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Faculty Development Center



Active Learning Strategies Series - Part I: Concept Mapping

Tuesday, February 3rd, 12:00 - 1:30 p.m., Commons 329

Ever wonder what your students’ thinking looks like? Concept maps allow you to have a glimpse into the connections students are making between course content and prior learning. Having students create graphic representations of their knowledge in the form of concept maps can help them to organize and concretize their understanding of course content. It can also provide you with insights into their thinking or allow you to assess their understanding of key concepts. Come to this program to learn more about the research bases underlying concept-mapping, as well as ways to use concept maps to help students meet your learning goals. Joshua Enszer (Chemical, Biochemical, and Environmental Engineering), Steven McAlpine (Interdisciplinary Studies), and Matt Baker (tentative) (Geography and Environmental Systems) will share how they’ve used concept mapping in their courses. Lunch will be provided.

Register Here


Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Discussion Group

Tuesday, February 17th, Wednesday, March 11th, Monday, April 13th
12:00 - 1:30 p.m., Sherman Hall 113

Do you sometimes find yourself wondering how students learn in your class? Have you ever analyzed your students’ assignments/conversations/emails looking for clues about that? Are you interested in finding out whether a change you make in your teaching improves your students’ learning? If so, then join your colleagues for a continuing discussion about all aspects of planning, executing, and disseminating a scholarship of teaching and learning project. The sessions will all include ideas for asking good questions, gathering meaningful evidence, and reporting results, though the emphasis on each of these topics will cycle through the semester. Sessions will also include brief presentations of faculty projects. Participants attending any session will receive a copy of the book, Engaging in the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning: A Guide to the Process and How to Develop a Project from Start to Finish by Bishop-Clark and Dietz-Uhler, Stylus Publishing, 2012. Lunch will be provided.

Tuesday, February 17th Register Here
Wednesday, March 11th Register Here
Monday, April 13th Register Here


Providing Audio-Feedback on Student Work

Monday, March 2nd, 12:00 - 1:30 p.m., UC 310

Have you struggled with giving students timely, helpful feedback on their work without spending inordinate amounts of time doing so? Speaking your mind, rather than writing it may be the answer! Faculty in several departments across campus have been experimenting with new technologies that facilitate giving students feedback in short audio-recordings. Join us for a lively panel discussion in which Sally Shivnan (English) and Karen Whitworth (Biology) will share their experiences with iAnnotate markup and document sharing software and Jing screencasting software to facilitate giving audio-feedback on student papers. We’ll also discuss best practices for providing students effective feedback while making optimal use of your time. Lunch will be provided.

Register Here


Game-Based, and Gamified Learning: Engaging Interest, Motivating Minds

Tuesday, April 14th, 12:00 - 1:30 p.m., Commons 329

Well-designed games serve a stealthy mission of drawing players into deep conceptual engagement, problem solving, and skill acquisition through interactive and progressively more challenging experiences with content. When applied to college courses, games can stimulate interest and make learning not only more enjoyable, but more profound and long-lasting. Come to this program to find out more about how and why game-based learning works and to hear from faculty at UMBC who are experimenting with games or a game-like approach in their courses. Joshua Enszer (Chemical, Biochemical and Environmental Engineering) and Anne Rubin (History) will share their experiences from their classes. Lunch will be provided.

Register Here


Writing a Compelling Proposal for the Hrabowski Innovation Fund

Wednesday, May 13th, Time and room pending

In this presentation, you’ll gain insights into what makes a Hrabowski Innovation Fund proposal compelling to reviewers. We’ll share tips for what reviewers are looking for and help you to understand what constitutes an innovative idea to enhance teaching/learning. We’ll also break the proposal into parts, discussing the purpose of each section and the types of language to use to convey your ideas clearly and persuasively. You will have the opportunity to share and get feedback on your ideas and, if time permits, begin to draft an outline for your own proposal. Attendance at this presentation is highly recommended for faculty and staff who plan to submit an HIF proposal.



1) Specifications Grading: Restoring Rigor, Motivating Students, and Saving Faculty Time, by Linda B. Nilson. Stylus Publishing. 2015.

Wednesday, February 11th, 12:00 - 1:30 p.m., Commons 329 -OR-
Thursday, February 12th, 12:00 - 1:30 p.m., Commons 329

From the publisher’s description:

Linda Nilson puts forward an innovative but practical and tested approach to grading that can demonstrably raise academic standards, motivate students, tie their achievement of learning outcomes to their course grades, [and] save faculty time and stress…
This book features many examples of courses that faculty have adapted to specs grading and lays out the surprisingly simple transition process. It is intended for all members of higher education who teach, whatever the discipline and regardless of rank, as well as those who oversee, train, and advise those who teach.

