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Center for Teaching Excellence


Center for Teaching Excellence

Events Calendar

Throughout the year, the CTE hosts events catered to USC Faculty and Staff. Our events allow participants to explore a broad range of topics important to both novice and veteran college teachers. Most workshops are facilitated by veteran faculty from USC and are designed to be highly interactive.

Click on the "+" sign next to each event to see description.


February 2019

The goal for this session is to foster a conversation about creative ways to enhance online courses. In an effort to keep students engaged with the instructor and with the course material, Arment Shaomian has developed a series of mini-lectures, which condensed key lecture topics and core ideas into a short (10-15 minute) digestible and entertaining vignette. Through creating lecture videos and uploading them to YouTube®, students have reported feeling more engaged with the class. This teaching method has generated some of the highest positive responses from student evaluations. The flexible nature of distributed learning, especially when students may be studying abroad or working at internships, is complemented by short, entertaining clips that provide the often-lacking personal communication and give the students a touchstone for key information they need to take away from each module.  Register

This workshop is an elective session for a certificate of completion in Fostering Proactive Learning Environments.

The Grade Center is more than just a way to record students' grades. It is a dynamic and interactive tool, allowing instructors to record data, calculate grades and monitor student progress.  In the Grade Center, instructors can provide and manage students' grades for a variety of assessments, including assignments, tests, discussion board posts, journals, blogs, and wikis. Faculty can also create grade columns for any activities or requirements that require grading but do not require submission through Blackboard, such as special projects, presentation, participation or attendance. Workshop participants can bring their computer or tablet to gain first-hand experience during the workshop.  Register

An instructor can often make small changes to his or her documents and presentations to make them more inclusive and accessible by all students. Bring your own mobile device for this hands-on session to learn best practices to make your course materials more usable by all students.  Register

This workshop is an elective workshop for the Teaching Towards Inclusive Excellence (TTIE)certificate of completion.

Good teaching involves creating a teaching persona, your personal teaching style that’s a balance between your authentic self and your professional self. Developing your teaching persona includes finding a personal classroom management style that’s right for you as you promote student learning. Thinking about this facet of teaching is important for new instructors and can be a helpful reflective exercise for more experienced instructors. This workshop will provide you with specific, interactive guidance and best practices on developing specific aspects of your teaching persona and style, along with helpful advice for any who are still learning to become comfortable in front of a classroom.  Register

The diversity in USC classrooms is rapidly increasing to include students from a range of countries and linguistic backgrounds. With all of the benefits that come from having a global classroom, there are challenges that are presented by this shift. As students try to succeed in a language that they do not natively speak and in a country where the cultural differences can be confusing and overwhelming, these challenges often come to light in the classroom. This session will give you 10 key tips for ensuring that your international students successfully learn the material and meet your expectations in the classroom.  Register

This workshop is an elective session for a certificate of completion in Fostering Proactive Learning Environments.

Do you want to foster productive discussions on divisive issues in class but are worried that they will either be met with awkward silence or devolve into a shouting match? The scholarship tells us that class discussions can positively impact learning in the classroom and deeper understanding through active participation. However, the classroom is not immune to the tumult that roils the world around us. In this workshop, we discuss ways to build a practice of effective discussions over the semester so that students can meaningfully participate while practicing language and behavior that is acceptable in a scholarly environment.  Register 

This workshop is an elective session for a certificate of completion in Fostering Proactive Learning Environments.

Do you want to foster productive discussions on divisive issues in class but are worried that they will either be met with awkward silence or devolve into a shouting match? The scholarship tells us that class discussions can positively impact learning in the classroom and deeper understanding through active participation. However, the classroom is not immune to the tumult that roils the world around us. In this workshop, we discuss ways to build a practice of effective discussions over the semester so that students can meaningfully participate while practicing language and behavior that is acceptable in a scholarly environment.  Register

This workshop is an elective workshop for the Teaching Towards Inclusive Excellence (TTIE)certificate of completion.  

Are you aware of the data collection, privacy policies, and security risks of the technologies you are using in the classroom? This workshop will examine common privacy and data concerns, and how participants can inform themselves and their students of the risks.  Register

This workshop is an elective session for a certificate of completion in Fostering Proactive Learning Environments.

