Back-To-School Workshops

At the start of each semester, the CTE organizes a series of Back-to-School workshops meant to help instructors gear up for the new semester. Please see below for more information about workshops running in January 2022 and links to register. 

Pedagogical Workshops

Active Learning 2.0: Strength in Structure

Monday, January 10, 1:00-2:30 (CTE Innovation Lab, O'Neill 250)

Early advocates of active learning believed its benefits came primarily from giving students more opportunities to actively engage with and apply course materials. More recent research, however, has highlighted how the added structure provided by active learning strategies is also an important element of why active learning is effective in supporting student learning. In this workshop, we’ll discuss how we might apply the insights from these recent studies, for example by mapping out use of time to encourage preparation outside of class and focus in the classroom and by organizing collaborative tasks to incentivize participation. We’ll explore a range of ideas and interventions for working with structure that can benefit students in any field of study.

Register for Active Learning 2.0: Strength in Structure

Transparent & Welcoming Course Policies: The Syllabus and Beyond

Tuesday, January 11, 10:30-12:00 (CTE Innovation Lab, O'Neill 250)

The policies we put in place for our courses — about grading, class attendance, discussion norms, etc. — not only set standards for behavior and evaluation but also set the stage for the kind of classroom community we hope to cultivate. In this session we’ll consider the implications of different policy choices and how we communicate them, along with the possibilities (and pitfalls) of increased flexibility. We’ll leave time for you to workshop your own policy language with a colleague, so bring a copy of a recent syllabus, along with any other documents you use to communicate course policies.

Register for Transparent & Welcoming Course Policies

Supporting LGBTQ+ Students in the Classroom

Wednesday, January 12, 10:30-12:00 (CTE Innovation Lab, O'Neill 250)

Gallup data indicates that almost 16% of Gen Z adults identify as LGBTQ+. And while the LGBTQ+ community has seen remarkable advances in legal protection and social access in recent years, LGBTQ+ people, especially trans people of color, still regularly face violence and discrimination. At BC, the most recent Student Experience Survey data indicates that LGBTQ+ students are amongst those most likely to experience unfair treatment on campus. Instructors can play a powerful role in LGBTQ+ students’ experience by creating identity-safe classrooms. This workshop introduces key terminology regarding gender and sexuality as well as pedagogical interventions that can support LGBTQ+ students in feeling safe and welcome in a course. 

Register for Supporting LGBTQ+ Students in the Classroom

Fostering Belonging in the Classroom 

Thursday, January 13, 10:30-12:00 (CTE Innovation Lab, O'Neill 250)

Research indicates that fostering students’ sense of belonging — the feeling that their presence in the classroom is anticipated and that they can be themselves — is fundamental to supporting student learning. Students from historically marginalized groups are often more likely to experience barriers to belonging as they come to realize that higher education wasn’t built with them in mind. Join us for a recap of relevant research, an opportunity to identify interventions you want to experiment with, and the chance to exchange questions and ideas from your own practice with colleagues. 

Register for Fostering Belonging in the Classroom

Technology Trainings

All technology trainings will take place remotely, with information about how to access them provided on the registration page (requires BC login). Tech trainings will be recorded to provide access to those who cannot attend, and links to recordings will be posted by January 14th.

Tech Drop-ins

Friday, January 7, 10:30-12:00; Tuesday, January 11, 1:00-2:30; Friday, January 14, 10:30-12:00 (CTE Innovation Lab, O'Neill 250; or Via Zoom)

Bring questions on Canvas and other BC supported technologies, and CTE staff will answer them on a first come, first served basis. To make drop-ins accessible to as many instructors as possible, they will be offered in person with the option to attend remotely. Please indicate when registering whether you plan to attend in person or via Zoom. You are welcome to participate in the other format if you change your mind, but having projected numbers is useful for our planning.

Register for Tech Drop-ins: January 7, January 11, January 14

Canvas: Basics 

Tuesday, January 4, 1:00-2:30 (Via Zoom)

Canvas is an online learning management system that can serve as an online hub for your course. It can be a useful tool for communicating with your students about course structure and requirements, and sharing course materials including syllabi, readings, and other media. During this workshop, we will introduce instructors to the Canvas platform and essential features such as Announcements, Files, Modules, Pages, and Discussions. The session will consist of 60 minutes of content followed by 30 minutes of Q&A.

Register for Canvas: Basics 

Canvas: Assignments and Grading

Monday, January 10, 10:30-12:00 (Via Zoom)

This session provides an overview of options for receiving, grading, and managing student work in Canvas. We will also review Gradebook settings that determine how grades and feedback are communicated to students. This session is recommended for anyone new to grading through Canvas or anyone who has used Canvas grading and is interested in exploring it further. When you register you’ll have the option to submit specific questions, which we’ll plan to address in the presentation (first 60 minutes) or during the Q&A (last 30 minutes).

Register for Canvas: Assignments and Grading

Canvas: New Quizzes

Wednesday, January 12, 1:00-2:30 (Via Zoom)

This workshop will provide an overview of New Quizzes in Canvas, which will be visible as an alternative to current (Classic) Quizzes for all instructors this December and will be the main option for Quizzes in Fall 2022. Facilitators will show how to create a quiz (including the availability of new question types), how to grade quizzes and provide student accommodations, as well as additional features, including migrating from Classic Quizzes to New Quizzes. The session will consist of 60 minutes of content followed by 30 minutes of Q&A.

Register for Canvas: New Quizzes

Tech Tools for Collaborative Reading and Writing

Thursday, January 13, 1:00-2:30 (Via Zoom)

This workshop provides an overview of three tools instructors and students can use to collaboratively discuss and interact with texts and documents: Google Docs; Perusall (which allows collaborative annotation of texts); and advanced Discussion Board features in Canvas.  The session will consist of 60 minutes of content (including time for questions) followed by 30 minutes of Q&A.

Register for Tech Tools for Collaborative Reading and Writing

Session Recordings

Click the links below to see recordings from our last round of tech trainings:

Accommodation Requests

The Center for Teaching Excellence is committed to providing equal access to its events and programs. Individuals with disabilities who anticipate needing accommodations or who have questions about physical access may contact

Past Back-to-School Workshops