Course Preparation Retreat

The CTE was pleased to launch its first Course Preparation Retreat from January 11-14, 2021 over Zoom. Open to all instructors at Boston College, this four-day virtual retreat provided a structured opportunity for instructors to work on preparing their courses in conversation with colleagues. All faculty and Teaching Fellows were welcome to participate, whether they were preparing courses for fully remote, fully in-person, or some combination of in-person and remote contexts.

Overall Structure: To allow for easier collaboration among participants, the retreat focused on a different aspect of course preparation each day, with participants identifying their own daily work goals within that general structure. A companion Canvas course provided resources targeted to each day’s topic:

Day 1: Clarifying course goals and major assessments

Day 2: Mapping out course content and weekly rhythm

Day 3: Planning learning activities and feedback strategies

Day 4: Establishing class norms and building classroom community

Daily Schedule: Participants logged into Zoom each day at 9:30 for a brief orientation to that day’s focus and a chance to set their intentions for the day. They then logged off to work independently on the course preparation tasks they'd identified for themselves. Around 2:30, participants reconvened on Zoom, where they had the opportunity to share what they’d been working on and get feedback from a small group of colleagues. 

Additional Help Available: CTE staff were available via Zoom each day to serve as sounding boards for participants as they worked out their ideas. Plus, we also had technology-focused drop-in sessions scheduled throughout the week for those needing to troubleshoot technical questions.

Care Packages: To help participants gear up for the retreat and stay motivated throughout the week, we sent small care packages to all participants who registered by December 21, 2020.

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