Best Practices in Teaching & Classroom Management

This series offers you opportunities to learn proven, highly effective teaching techniques and to share your experiences with other faculty.  Each session is developed and conducted by a faculty member with extensive experience in a particular best practice. Many sessions are hands-on, with time devoted to how to implement the approach in participants' classrooms.

20 Minute Mentor Series

CAFE has archived it's 20 Minute Mentor Series.  You can view these webinars here.

 Please email Liisa in the CAFE  office to request audio conferencing when available


Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Native Ways of Teaching in Your Classroom

11:00 am - 1:00 pm
GHH 105 (light lunch with registration

25% of Alaska's K-12 students are Alaska Native, many of whom will attend college in state. Have you considered ways you might incorporate the richness of Alaska's indigenous cultures and 10,000 year-old Native pedagogies into your teaching and learning environment?  Are you interested in ways to not only better serve your Alaska Native students, but all students?    Join us for an introduction to and discussion of UAA's new book Stop Talking: Indigenous Ways of Teaching and Learning and Difficult Dialogues in Higher Education.   A faculty learning community around Stop Talking will be offered in fall 2014. Stop Talking describes a 2010 UAA/APU Ford Foundation grant that introduced a group of non-Native faculty to traditional Alaska Native pedagogies and key difficult dialogues between the Native and university communities.   It presents strategies for applying indigenous pedagogies in western learning environments, reflections on education by Alaska Native Elders, and reports from participants on what they learned and what they tried in their classrooms.   It is a complement to Start Talking, our 2008 book describing the faculty efforts at incorporating difficult dialogues into the classroom.



Friday, February 7, 2014

Creative Approaches to Presentations

9:00 am- 10:00 am LIB 302A
Is public speaking a key skill expected of graduates in your program? Do you want students to feel competent, confident, and creative in their approach to a skill that is so essential (and yet so unnerving) in personal, professional and civic life? Join Shawnalee Whitney, Associate Professor of Journalism & Communication, for an exploration of recent innovations in approaches to the art of public speaking. Shawnalee will offer several interesting options for public speaking assignments that will energize students and listeners alike. Bring your questions and challenges associated with past assignments involving individual and group presentations, and leave with ideas that will transform your assignments.


Friday, January 17, February 21, March 21, 2014

Team-Based Learning Community of Practice (open to faculty using TBL)

Friday, February 21  10:30 am- 12:00 pm LIB 302A
Friday, March 21  10:30 am - 12 :00 pm LIB 302A
This meeting is open to all faculty who are implementing some aspect of Team-Based Learning in a course.  Come join your colleagues to share ideas and problems you have encountered and to discuss issues and brainstorm solutions.  When requested in advance, the group will review and provide feedback about potential TBL modules as well.

REGISTER  February 21st meeting
REGISTER  March 21st meeting



Friday, March 7, 2014

Dealing with Disruptive Students in the Classroom

9:00 am - 10:30 am
LIB 302A

Identify strategies to address disruptive student behavior and learn about expectations for student behavior outlined in the UAA Student Code of Conduct.





Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Building Your Syllabus

1:00 - 3:00 pm LIB 309

Experienced faculty and staff will provide guidance and assistance with respect to: the use of structured documents in designing and developing syllabi; and situations involving cell phones, laptops and social media in the classroom.

Participants are encouraged to contact their departments to locate examples of syllabi to bring to the session, along with a copy of the textbook that has been assigned for the course they are teaching. 

“Introduction to BlackBoard (BB)” sessions are scheduled to assist faculty in setting up their BB shells and uploading their syllabi.  These are posted on the Faculty Technology Center website.



Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Encouraging Creativity in the Classroom: 
A Faculty Workshop

With Dr. Suzanne Burgoyne, Director
Interactive Theater Program, University of Missouri, Columbia

2:30-4:30 pm  Library 307     

According to creativity expert Sir Ken Robinson, we're all born creative, but the school system tends to crush creativity out of us. Teaching to the test never encouraged anybody to think outside of the box.  We can't be creative if we're afraid of being wrong.  So if we want our students to be creative, we need to help them overcome the fear of taking risks.In this workshop, we'll explore ways of developing a classroom environment to encourage student creativity by focusing on active learning techniques that foster divergent thinking, seeing things from a new perspective, problem finding, forming creative teams, and experiencing "flow."  

We'll discuss how we might apply such methods in our classrooms.  Join us!       




