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Teaching Workshops

Workshops focus on practical, concrete strategies for common teaching tasks, challenges, and opportunities. These sessions draw on research-based best practices from the literature on teaching and learning and help participants consider ways to apply those best practices in their teaching.

Vanderbilt University is committed to providing universal access to all of our events. Please contact Juliet Traub at or 615-322-7290 to request disability accommodations. Advance notice is necessary to arrange for some accessibility needs.

High-Impact Practice Workshop Series


Throughout this academic year, we will offer a series of workshops organized around various “high-impact practices” (HIPs) in teaching and learning as defined by extensive research by the American Association of Colleges & Universities (AAC&U).  Using millions of data points collected via the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE), HIPs are those teaching practices that have demonstrated significant educational benefit for students, especially those who are historically underserved and underrepresented in higher education.

These practices include:

  • capstone courses and projects
  • collaborative assignments and projects
  • common intellectual experiences
  • diversity/global learning
  • first-year seminars and experiences
  • internships
  • learning communities
  • service learning, community-based learning
  • undergraduate research
  • writing-intensive courses

This year’s workshop series will focus on many of these themes, but the specific topics and schedule of workshops is in process. Please consult this space in the coming weeks for more information.

Nurturing Excellence: A Workshop on How to Mentor and Advise Students

Research shows that mentorship and advising play a crucial role in shaping the academic, professional, and personal growth of students. This workshop aims to provide educators, mentors, and advisors with essential tools, strategies, and insights to guide and support graduate students on their academic journey effectively. Interested participants should register here.

Facilitator: Ransford Pinto (Assistant Director, CFT)
When: Wednesday, September 13
Time: 1:00 – 2:00 pm
Where: Center for Teaching Classroom, 1114 19th Ave South, 3rd Floor


Supporting Religious Belonging in the Classroom

Vanderbilt students of all faith traditions seek belonging in every phase of social and academic life on campus. Educators across the curriculum can play a vital role in supporting this belonging by accommodating students’ religious observances, encouraging and navigating inter-faith dialogue, and developing students’ literacies and critical consciousness of religious traditions.  This workshop will be an opportunity to discuss these and other practices with experienced educators, including Chris Donald (University Chaplain and Director of Spiritual and Religious Life), Rachel Heath (Assistant Director of the Carpenter Program in Religion, Gender, and Sexuality), and Adeana McNicholl (Assistant Professor of Religious Studies).  If you are interested in attending, please register here.

Facilitator: Joe Bandy (CFT Interim Director)
Date: Friday, October 13th
Time: 12:00-1:00pm
Where: Center for Teaching Classroom, 1114 19th Ave South, 3rd Floor


Fostering Belonging and Community in the Classroom

In contemporary higher education settings, classrooms have witnessed a notable surge in diversity. Research posits that cultivating a genuine sense of belonging, as elucidated by Strayhorn (2018), significantly influences student engagement and academic attainment. We invite you to participate in this workshop, where we will delve into evidence-based methodologies and practical approaches to promote a tangible sense of belonging and foster a cohesive classroom community. This endeavor aims to augment student engagement, elevate academic performance, and bolster overall student well-being. If you are interested in attending, please register here.

Facilitator: Ransford Pinto (Assistant Director, CFT)
Date: Wednesday, October 18th
Time: 1:00 – 2:00 pm
Where: Center for Teaching Classroom, 1114 19th Ave South, 3rd Floor

Using a Process-Oriented Approach to Student Writing to Deepen Learning and Engagement 

Research suggests that providing students repeated opportunities to create, evaluate, and revise various types of writing, especially for authentic audiences, can catalyze deeper forms of learning. Through this workshop, we will discuss research-based strategies for improving student writing and content learning in a variety of disciplinary areas. Participants will either revise an existing writing assignment or outline a writing lesson that applies effective writing pedagogy. We will also consider the affordances and challenges that ChatGPT and other forms of generative AI present to writing pedagogy while exploring examples of writing assignments that integrate generative AI, including some developed by Vanderbilt faculty. If you would like to attend, please register here.

Facilitators: Laura Carter-Stone (Postdoctoral Fellow, CFT) and Marcy Pedzwater (Instructional Designer, ODE)
Date: Thursday, October 26th
Time: 1:00 – 2:00 pm
Where: Center for Teaching Classroom, 1114 19th Ave South, 3rd Floor


Developing Collaborative Assignments 

Research indicates that collaborative assignments and projects can promote meaningful learning by inviting students to address complex problems while engaging the insights and perspectives of others. In this workshop, participants will develop an outline for a collaborative group project or assignment that they plan to deploy in the spring semester. Co-facilitated by Boni Yraguen (PhD, Mechanical Engineering) and Laura Carter-Stone (PhD, Teaching and Learning), participants will explore a broad range of possible formats and methods of assessment for assignments from STEM, Humanities, and Social Sciences-oriented classes. Participants will work in disciplinary peer groups to identify where this type of assignment would fit into their course, craft learning objectives, assessment methods, and other features of their collaborative project or assignment to support student learning. If you are interested in attending, please register here.

