CAE Back-to-School Workshop Registration Now Open

Please join us for the CAE’s Fall 2023 Back-to-School workshops covering a wide range of topics addressing your teaching, technology, and writing needs. Sign up for any or all of our pedagogical workshops and drop-in help sessions to learn from the staff, our campus partners, and especially from your colleagues. Since some sessions will take place on Zoom and some will be held in person in the CAE classroom (NHS 210), please take note of the specific modalities for the sessions you choose to attend.


Thursday, August 24 - Zoom


9:30 am - 10:45 am: Considering Alternate Grading Methodologies

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 considering an alternate grading methodology may be for you. This session will review three different approaches to non-traditional grading - Ungrading, Labor-Based Grading, and Standards-Based or Mastery-Based Grading.  Although they differ in significant ways, each one attempts to move the emphasis from a factory model of education that can lead to cheating, corner cutting, and gaming the system, and instead encourages students to participate in real learning rather than simply satisfying the teacher. Join us to hear from three different Fairfield instructors on how they’ve re-imagined grading in their classes.


11:00 am - 1:30 pm: Supporting Students’ Accommodations and Well-Being

Join a variety of campus partners from the Office of Accessibility, Counseling and Psychological Services, the Dean of Students Office and the College to gain a better understanding of the various supports available to faculty and students. From accommodations processes and incorporating universal design principles in the classroom, to understanding when to complete student of concern forms or academic alerts, this workshop will highlight the key supports and resources that are available to faculty and provide an deeper understanding through some cases studies to help faculty understand who to contact when. In addition, faculty will get an overview of QPR training and how to support student’s well-being through the proper processes and offices.

Zoom link

3:00 - 4:00 pm: Accessing Virtual Applications Using Apporto

Over the past few years, we have seen a growing demand for flexible learning environments that enable students to access specialized software applications such as SPSS outside of computer labs and classrooms and on their own laptops. ITS has responded to this need by introducing and continuing to fine tune Apporto, a virtualized, cloud-based Windows environment that can be access from any device to provide a consistent software experience for teaching and learning in any location that has an Internet connection. Join ITS staff and Apporto technicians in this session to understand how this service can provide a new level of flexibility and enable the use of software that students wouldn’t normally be able to afford or install.

Registration link

Zoom link


Friday, August 25 - Zoom and In-Person


10 am - 3 pm: Writing Retreat (In-Person)

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 am - noon and 1:00 - 2:30 pm: Syllabus Drop-in (Zoom + In-Person)

Drop in to NHS 210 or log on to the Zoom link below 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 - noon and 1:00 - 3:00 pm: Tech Drop-in (Zoom + In-Person)

Drop in to NHS 210 or log on to the Zoom link below for one-on-one consultations with Academic Computing staff members on Blackboard, Kaltura, Quip, Padlet, or any other ITS-supported tech tool. No registration required.



Monday, August 28 (In-Person)


9:30 am - 10:30 am: ChatGPT and AI - Where We Are in Fall 2023

The topic of artificial intelligence has dominated conversations and news sites devoted to education ever since ChatGPT was released publicly last November. The CAE will kick off its Back-to-School AI Day with this session that will explain where the technology stands, what we know about where it’s going, and what faculty - and students - are thinking about and doing regarding its use.


10:45 am - 2:00 pm: Assignment and Assessment Design using AI Tools 

Perhaps the most common question faculty have asked regarding AI and ChatGPT is, What does it mean for my assessments? In this session we’ll facilitate a series of activities that include hands-on exercises, small-group discussions, and demonstrations of assessment re-design ideas that we hope will help you feel more comfortable with your assignments for the coming semester. This session includes a working lunch.



Tuesday, August 29 (In-Person)


9:30 am - 10:45 am: 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.


11:00 am - 1 pm: Tech Tools Lunch & Learn

In this hands-on session, the CAE will explore a number of different tech tools and the ways they can be employed both in the classroom and in online/asynchronous settings to draw students into a less passive - and more integrated - way of learning. We’ll look at tools for conducting quick polls, holding chat-like conversations, building multimedia websites, and creating virtual bulletin boards. Come with your laptop or your iPad so you can test out the tools - and we encourage anyone who has their own favorite tech tools to join the session and  share their insights and practices, as well. This session includes a working lunch.


1:15 pm - 2:30 pm: Blackboard Ultra 101

Join Academic Computing in this hands-on workshop and learn the basics of Blackboard Ultra. We'll cover navigating the Ultra course view, how to build and organize content, find your course roster, use the communication tools and share a few examples of courses built by your fellow Fairfield University faculty. Everyone who signs up will be enrolled in a sandbox course so bring your iPad or laptop to follow along.


2:45 pm - 4:00 pm: Blackboard Ultra 201

An LMS is a convenient option for collecting assessments and providing grades and feedback to students no matter your course modality. In this hands-on Blackboard Ultra workshop, you’ll learn how to create individual and group assignments, assign tests and quizzes. We’ll explore the different views of the Ultra Gradebook including how to search by student or assignments and setting up the Overall Grade Center. Everyone who signs up will be enrolled in a sandbox course so bring your iPad or laptop to follow along.


Please note that as of this fall, all graduate courses are now using the Blackboard Ultra course view and as of Summer 2024, all undergrad courses will be in the Ultra course view. If you need assistance with the original Blackboard, or if you’re interested in learning more about Ultra but can't attend the workshops, send an email to  and one of the team members will schedule a meeting with you.

For more information, contact Jay Rozgonyi / x2416 /