image-1 image-3-300x198 image-7 image-8-300x199 image-10-300x199 image-5-300x199 Female student in the classroom on the computer at the Waterbury Campus. image-2-300x198 image-9-300x199


The Institute for Teaching and Learning (ITL) is offering a series of 2-hour seminars designed specifically for teaching assistants. You will receive a certificate for each session you attend. The first seminars in this series are listed below, and additional topics will be announced soon. To register for any of these session please click on the appropriate register button.

A boxed lunch will be provided. If you have special dietary needs (vegetarian, gluten free, or both) please e-mail Stacey Valliere at


ITL Lunchtime Seminars

The seminars are available to faculty, graduate students, and professional staff. Reservations are required and are accepted on a first-come-first serve basis. If you have signed up and are not able to attend, your colleagues would appreciate it if you let us know, as we often have waiting lists. Feedback from you is also important. It will help us focus as well as plan a more diverse program.

A boxed lunch will be provided. If you have special dietary needs (vegetarian, gluten free, or both) please e-mail Stacey Valliere.


Spring 2015

Using Informal Writing to Promote Engagement and Critical Thinking in Small and Large Courses Across the Disciplines
Tom Deans, English & ITL-Writing Center
Friday, January 23rd
Most of the writing we assign in college courses–papers, lit reviews, lab reports–is formal and high-stakes, and typically takes lots of time to teach and grade. This workshop will focus on a whole different kind of writing: informal, low-stakes writing that can be woven strategically into both small and large enrollment courses. What would it be like, for example, to interrupt a lecture and have students write for 3 minutes on a key question, data set, or quotation presented on a slide? Such quick writing activities–often done in class, often not even collected–can promote engagement, spark critical thinking, and reinforce course content.


Responding to (and Grading) Student Writing in the Disciplines
Tom Deans, English & ITL-Writing Center
Monday, January 26th
Responding to and grading student writing will always take time, but there are more and less effective and efficient ways to do it. This session will reveal what research on writing in the disciplines suggests about best practices. We’ll also discuss some less common but quite promising practices–such as recorded audio responses, quick individual conferences, and peer review–that take less time than traditional written commenting on drafts.


Talk Moves to Enhance Discussion and Student Thinking
Mary Truxaw, Curriculum & Instruction
Friday, January 30th – 11:15-12:30pm
Targeted Audience: Faculty & TA’s
Are you interested in promoting discussion in your classes that support student thinking and learning? Five “talk moves” will be introduced, discussed, and practiced by participants. You should leave the session being able to try out one or more of these moves in your classroom.


Academic Honesty, Cheating, Plagiarism, and SafeAssign
Steven Park and Ashley Vrabely, Academic Services, AVPT
Monday, February 9, 2015  New Date – Monday, March 30, 2015
As college instructors we do not want to create an atmosphere of distrust and suspicion in our classrooms. But, on the other hand, we don’t want to be naïve about questions around academic integrity, honesty, and cheating. In this workshop we will talk about finding that right balance, to let our students know that we know why and how some students cheat, and what we can do to minimize the risk and create a positive learning environment. We will show the open use of SafeAssign, HuskyCT’s originality – checking software.

The goal of the workshop is to help instructors find the right balance in the classroom between letting our students know that we are savvy about academic dishonesty—- without negatively impacting the atmosphere of learning.
Please read the article in the Chronicle of Higher Education.
November 17, 2014
Think Students in Your Class Might Be Cheating? Here’s What to Do
By Beckie Supiano Avery Point Campus


Designing and Teaching a Course with a Critical Thinking Focus – CANCELLED
Laurie Wolfley, ITL and Desmond McCaffrey & David Des Armier, CETL-eCampus
Wednesday, February 11, 2015
Targeted Audience: Faculty & TA’s
Participants will watch an online seminar offered by Linda Nilson, renowned instructional designer and author of Teaching at its Best, and then discuss and share ideas how best to incorporate Nilson’s recommendations into their courses.  Come with a course in mind to work on as you embark on this journey of designing and teaching a course with a critical thinking focus.

We will also be offering this workshop at the Avery Point Campus (no lunch served) on
Friday, February 13th – 2:30 -4:00 in MARN103 



A Tour of Archives & Special Collections at the Thomas J. Dodd Research Center
Laura Smith, Archives & Special Collections, UConn Libraries
Monday, February 16, 2015 – 11:30 – 12:30pm
Location: Thomas J. Dodd Research Center
Targeted Audience: Faculty, TA’s, Staff & Students
Have you ever wondered what treasures are held in Archives & Special Collections at the Thomas J. Dodd Research Center? Now is your chance to a join a behind-the-scenes tour into the stacks and view some of the one-of-a-kind archival wonders, rare and special books, and UConn memorabilia that are used by researchers on campus and across the globe who come to the archives to conduct their research. We will also tell you know about the many services we provide to faculty for use of the collections in the classroom, and how we are building a digital repository to bring our collections to a worldwide audience.


