Fall 2015

The Bean Brown Bag Series:
Bring your lunch and discuss chapters from John C. Bean’s Engaging Ideas. Topics range from assignment design to giving students written and oral feedback.
**RSVP (teaching.matters@camden.rutgers.edu) to receive chapter materials**

“Formal Writing Assignments” – Ch. 6 
Monday, October 12th – Free Period (12:20-1:20pm) – Small Conference Room – RSVP
How can you tell if your handouts are effective? What makes students respond to one writing assignment over another? Join us for this brown bag lunch discussion on how to construct formal writing assignments that promote student engagement and learning objectives.

“Designing Tasks that Promote Active Thinking and Learning” – Ch. 8 
Monday, October 19th – Free Period (12:10-1:10pm) – Small Conference Room – RSVP
How can we get our students to process information in a way that’s conducive to learning new information or presenting new thoughts? Are there ways in which we can get them thinking on the right path? Join us for this brown bag discussion where we’ll go through the many different types of tasks we can give our students to help them rev the engines of their minds.

“Using Rubrics to Develop and Apply Grading Criteria” – Ch. 14
Thursday, November 5th – Free Period (12:20-1:20pm) – Small Conference Room – RSVP
Ever wish you had a crystal ball that could tell you exactly what grade to give your student? A rubric is certainly not that—but it can provide both you and your students with concrete definitions on what their grades consist of. Are there downfalls of rubrics? Do you favor one type of rubric over the other? Join us for this brown bag discussion on all things related to rubrics, and feel free to bring your own to the discussion!

“Writing Comments on Students’ Papers” – Ch. 16
Wednesday, December 2nd – Free Period (12:10-1:10pm) – Small Conference Room – RSVP
Have you ever spent a large chunk of time marking up a student’s paper only to think, “are they even ‘getting it’?” At what point do we determine if our comments are just too overwhelming for a student to understand? Is there a way to combat this? Join us for a brown bag discussion on writing comments on students’ papers to think about the ways in which we make our marks.

Classroom Management Workshops:
Taking charge of a classroom does not come naturally for most; it can be especially challenging for young or new teachers. Sometimes situations are so absurd, it’s difficult to imagine appropriate ways to respond. Led by Associate Provost Mary Beth Daisey and TMAC director Bill FitzGerald, these workshops offer insights on how to diagnose and address troubling situations when they arise. They are geared towards TAs and PTLs, but all interested instructors are encouraged to attend.

“Handling Challenging Classroom Situations”
Thursday, October 22nd – 12:30-1:30pm – Faculty Lounge, Armitage
Picture this: A student is 20 minutes late to class. He sits down next to two people who haven’t stopped talking since you’ve begun your lecture. The student next to them is on her phone. No one is answering your questions because they’ve all decided that today, they’re too tired to care. They all expect As. They will all email you about this later. What is the right way to respond? How can you make sure that your classroom stays on track, even when there are people disturbing the flow of your lesson? Please join us for this workshop for tools and tips to help you with these issues, especially if you’ve ever found yourself guessing whether or not you are, in fact, the leader of your classroom (and don’t worry—you are.)

“Student/Teacher Relations: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly”
Wednesday, November 11th – 12:30-1:30pm – Faculty Lounge, Armitage
Where does the line fall between student and teacher relationships? You can sense when it’s been crossed—an inappropriate comment, a barrage of casual emails, a too-friendly rapport, but how do you deal with it without making yourself or the student uncomfortable? Perhaps you’re still a student yourself. Do you think that affects how your own students interact with you? Please join us for this workshop on the right ways to deal with the distressing, sometimes awkward situations that can occur when boundaries get crossed. Horror stories are welcome.

Assignment and Syllabus Clinics: 
These clinics are designed to help you take your existing materials and elevate them to a place where they’ll get the most positive student responses. Bring your own assignment or syllabus for an advice session with other instructors. Share experiences, feedback, and suggestions with one another to gain more insight into something you’ve each spent time and love creating. There will be two sessions for both the assignment clinic and syllabus clinic. You are welcome to attend all the sessions, but it is also encouraged to vary your materials.

