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Workshop Sessions

Recordings of our workshops offered in the past can be found on our VITAL channel at Mediasite. 

Students’ online learning experience is greatly enhanced when we embed diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) practices into our course design and delivery. We will examine how a DEI focus supports student learning, provide practice-based examples, and discuss how we can bring a DEI focus to our courses or enrich existing DEI practices. Bethany Adams, MA, SHRM-SCP will facilitate the virtual session on Tuesday, March 15, Noon–1:15 p.m. She teaches in the HRD Program with more than a decade of online teaching experience. 

Link to Zoom recording

Engaging College Students Using Active Learning Techniques, Claire Howell Major, PhD

The Role of Higher Education in Times of Crisis: Healing Strategies for Educators, Courtney Plotts, PhD

“Help! I’m Moving My Course Online!”-- Practical Advice for New Online Instructors, Wren Mills, PhD

Increasing Student Engagement, Persistence, and Success Online Using Emotion Science.

To Access:

  1. Go to
  2. FOR NEW USERS: Enter information in the required fields > Submit. NOTE: if you get an error “This email address is already registered” click Log In in the upper left corner and click “Lost your password?”. Follow the prompts to reset the password.
  3. FOR EXISTING USERS: Click “Login” in the upper left corner and enter your email address and password > Login. If you need to reset your password, be sure to add to your address book to avoid the email going into a junk or spam email folder. The password reset email will have a subject line of “Magna Password Assistance”
  4. Go to
  5. Once logged in, you will see a screen indicating you have been invited to join a group. Click the “Join Team” button.
  6. You will then be taken to the “My Account” screen. Click “Go to Magna Online Courses”
  7. On the content dashboard click the blue box next to the program title to begin or continue the program

The Empowered Professor: Finding Purpose in Academia 

Friday, March 11, 2:00-3:30pm – virtual via Zoom

Link to Zoom recording

Dana Mitra, Professor of Education Policy Studies at Penn State, certified leadership coach and author of “The empowered professor” (2022), will present on how to find success and fulfillment in academia throughout the career lifespan. The interactive session builds on a framework of the ABCs of faculty development—agency, belonging and competencies. Dr. Mitra examines how to push past self-doubt by connecting purpose to scholarship and focuses on how to interrogate and understand the unspoken rules of academic institutions. Participants will have opportunities for self-reflection and planning. The program is open to faculty, post-doctoral fellows, and doctoral students who are interested in faculty careers.

The program is co-sponsored by Education & CounselingOffice of the ProvostVISIBLEODEIVIRS and VITAL

Dana Mitra is Professor of Education Policy Studies at the Pennsylvania State University. She recently released the book The Empowered Professor: Breaking the Unspoken Codes of Inequity in Academia.  Dr. Mitra works as a leadership coach and offers workshops and coaches faculty on finding one’s purpose as an academic and navigating the unspoken rules of the profession, including publishing and career advancement. Link to D. Mitra’s site.

Dana Mitra is founding editor of the International Journal of Student Voice and Co-Editor of The American Journal of Education. The second edition of her textbook—Educational Change and the Political Process is forthcoming with Routledge. Previously published books include Civic Education in the Elementary Grades: Promoting Engagement in an Era of Accountability and Student Voice in School Reform: Building Youth-Adult Partnerships that Strengthen Schools and Empower Youth.

Dana Mitra holds a PhD from Stanford University in Educational Administration and Policy Analysis. She has served as a Fulbright-Nehru Scholar in 2012 to study child participation and educational reform in Bangalore, India. Her prior work experience includes teaching elementary school in the Washington, DC area and serving as the coordinator for two White House Conferences on Character Education. 

Digital Storytelling With Microsoft Sway: 1/25

What creative presentation/storytelling opportunities does Microsoft Sway offer to faculty and students compared to PowerPoint? Sway is an easy-to-use, engaging, multi-media, web-based presentation tool that we can use to input text, images, video, audio, and Microsoft Forms surveys or quizzes. We can choose a ready-made design for our presentation and share it with a link. Join Dr. Valentina DeNardis, director, Classical Studies, VITAL Microsoft fellow, for a brief demonstration and discuss concrete applications to your course. 

  • Tuesday, January 25th, 10-11:15 a.m. 
RSVP by January 24th.

Accessibility is a critical factor in students’ success. How can we ensure that our course materials are accessible? In this session, we will introduce legal considerations for accessibility, discuss evidence-based practices to develop ADA-compliant courses in Blackboard LMS, and apply Universal Design principles to support students’ learning. You will leave the session with concrete ways to both check for and make your course materials accessible.

Thu, January 6, 11:00am–12:15pm - via Zoom
with Nicole Subik, director, LSS, and Andy Cui, associate director, VITAL
Registration will be available soon.

Co-sponsors: Learning Support Services (LSS) and VITAL

Are you looking for a way for your students to work together on assignments or projects? Would you like students to be able to share their semester research or final projects with classmates to receive peer feedback?  Are you already using these tools and have ideas to share with colleagues? Dr. Valentina DeNardis, Director, Classical Studies, VITAL Microsoft for Higher Education Fellow, will demonstrate how Microsoft Teams and OneNote can be used effectively for student collaboration. Features of Teams and OneNote include file sharing and collaboration, digital notebook or whiteboard space, asynchronous chat space, and video meetings.

Wed, 11/17, 3:00–4:15pm. RSVP  by 11/16. 

You will receive the Zoom meeting link upon registration.

Faculty Forums on Student Learning Assessment, Fall 2015 - 2019

Faculty members, representing all colleges, participated in these collegial forums focused on faculty practices regarding student learning outcomes assessment at the course and/or programmatic levels. Faculty hosted table conversations focused on specific means of student learning assessment. They demonstrated particular assessment tools and described the rationale, implementation, and utilization for obtaining meaningful, actionable results. The forum's goal is to expand the collection of practice-based assessment methods and engage in faculty-driven assessment leadership.  

Link to 2019 Forum Agenda

Link to 2018 Forum Agenda

Link to 2017 Forum Agenda

Link to 2016 Forum Agenda

Link to 2015 Forum Agenda

Session Materials:

Sample alumni surveys: Link to Engineering
Sample formative student feedback: Link to Education & Counseling, Link to Chemistry 
Sample rubrics: Link to Geography & the Environment
Comprehensive exam development at the graduate program level: Link to Public Administration