Workshops in a Flash

Workshops in a Flash are 15 minute mobile mini-workshops, facilitated by CTL staff.  They are designed to be delivered to groups of instructors during informal gatherings or departmental meetings.  Workshops in a Flash are meant to start exploration of a chosen topic with continued support from the Center as requested. 

Each workshop provides:

  • An introduction to an evidence-based practice
  • Potential reasons instructors might incorporate the technique in their course
  • Examples of how the technique can be implemented
  • An opportunity to apply the technique to their course

Note:  If you have 30 minutes, please choose two topics of interest. Any of these topics can be expanded to a 60 minute workshop where faculty develop specific elements for their classes.

Request a Workshop in a Flash 


Quick Ways to Get Students to Participate: Think-Pair-Share

In this workshop, you will experience the quick 3-5 minute technique that engages all students and can provide a nice check-in point for you and your students.  We will also provide you with the keys to success related to Think-Pair-Share, some alternatives, a multitude of example prompts and give you time to start designing your own Think-Pair-Share prompts.  

Quick Ways to Get Students to Participate: Polling/Student Response Systems

Not only will you experience a variety of polling options, we will discuss what might work best for you and your classroom.  Whether you just want to increase participation or add another activity that can be graded, tech-based and non-tech based polling options for both small and large classes will be discussed.  

Quick Ways to Get Students to Participate: Peer instruction

“In learning you will teach, and in teaching you will learn.” ― Phil Collins.  This collaborative learning technique helps students deepen their understanding of concepts by discussing with their peers.  You will not only get a chance to experience peer instruction, but also learn about the do’s and don’ts related to its implementation.   We will discuss the best kinds of questions to ask and how this could increase participation, student confidence, improve communication skills and understanding your students’ exhibit.

Group Work that Works: Jigsaw Technique

Want to engage more students during group work and increase individual and group accountability?  The Jigsaw technique might be the answer for you. Jigsaw uses cooperative learning to help ensure all students are engaged in the group activity to achieve a common goal. Research has shown improved communication skills, teamwork skills, critical thinking skills, improved student autonomy, learning gains and retention of content. This workshop will help you learn the keys to successful implementation of the Jigsaw technique.  

  • Please note that this workshop will only be feasible in spaces where people can easily move around.
Group Work that Works: Group Design

Many students have had experiences where group work didn’t go well because of the group design. The task for the group may have been design appropriately and group members may have had shared expectations but in the end there may have been too many students, clashing personalities, or not enough students with specific necessary strengths in that group.  This workshop discusses some considerations for group make-up and provides one method that has worked for nearly 2 decades for students working successfully in groups for longer-term projects (guilds).

Using Testing as a Learning Experience: Group Quizzes

Group quizzes are one way to help testing simultaneously be a learning experience and an evaluation. Students are individually held accountable for their mastery of the concepts but learn with their peers as they go. Studies have shown reduced exam anxiety and both lower and higher achieving students benefiting from this practice. Request this workshop to learn more about how you could structure group tests and help students develop interpersonal communication skills and positive relationships with their peers.  

Using Testing as a Learning Experience: Exam Wrappers & Post-Exam Analysis

This workshop will briefly review what post-exam analysis is, the importance of post-exam analysis and gives you an opportunity to think about how the concept might work in your course.  Finding wrong point deductions isn’t the only reason for students to review exams!  Post-exam analysis includes identifying challenges related to study skills, content errors, and/or test taking skills.  This analysis helps students learn from their exam, identify what their challenges were, and make plans to overcome those challenges.  

Knowing What Your Students Know & Don’t know – Admission & Exit Tickets

Do you ever wonder if your students came prepared, took away the main points you’d hoped from a lecture?  These admit and exit slips are quick tools you can use in any classroom to check to see what your students came away with whether it is pre-class work or during class work.  This is another way to provide feedback to students, increase students’ participation and facilitate their metacognition.  We will discuss the different purposes to these tickets, example prompts you may use, and design some that will work for your classroom.  

Knowing What Your Students Know & Don’t know – Retrieval Practice

Students get to an exam after review notes, slides and other materials thinking they are going to do well on the exam; everything is memorized – or so they think.  This simple practice that you can facilitate in your class significantly improves students’ scores and ability to recall information at a later date.  Whether you want your students to understand simple concepts and definitions or complex concepts and applications; retrieval practice can work for them.  We will discuss how you can help students help themselves while easily and seamlessly incorporating retrieval practice into your course.  

Connecting with Students: Generations & Learning

With each new generation of college students, there come new challenges in figuring out how to best reach and teach them.  This workshop will briefly discuss some unique characteristics of the post-millennial generation while providing a few teaching strategies that will work across generations.  

No Longer Endlessly Lost in Translation: Using Rubrics to Communicate Expectations & Decrease Grading Time

Rubrics can help students understand the evaluation criteria while decreasing the amount of time you spend grading. With criteria for grading explicit, there will be less subjectivity in grading and hopefully more assignments you will enjoy grading. This workshop will discuss not only key elements of rubrics but how implementation can make or break the effectiveness of the rubric.  

Getting Students to Come Prepared: Pre-Class Reading Assignments Questions

How many times are students required to read but seem to forget what they read or remember something that was minimally important?  Guiding questions cannot only help focus students during the reading but help prepare them to make connections between their reading and the upcoming class discussions and activities. They can be written for entry-level topics or to prompt application and evaluation. We will discuss question design, mechanisms for implementation and the necessity (or not) for incentives.    

We Want Critical Thinking, We Want it Now or Help Students Help Themselves: Problem-Solving with Metacognition Cards

A key component in critical thinking is metacognition. Research has shown that students who are more metacognitively aware tend to be more successful in their classes.  While developed with mathematical problems in mind, these metacognition cards are based in “self-questioning” and can be used across disciplines. The self-questioning process has been shown to improve students’ reasoning skills, deepen discussion and increase confidence in their ability to solve problems.  

Getting Students to Come Prepared: Readiness Assurance Process Quizzing

Before diving deeper or moving on, we want to be sure students are not already falling behind.  Whether this is at the beginning of class and assessing pre-class readings and videos or at the beginning of a a new year. Readiness Assurance is a part of team-based learning and combines evidence-based strategies like collaborative learning, group testing, and retrieval practice. Readiness Assurance Process checks whether or not students have gained the knowledge you hope so everyone can be more successful.