Creating an environment of integrity within the classroom truly takes a village. Faculty, administrators, and students all play a role in maintaining an ethical campus community. This workshop will explore preventative tools to address classroom roadblocks.  Register

This workshop is a required session for a certificate of completion in Fostering Proactive Learning Environments.

With this vicious political divides in the U.S., it is tempting to avoid divisive topics in the classroom. But such issues are extremely relevant to our students, and to understanding the modern world. This workshop will study techniques and strategies to address controversial topics in our courses, while at the same time maintaining an atmosphere of civility and open expression of ideas. Register

This workshop is an elective workshop for the Teaching Towards Inclusive Excellence (TTIE) certificate of completion.  

Learn to create tests and surveys, to use pools of questions while creating these items, and to modify the deployment rules for individuals or groups of students. See a demonstration of Respondus Lockdown Browser and discuss how it can be used to lock down the testing environment so students are unable to print, copy, go to another URL, or access other applications. Workshop participants can bring their computer or tablet to gain first-hand experience during the workshop.  Register

Faculty life is full of diverse duties and responsibilities that can become overwhelmingly time-consuming. There is nothing you can do to get more time. 'Multitasking' just means reducing the attention and the quality of our focus on individual tasks. Learning to control your time, however, may be a significant factor in your job success. This workshop will provide faculty with strategies of how to set clear goals for life roles, and work.  Faculty will learn how to accurately estimate how much time they will need without becoming overwhelmed of feeling guilty.  Register

Using the OneNote Class Notebook, you can make every learning experience personal. Learn how you can set up areas for group collaboration activities that encourage peer support and interaction. Then, scaffold individual learning with student notebooks viewable only by the teacher and the student. Track goals, manage student progress, and provide support, feedback, and encouragement from one simplified location. Let OneNote help you personalize your classroom experience. Workshop participants can bring their computer or tablet to gain first-hand experience during the workshop.  Register

Hear from USCPD what to do to keep your students and yourself safe. This seminar is designed to provide guidance on what to do in a shooting incident, how to be prepared, how to think safely and how to recognize a potential problem, specifically in campus and classroom contexts.  Register

In this session we will introduce Microsoft Teams. Participants will understand the process to request a Team to be created and learn the different types of Teams. You will leave this session with a visualization of how Teams can work for you. Workshop participants can bring their computer or tablet to gain first-hand experience during the workshop.  Register

The Horizon 2017 report encourages faculties at colleges and universities to adopt effective instructional strategies that their K- 12 colleagues have adopted and used. A portion of these approaches include culturally- relevant and culturally- responsive teaching. Although effective instructors incorporate these practices in multiple formats and within diverse contexts, participating faculty members and graduate teaching assistants must consider behaviors and issues to which they might be applied. In this interactive workshop, the presenter will engage participants in a “lived experience” that will serve as a basis for reflection. There will be multiple opportunities for discussions and questions throughout and at the end of the presentation. Register

This workshop is an elective workshop for the Teaching Towards Inclusive Excellence (TTIE) certificate of completion. 

OneDrive for Business is a part of USC’s Office 365 enterprise subscription. In this session participants will learn what OneDrive is, how to access it, and best practices to help users work more efficiently anytime, anywhere, on any device. Workshop participants can bring their computer or tablet to gain first-hand experience during the workshop.  Register

Wondering why you can't seem to reach all of your students? Finding it difficult to engage a diverse set of learners in your online or hybrid courses? Research shows that many common educational and social practices reinforce inequities and work against the success of students from underrepresented groups. Let's unpack why this might happen and work together to develop solutions to engage all learners in our courses - with a particular focus on online instruction.  Register

This workshop is an elective workshop for the Teaching Towards Inclusive Excellence (TTIE) certificate of completion. 

Active learning within college and university learning environments has gained increased attention over the past few years. The implementation of discussions is a way in which instructors can raise the level of student engagement within their courses. Throughout this presentation, participating faculty members will get exposure to a few discussion techniques. The presentation will include strategies for facilitating discussions for face-to-face and online learning classrooms. The presenter will engage participants in a “lived experience” and encourage them to reflect on ways discussion strategies can be implanted within the context of their respective courses. There will be multiple opportunities for discussions and questions throughout and at the end of the presentation.

