our classes that other students could also find challenging (Ryan & Carroll, 2005). 

In this workshop, we draw on the research and on our own experiences at SU to explore what these “canaries” might be telling us about our classes and how we might make adjustments – whether subtle or substantial – to cultivate the kinds of culture where all our students feel welcomed and heard, and where everyone is learning.



Spring 2016

Why Josh is more likely to speak for his group than Jessica:  Breaking the bias habit
Tue, May 3 | 12:30-1:50 | Casey Commons | Lunch provided
Wed, May 4 | 12:30-1:50 | Casey Commons | Lunch provided
Facilitated by Therese Huston

The next time you have students work in small groups, notice who speaks for each group when you ask them to report out.  Chances are you’ll hear from more men than women, even if women participated heavily in the discussion and offered thoughtful contributions up until that moment.

Why does this happen?  And do similar patterns emerge in, say, department meetings?   

We’ll look at some of the ways popular culture treats men as having more intellectual heft and more valuable decision-making skills.  How might these all-too-common assumptions about gender and judgment encourage students to participate at some times and not others?  How do these habits also unconsciously play out in how we, as faculty, behave? 

In this workshop, we'll develop strategies for curbing gender bias in our classrooms and our professional lives.  We’ll share approaches for bringing everyone's best ideas to the table. 

Therese Huston is author of the much-anticipated book How Women Decide: What’s true, what’s not, and what strategies spark the best choices (2016, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt) and of Teaching What You Don’t Know (2012, Harvard UP). She a cognitive psychologist and was the founding director of Seattle University’s Center for Faculty Development (“CETL”), where she continues to consult with faculty to help them excel in their teaching. A treat for colleagues at Seattle University,  this workshop is a sneak peek at some of the ideas from her new book, and how they relate to our classes – as well as our professional lives more generally. You can also hear Therese talk about her book at Town Hall Seattle on May 10; more information at https://townhallseattle.org/event/therese-huston/


Winter 2016

Creating self-regulated learners: Strategies to strengthen students' self-awareness and learning skills

Most students neither know how learning works nor what they have to do to ensure it, to the detriment both of their studies and their development as lifelong learners.

Linda Nilson’s point of departure in this book is the literature on “self-regulated learning” that tells us that deep, lasting, independent learning requires learners to bring into play a range of cognitive skills, affective attitudes, and even physical activities – about which most students are wholly unaware; and that self-regulation, which has little to do with measured intelligence, can be developed by just about anyone and is a fundamental prerequisite of academic success.

In this four-session Faculty Learning Community over winter and spring, we will progress through the chapters of the book and will consider how we might embed activities on self-regulation in one of our own courses.

Over the four sessions, this book and our discussions will help you:

  • Adapt tested activities and assignments to your own courses so that students can progressively reflect on, monitor, and improve their learning skills
  • Integrate self-regulation activities with different course components
  • Prepare for introducing self-regulation activities in the classroom, recognizing that most of us are unfamiliar with these strategies.

This community is for any faculty members who wish to enhance their students’ skills in reflection, self-regulation, and lifelong learning.

Request a consultation on this topic.

Borrow this book from the Center's Library.

Find out about "faculty learning communities" and see the Center for Faculty Development's current FLC offerings. 



Contrary to expectations: When classroom reality and our own expectations don't match up
January 26 and 27, 2016
Facilitated by David Green
In response to the Campus Climate Survey

Walk into any classroom at Seattle U and the chances are that the make-up of the classroom does not resemble the classes you attended when you were a student. Today’s students entering higher education at all levels come from more varied backgrounds than in the past, and we see a greater diversity of characteristics, perspectives, and experiences than ever before.

Our own mental image of students, however, is often more homogenous. How does this influence our behaviors and expectations? What unintended consequences may unfold when our unconscious ideas of higher education are not aligned with the classroom reality?

The university’s recent Campus Climate Survey reveals that we have plenty of room to make our classes a place where our students feel both welcomed and intellectually challenged. So in this lunchtime workshop, we’ll explore our expectations and mental images by examining a student vignette, based on real data from a published study of faculty expectations (Popovic & Green, 2012). Through discussion, we’ll develop our own tailored strategies for keeping our mental images in check so that the classroom reality is one in which all our students can thrive.