Faculty are invited to participate in either of the two sessions of this book discussion as their schedule allows. Both sessions will discuss the entire book. All participants will receive a copy of the book ahead of time. Lunch will be provided.

Wednesday, February 11th Register Here
Thursday, February 12th Register Here

2) Minds Online: Teaching Effectively with Technology, by Michelle D. Miller. Harvard University Press, 2014. (Sponsored jointly by DoIT and FDC)

Thursday, February 26th AND Thursday, March 5th, 12:00 - 1:30 p.m., Commons 329

From the publisher’s description:

Drawing on the latest findings from neuroscience and cognitive psychology, Michelle Miller explores how attention, memory, and higher thought processes such as critical thinking and analytical reasoning can be enhanced through technology-aided approaches. The techniques she describes promote retention of course material through frequent low-stakes testing and practice, and help prevent counterproductive cramming by encouraging better spacing of study. Online activities also help students become more adept with cognitive aids, such as analogies, that allow them to apply learning across situations and disciplines. Miller guides instructors through the process of creating a syllabus for a cognitively optimized, fully online course. She presents innovative ideas for how to use multimedia effectively, how to take advantage of learners’ existing knowledge, and how to motivate students to do their best work and complete the course.

This is a two-session book discussion.  The session on February 26th will encompass chapters 1-5, and the discussion on March 5 will primarily focus on chapters 6-9.  Faculty attending either session will receive a copy of the book in advance.  Lunch will be provided.

Register Here



Course Design Workshops

Below is information on two Course Design workshop opportunities for faculty on Wednesday, January 14th. One course design session is from 10-1:00 for those interested in thinking through an efficient course design process in general. If you are interested in designing a hybrid course, then please register for the hybrid course design option (second option below) which extends from 10-3:30 and expands on the morning session to include talking about technology tools for hybrid teaching as well. Please note that if you want to attend the Hybrid Course Design you MUST attend the morning session as well. PLEASE REGISTER FOR ONLY ONE VERSION OF THE WORKSHOP.


Course Design Workshop (General)

January 14th, 10:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m., Engineering 023

Are you rethinking a course you'll be teaching this next year? Or, are you planning a new course soon? Or, are you interested in finding more efficient ways to think about student assignments? Then join this discussion on ways to think about course design to be more efficient and effective in accomplishing the goals for your courses. During the session participants will 1) set expectations for student learning, 2) plan assignments and class activities that help students achieve the goals for their learning, and 3) design assessments (exams, projects, papers) that measure students' achievement of course goals. Participants should bring a course syllabus or ideas for new courses to the session. Lunch will be provided. During lunch participants will hear from a panel of faculty about their experiences using these principles to design hybrid courses.

Please register by January 7th so that we have an accurate count for lunch.

Register Here



Hybrid Course Design Workshop

January 14th, 10:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m., Engineering 023

DoIT and the Faculty Development Center (FDC) offer the Hybrid Course Design Workshop on Wednesday, January 14, 2015 from 10:00 am to 3:30 pm  in ENGR 023  on UMBC's Main Campus. In the morning, participants will learn the principles of effective course design. FDC will provide lunch for participants. In the afternoon, participants will learn about resources available through the Online Learning Consortium (OLC; formerly Sloan Consortium), apply the principles of quality course design through the introduction of the Quality Matters rubric in planning a hybrid course, and gain hands-on experience with some of the communication tools and engagement strategies that are effective in online teaching. This workshop is open to all full or part time UMBC faculty and is a requirement for Alternate Delivery Program (ADP) participants. Please RSVP by close of business January 7, 2015 and note any dietary restrictions.

Register Here

Teaching College Science

Thursday, January 22nd, 12:00 - 1:30 p.m., Meyerhoff 351

How do we help more of our students learn how to learn science? How can we translate the research in cognitive science into effective practices to help students learn to read, write, and problem solve in the discipline? Faculty, post-doctoral fellows, and graduate students are invited to this discussion of the literature and sharing our best practices. We’ll discuss 2-3 short articles on effective ways to teach the processes of science given what the research says about how students learn. Participants are asked to read the short on-line articles before the session (links will be sent to registrants). Lunch will be provided.

Register Here

Our Mission

The Faculty Development Center supports faculty and instructors in their teaching role at the University by providing a comprehensive program of services and resources.

All consultation services provided faculty are confidential and are not used by administrators or committees in making personnel decisions.