Chemistry Teacher with Students in Class

What is Fundamentals in Teaching?
Many graduate students and postdocs want to learn how to teach, but you may not have the opportunity to do so while enrolled in graduate school or while working in your postdoc position.  The Fundamentals in Teaching workshop series is designed to provide training and support for all graduate students and postdocs who are interested in learning the concepts of teaching, engaging students, and creating learning environments. FIT is part of The Graduate School’s Preparing Future Leaders professional development initiative.

How does it work?
We offer a variety of workshops and you can choose to take as many as you want based on your professional goals and interests. You may take the workshops in any order, and teaching experience is not required. Workshops are available in person, online, and on-demand throughout the year. Some workshops are offered multiple times a year, while others are special topics that are only offered once a year. A list of all FIT workshops can be found below.

NOTE:  For the Spring 2015 semester, all online workshops will be offered on-demand. Now you can complete any of these workshops any time that is convenient for you. They are open to you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week! You can move through the workshops at your own pace. Registration is not required.

How do I register? Where do I find the schedule?
You can access the registration system with your unity ID and password. You may also view the workshops schedule on our Google Calendar.

What other programs and resources are available if I want to learn more about teaching?
We offer a teaching certificate program and a preparing future faculty program. To compare the different programs, take a look at this grid.

Introduction to Teaching

  • The Introduction to Teaching workshop introduces participants to basic skills in lesson planning, course organization, active learning techniques, and assessment strategies related to effective teaching.  You may take the workshops in any order, although this workshop is a great place to start.  Note: This workshop is required for all CoAT participants and CITT participants. This workshop is available on-demand.

Core Fundamentals:

Advanced Strategies:

Special Topics (events offered in alternate semesters or one time): 

Your Teaching Philosophy and Portfolio:


Active Learning: The Learner-Centered Classroom

Description:      Learning centered teaching encourages us to focus on what students are learning, how they are learning, whether they can retain and apply their learning and how we can structure situations that encourage their future learning.  This workshop is designed to provide specific, concrete activities that you can use to enhance your students’ learning, encourage deep as opposed to surface learning, and assessment practices that promote learning.

Outcomes:  After completing this workshop, participants will be able to:
-explain the difference between teaching and learning
-practice reflective techniques that help students move toward deep learning
-describe the benefits of active, constructionist approaches
-construct learning scenarios that encourage critical and creative thinking


Leading With Care: Recognizing & Responding to Emotional Distress in Your Classroom

Description: This workshop will focus on trends in college student mental health, common causes of distress and signs and symptoms of emotional distress. The program will address academic interventions vs. accommodations and the importance of boundaries when working with students. We will identify types of psychological crises and your role in providing intervention. This will include some focus on suicide prevention/awareness efforts on our campus. Campus resources will be identified as well as specific strategies for referral of student distress as well as student crisis.

Outcomes: After completing this workshop, participants will be able to:
-Identify common causes, signs and symptoms of distress.
-Discern the difference between distress and crisis and know how to proceed accordingly.
-Know campus resources and how to access them directly.
-Intervene with a student regarding academic distress that is associated with mental health concerns.

Classroom Assessment Techniques

Description:  Classroom assessment techniques (CATs) are strategies to quickly assess student learning and provide feedback.  In this workshop, participants will discuss, practice, and share a variety of approaches for assessing students’ learning. This workshop is available on-demand! Log in here to get started!

Outcomes:  After completing this workshop, participants will be able to:
-define classroom assessment techniques
-discuss the benefits and challenges of using CATs
-explain and identify several CATs that can be applied in their classrooms
-practice the CAT as both a teacher and as a student

Classroom Management

Description:  Managing the classroom environment is one of the most challenging aspects of teaching.  This workshop is designed to address classroom management issues and concerns.  Topics will include:  creating a welcoming environment, establishing guidelines and expectations, maintaining professionalism, and handling disruptive students. This workshop is available on-demand! Log in here to get started!

