Past Pedagogy and Professional Development Workshops

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

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.

Course Design from the Learner's Point of View

What makes a syllabus an effective learning tool? How can course design help to engage students in their own learning? Come hear from a panel of trained undergraduate learning consultants about syllabi that made a difference for them, and then learn how to apply some of these lessons to your own course design.

Creating an Inclusive Classroom: Ideas from Whistling Vivaldi

Whistling Vivaldi is President Eisgruber’s Princeton Pre-read selection for the incoming freshman class; it is being distributed not only to students but to all faculty as well as to first time AIs. The book discusses stereotype threat, a phenomenon in which a member of a negatively stereotyped group feels pressure to disprove those stereotypes. In an academic setting, this can negatively impact performance (e.g., women perform worse on difficult math exams because they feel pressure to disprove that women are bad at math, white men perform worse on athletic activities when they are told the activities measure their athletic abilities while black men perform worse when told that the activities measure their sports strategic intelligence, etc.). We invite you—whether or not you’ve read the book—to come and discuss the implications of this research for teaching and learning in your precepts and labs. We’ll share practical ideas for implementing these findings and creating more inclusive classrooms.

Designing a Course

Are you preparing a new syllabus for a new teaching position or job search? 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.

Efficient and Effective Lesson Planning

Leading a precept is hard, and for those who want to do it well, preparation can take a lot of time. What do the experts say about how to be the teacher you want to be while staying on top of your other work—and staying sane? This workshop will introduce best practices in lesson planning across disciplines and give participants a chance to practice proven strategies to maximize student learning while making your preparation more efficient.

Flipping the Lecture Mini-Course

This 4-part series will offer graduate students a chance to experience the possibilities of technology-enhanced teaching by exploring what happens when the typical lecture/homework paradigm is reversed. What if instead of covering new content in lecture, students encounter that new material online outside of class, and use time in class to engage with the instructor(s) and peers? This course will explore the possibilities as participants design and deliver short lectures online, examine tools and platforms for online delivery of content, as well as create plans for student engagement in class.

This workshop is limited to 16 participants who commit to attend all sessions and complete all assignments, include a brief assignment before the first meeting (details will be sent to enrolled participants in advance). 

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.

Identity and Authority in the Classroom

In this session, Jessi O’Rourke-Suchoff, University Administrative Fellow with McGraw, will share findings from her qualitative review of graduate student experiences as AIs at Princeton, seeking to understand how factors like gender, race, ethnicity, class and sexual orientation impact how AIs teach, how they feel teaching, and how they learn to become teachers. Part of the focus of this session will be to open a general discussion about the Princeton campus climate and how it is experienced by graduate students of underrepresented or marginalized identities. This will serve as a context for a discussion of how the dynamics of identity impact the classroom as well as how these dynamics affect expectations outside the classroom, such as in office hours, as a mentor, around setting expectations about availability, and so on. We’ll also explore strategies for addressing issues that arise around these dynamics to work toward an effective inclusive classroom for all.

Making the Most of the Teaching Transcript

The Teaching Transcript Program guides you in enhancing your teaching skills and provides documentation of your formal pedagogical training for the academic job search. In this lunchtime meeting, participants plan strategies for effectively reflecting on their teaching throughout the semester. We discuss components of our program such as the class observation as well as how to draw on that and our workshops to prepare an effective statement of teaching philosophy and syllabus, which are the written work for the Transcript.

Mentoring Undergraduate Researchers

In this workshop, you’ll learn techniques--based on American Physics Society guidelines--for clarifying mentor and mentee roles and responsibilities and establishing clear expectations. These practical approaches can prevent frustration, over-dependence, and a lack of productivity which can make working with a mentee unsatisfying. Take away a useful framework for working with your particular mentee over the coming summer. 

Mercer County Community College/Princeton Teaching Partnership Information Session

Join us for an information session with Princeton graduate students currently participating in this program, as well as faculty and staff from Mercer County Community College to learn more about the Community College Teaching Partnership program and the application process. Co-sponsored with the Office of the Dean of the Graduate School.

