Pedagogy and Professional Development Programs for Faculty

Recent Pedagogy and Professional Development Programs for Faculty

Many of the workshops below are available to departments or groups by request.  Write to us at

Applying the Lessons of Whistling Vivaldi

Whistling Vivaldi is this year's Princeton Pre-read selected by President Eisgruber for the incoming Class of 2019. These open discussions provide a setting for faculty to discuss the book by Claude Steele and consider its implications for teaching at Princeton. Faculty are invited to share ideas for fostering diversity in their classrooms and mitigating the challenges - including stereotype threat - that may impede student engagement in the academic life of the campus. Co-hosted with the Council on Science and Technology.

BOLD: Blended and Online Learning Discussion Series

A number of innovative teaching projects at area campuses are demonstrating how face-to-face teaching blended with online learning can increase student success in STEM courses. Our panelists will present a variety of these efforts including: targeted online modules for students with gaps in math and science skills, flipped classes that enable faculty to deepen their students' engagement with their most complex course material, and online learning combined with structured classroom activities that intensify student interaction in large STEM classes. Join us for their presentations and a discussion of the challenges and promises of blended learning.

Designing a Course

Are you preparing a new syllabus? This workshop examines course design and syllabus preparation from the perspective of student learning, using a variety of models from across the disciplines. Workshop activities guide you in defining your goals for your students and then using them to shape all aspects of a well-integrated course, from your class format to student assignments, exams, and the syllabus. 

Diversity and Inclusive Teaching Series
Inclusive Teaching on the First Day of Class and Beyond 

Students bring their individual identities and past experiences to the first day of class, and these can both promote as well as limit their engagement throughout a course. Interactions among students also can unevenly shape the tone and climate for learning during the semester. This lunchtime discussion offers an opportunity for faculty colleagues consider practices they can employ at the beginning of a course to promote participation as well as those that may inhibit students. We will take specific student experiences as a starting point for discussion. 

Capturing Lectures and Lessons with Ease: An Overview of Simple Tools

Clancy Rowley (Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering) and Anna Alsina Naudi (Spanish and Portuguese) will speak about simple video captures they made using a document camera and the Swivl robot, respectively. Clancy and Anna will describe their experience using equipment borrow from the McGraw Center, and how it was useful to their teaching. 

Course Design and Teaching at Princeton for New Faculty 

Are you preparing the first courses you will be teaching at Princeton? This workshop for new instructors examines course design and syllabus preparation for classes across the disciplines. Workshop activities emphasize the perspective of student engagement and guide you in defining your goals for your students and then using them to shape all aspects of a well-integrated course, from your class format to student assignments, exams, and the syllabus.

Course Design Institute - Service and Civic Engagement Course & Proposal Workshop 

Explore the pedagogy and practice of developing a “service” course. We will discuss ways to link service or civic engagement to existing courses and talk about creating new courses with a service or civic engagement focus or component. The McGraw Center, CST, CBLI and the Service and Civic Engagement Steering Committee are collaborating to offer this half-day Service and Civic Engagement Course Workshop. Whether you are creating a course from scratch, writing a proposal or working on a component for an existing course, this workshop offers the opportunity to delve into the work needed to connect service with learning.

We will discuss what it means to develop courses that integrate service as a modality of learning; as a practical component; as a lens to study a particular topic; or as an opportunity to reflect on the nature of service itself. A light breakfast will be available. Contact the McGraw Center with any dietary concerns. For more information, see the full description on our Course Design Institutes web page.

Course Design Institute - Summer

Looking for a setting to focus on crafting the course you’ve been dreaming up this summer? The McGraw Center and the Council on Science and Technology (CST) are offering a one-day version of our popular Course Design Institute. Whether you are creating a new course, redesigning an existing one, or preparing a proposal to support course development or collaborative teaching, the Course Design Institute invites you to a day of course-building and guided discussions led by experts from McGraw and CST. We will work through a process customized to address the needs of your particular project and designed to help you increase engagement and learning among all of your students. The Course Design Institute is also a unique opportunity to share your teaching challenges and develop new techniques with faculty colleagues from across campus.