Outcomes:  After completing this workshop, participants will be able to:
-explain the importance of managing a learning environment
-compare today’s learning environment with your own past experiences
-discuss how to establish guidelines, expectations, and rules
-discuss non-confrontational ways of dealing with classroom issues
-share and practice managing classroom situations

Collaborative Learning and Group Work

Description:  Collaborative learning environments have become the norm in many academic settings, but the process of managing group work and group projects can become challenging for instructors at all levels. This workshop is designed to address some of the common challenges of short-term group work and to explore strategies for designing effective collaborative learning experiences for you and your students.

Outcomes: After this workshop, participants will be able to:
-compare the pros and cons of group work and collaborative learning
-discuss ways to overcome barriers and challenges in group work
-discuss strategies to design effective group projects
-explore ways to manage group work and keep team members on task
-discuss tools for evaluation and grading group work vs. individual contributions

Controversy in the Classroom

Description: One of the most attractive parts of teaching in a university setting can also be one of the most daunting:  controversy. This workshop will explore what it means to teach controversial topics and how to turn these moments of conflict into positive learning experiences.  Dr. Rhonda Sutton, the current Director of the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs and adjunct assistant professor in Counselor Education, will lead this workshop. Prior to forming the postdoc office, Dr. Sutton served as the Assistant Vice Provost for the Office of Equal Opportunity at NC State where she discussed controversial issues with the campus community, formed campus policy, and conducted training opportunities on conflict resolution in academic environments.

Outcomes: After this workshop, participants will be able to:
-distinguish the rights and responsibilities of students and faculty in regards to the pursuit of academic goals
-identify laws associated with first amendment rights, freedom of speech and unlawful harassment
-recognize proactive measures one can take to handle controversy both inside and outside the classroom

Creating Engaging Visuals for Teaching and Learning

Description:  Everyone has experienced it, if not guilty of it: Death by PowerPoint. Most college instructors will agree that it is imperative to include a visual aid to supplement a lecture and reach visual learners, but what happens when these “visual” aids include as much text as your lecture notes? How can we incorporate visuals that enhance, rather than detract from or confuse the message? What should these visuals look like? In this workshop, you will learn why visuals are important for the learning process, what type of technologies you can use to create visuals, and some guidelines for creating presentations, handouts, and visual thinking tools to enhance your course and engage more learners. This workshop consists of one interactive presentation, one reading, and one activity. You MUST complete all activities to receive credit. This workshop is available on-demand! Log in here to get started!

Outcomes:  After completing this workshop, participants will be able to:
-define visual learning and list some benefits to incorporating visual teaching strategies into your classroom.
-identify (both low- and high-tech) tools for creating visuals for classroom use.
-describe different ways in which visuals can be effectively incorporated into lectures or student activities.
-design an effective visual tool (a study tool, visual presentation, or handout) describing three main points learned in this workshop.

Creating a Healthy Learning Environment

Description: When you plan a course or a lesson, one of the fundamental pieces to consider is the type of learning environment you want to create. The learning environment is a dynamic space where students and instructors connect, share ideas, and learn from each other. Most instructors want to create a healthy environment that allows for discussion, enhances engagement, and welcomes all types of learners. But how do you create that? In this workshop, we’ll compare different types of learning environments and analyze strategies to help you create a healthy environment for both you and your students.

By the end of this workshop, participants will be able to:
-compare and contrast different types of learning environments
-analyze strategies to create a healthy learning environment
-share ideas and strategies to enhance the overall learning experience

Creating Plagiarism-Proof Assignments

Description: In the context of increasing concern about plagiarism—and increasingly questionable practices for dealing with it—this workshop will focus on productive ways to design writing assignments that restore our roles as guides to our student learning and make it very difficult or even impossible for student to commit plagiarism. We will also consider ways to teach skills for the use and attribution of sources in specific fields, and distinguish lapses in these skills (and the resulting muddled or inappropriate documentation) from real plagiarism.

Effective Questioning Techniques

Description: “Are there any questions?” How many times have you asked this question only to receive blank stares from your students? Learning to ask effective questions is an essential skill for every teacher, regardless of the type of classroom environment. In this workshop, participants will explore strategies and techniques for asking questions effectively to generate more student participation. We will discuss word choice, timing, types of questions, and overall presentation style. This workshop is available on-demand! Log in here to get started!