Request a consultation on this topic. 


Teaching indigeneity in the classroom
January 14, 2016
Guest speaker: Dr. Deborah Miranda (Washington and Lee University)
Co-sponsored by Dr. Christina Roberts, Program Director for Indigenous Initiatives at SU

Indigenous voices and perspectives remain for the most part absent or silent in US university classrooms, and Seattle U is no exception. If we want to change that, though, how do we approach conversations about Indigeneity and Native American history, cultures, and societies in our courses? What does it even mean to be Indigenous in the 21st century? To explore these questions and think about them in your own context, join Professor Deborah Miranda, author of Bad Indians: A Tribal Memoir and Raised by Humans, for this open discussion.

Dr. Deborah Miranda is Professor of English at Washington & Lee University in Lexington, VA, where she teaches creative writing and literature of the margins. Her work has been widely published in literary journals, scholarly journals and anthologies, and lends itself to interdisciplinary approaches; it is taught in Native Studies, Creative Writing, Women and Gender Studies, Anthropology, American Literature, Poetry, History, Sociology courses across North America, Europe, and Australia.

Request a consultation on this topic.

Fall 2015


In the nick of time: Course design that increases students' preparation, participation, and higher-order thinking
October 27 or 28, 2015

Have you ever been disappointed—even exasperated!—by the poor level of discussion and participation in class, despite having really capable students? You may have witnessed lackluster conversation that struggles to reach the levels we (and our students) are right to expect at university. You may have also been frustrated by your students’ apparent lack of familiarity with the most basic facts and theory. Worse still, you may have been faced with either a wall of silence or have conducted a one-on-one conversation with what seems to be the only student both prepared and willing to speak up.

These scenarios may not happen often, but they may happen enough that you’re now looking for ways of helping your students raise their game. After all, national and SU-specific data tell us that many students are indeed underprepared for their classes: We know from the NSSE Survey that the average SU undergrad studies outside class for 15 hours per week total.

So how might course design help you to help them so that they are genuinely ready to engage and learn in class?

In this workshop, we’ll work together to explore one approach to course design that seeks to address this issue constructively. This approach, called “just-in-time teaching,” focuses class time on the sticking points in the curriculum by creating a straightforward feedback loop between you and your students, requiring students to think about—and give feedback on—the reading in advance of class, and helping you discover where their energies are best concentrated.

During the workshop, you’ll get the chance to focus on a specific session in one of your courses so that by the end, you’ll have devised some strategies and questions that will allow you to experiment with this learning-focused approach in the near future. Please remember to bring a syllabus and/or class notes for a specific session with you.

Request a consultation on this topic.


Spring 2015


Reasonable accommodations: Students with disabilities and the university context
May 5 or 6, 2015

Student disabilities are manifested in many different ways – from the mild to the chronic, from the physical to the psychological – and the university works hard to find reasonable accommodations that allow our students with disabilities to succeed without changing the criteria on which they are evaluated.

Even when we are familiar with these practices, though, we still have questions about how best to support our students and how to manage particular situations. For example, how do we best support students with chronic conditions? How do we respond to students’ emotional outbursts in class? Above all, how can we have constructive and comfortable conversations with our students about how we accommodate their disabilities in our classes?

In this roundtable session with Disabilities Services staff, you’ll have the opportunity to raise areas of uncertainty, learn from your peers, and develop new strategies for ensuring that our students with disabilities receive both a reasonable and an equitable academic experience.

Request a consultation on this topic.

Winter 2015


A dialogue with Sherman Alexie: Creating inclusive environments for Native American students
February 3, 2015
Co-sponsored by Dr. Christina Roberts, Program Director for Indigenous Initiatives at SU

As SU faculty consider various approaches to "Inclusive Excellence," we also need to consider inequities in student success and how to close achievement gaps by creating opportunities for underrepresented students. Recent literature about Native American student success in higher education points to the importance of maintaining familial connections and a student's ability to function bi-culturally.

So what resources do faculty need to make excellence inclusive of Native American, Alaska Native, and Indigenous students? How do we support these students toward success at Seattle University? Join local author Sherman Alexie in a candid conversation about working with Native American students.

Request a consultation on this topic.