Course Design Workshop on Service and Civic Engagement

Building on the Faculty Forum on Service and Civic Engagement held in February 2016, this Course Design Workshop will engage with the practical questions of how to build a dimension of service and civic engagement into one’s teaching as a faculty member or lecturer.  Faculty members will share their syllabi and course design process; CBLI and McGraw and other resources for taking ideas forward will be outlined; and group discussions will focus on concrete questions about the ethics, pedagogy and practice of doing such teaching.  Faculty panelists include Erica Nagel (Lewis Center for the Arts), Carolyn Rouse (Department of Anthropology), Derek Lidow (Keller Center), and Joseph Heathcott (Princeton-Mellon Initiative in Architecture, Urbanism & the Humanities). Lunch will be provided. 

Culturally Responsive Pedagogy: Helping Students Align their Learning to your Teaching

Understanding the diversity of Princeton students' educational experiences and how they influence the norms, expectations and practices students bring with them into your classroom is crucial for effective teaching. In this discussion, we offer insight into the surprisingly wide variety of "learning cultures" your students have internalized. We will use case studies to unearth commonly mismatched assumptions made by students and faculty in university-level courses. We will also share methods for making your expectations of students more transparent and helping them to learn more successfully from your teaching.  

Culturally Responsive Pedagogy: Leading Inclusive Discussions in the Classroom

Individual student identities and past experiences can serve as both a point of access and an obstacle to engagement in classroom discussions. This lunchtime workshop offers an opportunity for faculty colleagues to consider practices that broaden participation as well as those that may inhibit students from contributing. Together we will develop strategies that establish ground rules for inclusive discussion, create space for productive disagreement, and promote familiarity across differences. Videotaped stories of student experiences in the Princeton classroom will offer the starting point for our discussion. 

Faculty Teaching Conversations in the Residential Colleges
Navigating New Scenarios in Grading and Academic Integrity

Student-centered teaching can create fresh challenges for grading: how to evaluate collaborative and interdisciplinary assignments, for example, or the persistent question of assessing student participation. In this discussion, we'll invite faculty to share their strategies for and concerns about evaluating a wide range of interactive learning practices. We will also consider effective means of managing the broader values of (and Princeton's rules about) academic integrity, in our own classrooms and those of our graduate AIs. This latter group in particular reports that since the repeal of grade deflation they often feel unsure about grading students in our large classes. What kind of guidance are we providing our graduate AIs when it comes to assessment? Are we developing new rubrics (or new quotas)? Together we'll discuss innovative solutions to the enduring challenges of grading in our post-grade deflation, increasingly collaborative and participatory teaching environment. The discussion will be led by McGraw Faculty Fellows Bill Gleason, Sigrid Adriaenssens, and Wendy Belcher.

Faculty Teaching Conversations in the Residential Colleges
Teaching Sensitive Material in Turbulent Times

Faculty want students who are affected by current events beyond campus as well as those who have experienced violence, trauma or marginalization as members of under-represented groups to be able to engage fully in class discussions and debates and to feel included and respected. How do we accomplish this, especially if students raise concerns about how they will react to certain material and challenge the underlying assumption that students should all do the same work? Many syllabi contain material that is central to the goals of the course but that may be upsetting or offensive to different populations of students. How do we distinguish between what is "triggering" and what is "offensive"?  How can we address this is such a way that affected students remain connected to the course and learn, without compromising on the fact that learning can often be the result of a productive kind of discomfort? Relatedly, how do we react when events on campus, or in the nation or the world, have a profound effect on our students and their experience of the classroom? How, and to what end, do we as faculty acknowledge our students' experience outside of the classroom? This lunch discussion is an opportunity to share concrete strategies for promoting an inclusive classroom environment and how to respond meaningfully when events of the day, local or global, impact our students and ourselves. The discussion will be led by McGraw Faculty Fellows, Bill Gleason and Wendy Belcher.