Adding Instructional Design Basics to Your Toolbox
Jennifer Parker & Desmond McCaffrey, CETL-eCampus
Wednesday, February 18, 2015
Targeted Audience: Faculty & TA’s
Is instructional design (ID) in your toolbox? Using basic instructional design principles helps plan and create a quality course. In this workshop, we’ll explain the basics of instructional design and show how to apply its principles to course planning. You’ll construct a course blueprint and walk away with some do-it-yourself tools to continue your course construction.


Flipped Courses
Marny Lawton & David Des Amier, Jr., CETL-eCampus
Monday, February 23, 2015
Targeted Audience: Faculty & TA’s
In a flipped classroom, students’ first exposure to new material is outside the classroom and class time is focused on higher order learning. In this Lunchtime Seminar we will discuss the different aspects of the flipped classroom and show courses that have already been developed to follow this model. We will discuss how the flipped course:

1. Allows for differentiated instruction
2. Encourages active and deeper learning
3. Increases student-faculty and student-student interaction
4. Increases opportunities for feedback
5. Encourages time on task
6. Communicates high expectations


Developing Effective Service Learning Framework – Newly Added
Beth Russell, HDFS
Wednesday, February 25, 2015
Service learning is a pedagogical strategy necessitating proper planning and framework.  This seminar will highlight one faculty’s perspective and experience on how to go about developing an effective framework for your service learning course.



How Sustainable Service Learning Community Partnerships can lead to Engaged Scholarship – Newly Added
Jennifer Bruening, Neag School of Education
Monday, March 9, 2015
Those who utilize the pedagogy of service learning will have community partnerships to develop and nurture over time in order to create sustainable relationships. These partnerships can lead to engaged scholarship and other research and grant opportunities if framed as such.  You will learn from a faculty member who has ample experience through the Husky Sport program.



Promoting student engagement in your course
Preston A. Britner, Ph.D, Human Development & Family Studies (HDFS)
Friday, March 27, 2015
Targeted Audience: Faculty
We will focus on finding ways to create a learning environment that maximizes student-faculty interaction in the classroom and student engagement in the course material and assignments. Topics will include: faculty preparation; active vs. passive teaching; use of questions, humor, activities, and stimulus diversity; types of assignments & assessments; and, how to gather data to inform your approach. Discussion will encourage attendees to offer their own teaching strategies that have worked – or failed — for them in captivating student interest and promoting involvement of students in the learning process.



Intercultural Communication
Mihwa Lee and Patricia Lin-Steadman, International Student & Scholar
Wednesday, April 1, 2015
Targeted Audience: Faculty, TA’s Staff & Students
Working at a higher education institution, we engage in intercultural communication every working day and become skilled in dealing with differences that exist among their clients and colleagues. This session will provide a conceptual framework for those interactions, to increase familiarity with the terms of intercultural communication, and to broaden the understanding of how culture influences behavior.



What Does an Online Course Look Like? 
David Des Armier & Jennifer Parker, CETL-eCampus
Friday, April 3, 2015
Targeted Audience: Faculty & TA’s
Looking to develop and teach an online course? Need some examples to get your creative juices flowing? This workshop is intended for anyone interested in developing an online course who is curious about what a course looks like and how the course got that way.


Developing and Facilitating Engaging Online Discussions
Catherine Healy & Betsy Guala, CETL-eCampus
Friday, April 10, 2015
Targeted Audience: Faculty & TA’s
Online discussions are used to build dynamic learning communities, to synthesize key concepts and to promote critical thinking skills. Join us as we discuss tips for writing engaging prompts and successfully facilitating discussion forums. We will be sharing examples from a number of different disciplines.


Service Learning and Effective Business Problem Solving in Entrepreneurial Settings – Newly Added
Zeki Simsek, School of Business
Monday, April 13, 2015
The pedagogy of service learning is effective in business settings and can be a driver for the local economy. Learn how this faculty member developed a senior capstone where students focus on consulting with local small businesses and put their accumulated business knowledge to work for the benefit of the business and to strengthen their own skills. This model can be adapted to any discipline.

Identifying Service Learning Community Partners Through the Non-Profit Platform – Newly Added
David Garvey, Department of Public Policy
Wednesday, April 15, 2015
Identifying community partners can sometimes be challenging. As a main pillar to the pedagogy of service learning, however, it is necessary to find a partner that is right for you, your class, and your research.  This session will help you navigate the local not-for-profit world through a tool called the Non-Profit Platform developed by the presenter.


Mentor Texts: Using Writing from the ‘Real’ World as Models for our Students – CANCELLED
Jason Courtmanche, English
Friday, April 17, 2015
Targeted Audience: W-Instructors
One of the best ways to help our students learn to write discipline-specific essays is to use examples of ‘real’ writing from our field as models. This workshop will provide some ideas for how to incorporate mentor texts into our writing instruction.


New TA Orientation
August 26, 2015 - Laurel Hall (LH)

To register please click here (will bring you to the Graduate School website)