Attendees are encouraged to bring an outline of a class session or a course syllabus to make the application of the content presented authentic.  Register

We invite faculty, staff, and students to join us for this informal and informative conversation about expectations of career preparation in the classroom. In this workshop, students and faculty will explore common expectations when it comes to preparing and planning for a career after graduation and what role it does or should play in class. Find out from students themselves what’s working and what’s not when it comes to this crucial topic. In turn, faculty will be able to share what they expect from students. We’ll have a free lunch for everyone!  Register

The claim, “anybody can teach” has surfaced in conversation over the years. Individuals who make and/or accept this perspective generally do not understand the complexities of teaching. In addition to implementing one of more instructional strategies to promote learning, an instructor may make decisions or engage in behaviors that address nebulous issues that surface during a lesson or throughout a semester.

Within this presentation, participants will consider three ethical perspectives that may impact decisions they make during or outside of instruction. There will be opportunities for them to apply one or more of these viewpoints to address dilemmas presented in selected scenarios. There will be multiple opportunities for discussions and questions throughout and at the end of the presentation, also.

This workshop is an elective session for a certificate of completion in Fostering Proactive Learning Environments.  Register

In this workshop, we will look at lecture in two different ways: as something to be avoided and something to be utilized. We will discuss research on lectures, active learning techniques, and alternatives to lecture in both the online and face-to-face classrooms. We will then discuss the best ways to utilize lecture as a content delivery method and ways to incorporate active learning into the lecture itself.  Register

Do you sometimes look out at your class and wonder if the students are REALLY 'getting' what you're saying? Have you ever given a test or exam and been surprised that the scores were lower than you anticipated? In this workshop, tools and techniques will be shared for taking a 'temperature check' of your students' learning. Participants will be presented with quick, simple, effective ways to assess what information has been absorbed and what content needs to be restated or presented in a slightly different way to increase student learning. Whether you're teaching art history or finance, accurately evaluating your students' understanding and confusion during class will make you better able to tailor your lessons to increase learning for everyone.  Register

March 2019

Learn how to post assignments, load files, receive student input and files, organize information and grade assignments using the Assignment Manager. Discover how to check for plagiarism using SafeAssign. Workshop participants can bring their computer or tablet to gain first-hand experience during the workshop.  Register

In this session we will discuss the academic misconduct trends we are seeing online and in person with our students. Additionally, we will discuss how to identify and address these common violations while maintaining a productive instructor/student relationship.  Register

This workshop is a required session for a certificate of completion in Fostering Proactive Learning Environments.  

Hear from USCPD what to do to keep your students and yourself safe. This seminar is designed to provide guidance on what to do in a shooting incident, how to be prepared, how to think safely and how to recognize a potential problem, specifically in campus and classroom contexts.  Register

The purpose of this workshop is to help faculty and instructors recognize emergencies and make appropriate decisions for first aid care. This workshop provides basic first aid knowledge when dealing with breathing issues, people with diabetes, fainting and injuries that participants need to know in order to provide immediate care for a suddenly ill or injured person until more advanced medical care arrives to take over. This workshop is not designed to certify participants in first aid. This workshop is basic and general first aid knowledge.  Register

Hear from a panel of women leaders who work in various areas of information technology across the university. Listen as they discuss their careers, challenges they faced, how they found success in a male-dominated career field, and how they maintain their seats at the leadership table. These engaging women will answer questions, offer encouragement, and inspire women from any career field, not just IT.  Register

Learn about the collaboration tools available through Blackboard. In addition to encouraging class communication and collaboration, these tools can allow students to share information in creative ways. Workshop participants can bring their computer or tablet to gain first-hand experience during the workshop.  Register

Are you ready to explore what PowerPoint can do beyond the basic slides and templates? This workshop will show participants how to include audio and video, customize templates, use animation, and create videos. Workshop participants can bring their computer or tablet to gain first-hand experience during the workshop.  Register

Engaging in conflict is challenging whether you are an experienced instructor or new to your role. A likely strategy is to ignore the behavior due to our own discomfort, concern over retaliation or fear that our intervention may cause more harm or disruption. Through case study examples this workshop will explore Gerald Amada’s research from Coping with Misconduct in the College Classroom and provide participants with tangible strategies to disruptive behavior in a confident and fair manner.  Register

This workshop is a required session for a certificate of completion in Fostering Proactive Learning Environments.  