Flexible Future of Teaching

Over the past several years, faculty have experimented with a variety of teaching innovations that enhance their roles as teachers, intensify learning for their students and expand the idea of the classroom. Yet our evolving forms of teaching often resist existing class schedules and spaces. Innovative courses that combine online content with “flipped classes” designed for highly interactive learning, for instance, require flexibility in teaching spaces as well as adjustments in scheduling. If both lectures and precepts become zones of interactivity, then what is the significance of the division between them? Teaching innovations have also expanded the modes in which faculty engaged with students. How do online lectures and mediated discussions defy conventional notions of “contact time”? This discussion is an opportunity to explore the implications of increasingly engaged teaching and learning on the schedules and spaces that have historically structured teaching on our campus. Lunch with discussion will be led by McGraw Faculty Fellows Sigrid Adriaenssens and Bill Gleason.

Funding Resources to Support Curricular and Teaching Innovation

Join Dean of the College Jill Dolan and faculty panelists for a discussion of teaching projects developed with the support of the 250th Anniversary Innovation Fund in Undergraduate Education.  The 250th Fund is the University’s principal resource for supporting innovation in the undergraduate curriculum.  The deadline for submission of proposals is December 21, 2015.  Take advantage of this opportunity to hear from colleagues about their new and redesigned courses, and receive guidance from McGraw staff on preparing a proposal.  Faculty speakers have included Sigrid Adriaenssens (CEE), Adam Elga (PHI), Jamie Rankin (GER), Kosuke Imai (POL), Adam Maloof (GEO), Casey Lew-Williams (PSY), and Tamsen Wolff (ENG), Jeremy Adelman, (HIS); Andrew Houck (ENG); Anna Arabindan-Kesson, Assistant Professor of Art and Archaeology and African American Studies;and John Danner, Entrepreneurship Specialist, Electrical Engineering and the Keller Center for Innovation in Engineering Education.

The Future of the Textbook

To celebrate the completion of the online textbook, der|die|das, the McGraw Center for Teaching and Learning will host an informal discussion on May 16th. The panel will feature der|die|das author, Professor Jamie Rankin, Director of the Princeton Center for Language Study and Senior Lecturer, German; McGraw’s Senior Educational Technology Specialist, Ben Johnston, Adam Gallagher (‘16) who collaboratively developed code for the textbook; and Brandon Waybright, Assistant Professor of Graphic Design at Trinity College, who designed the web interface. The panelists will discuss the project, and describe its development and workflow.

Inclusive Teaching at Princeton
7 into 15: Scenes from the Classroom

The CRLT players, Center for Research on Learning and Teaching, University of Michigan, will perform a number of provocative short scenes from life in the classroom and on campus where power, status and identity play a significant, if not always visible, role. The performance invites the audience to inhabit the perspective of undergraduates, graduate students, post-doctoral fellows, and faculty, and to engage directly in the issues they face. The players will facilitate a post-performance discussion about how we can respond effectively to the ethical, political, and personal dilemmas encountered by all concerned when such situations arise at our institution.

Co-sponsored by: The McGraw Center for Teaching and Learning, Office of the Dean of the College, Teagle Foundation, Office of the Dean of the Graduate School, Office of the Dean of the Faculty, and the Vice Provost for Institutional Equity and Diversity

​​​Inclusive Teaching at Princeton:
Identity and Authority in an Inclusive Classroom 

Good teaching cannot be reduced to technique; good teaching comes from the identity and integrity of the teacher.  ~ Parker Palmer

All aspects of the self are salient in the classroom, and Parker Palmer underscores the primacy of the teacher's own identity. Research shows that various aspects of identity, such as gender, race, ethnicity, and sexual orientation, affect how teaching and learning happen in multiple, complex ways. When does identity enhance or undermine the presumed expertise or authority of the teacher? Moreover, how do dynamics of identity influence the classroom experience for students and teachers alike? Join us for an interactive conversation with Jennifer Bryan, Ph.D. '83, as we consider pedagogically effective ways to create inclusive classrooms in light of these challenges.

Inclusive Teaching at Princeton:
Teaching to Make a Difference: Faculty Perspectives on Teaching, Scholarship and Social Change

Join us for a conversation about teaching and scholarship as activism, and how academic practice is informed by and contributes to faculty leadership both inside and outside of the university. Panelists: Eddie Glaude Jr., William S. Tod Professor of Religion and African American Studies, Jenny Greene, Professor of Astrophysical Sciences, Anne McClintock, A. Barton Hepburn Professor of Gender and Sexuality Studies, and Zia Mian, Research Scientist, Woodrow Wilson School and the Program on Science and Global Security

Sponsored by: The McGraw Center for  Teaching and Learning’s Inclusive Teaching at Princeton series, the Office of the Dean of the College Office, Office of the Dean of the Graduate School, Office of the Dean of the Faculty, and the Office of the Vice Provost for Institutional Equity and Diversity.