Preparing to Write a Meaningful Statement of Teaching Philosophy

Teaching statements have become important in academic job searches as more and more colleges and universities are requesting them from applicants for faculty positions. This workshop will introduce participants to the concept of the teaching statement and present recent research on how search committees interpret them. We will also discuss how writing a statement can serve as a valuable means of enhancing one’s own teaching strategies. This workshop will provide a context for participants to start writing their own statements by drafting key elements of them that draw on their teaching experiences and their goals for their students. 

Preparing Your Teaching Demonstration for a Campus Interview

A campus visit invitation from a search committee is terrific news, but it often comes with the challenging request for a “teaching demo.” In this workshop, we’ll talk about what questions you should ask and how you can use the answers from a particular hiring institution to craft an effective demonstration of your teaching prowess. During the workshop, you’ll begin the process of planning an engaging lesson to highlight the strengths of your teaching for hiring committees and beyond.

Prison Teaching Initiative Information Session

The Prison Teaching Initiative at Princeton University is hosting two volunteer information sessions for prospective instructors, and we hope you'll join us for one! We'll have a pleasant and informal chat about how prison teaching works and answer all your questions. You'll also have the opportunity to complete background check paperwork for the NJ Department of Corrections and/or Fort Dix if you decide one or both of those opportunities is right for you.  (This session does not count for the Teaching Transcript program.)

PROF 101: Entering the Professoriate

This is a seminar for graduate students and postdoctoral fellows who will begin new faculty appointments in Fall 2016 that provides an introduction to professional skills and information that new faculty members need. Guest speakers, readings and activities address topics that include: getting off to a good start in the promotion and tenure process, managing the demands of teaching and research, lecturing, understanding how students learn, and course design. Participants are expected to attend all sessions.

Scholar as Teacher 

In this series, faculty members distinguished for their teaching offer reflections on their practice as teachers. All programs meet over lunch from 12:15-1:20 in 330 Frist Campus Center.

  • Neil Arner, "Cultivating Students' Skill in the Three Rs: Reading, Writing, and Respect"
  • Kinohi Nishikawa, “Teaching Close Reading through Play”
  • Anna Shields, "Teaching Close Reading"
  • Aynsley Vandenbroucke, "Bringing Our Bodies into the Classroom"

Talking about Teaching in an Academic Interview

While graduate students and postdoctoral fellows receive ample opportunity to present their doctoral research in forums such as departmental colloquia or national conferences, they rarely talk about teaching and pedagogy in such public settings. As a result, they may lack the preparation for speaking about their teaching in compelling terms when it may count the most: the job interview. This workshop gives participants the chance to begin--or refine--that preparation as they anticipate a campus visit. Co-sponsored with the Office of Career Services.

Teaching in the American Classroom

Is your classroom at Princeton the first American classroom you’ve spent time in? Have you noticed that Princeton undergraduates sometimes have different expectations than you do about teaching and learning? Come share your experiences and hear from a panel of experienced Graduate Teaching Fellows who were educated outside the US prior to coming to Princeton. We will discuss strategies that you can use in your classroom to make your teaching more effective and make you and your students more comfortable. This is directed both at new and experienced AIs who are ready to reflect and build on their work.

Teaching Skills for Careers Outside the Professoriate

Effective teachers are both leaders and listeners, with excellent communication and time management skills. Expertise in conveying complex information clearly, asking key questions, guiding groups through problem-solving to solutions, and giving critical and constructive feedback are not simply classroom skills, however—these are career skills desired by many employers outside the academy as well. In this session, we’ll hear from Anne-Marie Alexander, *08 and David Escoffery ’95, University of Pittsburgh ’01 Ph.D., about how they have drawn on their teaching skills in building successful careers at Educational Testing Service.

Troubleshooting Your Precept – Leading Discussions, Solving Problems

Tired of doing homework problems on the board? Can't get your students to talk on topic? Come share your experiences with fellow preceptors and a panel of experienced Graduate Teaching Fellows from the McGraw Center. We will discuss strategies that you can use in your classroom to address your specific concerns. These workshops are directed at both new graduate Assistants in Instruction and experienced AI's who want to invigorate their classrooms with new teaching strategies. Lunch is provided.