Center for Academic Excellence Back-to-School Workshops - Register Now!

Location: NHS 210

Please join us for CAE’s Fall Back-to-School workshops, as we work with many campus partners to help you integrate the adaptations and innovations we each continue to integrate into our teaching and learning in community together. Join us for any or all of our pedagogical workshopsdrop-in help sessions, or writing time together. We will be joined by faculty and professional staff who will contribute their expertise to our learning community. Above all, we will continue to acknowledge the unique community of practice that will sustain us as we begin a new school year. Sessions will be indoors in NHS 210; please remember to bring your mask!

Register for workshops and add them to your calendar at (NetID login required). You can also now find us on by searching for “CAE” or “Center for Academic Excellence”.

Thursday, Aug. 25

10:30 - 11:45: Making the First Move: Finding Time and Resources to Pursue Grant Funding
This interactive session will engage you in planning, putting aside time and integrating your goals for research and grant seeking into your semester workflow. The Office of Research and Grants (ORG) will also share resources to help you achieve your goals.

1:00 - 2:15: Blackboard Basics
If you’re new to Blackboard - or if you’ve simply forgotten some of the basics - join Academic Computing/ITS and the CAE for this introductory session on getting started with the Blackboard. We will cover everything from navigating the base navigation to uploading files, creating announcements, and accessing the class photo roster. 

2:30 - 3:45Library Course Guides as a ‘Home Base’ for Research Coursework
Starting in academic year 21-22, library course guides became a default inclusion with all information literacy sessions. Usage reports indicate students are using them, and anecdotal evidence suggests they are leading to improved outcomes. In this session, Librarian Matt Schirano will share course guide usage data, explain how they are currently used, share examples of additional ways they can be integrated into research coursework, and provide time for individual consults for those interested.

Friday, Aug. 26 

10:00 - 3:00: Writing Retreat
Kick off the Fall semester "write"! Join the CAE and a community of colleagues for a day-long retreat on Friday, August 26, 10 am - 3 pm, to plan, begin, revise, or complete writing projects (e.g., manuscripts, books, reports, portfolios/dossiers). Consult with peers or CAE staff about any stage of your writing process, or use the time for some solo writing. Bring your writing materials and tools. Lunch included.

10:30 - 12:00 & 1:00-2:30: Syllabus Drop-in 
Drop in for a one-on-one consultation with the CAE about any aspect of your syllabus (learning outcomes, assessment strategies, active learning activities, etc.). No registration required.

10:00 - 12:00 & 1:00 - 3:00: Tech Drop-in
Drop in for one-on-one consultations with Academic Computing staff members on Blackboard, Kaltura, Quip, Padlet, or any other tech tool that ITS supports. No registration required.

Monday, Aug. 29 

10:30 - 11:45: Anti-Racist Pedagogy
Ready to start integrating anti-racist pedagogy into your syllabus and teaching practice? This session will introduce some best practices of anti-racist syllabus design and create a familiarity with anti-racist approaches. Bring a syllabus to work with for this hands-on session.

1:00 - 2:15Ungrading
How many times have you heard a student ask the following questions: What do you want? What do I have to do to get an A? How can I improve my grade?  If it's often enough - and if your immediate reaction was that this student only cares about their grade and not about their actual learning - then Ungrading may be for you. Ungrading moves the emphasis from a factory model of education, which leads to cheating, corner cutting, gaming the system, and focusing on accumulating points, and instead encourages students to participate in real learning rather than simply satisfying the teacher. In this workshop we'll explore ways in which you can introduce ungrading from the smallest in-class assignments to major projects, all of which will help students to shift to a more intrinsically centered mode of learning.

2:30 - 3:45: Creating an Inclusive, Accessible Syllabus
Bring your syllabus to this hands-on workshop to learn how to use MS Word to create an accessible course syllabus that follows ADA guidelines that all your students can benefit from! Contact the ITS Helpdesk before this workshop to check if you have the latest supported version of MS Word installed on your computer. Topics include: creating invitational language in syllabi and best practices in creating pedagogically and technologically inclusive environments.

5:00 - 6:15: Blackboard Basics (Via Zoom)
If you’re new to Blackboard - or if you’ve simply forgotten some of the basics - join Academic Computing/ITS and the CAE for this introductory session on getting started with the Blackboard. We will cover everything from navigating the base navigation to uploading files, creating announcements, and accessing the class photo roster.

Tuesday, Aug. 30

10:30 - 11:45: Active Learning
Active learning strategies provide opportunities for students to engage in activities that require them to think critically, argue, reflect, and analyze as they process course content. Join us for a workshop focused on ways to facilitate students’ engagement in the learning process through active learning.

12:00 - 2:00: Lunch Reception & Celebration of the CAE’s Many Offerings & Partners
Join us for lunch and to learn about opportunities to partner with the Center by speaking with some of our partners from across the University. We will invite our many on-campus partners and guide all participants in brainstorming the many ways we can keep our communities of practice vital by working together. Opportunities will be offered by the Center to join a Teaching Circle, Writing Group, or Learning Community and to think creatively with many partners on campus about how we can best enrich one another’s programs, departments, and divisions.

Wednesday, Aug. 31

1:15 - 2:30Using the iPad for Engaged Learning
Since 2015, when Fairfield was completing technology upgrades in all of our classrooms, the University has supplied an iPad to all full-time faculty members as a way to enable active learning practices, mobile-based app use, and wireless projection across our teaching spaces. In this workshop, Jay Rozgonyi and Debbie Whalley from the CAE will provide an overview of some of the newest and most effective ways to use your iPad as a tool for thoughtfully integrating technology into your teaching - and helping to engage your students with the kind of modern tools that they interact with throughout their daily lives. 

2:45 - 4:00Research at Fairfield: Variety and Opportunity
At the Center, we define research very broadly to include the many practices that lead to the creation of new knowledge and artistic production. Those include but are not limited to: writing, drafting, reading, gathering data, crafting questions, and collaborating with others, within or outside of your field or specialty. We also believe that research plays an important role in the lives of professionals at all ranks of the University structure, and varies at different times in one’s professional life. Join us to explore the ways in which research can flourish in this particular moment in your career.  

For more information, contact Center for Academic Excellence / /