Classroom facilitation skills: Before, during, and after
January 27 or 28, 2015
Facilitated by Suzanne de Janasz (2014-15 Thomas F. Gleed Chair of Business Administration, Albers School of Business & Economics)

Many professors have heard about faculty moving from the “sage on the stage” to the “guide on the side,” eschewing the traditional lecture format in favor of more participative approaches to boost student learning. But how exactly do we put that idea into practice? What facilitation approaches might be most effective before, during, and after an interactive class session?

In this hands-on extended workshop, you will first engage in discussion on the art of classroom facilitation—a student-centered approach that involves relinquishing control and allowing class sessions to evolve naturally. And then you will have the opportunity to learn, practice, and receive feedback on your own facilitation skills using a highly experiential format.

This session provides you the chance to hone your classroom facilitation skills and to consider the benefits and challenges of being a facilitator as opposed to a lecturer.

Request a consultation on this topic.


Improving student performance by addressing student and teacher misconceptions about learning
January 15, 2015
Presented by Stephen Chew (professor and chair of psychology at Samford University; Birmingham, Alabama)
Co-sponsored by Student Academic Services, Housing and Residence Life, and University CORE

This lunchtime presentation examines common misconceptions among both students and teachers that undermine student learning.

Students often overestimate their level of understanding, mistakenly believe they can multi-task effectively, and select poor learning strategies. Teachers often believe that student engagement, “active” learning, and struggle are critical to teaching effectiveness when these concepts have serious limitations.

In this session, our guest presenter will discuss and demonstrate some key cognitive principles that must be addressed for any pedagogy to be effective. Finally, he will describe a series of videos he has developed to help students learn to study effectively based on cognitive research.

Request a consultation on this topic.

Fall 2014


Attention benefit: Class activities to engage everyone
November 12 or 13, 2014
Facilitated by David Green

The issue of short attention spans is not new: A 14th-century Italian painting of a lecture shows one student with his head on his arm, either bored or asleep.

And we have also known for a long time that breaking up classes into different types of activity – group work, presentation, pair work, individual reflection – aids attention and keeps students intellectually engaged.

While we talk about active learning a lot on campus, we don't often discuss the process – the nuts and bolts of how we put it into practice. In this hands-on session, you will get to experiment with active learning strategies both as an instructor and as a participant.

Whether this is new to you or is simply a refresher, you will come away with a handful of techniques and activities that you can adapt for your own courses to vary the pace and keep your students’ attention.

Request a consultation on this topic.


Canvas User Forum: Challenges and opportunities
October 14, 2014
Co-sponsored with the Office of University Planning and COPE

At this third Canvas User Forum, faculty presenters will share how they addressed common questions in teaching and learning through innovative uses of the Canvas Learning Management System (LMS).

What opportunities does the technology provide to improve teaching and learning? Have there been unexpected results in the application of technology – both challenging and remarkable?

Each faculty presenter will share their experience and introduce ongoing questions to the group for general discussion.

In the weeks following the forum, hands-on workshops will be held to help interested faculty with “how-to” logistics of implementing use of particular tools.

For individual consultations, in-person workshops, and online resources for using Canvas, contact the


Idea-Based Learning

How do you systematically design a course so that it truly promotes deep learning and the kinds of critical thinking we espouse in academia? Edmund Hansen’s Idea-Based Learning provides a step-by-step process for thinking about and designing a course around our disciplines’ big ideas, focusing on key elements that will help maximize our students’ potential.

In this four-session, facilitated Faculty Learning Community over fall and winter, we will progress through the chapters and develop or revise our own courses following Hansen’s recommendations, and we’ll discuss the sticking points and epiphanies we discover along the way.

This community is for any faculty member who is either designing a new course or revising an existing one.

Request a consultation on this topic.

Borrow this book from the Center's Library.



Spring 2014


Don't stand so close to me: Managing boundaries in student-faculty interactions
Wed, May 7, 2014
Facilitated by David Green

On the face of it, boundaries may sound like a non-issue at SU, and yet we know from the associate deans that this is a hot topic on campus that can begin on either side of a student–faculty interaction.

These interactions cover a wide range, from using first names to taking a student for lunch to discuss a class issue, from texting between instructor and student to a faculty member adopting the role of counselor or social worker in an attempt to support a student.

