2022 Past Events

Distinguished Lecture: Susan Blum

In this distinguished lecture, Susan D. Blum introduces some of the principles behind the growing practices united under the umbrella of “ungrading”–calling into question the centrality of conventional grading practices. She also talks about many concrete practices that she and others use to implement ungrading–leading to greater learning and equity.

Blum is a professor of anthropology at the University of Notre Dame, currently fixated on education and pedagogical praxis, after a previous incarnation as a China anthropologist. She is the author of “I Love Learning; I Hate School”: An Anthropology of College (Cornell, 2016) and My Word! Plagiarism and College Culture (Cornell, 2009), and the editor of the recent volumeUngrading: Why Rating Students Undermines Learning (and What to Do Instead) (West Virginia University Press, 2020). With 5 co-authors, she has written “A Theory of Public Higher Education,” published in Soundings: An Interdisciplinary Journal in July 2021. Her new manuscript, Challenging Schoolishness, is due to Cornell University Press in May.

Ungrading: Emancipatory Education in Practice
Wednesday, April 6 from 12:15 – 1:00 PM on zoom
Hosted by our colleagues in the Joint Keck Science Program and
Facilitated by Dr. Rissa Sorensen-Unruh of Central New Mexico Community College

How do we create dialogic equity in our classes? How do we democratize our classroom evaluation so that students can understand not only  how to improve their performance but also how to learn? This talk worked to answer both questions by discussing ungrading, a practice and research-based emancipatory pedagogy.

The Classroom Community
Thursday, April 7th from 1 – 2:15 PM in person
Location TBD
Facilitated by Barbara Junisbai, CTL

As a growing body of research shows, strengthening bonds between students (and between students and faculty) contributes positively to student learning and wellbeing. An intentionally decentered classroom community bolsters students’ willingness to engage in intellectual risk-taking, dialog, and (self-)reflection, as well as claim agency over their (collective) learning (Berry 2019; Bush et al. 2010; Cowan 2012; Lohr and Haley 2018; Love 2019; Rovi 2002). In this workshop, Barbara shared her approach to fostering student interdependence and “mattering” (Love 2019), both of which, she finds, are critical to cultivating peer-centered community in the classroom.

Learning In, From, and Through the Pandemic:  NOW MARCH 2nd  1:00 – 2:15 PST with an option for in person or on zoom. Facilitated by Warren Liu. This workshop will explore how the short-term, on-the-fly adjustments many of us made to our “normal” teaching practices, due to the global pandemic and the shift to remote instruction, might provide important insights into how “pandemic teaching” has potentially challenged the presumed effectiveness of those “normal” teaching practices. In the long term, what will it mean for our classrooms to “normal,” and how might we continue to learn from the pandemic, even after we’re through it?

CTL Faculty Co-Director Candidate Demonstration Workshops
Monday, March 7th from 1-2 PM on Zoom: Organizational Studies as Liberatory Praxis with Barbara Junisbai (PTZ)
Organizational Studies is one of Pitzer’s most popular majors, but what exactly is it? In this interactive session, participants will uncover what organizational studies is, how it is practiced in the classroom, and what value it has beyond the classroom.

Wednesday, March 9th from 2 – 3 PM on Zoom or in person at the Keck 3 classroom of the Library: The Creative Option with Michelle Decker (SCR) 
All disciplines are creative–STEM, humanities, arts, and social sciences–even though “creativity” is often conflated with artistic ability. What would it look like to conceptualize our classrooms as inherently creative spaces, regardless of discipline, and to cultivate students’ abilities to think within and outside our fields’ norms? This workshop gives participants an opportunity to discuss how to incorporate creative practices and assignments into our classrooms and syllabi.

Thursday, March 10th from 2 – 3 PM in-person only at the Keck 3 Classroom of the Library: Design Thinking Approaches for Educational Innovations with Gordon Krauss (HMC) 
Techniques used in design thinking will be shared and practiced in this workshop. Participants will learn about and apply Mind Mapping, Brain-Writing, and the K-J Techniques at an introductory level by the end of the lecture. Mind Mapping is a useful exercise for developing and interrogating the designer’s understanding of a user experience. Brain-Writing is useful for developing multiple creative solutions to address user and stakeholder needs. The K-J Technique is helpful to ensure the inclusion of multiple perspectives when organizing an understand of and response to an issue or situation. Connections will be made for each method with respect to their applications for identifying needs and improving outcomes through creative and inclusive consensus building. These techniques can broaden perspectives of designers to be more inclusive and encourage democratization and transparency of decision-making processes. These tools could be incorporated into lecture activities as well as participatory development of course or curricular innovations by instructors, staff, administrators, students, and other stakeholders. As such, they may be of interest to educators who wish to apply or adapt them to suit the specific needs of their fields of study.

