Workshops in a Flash

We have over two dozen offerings to choose from - or request a different topic. Invite us to a meeting for a quick introduction to evidence-based instruction. See below for more information. 

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.

Interested but not sure which one(s) your group would like, feel free to make a copy and send this form to your group.  

Already know which workshop in a flash works best for you group, Request a Workshop in a Flash 

For a 1-page summary of all offerings (pdf) 

Reorganized Topics

As we have continued to develop more workshops, we have reorganized them into various themes.  We hope this will help you and your colleagues better be able to pick which one(s) you'd like us to facilitate for you.  

Currently we have the following themes

  • Quick Ways to Engage Students
  • Knowing What Your Students Know / Testing as a Learning Experience
  • General Topics
  • Supporting Connection, Community & Belonging
  • Hybrid Environment Topics

Quick Ways to Engage Students

Are Students Watching my Videos? Ways to Increase Student Engagement with Videos

Whether you are having students watch videos before class, watching videos of class or some other video; how do you know if students are watching them? This workshop will focus on analytics of video watching and suggestions for moving forward to improve how long students are watching your videos.

Its in the Syllabus: Strategies to Engage Students in the Syllabus

In this session, instructors will learn strategies for using the syllabus as an important tool that communicates not only course policies but care and commitment to students and their learning. You will come away with strategies that promote student engagement with the syllabus. 

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 student understanding of concepts by discussing them 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 kinds of questions to ask and how this could increase participation, student confidence, and improve their communication skills.

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

Do you want more students to participate? Do you want to know more about what your students understand quickly and
easily? Polling is one way to facilitate attendance recording, engaging students in lectures, ensuring that key points are understood and getting responses to opinion or attitude questions that students might not normally share comfortably. Not only will you experience a variety of polling options, we will discuss what might work best for you and your classroom. Whether you 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: Think-Pair-Share

Are the same students always answering your questions? In this workshop, you will experience the quick 3-5 minute technique that
engages all students. It not only provides a check on student understanding for you, it helps decrease student anxiety related to responding in class. We will also provide you with the keys to success related to Think-Pair-Share, example prompts, and give you time to start designing your own Think-Pair-Share prompts.

Knowing What Your Students Know / Testing as a Learning Experience

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

Do you ever wonder if your students came prepared, or took away the main points you’d hoped from a lecture? Admission 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 or during class work. It is also another way to provide feedback to students, increase students’ participation and increase their metacognitive skills. We will discuss the different purposes of these tickets, example prompts you may use, and design some prompts that will work for your classroom. 

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. Point deduction disputes aren’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.

Using Testing as a Learning Experience: Group Quizzes

Group quizzes are one way to use testing simultaneously as a learning experience and a mechanism for evaluation. Students are individually held accountable for their mastery of the concepts but learn with their peers as they continue through the quiz. 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 quizzes and help students develop interpersonal communication skills and positive relationship with their peers.


Getting Students to Come Prepared: Pre-Class Reading Prompts

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

Getting Students to Come Prepared: Readiness Assessments

Before diving deeper or moving on, we want to be sure students are not already falling behind. Readiness assurance quizzes can be used at the beginning of class to assess pre-class readings and video takeaways, or at the beginning of a new unit to assess prior knowledge. 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.


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

Students predict they will do well on an exam after reviewing notes, slides and other materials; everything is memorized – or so they think. By incorporating retrieval practice in your class, you can reap the same benefits as others; significantly improving 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.

General Topics

Decrease Grading Time: Using Rubrics to Communicate Expectations

Rubrics can help students understand the evaluation criteria while decreasing the amount of time you spend grading. By making 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. 

Helping Students to Become Critical Thinkers: Problem-Solving with Metacognition Prompts

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. These metacognition prompts are based in “self-questioning” and used while students solve problems. The self questioning process has been shown to improve students’ reasoning skills, deepen discussion and increase confidence in their ability to solve problems.

