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Workshop Sessions

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

How can we make course adjustments to better support students’ learning? Formative student feedback provides us insights into students’ learning experience that helps us course correct during the semester. Feedback elicited during instruction allows faculty to identify student misunderstandings and help them correct errors. Feedback on students’ engagement with peer review process may lead to revision of the process. How may we use these Microsoft tools to collect feedback? Dr. Valentina DeNardis, Director, Classical Studies, VITAL Microsoft for Higher Education Fellow will facilitate the session.

Program will occur in Bartley 2074, Friday, February 2, from 2:00 until 3:00 p.m.

RSVP is required by Wednesday, January 31.


The title invites us to consider to what extent our assessment practices  and written rubrics reflect students’ diverse lived experiences, interests, and values in authentic ways. Dr. Madora Soutter, Education and Counseling, will model a student feedback-based process aimed at three goals: (1) review written rubrics per research-based framework; (2) adjust rubrics based on review; (3) modify assessments overall to be more equitable and responsive. Faculty are encouraged to bring a written rubric to this hands-on session.

Program will occur in Vasey G06, Paralegal Classroom, Friday, March 31, from 2:00 until 3:15 p.m.

RSVP is required by Wednesday, March 29.


How might we extend the repertoire of tools offered in Blackboard to deepen student engagement with course content, peers, and faculty? Dr. Valentina DeNardis, director, Classical Studies, VITAL Microsoft fellow will highlight three Microsoft 365 tools that we can integrate into our courses to support students’ involvement in their learning. With Teams, OneNote Class Notebook, and Forms, faculty can design learning activities that help students practice and reinforce their learning such as asynchronous chats, journaling, project/presentation collaboration, surveys. Bring a laptop with you.

The program will occur on Fri., 2/10, 1:00-2:15pm, Bartley 2072. 

RSVP by Wed., 2/8 at the latest

How can we use multimedia to personalize students' learning and bring creativity and interest to our in-person courses? This hands-on session will be facilitated by Profs. A. Levin and T. Romero, Communication, resident experts on multimedia pedagogy. Grounded in multimedia studies, they will guide us in meaningful selection and integration of multimedia with an eye towards multimedia literacy.  They will discuss how we can help students generate small-scale, creative work that incorporates their lived experiences. Faculty with a range of multimedia experience welcome. Please bring a laptop or tablet to this session.   

The program will be held Friday, February 3, 11:00am-12:15pm, followed by lunch. Location: Bartley Hall, Room 2001

RSVP required by Wed., February 1 at the latest

Microsoft PowerPoint has recently been updated with new features including Slide Zoom, Dictation, Recording, PowerPoint Live (with captions), and Presenter Coach that faculty, staff, and students can use to enhance interactivity and accessibility. Join us to experience these new features and explore their applicability to your lectures/presentations.

The in-person program will be offered on Friday, November 4, 1:00 - 2:00 p.m. in Vasey Hall, Room G07. Please RSVP by Wednesday, November 2. 


How have your students experienced their learning this semester? Understanding learners’ experiences can help you enhance your course and thus support students’ learning. In this session we will consider ways to collect meaningful student feedback to inform appropriate course adjustments now. We will discuss rational, process, and share/review sample questions. You will be able to create your feedback form using Microsoft Forms. The virtual program will be offered on Thursday, Sept. 22, 11:30 a.m.-12:45 p.m. and Wednesday, Sept. 28, 12:45-2:00 p.m. Please RSVP by Wednesday, Sept. 21. Link to Zoom session.  


Over the last several years, mental health concerns among students have been on the rise. Thus attendance and deadlines accommodations have been requested more frequently. Revisit best practices to work with students who have these accommodations and discuss options to better support students who may be struggling with their mental health. Nicole Subik, Director, and Emily Harris, Associate Director of Learning Support Services will facilitate the in-person session on Friday, September 16, 1:00-2:15 pm in Room 205, Falvey Library* and the virtual session on Wednesday, September 21, 12:45-2:00 p.m. Zoom link to be provided. 

*Please note change in location.

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


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