Strategies for Expectation Setting (and Receiving and Conveying):  February 24th, 1:00-2:15 PST on Zoom. Facilitated by Sara Hollar.  In a period of disruption that is still ongoing, it’s hard to know what’s reasonable to expect from students (and from ourselves!). We’ve heard from many faculty and instructional staff that expectations that used to be common about classroom behavior, workload, grades, background knowledge, and past experience may now feel inappropriate or unrealistic to you or to your students. But, without a shared framework for what to expect, both students and teachers can feel anxious and uncertain. Far from weakening learning, establishing new expectations that fit our reality can create better and stronger learning experiences. In this workshop, we’ll try to:
1. Clarify what expectations and assumptions we have for our students, and what expectations our students have for us as teachers.
2. Develop strategies to reality-check our expectations against our student’s expectations
3. Test frameworks for deciding which expectations to uphold, which to deliberately change, and which to drop.
4. Practice conveying and supporting our expectations to our students in honest and kind ways.

Video here: https://youtu.be/8CP9IUjVbI8

Spring Teaching Tune Up

The spring teaching tune-up took place virtually via zoom on January 12th from 9 AM – 2:30 PM. You can see the amazing line up of facilitators and session descriptions here: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1NR_I3r6yZSH2eqhC4iAzpMtaFg7cCJal/view?usp=sharing

Equity-Minded Advising November 8th  2:30-3:45 PM 

Just in time for Spring Advising, hear from a panel of Faculty and Staff who take an equity-minded approach to advising and mentoring students. The panel includes:
 Mary Hatcher-Skeers (Chemistry, Keck Science),
Werner Zorman (Leadership, HMC),
Maryan Soliman (Africana Studies, SCR),
Nicholas Ball (Chemistry, POM), and
Norma Rodriguez (Psychology, PIT)

Black Feminist Pedagogies Monday, November 15th at 10 AM 

This workshop, co-hosted with the University of La Verne Center for Teaching and Learning, demonstrated a model of Black feminist pedagogy that can be duplicated in classrooms across disciplines.  Workshop participants will learn how to: draw on personal experiences to connect with students; craft syllabi that prioritize diversity, equity, and inclusion through the lens of Black feminist thought; help students become motivated by measures other than grades; design creative writing prompts and assignments; and translate Black feminist pedagogy into a STEM context. 

This workshop will be guest facilitated by Amanda Bennett. Amanda is an educator, consultant, and writer living in Durham, North Carolina. Currently, she is a doctoral candidate at Duke University. Her dissertation centers the work of Toni Morrison, Hortense Spillers, and Assata Shakur to develop a Black feminist “vocabulary of feeling.” As an educator and storyteller, she cultivates innovative ways of using language to guide people toward internal transformation, self-awareness, and social awareness. She also facilitates a poetry lab, a Black feminist reading group, and an emotional intelligence group for men. She is the founder of  Define and Empower. (https://defineandempower.com/)

October 7th: Community Engagement in STEM Courses
11:30 AM – 12:45 PM, on zoom
This workshop will explore integration of project-based community partnerships into STEM courses. Facilitators will discuss case studies including both recent pilots and long-running projects in Keck Science courses. The workshop will highlight institutional resources to support community engagement work, and help faculty envision such projects in their own courses. This workshop is geared toward anyone curious about incorporating community engagement work into their STEM courses.

Link to the video of this event is here: https://youtu.be/f-VkkBlKPME

October 12th: Troubleshooting Revisited
10 – 11 AM, on zoom
This workshop is a follow-up to our September “Troubleshooting the Return to In-Person Learning” workshop, but you don’t need to have attended last time to benefit! Come ask questions, get advice, and learn from one another in a supportive environment.

October 20th (on zoom) and 21st (in person): Realistic Excellence
10 AM – 11 AM
What does “excellence in teaching” mean, and what does it look like in these challenging circumstances?  How do contingency, age, race, and / or gender impact perceptions of teaching excellence? This workshop will help faculty identify their teaching strengths, set and communicate realistic expectations for their teaching, and use available tools in ways that convey their definition of teaching success to a variety of audiences. While all faculty are welcomed, we especially encourage contingent / visiting, untenured, and historically underrepresented faculty to participate. These workshops were not recorded.

Trauma-Informed Teaching

As we and our students return from a period of remote education that was marked by loss, racism, abelism, isolation, and more, trauma-informed pedagogy offers us a lens to recognize the systems that have harmed teachers and learners, and the changes that are necessary so all of us can succeed and thrive. This hour-long workshop will introduce participants to equity-centered, trauma-informed practices that can be easily integrated into your teaching this fall to the benefit of all..
Link to video of this event: https://bit.ly/CTLPresemester2021

Choice and Voice: Simple Strategies That Motivate and Welcome Students

In this workshop we will discuss the power of choice and student voice to motivate learners and make classrooms more accessible and inclusive.

Link to handout from this event: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1HIG-h6kRo9JTDsWb3qGq42FSN39IT9s6MiiQ1iX74ms/edit?usp=sharing


Troubleshooting Return-to-Campus Teaching  In this workshop, we invite you to bring your experiences, frustrations, and revelations about the first month of back-on-campus teaching to share. We will use the time together to learn from each other and think creatively and strategically about this (once again) unfamiliar teaching environment.

Link to slides from this event: https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1UYTzSNDvJcg7__cU6Yq_wwB4lihSit3Nvfoj4p-LtDU/edit?usp=sharing