Inescapable power differentials—where one individual grades the work of another—add a layer of complexity to these interactions, especially when SU faculty often feel a strong responsibility to get to know their students as part of the university’s value of “care.” Indeed the research on the importance of rapport for a positive learning environment would back up those efforts, but only up to a point.

So where exactly does the dividing line lie? What difficulties might we unexpectedly find ourselves in? And what kinds of repercussions are colleges and schools reporting around the country?

In this late-afternoon session, we’ll have the chance for a candid conversation over drinks and appetizers to discuss this tightrope-walk of being friendly without being a friend and to weigh up the many options available to us to demonstrate we care in a way that is healthy for us all.

Request a consultation on this topic.

Winter 2014

Mindset: How realizing potential is about hard work, not talent
Tue, Feb 18 and Wed, Feb 19, 2014
Presented by Therese Huston and David Green

There's a popular notion in many western countries that some of us are “naturally talented” at, say, math or writing, while others “just aren't good at it.” Although it can feel marvelous to hear we're “talented,” we've probably also experienced situations where we've felt pigeonholed by our supposed lack of talent. Talking about ability in these terms creates a surprisingly self-defeating mindset that holds many of us back; we stop trying and we underperform.

In our roles as instructors, we hope for students who will stretch themselves and keep trying, even when they find the material hard to learn. So how can we foster that attitude toward ability?

In this workshop, we’ll take a close look at research showing that changing how we talk about success can lead to tremendous improvements in students’ perseverance and performance. We'll examine what we might be saying that inadvertently discourages some students from trying harder and will identify strategies for working positive, change-oriented language into our everyday teaching. By recalibrating mindsets – both the students' and our own – we can boost our students' potential and see it realized in our courses.



Infantilizing our students? Attendance, surveillance, and the degradation of learning
Thu, Jan 23, and Fri, Jan 24, 2014
Facilitated by David Green

Many of us require attendance in our classes. We expect students to engage actively with the material and with one another. We check who has viewed pages on Canvas. We monitor online discussions for levels of contribution. And we often assign points for each of these as a carrot, or introduce penalties as a stick.

Why do we do this? Common reasons are that it is for the students’ own good, that it reflects our university’s value of “care,” and that it gives students practice for workplace professionalism.

While these reasons may be valid, could the opposite be true at the same time? That by removing choice, we infantilize students, deny them agency and academic freedom, and thwart their chances of developing their own professionalism through trial and error? Or that by awarding points for everything students do, we perpetuate a point-chasing attitude more akin to high school, at the expense of higher learning in a post-compulsory setting?

In this late-afternoon session, we’ll have the chance for a candid conversation over drinks and appetizers to discuss these troubling and paradoxical notions and to weigh up the many alternatives available to us.


Fall 2013

An A to take pride in: Helping students to push themselves
Tue, Nov 12, or Wed, Nov 13, 2013

When did “superior work” – an A – become viewed as commonplace? How do we reset our students’ expectations so that they achieve more in their assignments and so that everyone comes away feeling that genuine learning has taken place? As university professors, many of us grapple with these questions, and with the thorny issue of how to “frame” assignments to motivate students while remaining challenging.

In this workshop, we’ll explore an approach to assignments that combines our desire for academic rigor with a constructive use of grading schemes—probably unlike ones you have seen before. This alternative approach encourages students to be more imaginative, critical, and ambitious in their studies; it means they’ll have to stretch themselves to earn that “superior” A, and that a B returns to its rightful place as the label for “good work.”

Remember to bring an assignment or two with you so that you can work on your own courses during the workshop.



How learning works
13FQ and 14WQ

Are you interested in finding out more about your students’ learning and adjusting your own courses as a result? How Learning Works, written by faculty developers from Carnegie Mellon University, is grounded in evidence from cognitive sciences, education, and psychology, and presents seven key principles that we can use to underpin the design of our courses. Covering such topics as mastery, prior knowledge, motivation, and classroom climate, this book has gained an international reputation for its clarity, rigor, and practicality. Over five sessions in Fall and Winter, we’ll be able to increase our understanding of learning, plan concrete changes for our classes, and discuss the results of these changes with an interdisciplinary group of peers.