Inclusive Teaching at Princeton:
Trigger Warnings and Microaggressions 

The McGraw Center for Teaching and Learning will host an informal but structured lunch discussion for faculty about trigger warnings and microaggressions. What do these terms mean, and do they mean the same thing to students that they do to faculty? Dr. LaTanya Buck, Dean for Diversity & Inclusion and Dr. Rashidah Andrews, Director of Studies in Forbes College, will lead our discussion with a collaborative unpacking of the terms "trigger warning" and "microaggression." They will then use examples from suggested readings, personal/professional vignettes, and thought-provoking prompts to engage the group in critical dialogue. Finally, they will suggest concrete ways in which we can present sensitive material inclusively and turn uncomfortable conversations or moments in the classroom into opportunities to help our students come to appreciate their own assumptions and engage meaningfully across difference. No preparation is necessary, but faculty interested in the topic are encouraged to consult the following list of articles on the topic: a short primer from the Chronicle of Higher Education on the current trigger warnings debate; an article by Rebecca Flintoft and Christopher Bollinger with suggested steps for moving beyond trigger warnings; a brief commentary from the Chronicle of Higher Education on the tension between microaggressions and free speech; and an illuminating piece in the Atlantic about the need for ongoing discourse on microaggressions

Inclusive Teaching at Princeton
What Makes Teaching and Learning Inclusive?

Dr. Shaun Harper, Professor and Executive Director, Center for the Study of Race and Equity in Education. Graduate School of Education, University of Pennsylvania.

Universities have a responsibility to create environments in which faculty and students from all backgrounds and all beliefs feel included and respected, even when their opinions and ideas are challenged and critiqued. How do we do that? How do faculty foster spirited, even contentious, dialogue without compromising students’ willingness to engage in rigorous intellectual debate? How do we help students appreciate that sometimes discomfort is an important part of learning? National expert Dr. Shaun Harper will address why inclusivity in the classroom matters, and will offer concrete strategies for inclusive teaching and learning at Princeton.   

Co-sponsored by the Teagle Foundation, the Office of the Dean of the Faculty, the Office of the Provost.  This is part of a continuing series that debuted last year with Politics of the Classroom: Who Speak? Who is Heard?

Inclusive Teaching at Princeton:
Widening the Pipeline: Inclusive Teaching for a Diverse Scientific Workforce

Universities have a responsibility to help build a diverse and effective scientific workforce; research teams perform better when they include a variety of perspectives, insights, and experiences. So how do universities increase the number of individuals from groups underrepresented in the scientific workforce? How can we broaden areas of inquiry, enhance global competitiveness, create inclusive learning environments and build public trust? Dr. Alison Gammie will discuss current research into effective interventions to increase the interest, motivation, preparedness and persistence of students from underrepresented groups in the scientific disciplines, and will offer concrete strategies for inclusive teaching and learning in STEM - and beyond - at Princeton.   Alison Gammie, Ph.D., is director of the Division of Training, Workforce Development, and Diversity at the National Institutes of Health and a former Princeton faculty member.

McGraw Rubric Shop: Make Rubrics Work for You and Your Students

As grading issues surface at mid-semester, rubrics can help increase consistency and fairness in grading, while reducing unconscious biases and making the sometimes hidden criteria for coursework accessible to all of your students. Rubrics can also increase the value of your feedback and save you time – in both grading and regrading. But how can rubrics be made flexible enough to encompass complex disciplinary work and specific enough for the range of work by individual students or groups? With the help of some examples from our campus colleagues, we will introduce you to an approach to formulating effective rubrics and offer insights into how they can advance learning by shifting your students’ focus on grades to the terms of disciplinary work and their engagement with them.

Online Learning and Interactive Classes

Join us for a hands-on workshop that will introduce the key lessons learned from a broad variety of online and hybrid courses projects developed by Princeton faculty.  Meet the group of teaching and technical experts who can help you to design and build online materials, learn about the online platforms we offer, and hear about recent and upcoming initiatives. 