Outcomes: After completing this workshop, participants will be able to:
-compare and contrast effective vs. ineffective questioning strategies
-apply specific tools to generate effective questions
-discuss how to address inaccurate responses
-identify different types of questions
-discuss presentation strategies to engage your audience

Emotional Intelligence: A Tool for Teaching

Description:   You might know your IQ, but are you aware of emotional intelligence and what this concept comprises? This workshop will introduce you to the core elements of emotional intelligence. Information will also be provided that will help you gain an awareness of how you can use these elements of emotional intelligence to improve your interactions with your students and your competency as a teacher.

Outcomes: After completing this workshop, participants will be able to:
-describe the different dimensions and domains of emotional intelligence
-identify aspects of emotional intelligence they wish to improve
-discover how emotional intelligence can increase their competency as a teacher

Engaging Students:  An Introduction to Using Games in the Classroom

Description:  One way to engage students is to introduce an educational game into your classroom.  Games can be designed to address a variety of course goals and objectives, and games can provide a fun, interactive learning environment to add creativity to the classroom.  This interactive workshop will introduce you to the gaming experience in the classroom environment.  Participants will play games and then reflect upon the purpose, design, and generalization to other contexts.

Outcomes:  After completing this workshop, participants will be able to:
-identify how games can be designed to address course goals and objectives
-explain the basic elements of constructing an educational game
-compare and contrast the benefits and challenges of games as a teaching strategy
-adapt an existing game to your classroom
-reflect upon the purpose, design, and generalization to other contexts

Establishing Credibility and Authority in the Classroom

Description:  For new instructors and graduate teaching assistants, it can be challenging to establish credibility and authority in the classroom.  In this workshop, we will discuss how instructor credibility and legitimacy is established or lost and explore ways to respond to subtle and direct challenges to your authority. We will discuss how to change an environment once this type of challenge has occurred so you and your students can refocus and re-establish stability in the classroom. This workshop is available on-demand! Log in here to get started!

Outcomes:  After completing this workshop, participants will be able to:
-recognize challenges to authority
-discuss techniques to respond to challenges to authority
-discuss ways to convey credibility and legitimacy
-explore strategies for readjusting the classroom climate
-develop ways to avoid and defuse a “feeding frenzy

Evaluation and Grading: An Introduction

Description:  The purpose of this workshop is to provide participants with an introduction to different grading and evaluation processes in teaching.  Participants will practice creating a rubric and designing an evaluation process for their own course. Participants will also discuss best practices for grading and evaluation. This workshop is recommended for those who have limited grading experience.  For those who have more experience grading, this workshop provides the foundation for more advanced workshops such as Responding to Student Writing. This workshop is available on-demand! Log in here to get started!

Outcomes:  After completing this workshop, participants will be able to:
-discuss the different types of grading rubrics
-compare the pros and cons of rubric
-practice creating a rubric for an an assignment
-practice giving constructive feedback
-discuss best practices in grading and evaluation

The Faculty Interview: Preparing for Your Teaching Demonstration

Description:  If you plan to apply for a faculty position, you will most likely be asked to teach a class during your campus interview. How you will establish rapport with students you’ve never met?  How will you decide which teaching strategies to use?  How will you demonstrate your effectiveness as a teacher when you only have one chance to impress the committee?  How will you establish your credibility and authenticity while managing your nervousness?  In this workshop, we will explore the answers to these questions to help you effectively prepare for the teaching demonstration part of your interview.

Outcomes: After this workshop, participants will be able to:
-Identify ways to establish rapport with a new group of students.
-Discuss the do’s and don’ts of choosing the appropriate teaching strategies to demonstrate during a faculty interview.
-Describe the best ways to make a positive impression to help the committee members see you as a colleague.
-Discuss ways to manage your nerves and present your best “teaching self” to the committee members and the students.