Over the course of this 5-part series, you’ll

  • set regular goals to try out new ideas in your current courses,
  • learn insights from the book and other group members,
  • provide one another feedback on your course experiments and adjustments,
  • have the support of colleagues who are facing similar issues, and
  • gain confidence in your ability to make well-informed decisions to aid your students’ learning.

This community is for any faculty member who would like to take a more research-based approach to teaching. Ideally, you would be teaching in both Fall and Winter so that you can put new ideas into use immediately and are therefore better able to contribute to group discussion and reflection. This will give everyone greater insight into the variability of teaching contexts and norms, and can lead to a deeper appreciation of disciplinary nuances in higher education.

Request a consultation on this topic.

Borrow this book from the Center's Library.



Spring 2013

No learning and teaching events held this quarter.

Winter 2013

Learning outcomes: Cure-all for your course ills?
January 29 or 30, 2013
Presented by David Green

Many course ailments arise from problems with course design: students’ misunderstanding of our expectations, students’ difficulty seeing the forest for the trees, everyone feeling overwhelmed with content to cover, and a mismatch between our course delivery methods and the ways in which we assess our students’ performance. These are among the most common issues raised with CETL consultants.

At the root of these ills is the tricky question of “learning outcomes.” Whatever type of course we choose to run – face-to-face, hybrid, or online – good learning outcomes can help our courses stay healthy environments for learning. But despite seeming straightforward, learning outcomes can be fiendishly difficult to write well. In this workshop, you’ll experiment with learning outcomes to help you prevent the course aches and pains that drain your time and energy, replacing them with a healthy foundation for a positive educational experience.

Bring a copy of a course syllabus you’d like to revise.

Request a consultation on this topic.

Fall 2012


Fewer assignments, less grading, deeper learning: A miracle of course design?
November 6, or 7, 2012
Presented by David Green

Discover the counter-intuitive relationship between the number of graded assignments and the quality of learning. Research shows that students take deeper approaches to learning when they don’t feel overloaded with course content or with a stressful barrage of assignments in a course. With the right design, fewer graded assignments with higher point values can lead to a richer learning experience for your students.

In this workshop, you’ll have chance to focus on one of your own courses to work out what combination of course design adjustments could help your students take a deeper approach to the subject while reducing your grading. The suggestions you’ll explore will address concerns about superficial learning, an inability to transfer knowledge to new areas, perceived busywork, and an overemphasis on grades earned rather than the content learned. You’ll leave the workshop with your own list of priorities to help improve the learning environment in your classes.



Spring 2012


Our preconceptions of our students: Justified, unjustified, unjust?
May 1 or 2, 2012
Presented by David Green

We all have ideas about the typical stellar or not-so-stellar student, but we rarely have the opportunity to test these ideas. Our preconceptions may put us at risk of missing key evidence; more importantly, they may prevent us from noticing students in real need of our support and encouragement. This workshop is based on an international study where professors’ preconceptions were compared with data from over 1,000 of their students, including actual grades. So is it true, for instance, that students with sports scholarships do less well than other students, or that white students are more likely to excel? Does it make a difference if students sit at the back of the class, if they regularly attend religious services, or if they speak English at home? Together we’ll examine which preconceptions proved accurate and which inaccurate and will then explore what actions we might take in our classes to level the playing field so that our students have a more equitable chance of success.

Request a consultation on this topic.


Oral reviews: Promoting deeper understanding, confidence, and satisfaction among students
April 24, 2012
Presented by Mary Nelson (George Mason University)
Co-sponsored by the Mathematics Department, College of Science & Engineering

Oral reviews are hour-long, ungraded opportunities for students, working with faculty, to negotiate meaning, make conceptual connections, discuss why procedures work, and draw representations that make concepts clearer. In this talk, our guest speaker will outline the oral review process and present data that demonstrate a strong correlation between oral reviews and improved conceptual understanding, confidence, retention, and satisfaction, using examples from the field of calculus.

Calculus I was once notoriously reported to have a 40% failure rate nationally. To address this, the Applied Mathematics Department at the University of Colorado, Boulder, offers oral reviews to all Calculus I and II students, which has resulted in dramatic improvement in student performance. This talk gives us all opportunity to consider how we might use oral reviews in our own disciplines to enhance the learning experience.