Facilitator: Laura Carter-Stone (Postdoctoral Fellow, CFT) & Boni Yraguen (Instructional Consultant, CFT)
Date: Tuesday, November 7th
Time: 1:00 – 2:00 pm
Where: Center for Teaching Classroom, 1114 19th Ave South, 3rd Floor


Transforming Classroom Conflict into Learning

In these times of political polarization and contentious dialogue throughout our society, it is not uncommon for educators across the curriculum to experience, or at least fear, student conflict in the classroom. Whether it is due to differences sparked by ideology, identity, or simple intellectual disagreement, student conflicts may stray beyond productive debate into highly reactive and harmful interactions. These moments hold the possibility of, at the very least, disrupting classroom cultures of trust necessary for critical learning, and at the very most, leading to traumas for students and faculty. This workshop will focus on strategies that educators may use, both to prevent unproductive conflict, and failing that, to resolve and transform them into developmental experiences for all.  To help in this work will be faculty who have extensive research expertise and/or teaching experience in navigating contentious topics, Dana Nelson (Nancy Perot Chair of English and Professor of American Studies), Alan Wiseman (Cornelius Vanderbilt Chair in Political Science and Professor of Law), and Allison Anoll (Assistant Professor of Political Science). If you are interested in attending, please register here.

Facilitator: Joe Bandy (Interim Director, CFT)
Date: Monday, November 13th
Time: 12:00-1:15pm
Where: Center for Teaching Classroom, 1114 19th Ave South, 3rd Floor


Interdisciplinary Teaching

Are you teaching a subject that is inter- or multi-disciplinary and somewhat outside of your comfort zone? Are you team teaching a course with someone from another discipline and adjusting to their discipline’s ways of thinking or “signature pedagogies”? Are you hoping that your students develop a thoroughly multi-disciplinary understanding of a topic, but not sure how you might help them to do so? In this workshop, we will help you to define what interdisciplinarity means to you, and how you might structure it for your teaching context. We also hope to help you respond to these teaching challenges so that you, your teaching partners, and your students can benefit from a more dynamic multidisciplinary form of teaching. If you are interested in attending, please register here.

Facilitator: Elizabeth Meadows (Associate Director, Robert Penn Warren Center) and Joe Bandy (Interim Director, CFT)
Date: Wednesday, November 15th
Time: 12:00-1:00pm
Where: Center for Teaching Classroom, 1114 19th Ave South, 3rd Floor

Special Event

Teaching Our Students to Think Critically
with Louis E. Newman

October 31st, 12:00-1:30pm (lunch provided)
Center for Teaching, 1114 19th Ave South, 3rd Floor

We all want our students to become adept at critical thinking.  But what exactly do we mean by this, and how do we teach it?  In this session, we’ll explore these questions and consider specific pedagogical strategies for helping undergraduates develop the habits of mind we expect of them.

Louis E. Newman is the author of Thinking Critically in College, and has served as the Dean of Academic Advising and Associate Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education at Stanford University, and was the Humphrey Doermann Professor of Liberal Learning and the Director of the Perlman Center for Learning and Teaching at Carleton College. He is now the John M. and Elizabeth W. Musser Professor Emeritus of Religious Studies at Carleton. He also is one of the country’s leading scholars of Jewish ethics and the author of several previous books, including Repentance: the Meaning and Practice of Teshuvah (Jewish Lights 2010), Past Imperatives: Studies in the History and Theory of Jewish Ethics (SUNY Press, 1998) and An Introduction to Jewish Ethics (Prentice Hall, 2005), among others. He has been featured more recently in Inside Higher Education as well. We are grateful to have Dr. Newman join us for this special event.

If you are interested in attending, please register here.  Lunch will be provided.

Faculty Professional Development Workshop

Building your Teaching Portfolio for Promotion, Reappointment, and Tenure

Comprised of information garnered from Vanderbilt chairs, associate deans and past members of The University Promotion and Tenure Review Committee (“PTRC”), this informal online information session will clarify the role of your teaching dossier within the tenure process and delve into its central components. Additionally, this session will offer tips and strategies for assembling your dossier and an opportunity to address your questions and concerns. If you would like to attend, please register here.

Facilitator: Brian DeLevie (Associate Director, CFT)
Date: Friday, November 3rd
Time: 10:00-11:00am
Where: Online via Zoom (links will be provided the week before the event)

Brightspace Workshops

As you prepare your courses, keep in mind all of the Brightspace resources we offer here at the Center for Teaching.

You can find a listing of all our upcoming workshops by visiting the Brightspace workshops page.

We would love to answer your Brightspace questions, talk about different educational technologies that might work for your courses, and even help with course design questions!

Click here to go directly to the Brightspace Workshop Calendar.