Teaching on the First Day: Creating an Effective Learning Environment

Description: First impressions are important, and the first day of class is no exception. This workshop will offer ideas for designing a first day that moves beyond reviewing syllabus logistics and focuses instead on creating an environment that supports the larger goals of your course. You will explore strategies for sparking interest in course material, building a sense of class community and participation, and opening channels of communication with students.

Outcomes: After this workshop, students will be able to:
– Discuss the importance of engaging students on the first day
– Identify course elements or teaching methods that should be highlighted on the first day
– Compare strategies for building community and participation in a class of students who may not know one another
– Build a plan for the first day of a university course

Introduction to Integrating Writing in the STEM Classroom

Description: Many outside the STEM disciplines (and even some inside it) are surprised to learn that writing is a critical part of being a scientist or engineer. Our students, in all disciplines, need to understand the importance of communicating clearly through writing, and they require practice beyond their English 101 experience. Semester-long research papers can be intimidating and time consuming for both teachers and students in STEM disciplines, but there are still ways to incorporate writing into your classroom by using low-stakes writing assignments. In this workshop we will explore the tools you already have in hand to incorporate writing in your classroom. Additionally, we will discuss time-saving ways to evaluate low-stakes writing assignments.

Outcomes: After this workshop, participants will be able to:
-Create and deliver a low-stakes writing assignment
-Evaluate / assess low-stakes student writing
-Demystify the writing process to students
-Implement interactive “Write To Learn” activities in any type of classroom setting

Intercultural Communication in the U.S. Classroom

Description: The Graduate School and the Office of International Services have partnered to bring you this workshop focused on teaching in the U.S. university classroom.  This workshop is designed to introduce both international and domestic graduate students to effective teaching and learning strategies by exploring cultural differences that sometimes impact teaching and learning effectiveness.

Outcomes:  After completing this workshop, participants will be able to:
-Describe two expectations U.S. students have about the classroom environment.
-Explore different cultural norms and discuss how they impact the
learning environment.
-Discuss appropriate ways to manage interactions with students.
-Participate in a variety of activities to demonstrate effective
teaching methods.
-Identify at least two additional resources for you to learn more
information about teaching.

Introduction to Teaching – REQUIRED for CoAT Participants

Description:  The Introduction to Teaching workshop is designed to introduce participants to the fundamentals of effective teaching and learning in the university classroom through exploration, application, and reflection.  This workshop is designed to provide basic information about a variety of teaching topics and to offer “best practices” for enhancing teaching and learning in the university classroom.  All CoAT participants must complete this workshop. This workshop is available on-demand! Log in here to get started!

Outcomes:  After completing this workshop, participants will be able to:
-describe the characteristics of effective learning environments
-develop a basic lesson plan including outcomes, learning strategies, and assessment
-begin the process of self-reflection on your teaching, learning, and professional development
-apply the information learned in this workshop to your own teaching experiences

Introduction to the Teaching Portfolio and Teaching Philosophy

Description:  This is self-paced online module designed to introduce graduate students to the process of creating a teaching portfolio.   This workshop is part of the CoAT program, but it does not count as one of the six required workshops. This workshop is available on-demand! Log in here to get started!

Outcomes:  After completing this workshop, participants will be able to:
-describe what a teaching portfolio is (and is not)
-list reasons why a teaching portfolio is important
-explain the three main components of a teaching portfolio
-generate ideas for materials to include in their own portfolios
-explain the importance of the teaching philosophy
-analyze teaching philosophy statements

Learning Styles

Description:  There are more than eight different learning styles, and traditional teaching methods only assist in addressing a few of them.  In this workshop, we will discuss the different ways people learn and explore how you can make simple adaptations to your teaching to enhance the learning process. This workshop is available on-demand! Log in here to get started!

