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Teaching at Vanderbilt (TAV)

“Teaching at Vanderbilt” will be held on Thursday, August 17, 2023.

“Teaching at Vanderbilt” is the Center for Teaching’s annual orientation for all new faculty, both full-time and part-time. The orientation features an introduction to strategies for launching a successful teaching career at Vanderbilt, with concurrent sessions on a variety of practical topics. Teaching at Vanderbilt is an opportunity for new faculty to meet each other and to learn how the Center for Teaching can support them throughout their Vanderbilt careers.

PLEASE NOTE: “Teaching at Vanderbilt” features specific strategies for launching your teaching career at Vanderbilt, and is distinct from and complementary to the more general New Faculty Orientation sponsored by the Provost’s Office in August. Thus, faculty who will play an instructional role at Vanderbilt are encouraged to attend both events.

Register here for Teaching at Vanderbilt 2023


All sessions will be held in Featheringill Hall, first floor. See this map for its location.

1:00-1:30 – Check-in & Registration

The building’s main entrance is just on the south side of the building. Come through these double doors and check-in (if you have pre-registered for the orientation) or register at our reception table.

1:30-2:00 – Welcome Session (Joe Bandy, CFT Interim Director)

The opening plenary will be held in the auditorium. Look for the directional signs or ask at the registration desk.

2:10-2:45 – Concurrent Sessions (Round 1)

During the first round of concurrent sessions, participants can select from several short workshops. See below for a listing of these workshops, which will be held in various rooms in the building.

2:55-3:30 – Concurrent Sessions (Round 2)

The same workshops from round 1 will be offered again during round 2, which means participants will be able to attend two different workshops during the afternoon.

3:40-4:30 – Faculty Panel Discussion

The closing plenary will be held back in the auditorium, the large event space on the second floor. CFT interim director Joe Bandy will moderate a panel of faculty members who will share their experiences teaching Vanderbilt students.  The panel will include Xiu Cravens (Leadership, Policy, and Organizations), Leah Lowe (Theatre), and Doug McMahon (Biological Sciences).

4:30-5:00 – Reception

The orientation will end with a reception on the first floor. Enjoy this opportunity to meet fellow incoming Vanderbilt faculty and to get better acquainted with the CFT senior staff serving as your department liaisons. You’ll also have the chance to talk to representatives from some other offices on campus.

Register here for Teaching at Vanderbilt 2023

Concurrent Sessions

Fostering Deep Thinking: Discussion Strategies 

Facilitator: Joe Bandy, Assistant Director, Center for Teaching

In this session we will consider some of the most significant challenges to leading generative and meaningful discussions and how we may overcome. We will explore a variety of techniques for organizing class discussions, effective methods of facilitation, and approaches to assessment that enable critical reflection and improvement.  By modeling some discussion leading practices and providing useful resources, this workshop will help you to engage students more fully and find greater joy in teaching.

Teaching in the Time of Artificial Intelligence  

Facilitator: Michael Coley, Instructional Technologist, Center for Teaching and Paige Snay, Instructional Technology Support Manager, Center for Teaching

Few issues have garnered as much attention from educators in recent months as the growth of AI and its impacts on teaching and learning in higher education. In this session we will discuss some of the challenges and opportunities that AI presents for our students’ learning, and some valuable teaching techniques that we may embrace to help them, both avoid its misuse, and leverage its strengths for their intellectual growth.

Supporting Student Belonging and Engagement across Difference

Facilitator: Laura Carter-Stone, Postdoctoral Fellow, Center for Teaching

To effectively teach the increasingly diverse groups of students at Vanderbilt and beyond, many instructors realize—sometimes long after the semester is underway—that they need to learn new ways of teaching. In this workshop, we will discuss some research-supported strategies for promoting diverse students’ sense of belonging and deeper engagement with course content, including approaches developed by Vanderbilt faculty.  We will also consider how instructors can share power with their students while supporting them in developing closer relationships with each other throughout the semester and beyond. Participants will be provided with resources and contacts to support their continued personal growth around issues of equity, diversity, and educational justice in higher education.

Building your Teaching Team: Working with Teaching Assistants (TAs)

Facilitator: Ransford Pinto, Assistant Director for Graduate Programs, Center for Teaching

Great teaching teams must be intentionally created and nurtured. In this session, we will discuss various strategies for building a strong teaching team with teaching assistants.

The Student Care Network and Supporting Students in Distress

Facilitator: Lisa Clapper, Director, Student Care Network and Student Care Coordination; and Katherine Drotos Cuthbert, Assistant Director, Alcohol and Other Drugs Education and Support Services at the Center for Student Wellbeing

The Student Care Network is a holistic network of wellbeing resources designed to support the health and well-being of all Vanderbilt students. Learn more about the Student Care Network, how to best connect students with these helpful resources, and how to help support students who experience personal challenges and severe distress.

Register here for Teaching at Vanderbilt 2023

After the Event

New and returning faculty members are invited to the CFT’s annual August workshops. Topics include leading class discussions, syllabus design, presentation tools, inclusive teaching, educational technologies, and more. Information can be found on our workshops page.

Teaching Consultations

The Center for Teaching provides a wide range of programs, services, and resources to help instructors develop, refine, and reflect on their teaching. These include confidential individual consultation services.  Please contact the Center if you are interested in a conversation with a Center consultant on topics such as the following:

You’re welcome to schedule a teaching consultation either before or after the Teaching at Vanderbilt orientation. Just call (615-322-7290) or email ( to schedule.