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.

If there is not a workshop topic listed that attends to your group's interest, you can fill out the Qualtrics request by selecting "other" and typing in your requested topic. We enjoy hearing what other topics you are interested in, doing the research and designing new workshops.  

Supporting Connection, Community & Belonging

Building a Sense of Belonging: Community Agreements

Community agreements can help you and your students share a collective vision for how you all want to interact in the classroom space.  This workshop will provide not only background on community agreements but how you engage your students in the process to co-create expectations to ensure the classroom is a safer, more inclusive and more equitable space.  

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. 

Decreasing Sense of Isolation with Increased Instructor Presence

It can be challenging to feel connected with your students. There are many ways you can increase your presence in the class including through the use of visuals and adding different welcoming elements to your course. This workshop will discuss those categories in addition to some strategies for targeted feedback and other manageable ways of making the class more personal.

Get to Know Your Students: Student Questionnaires

Our students interests, lived experiences, and goals are ever-changing.  This workshop will provide you with strategies for students questionnaires so that you can better motivate students by not only connecting with them on a deeper level but also by being able to connect the content to their responses. 

Navigating Difficult Conversations

Have you ever explored a hot topic, current event or discipline-specific controversy in the classroom? The diversity of ideas, perspectives and experiences of students can present unique opportunities and challenges for dialogue within the classroom. This workshop will provide you strategies that can help maintain a safe and positive learning environment while facilitating these challenging conversations.  

Virtual Office Hours for the Remote Environment

Want students attend your office hours? In addition to the word “office” being ambiguous during the remote environment, research suggests that even changing the name to something more inviting can increase attendance. This workshop will briefly mention some suggestions to help ensure privacy during these virtual hours and some quick tips and tricks for getting students to come to your “office” hours.

Hybrid Environment Topics

Considerations for Students Working In Groups Across Environments (Remote & Face-to-Face)

It can be extra challenging to design group work in the physically distanced classroom while students are both face-to-face and connecting remotely. You may find that students working face-to-face can hear each other because of the multiple groups respecting distancing guidelines. We will discuss some tips for engaging students across the environments that will be helpful whether you are having students discuss in small groups, solve problems, or develop something together.

*There will be some asynchronous tools/suggestions included in this Workshop-in-A-Flash.

Engage Students in Collaborative Work Remotely

Working in groups remotely can be challenging but with these considerations, we hope you and your students will have good group work experiences. This workshop discusses some other considerations for holding students accountable for what they do in small groups and some ways to enhance group work using technology and google drive.

Engage Students Meaningfully in Discussions: Remote Considerations*

Discussions in the remote environment can support student learning in meaningful ways. There may be new ways to think about the when, who, where, what and how when designing and facilitating the discussion. This workshop presents both synchronous and asynchronous mechanisms for discussion and considerations to ensure students are engaged.

Getting Students to Tune-In & Stay Attentive: Suggestions for Quick Synchronous Engagement

It can be challenging teaching in the remote environment to keep students’ attention. Whether it is other tabs open, competing responsibilities, or other countless distractions, there are simple ways to help student pay attention. This workshop in a flash will discuss a few suggestions for quick and easy attention grabbing in the remote environment including polling, virtual hand-raising and chat check-ins. F or more specific WIF examples, please see the next two WIFs.

Strategies for Holding Students Accountable in the Remote Environment

Looking for manageable ways to hold students accountable in this digital world? This workshop will discuss some strategies for holding students accountable for engagement outside of class time (asynchronous) and during class time (synchronously).

Successful Small Group Work in Breakout Rooms: Remote Considerations

Breakout rooms can be used for discussions, group work, gallery walks, and critiques. This workshop will discuss strategies for success no matter your purpose (see the two next WIF for discussion and group work specific WIF). You’ll come away with tips for preparing students for breakout rooms, facilitating breakout rooms, and building around limitations.