Outcomes:  After completing this workshop, participants will be able to:
-explore how your own learning style influences your teaching style
-identify and explain the eight different learning styles
-discuss the importance of considering  different learning styles when developing lesson plans
-discuss and share practical ways to include a variety of strategies to address learning styles in your classroom

Managing Disruptive Classroom Behaviors 

Description: This workshop is a partnership between The Graduate School and Innovative Educators. There are NO COSTS for workshop participants from NC State. The workshop will include a pre-recorded presentation by Dr. Brian Van Brunt from Western Kentucky University. This practical session is designed for new and experienced faculty members who are looking for new tools to manage difficult student situations in their classrooms. The workshop will demonstrate techniques to re-direct, manage and calm the disruptive students. The facilitators will focus on the techniques of motivational interviewing to offer faculty members an underlying theory and clear examples of how to address today’s classroom problems. This workshop is available on-demand! Log in here to get started!

Outcomes: After this workshop, participants will be able to:
-Learn practical skills, theory and examples of how the tools can be applied in their classrooms.
-Effectively work with disruptive students in the classroom setting.
-Explain the basic concepts of motivational enhancement therapy (or motivational interviewing) as applied to the classroom.
-Discuss the dos and don’ts when working with students who are frustrated and unmotivated.
-Learn the importance of establishing early classroom rules and etiquette to “get out ahead” of potential violent and disruptive behaviors.

Motivational Teaching Strategies

Description:  This workshop is designed to introduce participants to the concept of motivation in teaching and learning contexts.  We will discuss teaching strategies and instructional behaviors that encourage student motivation and participation, challenge and support students’ learning, and inspire students to perform to the best of their ability. This workshop consists of two readings, one video, and two activities. You MUST complete all activities to receive credit. This workshop is available on-demand! Log in here to get started!

Outcomes:  After completing this workshop, participants will be able to:
-define motivation in educational contexts
-explain the importance of motivation in the college classroom
-discuss the concept of “challenge and support”
-discuss a framework for understanding student motivation
-design and share teaching strategies to encourage student motivation

Preparing for an Academic Job Interview

Description:  Are you interested in applying for an academic position in your field?   Are you interested in being remembered after the interview, and avoiding pitfalls?  Join us as we explore how to not only survive the academic interview process, but thrive as you promote yourself and your scholarship to a potential job opportunity.

Outcomes: After participating in this workshop, participants will be able to:
•Discuss the interview process for academic positions.
•Create a list of questions to ask your interviewers.
•Practice asking and responding to interview questions.
•Determine ‘pitfalls’ of the interview process.
•Identify your professional strengths.

Putting Your Teaching Portfolio Online 

Description: It is becoming increasingly common for teaching portfolios to be designed in electronic or online formats. In this workshop, members of the DELTA staff will demonstrate how to use WordPress to create an online teaching portfolio. Participants will view examples of other online portfolios and have opportunities to practice uploading content to begin building their electronic portfolio. Prior web design experience is not necessary. Note: Priority registration is given to students in the Preparing the Professoriate program, participants in the Certificate of Accomplishment in Teaching program, and postdocs in the Certificate in Teaching Techniques program. If seats are available, this workshop will be open to the campus community. Note: This workshop does not count as one of the six required workshops for the CoAT program.

Pre-requisite: Participants should have completed modules 1, 2 and 3 of the “Introduction to the Teaching Portfolio” online workshop before attending this workshop.

Outcomes: After participating in this workshop, participants will be able to:
-build an online teaching portfolio
-compare different portfolio layouts
-guide a reader through the portfolios by creating navigation structures

Designing an Effective Syllabus

Description: In this interactive workshop, we examine the ever-important syllabus. Everyone needs one, but not all syllabi are created equal. A poorly designed and written syllabus causes confusion and frustration for both the students and the instructor. By using elements of document design, you can create a syllabus that serves as a tool to guide you and your students through the semester. We will cover tools, strategies, requirements, and creative techniques to help you craft (or re-work) your syllabus for the upcoming semester. Outcomes: After this workshop, participants will be able to:

  • Identify specific strategies for creating an effective syllabus
  • Identify tools for creating a syllabus
  • Create a student-centered syllabus that meets university requirements
  • Discuss creative approaches to getting students to read and use your syllabus

PFL Reading Circle

This small reading group meets monthly to a discuss a book with each other and with the book’s author. Book topics include leadership, teaching, the academic environment, and many other possible  topics. Discussions are intimate and casual; however, it is expected that every member arrive prepared to engage with the text at a high level. This group is by invitation only.