Come develop a deeper understanding of inclusive excellence and why it is central not only to how we prepare students to lead, but also to how we engage all members of our USC community. Learn about the ways in which the Office of Diversity and Inclusion seeks to operationalize inclusive excellence, as well as how we intend to use our equity and inclusion strategy to track the University's effectiveness in four primary areas: compositional diversity, achievement, engagement and inclusion.  Register

This workshop is a required workshop for the Teaching Towards Inclusive Excellence (TTIE) certificate of completion.  

While the first day of class can be a boring read-through of policies and assignments for some students, for others, it sets the tone for whether this class will be a safe learning environment or a potential minefield of obstacles and insensitivities. Including diverse perspectives from scholars in the course curriculum is important; welcoming diverse perspectives from students in course contributions is equally, if not more, so. Positive affect is key to learning, and including welcoming language in the syllabus that signals openness, flexibility, and empathy is the first step to creating this climate in the classroom.  Register

This workshop is an elective workshop for the Teaching Towards Inclusive Excellence (TTIE) certificate of completion.    

Undergraduate students are often encouraged to think about their future careers or graduate school, yet courses typically offer few opportunities for students to explore these options in-depth. This session will describe how an undergraduate public health course in Fall 2017 provided students the chance to hear from and pose questions to a panel of masters and doctoral students who had been in their shoes only a few years earlier.

Career preparation and postgraduate education remain salient issues for undergraduate students as they strive to make connections between their courses and non-academic activities, all of which take place in a competitive job market. This session will discuss how similar panels could be incorporated into other courses, as well as implications for the day-to-day practice of teaching and student learning. This session will encourage attendees to think critically about how they can be a resource for students not only for course material or research opportunities, but also for their professional development.  Register

Stuttering is recognized as a disability within the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Stuttering affects 1% of the adult population, which means that over 3 million Americans stutter. This also means that about 350 USC students (and another 60+ faculty and staff) stutter. People who stutter are commonly misunderstood, often overlooked or marginalized, and are sometimes the victims of discrimination. Because the classroom is a place to exchange ideas, stuttering can present real challenges to both students and teachers. This workshop will shed light on this curious condition, and will offer helpful suggestions to manage stuttering from both sides of the learning process.  Register

This workshop is an elective session for a certificate of completion in Fostering Proactive Learning Environments

Are you looking for ways to make your formative and summative assessments more effective? Join us to learn how to use Office 365 tools, including Forms, PowerPoint, OneNote and Sway, to create authentic assessments from the beginning to the end of a unit. Workshop participants can bring their computer or tablet to gain first-hand experience during the workshop.  Register

Teacher burnout and TA exhaustion is a major concern, just like finishing a major endurance race. Really, teaching is like triathlon and finishing the year healthy and strong is just like finishing an Ironman. This session will provide tangible tips and techniques to last the endurance race called teaching. Participants will enjoy a unique angle of looking at teaching and walk away with ideas to make teaching more engaging, inspiring, meaningful and enjoyable for all.  Register

The Educational Technology Showcase is an exciting new forum spotlighting the latest in higher education technology used for teaching and learning. USC faculty and other experts from around the country give presentations on how they are creatively using educational technology in and beyond their classrooms to improve student learning. On Friday, March 29, 2019 at the Russell House, you'll have the opportunitty to visit with industry partners who provide and support USC’s instructional technologies, hear about the latest technologies in the field during sponsor presentations and participate in hands-on demonstrations throughout the day.

We invite you to come and network with others interested in exploring educational technologies. There are no registration fees, and continental breakfast and lunch are included.  Register

April 2019

This session will discuss our roles as institutional actors/representatives in disrupting oppressive forces that are pervasive in society and within institutions. During this session, we bring participants to a heightened level of awareness around historical and contemporary institutional oppression, and we discuss the socialization process and how a lack of critical consciousness can lead to the perpetuation of all forms of oppression, specifically racism. In addition, we discuss how a lack of critical consciousness can lead to disparate academic and social outcomes and can also lead to an unhealthy identity development for all.

The ultimate objective of this session is to engage participants in a conversation that could lead to a heightened critical consciousness around systemic oppression and privilege. We will also discuss concepts like implicit bias and give participants resources and tools to aid them in beginning their own journey toward becoming equity-focused agents of change within our various institutions.  Register

This workshop is an elective workshop for the Teaching Towards Inclusive Excellence (TTIE) certificate of completion.  