Profiles in Teaching:
Teaching Beyond the Classroom

In residential liberal arts institutions, faculty engagement with students extends by design outside of the traditional parameters of a course. Faculty are encouraged to advise, organize experiential learning opportunities (i.e., service, trips, collaborations with community partners), and often to participate in student life directly through a residential college system. Professor Brison will discuss her experience as Director of the East Wheelock Program - an experimental residential cluster at Dartmouth - and how that role, and the interactions she had with students as a result of living on campus and participating directly in the organization of social and intellectual events, informed her teaching and her role as a faculty member of Dartmouth College.

After Professor Brison's remarks, there will be time for questions and conversation about this particular aspect of the faculty role at residential liberal arts institutions.

Susan Brison, Professor of Philosophy, and Eunice and Julian Cohen Professor for the Study of Ethics and Human Values at Dartmouth College; Laurence S. Rockefeller Visiting Professor for Distinguished Teaching at the Center for Human Values at Princeton University

Profiles in Teaching:
Making History: Integrating Video and Community Collaboration into the Classroom

Professor Yu will lead a conversation about how he has integrated video technology and community outreach into his courses.  Since joining UBC in 2003, Professor Yu has been involved in the collaborative effort at UBC and within off-campus communities in Vancouver and across B.C. to recover the lost and ignored histories of trans-Pacific migrants to Canada. In particular, the understudied history of Chinese Canadians, who now make up over a third of the population of Vancouver and who have been the largest group of immigrants to Canada over the last two decades, has been the focus of his scholarly research, undergraduate and graduate student training, and university/community collaborations. He was the Director of the Initiative for Student Teaching and Research in Chinese Canadian Studies at USB, and the Project Lead for the $1.175 million "Chinese Canadian Stories" project involving UBC, SFU, and a wide spectrum of academic and community collaborators.

Henry Yu, department of History at the University of British Columbia; Stanley Kelley, Jr. Visiting Professor for Distinguished Teaching in Asian American Studies at Princeton

The Rewriting Wikipedia Project: Africa and the Diaspora Workshops

Concerned that the contents of Wikipedia are written predominantly by white men, and that women, people of color and other marginal groups are underrepresented in Wikipedia content? This workshop will take place in two sessions:  the first, for faculty, gives an overview of the political implications of editing Wikipedia and provides an introduction to editing Wikipedia; the second session at 4:30 p.m. for students and interested instructors, will be a wikithon dedicated to adding and improving entries on Africa and the African Diaspora to Wikipedia.  Students should bring their own laptops in order to participate in the wikithon. 

Sponsored by the McGraw Center for Teaching and Learning, Center for Digital Humanities, Department of African American Studies

Service and Civic Engagement Faculty Forum

Many Princeton faculty have successfully incorporated a dimension of service and civic engagement into their teaching, most often with the support of the Community-Based Learning Initiative (CBLI).  If you’re intrigued by the possibility of extending your teaching into this energizing dimension, join us for this discussion chaired by Dean of the College Jill Dolan, in which several faculty will share their vision and planning process for incorporating service and civic engagement into ongoing, current, and future undergraduate courses ranging from freshman seminars to upper level.  Speakers will include Sandra Bermann (Comparative Literature), João Biehl (Anthropology), Melissa Lane (Politics), and Stephen W. Pacala (Ecology and Evolutionary Biology).  

Taking the Temperature of Your Class: Getting Useful Feedback at Mid-semester

Now that your first semester of teaching at Princeton is underway, you are ready to discuss the challenges and possibilities that have arisen in your classes or labs.  Mid-semester is an excellent time to reflect on the progress of your course and plan adjustments to enhance your students’ learning. To help you “take the temperature of your class,” we offer a number of methods for gathering meaningful feedback from your students. Even if you are not teaching this semester, feel free to attend and have the opportunity to meet other new faculty and learn more about teaching at Princeton. 