Thursday, September 12, 2013

Acting for Social Justice: 
Social Justice Theatre Methods in the Classroom

1:00 - 2:15pm  LIB 307

With Suzanne Burgoyne, University of Missouri Columbia"Acting" has a dual meaning. In this workshop, we'll experience the use of theatre techniques to stimulate awareness and discussion of social issues in the classroom.  These simple learning approaches actively engage students in exploring questions about the uses and misuses of power.  One needn't be a theatre actor to guide or participate in these activities—or to engage in social action.



Wednesday, September 4 & 18, October 2, 2013

New Faculty Book Group

Wednesday, September 4, 2013
Wednesday, September 18, 2013
Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Advice to New Faculty Book ImageThe book introduces the "most reliable research differentiating between new faculty who thrive and those who struggle. By following its practical, easy-to-use rules, new faculty can learn to teach with the highest levels of student approval, involvement and comprehension time -- with only modest preparation time..." The book offers similar suggestions for writing more prolifically with ease, and quickly integrating into academic culture.

The group will meet from 11 am – 1 pm three times over fall semester, see dates posted above.

A light lunch will be provided.

We will meet in Gordon Hartlieb Hall (GHH) room 105. 
Click here( for a campus map.

The first dozen faculty to register for the entire series will be given free copies of the book.

Questions contact: Libby Roderick at
We will meet in Gordon Hartlieb Hall (GHH) room 105.  


(you only need to register for one date)


Friday, October 11, 2013

The Road to Resilience:  Enhancing Mental Toughness to Increase Student Success

With Sandra G. Ehrlich, D.Mgt. & Stasia C. Straley, CPA
12:00 - 1:30 pm LIB 307
You're mentally tough. You fight through and are motivated by life's challenges. But, are your students mentally tough? Can they bounce back and turn failure into success? No one is born with mental toughness—it's a quality that is developed.  Attend this interactive workshop to learn how the 4 C's—confidence, challenge, control and commitment can increase mental toughness to foster and support increased student success.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Developing and Assessing Critical Thinking in Face to Face and Online Classrooms:
Using Authentic Assignments to Foster Deeper and More Connected Student Learning

Presented by:  Deb Periman, Ron Everett & Ghulam Bham
9:00 am - 10:30 am LIB 307
This session highlights information presented at the 2013 Lilly West Conference on College and University Teaching about how faculty can develop and assess student critical thinking. Participants will examine the use of authentic assignments to foster deeper learning, and ways to foster and assess critical thinking in the online classroom.  The final segment of the program will focus on how these principles may be applied in Engineering programs.



Friday, November 8, 2013

Teaching Graphic Novels

11:00 am - 1:00 pm LIB 302A

Workshop addressing the growing trend of graphic books in academia, including  the UAA/APU Books of the Year selection The Influencing Machine by Brooke Gladstone. 



Friday, November 15, 2013

Mindfulness in Higher Education?

With Elizabeth Predeger - Nursing
Deb Periman - Justice
Mary Dallas Allen - Social Work

12:00 pm - 1:00 pm LIB 302A
Faculty are on a treadmill of constant activity---with meetings to attend, papers to read (write), rubrics to create, courses to develop, curriculum to revise, and scholarship projects to complete---just a sampling of a 'day in the life'. Is there time for contemplation as well? Join in on a dialogue of how we can integrate mindfulness into higher education. Come away with evidence-based resources on mindfulness and cognition.

Thursday/Friday January 9, 10, 2014

TBL top

TBLBased on the success of last year's Team-Based Learning Institute, the College of Health, the College of Business, WWAMI, CAFE and the Office of Academic Support are pleased to offer UAA faculty another opportunity to become acquainted with or strengthen their understanding and application of this innovative teaching strategy.   Join us for one or more workshops!

Team-Based Learning™ (TBL) is a teaching strategy developed in the business school environment. In the last six years a variety of disciplines have begun to tap this strategy's potential.

TBL can be used in classes as large as 200 and as small as 12. TBL transforms learning, helps students master content and develop key professional competencies in interpersonal skills, teamwork, and peer feedback. With resources increasingly available on the usefulness of TBL in a wide range of academic disciplines, interest in TBL continues to grow and is attracting an international audience. A capacity crowd of UAA faculty attended a training last January with Dr. Paul Koles. This year, at Koles' recommendation, we're bringing in Jim Sibley (see bio below). We invite you to join us for an opportunity to experience this innovative, instructor-led, learning-centered pedagogy!