Designing courses for the Core Curriculum using "constructive alignment"
April 2 or 3, 2012
Facilitated by David Green

At this stage in the Core revision process, many of us are busy working to produce outlines of new or adapted courses that will be exciting for us to teach and engaging for students to participate in and learn from. During this three-hour workshop, we’ll share CETL’s spin on the course design process, using the “constructive alignment” model for producing solid course proposals. Constructive alignment will help make the implementation process much smoother for you and your students, saving you time in the long run. It leaves you with a clear, but flexible framework for your course, providing enough clarity up-front, while allowing you scope to get creative in the final run-up to delivering your courses. You’ll leave the workshop having made concrete progress along the way to producing your final outline ready for the Core review process.


Winter 2012

POGIL: Award-winning pedagogy from Washington State's Professor of the Year
February 15 or 16, 2012
Facilitated by Vicky Minderhout and Jenny Loertscher | Chemistry Department

Washington State Professor of the Year Vicky Minderhout has been celebrated for transforming her chemistry classes with POGIL—Process-Oriented Guided Inquiry Learning. POGIL is a pedagogy based on evidence that learners are more likely to succeed when they work in small groups in an active classroom; it recognizes that knowledge is personal, that students develop greater ownership over course material when they can construct their own understanding, and that they enjoy learning more when actively engaged. In this interactive workshop, led by Vicky and her POGIL colleague, Jenny Loertscher, you’ll experience the POGIL structure and explore how you might apply POGIL principles in your own courses to promote student learning.



Professional formation in the age of entitlement
February 8 or 9, 2012
Facilitated by David Green
Co-sponsored by Albers School of Business and Economics

With increasing talk of a students’ sense of entitlement and with the student-as-consumer metaphor gaining ground in higher education, how can we as faculty dedicate ourselves to the “professional formation” of students, as called for in SU’s mission? How might we reframe our interactions with students and harness their self-assuredness to enhance their educational experience? In this workshop, we’ll discuss strategies, opportunities, and liabilities in how we interact with students both in- and out-of-class. You’ll also reach some preliminary conclusions about how best to enhance your students’ professional formation in your own courses.

Request a consultation on this topic.

“Outcomes schmoutcomes” versus “Impressive objectives:” A candid conversation on Learning Outcomes
January 20, 2012
Facilitated by David Green

Mere mention of the phrase “learning outcomes” – or “learning objectives” – can raise the hackles of many a faculty member throughout the English-speaking world. And yet the learning outcomes agenda and the discourse of outcomes assessment are fast permeating US higher education, driven in large part by the accrediting bodies that assure the quality of our degree programs.

In this late-afternoon session, we’ll have the chance for a candid conversation over drinks and appetizers to discuss both the problematic and the promising aspects of learning outcomes. What pitfalls do we see and how do we sidestep them? What benefits might learning outcomes present and how do we capitalize on them? What can we learn from faculty experiences of the learning outcomes process in other countries? We look forward to your cordial contentiousness.


Fall 2011

The good, the bad, and the ugly: Analyzing and acting on student evaluation comments
October 19 or 20, 2011
Presented by Therese Huston



Spring 2011

No learning and teaching events this quarter.

Winter 2011

Academic reflective writing: Practice connecting the mind to what matters? | Larry Nichols (English and The Writing Center) | February 2011

"It's in the syllabus—So why don't they get it?" Universal Design for Learning | Carol Weaver (Education) | February 2011

A candid conversation on "grade inflation" | David Green | January 2011

Fall 2010

"That's so gay." Responding to incendiary comments in the classroom | David Green | November 2010

Energizing long classes | David Green and Therese Huston | October 2010

"Minimal Marking:" Reducing the grading load while giving good feedback | John Bean (English) and David Green | October 2010



Spring 2010

What's said and not said: Navigating classroom discomfort around gender, race, and social class | Ed Reed (Matteo Ricci College) | May 2010

Looking to learn: Developing visual literacy across the disciplines | Deandra Little (University of Virginia) | May 2010

Project and protect: Voice skills for faculty | Sibylle Just (Neurologisches Reha-Zentrum, Wiesbaden & University of Giessen, Germany) | April 2010

Winter 2010

Encouraging students to read: incentives, disincentives, and raising the bar intellectually | David Green | February 2010

Teaching to diversity: the multinational classroom | David Green (Co-sponsored by Albers School of Business and Economics) | February 2010

Responsive teaching: how mid-term evaluations and minor course adjustments can improve student learning | David Green and Therese Huston | January 2010

Fall 2009

No learning and teaching events this quarter.



