August Fall Kickoff Programming from the CTL

The CTL will offer a number of workshops, virtual conversations, and other events in the weeks prior to the start of the fall semester.

Please browse our programming and join us to set yourself up for success in the new semester. To search by date, please visit the CTL events page.

Faculty Workshops

The following workshops will be offered for faculty preparing to teach this fall.
All Faculty Workshops will be presented in person, and registration is required.

Navigating Uncertain Terrain: A Critical Examination of AI-assisted Tools in Instruction of Writing Intensive Courses

Wednesday, Aug 16, 9:00am – 12:00pm, Danforth Campus

This workshop focuses explore AI’s impact on fundamental aspects of academic writing, including critical thinking, creativity, and originality, while emphasizing the importance of academic integrity. Participants will share experiences, grapple with the challenges of technology integration, develop strategies to ensure academic integrity, and discuss the future of writing intensive classes in an AI-driven educational landscape.

Applying the Latest Research on Learning to Collaborative Learning

Thursday, Aug 17, 10:00am – 11:30am, Zoom

Learn three new findings from the latest research on how students learn and get support in applying the implications of these findings to your classes during this 1.5 hour workshop. We will examine findings from rigorous studies that investigate the biological, psychological, and social dimensions of learning sciences research, providing a micro to macro view of learning at different levels. This particular workshop will focus on studies that investigate how and when students collaborate effectively in the classroom setting to help you design group work activities that maximize the benefits of collaboration for you and your students.

Supporting Students in Distress

Friday, Aug 18, 10:00am – 11:30am, Danforth Campus

In this workshop, we will discuss signs that a student may be in distress and work through a variety of scenarios to consider strategies for how instructors can communicate with and assist these students. We will also review when and how to make referrals to counseling resources on the Danforth campus. The workshop will be co-led by the Center for Teaching & Learning and the Habif Health & Wellness Center.

Adapting Your Assessments in Light of AI

Tuesday, Aug 22, 11:30am – 1:30pm, Danforth Campus

ChatGPT and other AI composition tools challenge instructors to revisit and potentially rethink their assessment practices. In this workshop, we will explore and discuss various ways that instructors can adapt their homework, exams, and writing assignments to take in account our new AI-assisted normal. We will consider both the potential challenges (e.g. academic honesty) and opportunities (e.g. new kinds of assignments) that AI presents. Participants will leave the workshop with a range of options and ideas to help them proactively prepare their assessments for the coming semester.


Virtual Conversations

The CTL is happy to offer a number of 30-minute virtual conversations between August 16 – August 25th that will help you jump start your teaching planning for this fall.
All Virtual Conversations will be presented via Zoom, and registration is required.

What Role Does AI Technology Play in Your Class?

Monday, Aug 21, 11:00am – 11:30am, Zoom

Artificial intelligence technology will likely be used in your classes, given that it is widely available and incorporated into many other technologies. This session will provide a practical approach to addressing how you want your students to use AI in your classes. You’ll leave with ideas for how you can specify AI usage in your classroom and ways to communicate this with your students.

Understanding FERPA

Monday, Aug 21, 1:00pm – 1:30pm, Zoom

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) governs the privacy of student educational records. But what does this law mean for us as instructors? In this session, the Office of the University Registrar will present FERPA best practices for faculty and answer your FERPA-related questions.

Creating Accessible and Interactive PDFs for Digital Reading

Tuesday, Aug 22, 2:00pm – 2:30pm, Zoom

Students read on screens all the time, but due to constraints in digital reading tools, they may not be engaging deeply with the new ideas, worlds, and people available at their fingertips. This virtual conversation introduces several ways to support digital reading, particularly when reading with PDFs, a common document file type provided to students through Canvas and other tools. We will discuss how to make PDFs accessible and interactive for all students, coupled with instructional tools and strategies that help students engage more deeply with their reading materials in your classes.

iTeach Lightning Talks: Share Your Teaching Stories

Tuesday, Aug 22, 3:30pm – 4:00pm, Zoom

The CTL is reviving the popular iTeach conference in January! Learn how you can be a part of it all and share your teaching innovations with WashU colleagues.

Learning through Group Projects

Wednesday, Aug 23, 10:00am – 10:30am, Zoom

While some students (and faculty) dread group projects, their use can boost learning and impart valuable skills. Well-designed and managed group projects can develop and enhance leadership, time management, problem-solving, and collaboration abilities.

Mindfulness in Teaching

Wednesday, Aug 23, 11:00am – 11:30am, Zoom

In this session, we will learn skills to incorporate principle and practices of mindfulness, and cultural humility to teaching. Mindfulness has been shown to be an effective tool in cultivating moment-to-moment awareness of thoughts, feelings, and surroundings which can enhance our ability to communicate more effectively with students and establish a positive learning environment.

Creating Social Connection through Two-stage Exams

Thursday, Aug 24, 10:00am – 10:30am, Zoom

We usually think of exams as solo endeavors, but two-stage exams add a second group component to the process. In a two-stage exam, students first take an exam by themselves and then retake the same exam together in a group. In this virtual conversation, we will discuss two-stage exams, their advantages, and the details of how to implement them in your courses.