All workshops held in AHS 206/207 - TBL is now full - to wait list please email

Thursday, January 9, 2014
8:30 – 12:00pm Introduction to Team-Based Learning (includes continental breakfast)
12:00 – 4:00pm Using Backwards Design to Develop TBL Courses  (includes lunch)

Friday, January 11, 2013
8:30 – 12:00 pmDesigning Effective Classroom Activities for Student Teams (includes continental breakfast)
12:00 – 4:00 pm Learn to Write Better Multiple-Choice Questions (includes lunch)

REGISTER for 2-day Institute SESSIONS ARE FULL - Please email to be put on a waiting list.


Thursday, January 9, 2014

Introduction to Team-Based Learning (TBL)
8:30 am - 12:00 pm AHS 206/207
  (includes continental breakfast)

(THIS SESSION IS FULL, please email to be added to the wait list)

Come find out what Team-Based Learning (TBL) is all about!  In this very hands-on workshop, you will learn how use TBL to transform your teaching and your students' learning. Learn how to get your students to come to class prepared and then how to use that preparation to "flip" your classroom, so that class time can be better spent helping students learn how to apply course concepts to solve problems. During the workshop you will get to experience all the main instructional components of TBL from the student perspective.

It is strongly recommended that you complete the pre-reading to get the most from this workshop.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Using Backwards Design to Develop TBL Courses
12:00 - 4:00 pm AHS 206/107  (includes lunch)

(This session is full, please email to wait list)

Come learn how to effectively design a Team-Based Learning course. Backwards Design (popularized by Wiggins and McThige) has been used for many years to design effective learner-centered course experiences. TBL uses backwards design a bit differently. Designing for TBL starts with defining the specific discipline-related actions that you want the students to be able to do and defining the specific assessment goals – like, “How do I make student thinking visible?” and “How will I know when they know?” The discipline-related action and assessment goals act as bookends for the backwards design process. The backwards design starts with application activity design, leading back to readiness assurance design, and finally to the selection of preparatory materials. With this backwards cycle we are able to design coherent, high quality learning experiences.

 It is strongly recommended that you complete the pre-reading to get the most from this workshop.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Designing Effective Classroom Activities for Student Teams

8:30 am - 12:00 pm AHS 206/107  (includes continental breakfast)
THIS SESSION IS FULL - Please email to be added to the waiting list.

Come learn how to create effective classroom activities for student teams. If your students come to class prepared, what next? Team-Based Learning gives you a coherent framework, the 4 S framework - Significant problem, Same problem, Specific choice and Simultaneous report, to design effective team tasks. By design, 4 S activities require students to make complex decisions using the course materials and then create situations where they can get immediate feedback on the quality of their decision by publicly reporting their decisions. It is this public reporting that dramatically deepens student learning by facilitating a thoughtful examination of teams' different decisions.Using the 4S framework we will design a series of classroom activities.It is strongly recommended that you complete the pre-reading to get the most from this workshop.

Using the 4S framework we will design a series of classroom activities.

It is strongly recommended that you complete the pre-reading to get the most from this workshop.


Friday, January 10, 2014

Learn How to Write Better Multiple-Choice Questions

12:00 pm - 4:00 pm AHS 206/107  (includes lunch)
(THIS SESSION IS FULL, please email to be added to the wait list)

Come learn how to construct better multiple-choice questions (MCQ). With increasing instructor workloads, understandably many faculty turn to multiple choice testing to reduce their marking workload. However, many MCQ questions only test only lower level understanding like remember and recall, not higher level understanding like application and synthesis. To move beyond the lower levels of understanding, we must learn to write better questions and develop the skills to continually examine and refine our questions. You will develop both your question writing skills and your understanding of process for refining questions by systematically examining there past test performance.

It is strongly recommended that you complete the pre-reading to get the most from this workshop.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Engaging Controversy in your Classroom

11:00 am - 1:00 pm
GHH 105 (light lunch with registration


Start-Talking-Cover-225Join us  for a discussion  based on Start Talking: A Handbook for Engaging Difficult Dialogues in Higher Education
In 2009, UAA and APU faculty and staff created Start Talking: A Handbook for Engaging Difficult Dialogues in Higher Education. based on the experiences of UAA and APU faculty who participated in the first Ford Foundation's national Difficult Dialogues initiative. The book, which has achieved national recognition, addresses themes of academic freedom; classroom safety; rhetoric and debate; race, class and culture; science and religion; and business, politics and social justice and is designed to serve as a manual for professors who wish to strengthen their teaching and engage students more effectively in conversations about the most important issues of our time.  Join us!