Teaching and Mentoring Graduate Students

What are the goals and practices of graduate education in your discipline? Faculty often ask how their strategies for teaching disciplinary content in doctoral programs should differ from those they use for their undergraduate courses. Does graduate training call for a deeper involvement or a more hands-off approach? How do we address the uneven preparation among students who join disciplinary programs? What professional development skills fall within the scope of a faculty mentor? How to best prepare future colleagues for careers as scholars and for the realities of faculty life? And how to train doctoral students for a range of careers beyond the academy? This discussion offers an opportunity for faculty to share their own questions about graduate education, and to learn from the techniques of teaching and approaches to mentorship from peers across the disciplines. Lunch with discussion will be led by McGraw Faculty Fellows Sigrid Adriaenssens and Bill Gleason.

Teaching in the U.S. Classroom for International Faculty

Is teaching in a U.S. classroom a relatively new experience for you? Have you heard that American students have different expectations than students in other countries, such as expecting higher grades or more discussion and debate? Have you been wondering how to meet those expectations? In this workshop, a panel of international faculty across the disciplines will reflect on their own experiences teaching American students. They will offer stories about adjustments they've made as well as how their own international backgrounds enriched their students' learning. Workshop participants will also discuss three case studies and will have the opportunity to develop strategies to meet the challenges they may encounter while teaching American students. 

Teaching with Technology:
Komonjo Website Showcase with Professor Thomas Conlan

The Komonjo (documents) website is a learning environment that supports Professor Conlan's seminar, EAS525-HIS520, Ancient and Medieval Japanese History. The site allows students in the course to explore transcriptions, translations, and historical contexts of a collection of medieval Japanese court documents. Students in the course have had an active role in translating and transcribing the documents. Images of each document can be zoomed and panned, in order to examine details, and transcriptions of the documents show where annotations have been added to the main text. Videos on the site feature Conlan speaking the collection, and interacting with facsimiles of documents to show how they were used.   Professor Conlan describes the site in this way: "It is a radically new site -nothing comparable to it exists. It provides an introduction to how to read these documents, and insight into the epistolary culture of medieval Japan. For those interested in paleography, the photos and transcriptions provide a valuable tool to better learn how to read original documents. Others can gain insight into how to translate these difficult records. And this site also allows for some rare and little known documentary collections, held in Japan or the US (Princeton and Yale) to be disseminated to a wider audience. Finally, it reveals the synergy between teaching and research, for it showcases translations done in my graduate seminar.".

Teaching with Technology:
The New Podium Prototype

The podium prototype is about to be moved from the McGraw Center's Teaching Lab (Frist 330) - join us for lunch for one last look, and to hear about future plans to install the final podium design in several lecture halls at Princeton. The podium was designed by OIT's Instructional Support Services (ISS) group. This podium will simplify and standardize the interface to classroom technologies across many campus learning spaces and requires minimal setup.  ISS will also follow up with faculty who test the new podium for feedback on usability and features.  Feedback/questions can be sent directly to Rich Bakken, Associate Director for ISS.

Teaching with Text Analysis

Computer-assisted text analysis tools are being used in undergraduate courses to spur discussion, formulate new avenues of inquiry, develop new interpretations of text, and analyze linguistic and cultural trends.

Easy-to-use, online tools such as Google Ngrams, Voyant, and Juxta, have lowered the barriers to using these applications for teaching, removing the need for specialized software and minimizing time spent in training.

This workshop will introduce participants to these tools, the ways they have been used in coursework, and provide an overview of other, more advanced, text analysis tools and methods.  

Team Teaching across the Discipline(s)

Working with a colleague to develop and teach a course presents challenges and opportunities. This is especially true when team-teaching crosses disciplinary boundaries and/or methodologies. Whether you have team-taught a course or are thinking of team-teaching, join us for an informal conversation that will cover topics that include: What is the value of a good team-taught course for students? What are the most common obstacles to successful team teaching? What are examples of successful assignments in team-taught courses? How can we develop best practices for future team-taught courses? Lunch will be provided.
Co-sponsored by the Princeton-Mellon Initiative in Architecture, Urbanism, and the Humanities.

Using Argument Maps to Build Students' Analytical Skills

A visualization technique called "argument mapping" can be a powerful tool for helping students to develop crucial analytical skills within the content focused courses. In this hands-on session, led by Princeton faculty, you will learn what argument mapping is, and how it can be used to help your students.