Responding to Student Writing: Encouraging Reflection and Revision

Description: Writing assignments, including essays, lab reports, research papers, or essay test questions, can be great tools to test students’ critical thinking skills and comprehension of the course content.  However, instructors often feel overwhelmed by an abundance of grammatical and organizational problems, and discouraged by the students’ lack of interest in their written feedback. In this workshop we will learn about four types of response, analyze instructor comments on student work, and practice effective response strategies in order to encourage students to use instructor feedback to improve their performance. This workshop is available on-demand! Log in here to get started!

Outcomes:  After completing this workshop, participants will be able to:
-Define, identify, and use corrective, directive, facilitative, and evaluative comments
-Analyze others’ as well as participant’s own comments on student writing
-Develop a response style that mirrors participant’s teaching style and philosophy
-Provide students with feedback that addresses the course objectives and assignment goals and encourages student reflection and/or revision

Metrics for Shaping Your Teaching Philosophy

Description: How would you describe yourself with a teacher? Would your students say the same about you? Do you experience difficulty when writing/revising your teaching philosophy? This workshop will help participants answer these questions by introducing them to several different inventories that have been developed for characterizing the goals, perspectives, approaches, and styles of all teachers.

Outcomes: After completing this workshop, participants will be able to:

– Identify characteristics of themselves as teachers
– Embrace these characteristics as they teach
– Integrate these characteristics into course design
– Sharpen their teaching philosophy

Teaching in the Lab 

Description: For those who teach in lab settings, you know there are many challenges that can impact the teaching and learning process. Whether it’s lab safety concerns, managing students in a lab space, or designing effective activities for labs, we know that teaching in a lab is challenging and rewarding. In this workshop, participants will explore these challenges and address ways to effectively teach in the laboratory setting.

Outcomes:  After completing this workshop, participants will be able to:
-discuss classroom management issues specific to the laboratory setting
-create effective active learning activities for lab settings
-practice organizing and planning for a lab

Teaching Philosophy Peer Review 

Description:  Writing your teaching philosophy is one of the most challenging tasks you will do when developing your portfolio.  It is also the most important. After you have completed Parts 1 and 2 of the Introduction to the Teaching Portfolio online module, bring two copies of your teaching philosophy draft to this informal session to work with a peer to develop your best teaching philosophy statement.  This is the perfect opportunity to “field test” your philosophy, receive comments on your draft, and offer constructive feedback to one of your peers.  Note: In Spring 2016, this workshop must be completed in person by CoAT participants who plan on completing the program in May. Sign up here.

Outcomes:  After completing this workshop, participants will be able to:
-apply feedback from peers to edit and revise their teaching philosophy statement
-offer constructive feedback to others who are writing their teaching philosophy statement
-apply the rubric and guidelines to evaluate the quality of teaching philosophy statements

Effective Teaching With Technology

Using technology in today’s classroom brings both challenges and new possibilities.  You might wonder – How can it I use it productively?  What tools are available for me to use?  How do I keep technology from being a distraction?  What are best practices in using technology in the classroom?  Come to this interactive workshop and technology sandbox led by the PFL Team, DELTA, and NC State Libraries to learn how to harness these powerful tools and use them effectively in the classroom.

Writing Learning Outcomes

Description:  This workshop is designed to introduce participants to the process of writing effective learning outcomes.  As the basis for structured teaching and instruction, learning outcomes help to define teacher expectations for students within the curriculum, and writing learning outcomes is one of the most important steps to take before entering the classroom. In this workshop, we will discuss the importance of learning outcomes in the classroom and learn how to design successful learning outcomes. This workshop is available on-demand! Log in here to get started!

Outcomes:  After completing this workshop, participants will be able to:
-define and explain the importance of learning outcomes in teaching and learning.
-define and apply the three domains of learning outcomes
-compare the content-centered method to the learning-centered method as planning tools.
-describe the ABCD method for writing learning outcomes.
-construct a learning outcomes grid that can be used as a tool for planning.