Skip to main body content

CTE | Boston College

Main Content

act workshop

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!

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

Clearer Grading

Monday, January 6, 2020, 10:30-12:00, O'Neill 250 (Innovation Lab)

Francesca Minonne, Assistant Director for Graduate Student Programs

Ideally, grading is a straight-forward process for instructors and grades are easily understood by students. However, this often isn’t the case. This workshop will consider ways to make the entire grading process clearer and more equitable, with a focus on defining grading criteria and creating a rubric for an assignment. We’ll also discuss strategies to make grades more transparent to students, including opportunities for them to reflect on their assignment grade and use your feedback to improve on future assignments.

Register for Clearer Grading

Introduction to Canvas

Monday, January 6, 2020, 1:00-2:30, O'Neill 250 (Innovation Lab)

Megan Crotty, Learning Technology Assistant & Sara Suzuki, Learning Technology Assistant

This workshop prepares you to integrate BC’s learning management system, Canvas, seamlessly into your class. We’ll show you how to customize Canvas for your class’s needs; 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!

Register for Introduction to Canvas

Maximizing Canvas

Tuesday, January 7, 2020, 10:30-12:00, O'Neill 250 (Innovation Lab)

Francesca Minonne, Assistant Director for Graduate Student Programs & Kelsey Norwood, Learning Technology Assistant

There are many ways the advanced features of Canvas can help you achieve your course objectives. In this workshop, we will introduce you to tools such as: embedding media in your Canvas course, setting up group assignments, creating discussions and quizzes, and using a rubric to grade assignments. We will also go over how to move content from a prior course into a new course, and introduce external tools that can be integrated with Canvas.

Register for Maximizing Canvas

Canvas Gradebook Drop-In

Tuesday, January 7, 2020, 1:00-2:30, O'Neill 250 (Innovation Lab)

CTE Staff

Early January will bring updates to the gradebook in your Canvas course sites! This drop-in will begin with a review of the main changes: new options for filtering grades and an assignment tray to facilitate entering them, and the new process that replaces muting, setting policies that determine when grades for each assignment are visible to students. Then CTE staff will be on hand to talk through individual questions about your use of the gradebook.

Register for Canvas Gradebook Drop-In

Small Teaching

Wednesday, January 8, 10:30-12:00, O'Neill 250 (Innovation Lab)

Sarah Castricum, Assistant Director for Faculty Programs & Kim Humphrey, Instructional Designer

In his book by the same title, James Lang argues that there are modest changes we can make in our classroom practices that can have significant impacts on student learning. This session will explore how small adjustments in course design and implementation informed by recent research from the learning sciences, can lead to greater motivation, more productive mindsets, and increased retention of material among students.

Register for Small Teaching

Responding to Student Writing

Wednesday, January 8, 1:00-2:30, O'Neill 250 (Innovation Lab)

Francesca Minonne, Assistant Director for Graduate Student Programs

When writing is not an explicit goal of your course but you assign your students a writing assignment, it can be difficult to know what kind of feedback to provide. In this workshop, we will explore some best practices for providing useful, targeted feedback to students as well as giving them opportunities to provide some of that feedback through self-assessment and peer review. You’ll have a chance to consider a particular essay/writing assignment, so you’re welcome to bring a writing prompt and any grading criteria you have.

Register for Responding to Student Writing

Trans 101: Supporting Transgender Students

Thursday, January 9, 10:30-12:00, O'Neill 250 (Innovation Lab)

Caroline Davis, BC’s Director of Student Outreach and Support Services

Caroline Davis, BC’s Director of Student Outreach and Support Services, will lead this session meant to prepare instructors to understand and address the needs of transgender students. Designed to introduce participants to the spectrum of transgender, gender nonconforming, and gender questioning identities and expressions, this workshop will also address a wide variety of topics including: identity terminology related to sex and gender; common concerns faced by trans students; and ways to practice trans inclusion in the classroom and beyond.

Register for Trans 101: Supporting Transgender Students

Active Learning in Every Setting

Thursday, January 9, 1:00-2:30, O'Neill 250 (Innovation Lab)

Sarah Castricum, Assistant Director for Faculty Programs

Hands-on activities such as problem solving and teamwork hold a lot of promise to transform learning, but they seem a better fit for some contexts than others.  This session will explore ways to apply active learning in any discipline, class setting and time frame. We’ll introduce practical strategies and general principles for structuring activities that will meet your learning goals for your students, and offer them the support they need to succeed.

Register for Active Learning in Every Setting

Academic Integrity by Design

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

Stacy Grooters, Interim Director & Kim Humphrey, Instructional Designer

Addressing instances of academic dishonesty is often considered one of the most challenging — and frustrating — aspects of teaching. In this session, we'll share ideas for fostering a classroom culture of academic integrity that invites students to see themselves as responsible participants in larger disciplinary conversations. We'll also explore how assignment and course design decisions can create opportunities for deeper learning for all of our students while mitigating factors that can contribute to cheating.

Register for Academic Integrity by Design

General Technology Support Drop-In

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

CTE Staff

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

Register for General Technology Support Drop-In