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Back-to-School Boot Camp

At the start of each semester, the CTE organizes Back-to-School Boot Camp, a week-long series of workshops meant to help instructors gear up for the new semester. Lunch each day provides a chance to connect with instructors from across the institution. Come for a single session or stay for the day!

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

Spring 2019

Introduction To Canvas

Monday, January 7, 10:30-12:00, O'Neill 254

This workshop prepares you to integrate BC’s learning management system, Canvas, seamlessly into your class. We’ll show you how to manage your syllabus online; create and grade assignments; organize the content you upload; and preview your course from a student’s perspective. Work on your own course while we work together! Facilitated by Learning Technology Assistants.

Register for Introduction to Canvas

Maximizing Canvas

Monday, January 7, 1:00-2:30, O'Neill 254

There are a lot of things Canvas can do once you’ve gotten your course off the ground. In this workshop, we will introduce you to several advanced features: you will learn how to import your course content from semester to semester; how to grade using rubrics; how to set up events related to your course (like office hour appointments); how to set up digital conferencing tools; and how to incorporate media — like videos, memes, and links — in order to maximize student engagement with your course content. Facilitated by Learning Technology Assistants.

Register for Maximizing Canvas

Collaborative Reading With Perusall

Tuesday, January 8, 10:30-12:00, O'Neill 250

While reading is the bedrock of student work across many disciplines, instructors frequently encounter varying degrees of student comprehension or digression from the substance of the text in class discussions. Perusall is an online tool that makes student reading a collaborative experience rooted in the assigned text. Workshop participants will learn how to seamlessly integrate Perusall into their Canvas site, review examples from BC faculty who use Perusall in their teaching, and have the opportunity to create a Perusall reading for themselves. Participants are encouraged to bring to bring their own laptops. Facilitated by John FitzGibbon and Yuhan Li.

Register for Collaborative Reading with Perusall

Tools And Techniques For Visual Thinking

Tuesday, January 8, 1:00-2:30, O'Neill 250

How do we use visual media to help foster deeper thinking? In this workshop we’ll look at what learning science tells us about how visuals help people learn, discuss ways to design lecture presentations and assignments that incorporate visual thinking, and survey some tools that facilitate visual authoring and collaboration. Facilitated by Tim Lindgren.

Register for Tools and Techniques for Visual Thinking

Teaching Through Disruption

Wednesday, January 9, 10:30-12:00, O'Neill 254

As occurs often in life as well as in teaching, events happen that interrupt normal classroom process. These disruptions — whether they take the form of snow emergencies, of planned absences because of travel, or of other unexpected campus events like protests and campus speakers — encourage instructors to think creatively about how to adapt their lesson plans in order to reach their course goals. In this workshop, we will develop strategies for engaging disruption constructively through the use of various pedagogical approaches and instructional technologies. Facilitated by Andrew Croft and Catherine Enwright.

Register for Teaching Through Disruption

Drop-In Help: Canvas And Zoom

Wednesday, January 9, 1:00-2:30, O'Neill 254

Bring any questions you may have about Canvas or Zoom, and CTE staff will be ready to work with you individually as you plan and prepare for the new semester.

Register for Drop-in Help: Canvas and Zoom

Teaching With Case Studies

Thursday, January 10, 10:30-12:00, O'Neill 250

The case method is a learner-centered teaching strategy that promotes higher order thinking, such as problem solving and the application of concepts in real world contexts. In this workshop participants will explore how case studies benefit learners across disciplines and will develop practical skills for incorporating the method in their teaching. Facilitated by Keisha Valdez.

Register for Teaching with Case Studies

Real News In The Classroom

Thursday, January 10, 1:00-2:30, O'Neill 250

Students engage with news in myriad ways and with varying implications for the dependability of their knowledge in and out of the classroom. We want our students to critically evaluate information they use and pass on to others. This workshop, co-hosted by BC Libraries and the Communication Department, will examine findings of recent studies on students’ engagement with news, and explore some ideas for short assignments, brief additions to lectures, and classroom activities to include news literacy across the curriculum. Facilitated by Steve Runge (O'Neill Library) and faculty from the Communication Department.

Register for Real News in the Classroom

Designing Better Exams

Friday, January 11, 10:30-12:00, O'Neill 250

We can’t take all the stress out of exams, but we can reduce it both for ourselves and our students by making exams as purposeful as possible.  This workshop will share strategies for crafting precise questions and transparent instructions so students have the best opportunity to show what they know.  We will focus on multiple choice and essay questions, but consider other kinds too, and explore general best practices to make exams themselves a part of learning. Facilitated by Sarah Castricum and Yuhan Li.

Register for Designing Better Exams

Gauging Student Learning

Friday, January 11, 1:00-2:30, O'Neill 250

This workshop focuses on the low-stakes, ungraded active learning techniques explained in Learning Assessment Techniques (2016), co-authored by Excellence in Teaching Day’s keynote speaker, Claire Howell Major. During the workshop, participants will have the opportunity to identify something they want students to learn, design an appropriate activity to measure student learning, and then assess that learning. Participants will leave the workshop with a better understanding of how to gauge student learning and knowledge of some new classroom techniques to use throughout the semester. Facilitated by Sarah Castricum and Francesca Mi.

Register for Gauging Student Learning