Spring 2009

Pursuing deep learning and social change: academic service learning | Jeffrey Anderson (College of Education / Faculty Fellows Program) and Kent Koth (Center for Service and Community Engagement) | May 2009

Teaching what you don't know | David Green and Therese Huston | April and May 2009

"Students today aren't what they used to be!" The millennial generation and its impact on the classroom | David Green and Therese Huston (Co-sponsored by Albers School of Business and Economics) | April 2009

Winter 2009

Optimizing student teams: key lessons from teams research to enhance the team experience for everyone | Jennifer Marrone (Management, Albers School of Business and Economics) | February 2009

Future-gazing and sustainability: Teaching students to conceptualize change | Celia Popovic (Birmingham City University, UK) | February 2009

Academic rigor: promoting deep approaches to learning | David Green and Therese Huston | February 2009

Teaching multiculturally inclusive courses – across the disciplines | Matt Ouellett (University of Massachusetts, Amherst) | January 2009

Fall 2008

Pearls of wisdom or just grit: Soliciting more helpful feedback from students on course evaluations | David Green and Therese Huston | November 2008

Redesigning your writing assignments | John Bean (English, College of Arts & Sciences) and Larry Nichols (The Writing Center) | November 2008

Trouble-shooting your classroom discussions | David Green and Therese Huston | October 2008

Request a consultation on any of the above topics.


Spring 2008

Feedback that informs: Creating stimulus for change in peer reviews of teaching | Carol Weaver (Education) | May 2008

The art of good seminars | Russ Lidman (Institute for Public Service, College of Arts and Sciences) | May 2008

From monologue to dialogue: Moderating online discussions | Carlos De Mello-e-Souza (Accounting, Albers School of Business and Economics), David Green, and Bill Hill (Office of Information Technology) | April 2008

Winter 2008

Globalization in the classroom: Making the most of multinational student groups | David Green | February 2008

"But the test had nothing to do with the class!" Redesigning courses to match assignments, outcomes and teaching methods | David Green | February 2008

Thinking outside the box: Promoting students' independent thinking skills | David Green | February 2008

Responding to challenges in the classroom: Incidents and impacts of disruptive student behavior | David Green and Therese Huston | January 2008

Fall 2007

Carrot or stick: Getting students to do the reading | David Green and Therese Huston | November 2007

Integrating service and learning through reflection | David Green, Therese Huston, and Kent Koth (Center for Service and Community Engagement) | November 2007

Using mid-term evaluations to improve your teaching | David Green and Therese Huston | October 2007



Spring 2007

Engaging diversity (impromptu session after guest speaker was unable to attend) | David Green and Therese Huston | May 2007

Changes in attitudes: Incidents and impacts of disruptive student behavior | David Green and Therese Huston | May 2007

PowerPoint: Always for good, never for evil! | David Green and Bill Hill (Office of Information Technology) | May 2007

The art of good discussions II | David Green and Therese Huston | May 2007

The art of good discussions I | Jacob Diaz (Student Development) and Bridget Kelly (Education) | May 2007

Turning difficult moments into teachable moments III: Academic service learning and the self-righteous mindset | Therese Huston and Kent Koth (Center for Service and Community Engagement) | April 2007

Using grading rubrics to make your expectations clear | David Green and Therese Huston | April 2007

Brown bag sessions on teaching and faculty issues around Virginia Tech | David Green and Therese Huston | April 2007

Winter 2007

Making your assignments more interesting to grade | David Green | January and February 2007

Turning difficult moments into teachable moments II: Academic service learning and gender | David Green and Kent Koth (Center for Service and Community Engagement) | January 2007

Teaching writing across borders | David Green, Therese Huston, and Larry Nichols (The Writing Center) | January 2007

Fall 2006

Turning difficult moments into teachable moments I: Academic service learning and race | Therese Huston and Kent Koth (Center for Service and Community Engagement) | November 2006

Teaching through a collective tragedy | Therese Huston | October 2006

Request a consultation on any of the above topics.

More information will be added here soon; check back again later.