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Spring Quarter Professional Development Opportunities from the Searle Center

Created: April 8, 2019

The Searle Center for Advancing Learning and Teaching is offering a variety of workshops designed to help graduate and postdoctoral students improve upon their teaching skills. 


Using Clickers in the Classroom (Workshop)
Wednesday, April 17, 2:30 - 4:00 PM

Searle Center Library
627 Dartmouth Place 
Evanston, IL 60208

Clickers, which go by more formal names like Audience Response Systems (ARS), have both supporters and detractors among faculty and students. Two strong supporters will lead this workshop and discuss the several benefits of clickers for both the instructor and the class, and what the detractors are missing. We will provide some practical ideas for using clickers, and participants will write at least one clicker question.

Workshop Facilitators: Robert Linsenmeier (Professor, Biomedical Engineering, Neurobiology) and Suzanne Olds (Professor, Biomedical Engineering)

Registration is free but required.


Encouraging Student Engagement with Course Evaluations (Workshop)
Thursday, May 9, 2:00 - 3:30 PM

Searle Center Library
627 Dartmouth Place 
Evanston, IL 60208

Even when teachers make course evaluations a priority, it can be difficult to encourage thorough, thoughtful participation from students. This workshop is intended to help you make the most out of your course evaluations, offering strategies for encouraging student engagement, tips for writing more productive prompts, and alternative evaluation styles. This investment goes beyond CTECs, and we will discussing ways to implement and make use of informal evaluations while the course is still ongoing. Participants will identify student feedback they’d like to receive specific to their intended teaching contexts and ultimately begin to draft a set of objectives and possible prompts to fit that context.

Workshop Facilitators: Anne Boemler (Department of English) and Eric James (Rhetoric & Public Culture)

Registration is free but required.


Keeping Your Students Engaged: Active Learning in STEM Classrooms (Workshop)
Tuesday, May 14, 12:30 - 2:00 PM

Searle Center Library
627 Dartmouth Place 
Evanston, IL 60208

Learning in STEM happens across many settings, from the lecture hall to lab and discussion sections. No matter the teaching context, active learning is a great way to liven up your classroom and engage students with complicated STEM concepts. In this workshop, participants will explore active learning, including the evidence of its efficacy and techniques to implement active learning for all class sizes. At the end of the workshop, participants will have the opportunity to develop an active learning focused activity for a topic in their individual discipline.

Workshop Facilitators: Rohit Ramanathan (Materials Sciences & Engineering) and Shaunna McLeod (Chemistry)

Registration is free but required.


Fostering Critical Thinking in an Inclusive Classroom (Workshop)
Wednesday, May 22, 11:00 AM - 12:30 PM

Searle Center Library
627 Dartmouth Place 
Evanston, IL 60208

A common goal among instructors is that all students are able to learn and succeed in their courses. Yet, in any given classroom, there are a number of differences among students - gender, family background, personality, etc. One way to work towards this goal of an inclusive classroom is by promoting the practice of critical thinking in the classroom. In this workshop, participants will reflect on the importance of critical thinking for inclusivity and develop concrete strategies for fostering it in their own classes. We will discuss elements of assignment design, barriers to critical thinking, and the use of active learning strategies to cultivate a healthy learning environment.

Registration is free but required.

From the Dean, Professional Development, Announcements