Each semester the Koehler Center partners with faculty to support Faculty-Led Workshops. These are events organized and promoted by the Koehler Center, but they are developed and led by TCU faculty to help enrich the TCU community. There are two types of events: Teaching and Learning Conversations (TLCs) and Pedagogy in Practice Workshops (PinPs).
Register for upcoming Faculty-Led Workshops below or on our Events page.
View the archive for information about past TLCs and PinPs.
Grading Less, Learning More: Ethical Assessment Practices for Student Agency
with Jason Helms and Jessica Zeller
September 10 from 2:00 PM – 4:00 PM
Despite their prevalence, traditional grading methods are far from popular. Recent scholarship has made the compelling case that traditional methods are ineffective, unfair, and unethical (Bloom 2020; Eyler 2018; Friend 2021; Stommel, et al. 2020). Fortunately, alternative grading approaches have also been proposed and tested. This workshop will cover three of those approaches: contract grading, learning records, and ungrading. The presenters have experience with each of the approaches, and will discuss each method’s pedagogical framework as well as their personal experience using them.
Contract grading: Inoue’s labor-based contract grading aims at an antiracist evaluation method. Students track their time spent on various assignments and class-participation. Grades are tied to amount of assignments completed (determined by instructor) and student labor.
Learning Records: Syverson’s learning record system asks students to track their own work, and evaluate themselves three times: the first day of class, midterm, and final. The second and third of these evaluations include a grade estimate. Essentially, students argue for their own grade.
Ungrading: An approach to assessment that prioritizes intrinsic motivation, meta-cognition, and the feedback loop over ratings and rankings. Without a sole representative design model, ungrading approaches can be flexibly implemented: from individual assignments to entire courses.
The workshop will be organized as a series of presentations and discussions, and it will conclude with the development of a faculty interest group so interested faculty can continue to try these new approaches and discuss pedagogic developments.
October 19 from 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Ready to ditch the computer and get back into the classroom? Not so fast! Returning to in-person learning shouldn’t mean eliminating all virtual tools. Instead of abandoning everything from the last year, leverage your knowledge of virtual learning to enhance the in-person classroom experience. In this workshop, you will learn how to use a variety of technologies to assess students in real time, create meaningful conversations, encourage equal participation across students, increase peer interaction and student-driven content, and transition seamlessly between in-person and virtual work.
By now, many of us know about Kahoot! and Zoom breakout rooms, but feel stuck in terms of how else we can engage students virtually. No matter your skill level, this workshop will help you explore digital learning tools that can be used for in-person, hybrid, and virtual learning. The tools shared in this workshop will allow you to create impactful classroom learning and to keep the class running in the face of illness or absence. The next time you are called away to a conference, you can use these techniques to avoid cancelling class and keep students learning. The best part is that many of the tools will enhance student learning without creating additional assignments for you to grade.
As a sneak peek, here are just a few of the technologies we will cover: Poll Everywhere, Equity Map, Wizer.Me, Google Slides, Box, and Pear Deck. Feel like you’re already a pro? This workshop will also explore new ways to utilize familiar technologies for greater student learning.
October 22 from 2:00 PM – 4:00 PM
Design thinking (also called human centered design) is a framework for critical thinking and creative problem solving that has been used in a variety of contexts – engineering, business, design, liberal arts, education, healthcare, and so many more. Universities are creating programs and centers around design thinking to help break down silos, to provide a common “language” for students from a variety of majors, and to teach students ways to approach “wicked programs” with a new design mindset.
At Idea Factory, we are hoping to do the same.
This Pedagogy in Practice session will address using elements of design thinking to create student centered learning experiences. We will show how to use the framework on two levels – how to use it to design learning experiences within your course and also how to teach elements of the framework within your context. This is important based on what we have learned during the pandemic – that students need to be engaged on multiple levels.
In this session, you will:
- learn a student-centered design framework that provides a pathway for critical thinking and creative problem solving;
- learn ways that design thinking can be used to create deeper learning experiences in your class;
- learn ways that you can teach elements of design thinking to students in order for them to increase their creative confidence.
This session will conclude with the development of a faculty interest group to continue the converstion around human centered design, and to provide opportunites for faculty and staff to collaborate across departments, colleges, and even with other universities to design more engaging and experiential courses for TCU students.
November 12 from 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM
There is a lot of evidence that diverse work teams outperform homogenous ones. Diversity leads to different perspectives shared and better decision-making. Also, diverse teams process information more carefully, are more innovative, and are more likely to engage in productive cognitive conflict. The benefits of diverse work teams should be the same for student teams – greater performance and innovation. Further, it is important to expose our students to diverse teams and teach them how to work through their differences, as it is likely that their future workplaces will be more diverse than the student population at TCU.
However, building diverse teams isn’t without risk, as diverse teams produce lower satisfaction for members and more interpersonal conflict than homogenous teams without proper support. One must emphasize inclusion, as well as diversity, to create the highest performing teams. Building an inclusive team means that you are creating a supportive environment where everyone’s voice is welcome and everyone feels like they belong.
This Teaching and Learning Conversation will demonstrate how to build and support inclusive teams for maximum performance, in any environment. We will discuss types of diversity, how to build teams to balance diversity and inclusion, and how to help diverse teams build cohesion. In addition to sharing best practices in the field and our experiences leading group projects, we will also present data gathered from TCU students about their perspectives on diverse teams and what they find works best for them.