Increasing Student Access and Agency with Open Pedagogy and Open Educational Resources

Thursday, Aug 24, 11:00am – 11:30am, Zoom

Some courses at WashU embrace open pedagogy practices and open educational resources (OERs), which involve students in the use or creation of shareable course materials, as opposed to using commercial texts and proprietary tools owned by publishers. We will share a range of examples from WashU instructors in different disciplines that include course materials developed for students by experts and with students as creators and contributors of course content. After providing you with ideas for how open pedagogy practices can be integrated into WashU classes, we will discuss your interests and questions on open practices that will help you increase students’ access and agency with course materials.

Quick Surveys to Get to Know Your Students

Thursday, Aug 24, 1:00pm – 1:30pm, Zoom

One small way to show your students compassion and help reduce their stress is by giving them opportunities to provide feedback about themselves and their experiences in your course. In this session, we will talk about short surveys you can give your students.

Forming Pedagogical Partnerships with AIs and TAs

Friday, Aug 25, 10:00am – 10:30am, Zoom

In this virtual conversation, we will share and discuss best practices on how faculty can support their graduate and undergraduate students who have an instructional role in courses and together, co-create an inclusive teaching and learning environment.

Teaching Triangles Informational Session

Friday, Aug 25, 12:00pm – 12:30pm, Zoom

Curious about joining a Teaching Triangle, but not sure if it’s for you? Teaching Triangles is a semester-long, reciprocal classroom observation and reflection program geared towards helping faculty think through their teaching practices in a supportive, structured environment. Come to this short info session to learn more about this program and hear directly from past participants about their experiences.


Tech Trainings

These half-hour and hour-long tech trainings are geared toward helping you gain familiarity with educational technology tools that will support your pedagogical success.
All Tech Trainings are presented via Zoom, and registration is required.

How to Build a Clear Map to Your Course

​​​​​​​Tuesday, Aug 22, 10:00am – 10:30am, Zoom

R​​​​​​​educe emails about “How do I find Assignment X?” or “What is due this week?” with structures built into Canvas that can help students navigate your class and be prepared to engage with your course before and after class. You will experience challenges that students face by being a student in a new Canvas course and get ideas on how you can organize your own classes with Canvas Modules and Pages. In this session co-facilitated by two specialists who are also instructors and course designers, you will leave with specific ideas and tips that will help you and your students prepare for the classes ahead.

Support Accessibility and Literacy with Read&Write

Tuesday, Aug 22, 11:00am – 11:30am, Zoom

Read&Write is a literacy support tool and assistive technology that makes online content more accessible, readable, and inclusive. It includes a variety of tools that support students in reading texts, learning unfamiliar words, researching materials, and proofreading written work. Learn more about how you and your students can use this tool for reading and writing tasks. This session is in partnership with Disability Resources.

Introduction to

Tuesday, Aug 22, 1:00pm – 1:30pm, Zoom

We will explore, a tool that enables users to place a conversational layer over an entire webpage or an OCR’d PDF, allowing for unique collaborative, interactive engagement with the text that students have been assigned to read. It enables sentence-level annotation, notetaking, and critique on top of written content and is fully integrated into Canvas. We’ll discuss some different pedagogical uses for this tool in your classes.

Classroom Walkthrough: Get to Know Your Class Equipment

Wednesday, Aug 23, 1:00pm – 2:00pm, Zoom

This session will introduce the equipment installed in WashU pooled classrooms and show you how to use different technologies within the room with our Classroom Services staff who know the ins and outs of each classroom.

Introduction to Poll Everywhere

Wednesday, Aug 23, 2:00pm – 3:00pm, Zoom

This session will walk through how to use the polling software Poll Everywhere to increase student engagement and to gauge student learning. We’ll look at the different types of questions that you can ask and show you how to get started with Poll Everywhere for both in-person and online synchronous courses.

Making the Canvas Gradebook Work for You

​​​​​​​Thursday, Aug 24, 2:00pm – 2:30pm, Zoom

Grades and other types of feedback provide structure and support that help students learn in your courses. However, it can become a time drain without a grading system that helps clarify the assignment expectations and streamline feedback. This session will provide you with tips for utilizing the features in Canvas Gradebook to speed up grading and help improve student assignments.

Answers for All: Inclusive Communication with Students using Piazza

Friday, Aug 25, 11:00am – 11:30am, Zoom

Learn how to provide answers for all of your students with Piazza, where students can post questions and get answers from you and their peers. Piazza is designed for Q&A and integrated with Canvas. We’ll discuss ways to use Piazza to streamline communications with students in Canvas, plus show you ways to set up your class for more effective communication with them.


5th Annual Language Teaching Fair

Monday, Aug 21, 2:15pm – 5:00pm CT, presented in-person with Zoom accommodation as needed

The Center for Teaching & Learning and Coalition for Language Teaching and Learning LTF Planning Committee are planning for a primarily in-person teaching fair this fall but will provide Zoom accommodations for those who are out of town or who have other circumstances that necessitate Zoom participation.

Roundtable discussants will engage with others on the panel and share a few best practices from their own teaching with the audience. Roundtable presentations will be 10-12 minutes in length (depending on number of participants in roundtable), with time for discussion at the end.