Presentations involve more than adding text and images to a PowerPoint slide. In this workshop, participants will learn different methods and skills to help them design, create, and present presentations. Workshop participants can bring their computer or tablet to gain first-hand experience during the workshop.  Register

In this workshop, Ravindra Pogaku will share 35 years of thoughts on teaching and research and the exciting experiences he has had with student guinea pigs. The emphasis will be on how the bubbling enthusiasm of the students motivated him towards productive teaching and research in higher learning institutions. Pogaku teaching strategy is to extract the hidden talents of the budding students.

This will be an interactive session with the participants leaving the workshop with an outline of effective teaching and research techniques for a sustainable society.  Register

When students are given the opportunity to express themselves, they need creative options and a variety of formats available to meet their needs. See how AI supports the student's content through design using a tool like Sway to allow students to share professionally designed work without wasting time and energy on executive tasks. Workshop participants can bring their computer or tablet to gain first-hand experience during the workshop.  Register

Have you noticed that the number of Chinese students has increased during the past three years at USC? With the growth of this new demographic at USC, have you wanted to learn more about how to effectively meet the needs of these students in the classroom?

Attendees will learn about how the experience of Chinese students in high school typically differs from that of American students and how that can affect students' expectations and success. They will also learn about the key linguistic challenges and cultural differences that can make instructor communication harder to understand and key ways to help Chinese students succeed. The session will conclude with a cross-departmental panel of experts on Chinese culture, along with ample time to share experiences and discuss how to meet the specific needs and challenges that have been encountered.  
Register

This workshop is an elective session for a certificate of completion in Fostering Proactive Learning Environments

Hear from USCPD what to do to keep your students and yourself safe. This seminar is designed to provide guidance on what to do in a shooting incident, how to be prepared, how to think safely and how to recognize a potential problem, specifically in campus and classroom contexts.  Register

The purpose of this workshop is to help faculty and instructors recognize emergencies and make appropriate decisions for first aid care. This workshop provides basic first aid knowledge when dealing with breathing issues, people with diabetes, fainting and injuries that participants need to know in order to provide immediate care for a suddenly ill or injured person until more advanced medical care arrives to take over. This workshop is not designed to certify participants in first aid. This workshop is basic and general first aid knowledge.  Register

As you prepare for a new semester, don’t let Blackboard get the best of you! Let us show you some tips and tricks to help you get off on the right foot. We will also cover best practices for using Blackboard as a teaching tool, who to contact for help, and how to access our Knowledge Base. Workshop participants are welcome to bring a computer or tablet to gain first-hand experience during this workshop.  Register

A cybersecurity expert shares his Top 7 Security tips. In this hands-on session, you will learn exactly what you can do to better protect yourself online. Bring your laptop or phone! We will walk through easy, yet powerful steps to stop hackers in their tracks.  Register

Come and learn how to find answers to your technology questions, how to request something, or how to report something that is not working by using the DoIT Service Portal at sc.edu/ithelp. Workshop participants are welcome to bring a computer or tablet to gain first-hand experience during this workshop.  Register

Are you an instructor who never actually “learned” how to write or develop a quality course syllabus?  Or do you feel your course is just not leading to the learning you expected in your students?  How can these issues be resolved?  For a quality course that engenders deep and meaningful learning, instructors need to write the syllabus from the perspective of what the student will achieve, and design realistic, meaningful outcomes and associated curriculum to do so. 

In this workshop, we will outline the framework for developing a syllabus for a course of your choosing, using the conceptual framework of “Backward Design” (Wiggins and McTighe, 2005).  We’ll discuss the importance of (and practice crafting) thoughtfully designed learning outcomes, and then work backward to develop appropriate assessments, meaningful class learning activities, and finally, determine the most effective method for teaching that activity. Other tips and advice for syllabus development, along with examples of good and bad syllabus construction, will be discussed with other participants in a small group setting.  Register

This workshop is an elective session for a certificate of completion in Fostering Proactive Learning Environments.  

May 2019

Once upon a time, there were limited ways to communicate. Professionals used telephone, memos, and fax messages. Things have certainly changed. Now, there are so many communication channels it’s difficult to know which is more effective for various audiences. Come hear about a few communication methods that have gained popularity, when to use them, and how to analyze your audience to determine the best channel to use.  Register