Assignment Clinics:
Thursday, October 29th – 3-4pm – Faculty Lounge, Armitage
Tuesday, November 3rd – 12:30-1:30pm – Faculty Lounge, Armitage

Syllabus Clinics:
Monday, November 30th – 3-4pm – Faculty Lounge, Armitage
Tuesday, December 1st – 12:30-1:30pm – Faculty Lounge, Armitage

Spring 2015

March 13 (Campus Center) 12:00-2:00 p.m.: Threshold Concepts Across the DisciplinesView the Workshop Handout.

Fall 2014

Nov. 7 (Faculty Lounge) 12:00-2:00 p.m.: Grading and Rubrics
TMAC Director Bill FitzGerald generates conversation about grading philosophies and practices among new faculty members. View the Workshop Handout. Also see TMAC’s resources on Grading and Rubrics

Spring 2014

Feb. 12 (Faculty Lounge) 12:15-1:15 p.m.: Assignment Design: How to Ask For What You Really Want
Join a review of best practices in assignment design, including how to effectively structure assignments (papers, research projects, etc.), communicate expectations and help students work productively through stages. Please bring an assignment you would like to workshop. (a “brown bag” event)

March 26 12:15-1:15 p.m.: From Learning Goals to Due Dates: (re)Designing Your Syllabus for the New Gen Ed
Join a hands-on workshop about designing a syllabus that meets the new General Education requirements. We will discuss course learning goals and how to relate them to the larger learning goals established by the Gen Ed committee.

April 9 (Armitage 106) 12:15-1:15 p.m.: Promoting Active Reading in and Beyond the Classroom: Annotation Techniques and Tools
Tyler Hoffman, chair of the English department, joins us for this workshop on active reading in our courses. Come ready with questions about techniques and reading assignments that work for a variety of classroom needs.

April 24 (Campus Center) 12:20-1:20 p.m.: “Pen-Free Paper Grading: Alternative Approaches to Responding to Student Writers”
Tired of composing comments student never read? Want to make best use of your time as a reader of student work? In this workshop, we’ll survey a range of approaches to grading and guidance using digital tools including audio comments. (Workshop attendees will receive a free copy of Nancy Sommers’s Responding to Student Writing by Nancy Sommers, Harvard University.).

May 1 (Faculty Lounge) 12:15-1:15 p.m.: “Grading 101: RU Using RUbrics?”
Some swear by rubrics as tools for grading and communicating expectations. Others are skeptical about, even opposed to, rubrics. In this semester’s session of “Grading 101,” we explore the pros and cons (and do’s and dont’s) of rubric-based assessment drawing upon examples from a range of assignments and disciplines. Pizza for lunch.

Fall 2013

October 24 (Faculty Lounge) 12:20 – 1:20 p.m.: “Handling Challenging Classroom Situations”
Join TMAC Director Bill FitzGerald and Associate Chancellor for Student Affairs Mary Beth Daisey for a workshop to discuss best practices in classroom management and how to handle challenging situations. We will consider a range of common scenarios (including situations you are invited to suggest in advance) and review helpful resources.

November 4 (Faculty Lounge) 12:15 – 1:15 p.m.: “Articulating Learning Goals for Your Course or Program”
Specific learning goals help students and teachers understand the purpose of a course in relation to broader departmental or program objectives. As we inch closer to meeting a University-wide expectation that all courses identify learning goals on syllabi, we will workshop how to formulate learning goals that foster student success. Articulating Learning Goals

November 15 (Faculty Lounge) noon – 2 p.m.: “Assessing Your Assessment Plan: A Workshop for Departments and Programs”
Many departments and programs have developed an assessment plan that has yet to be implemented through a full assessment cycle. But perhaps the plan itself merits revisiting in light of changed expectations and needs. This hands-on workshop allows chairs, program directors and others to take a fresh look at their present assessment plan (or refine a plan in progress). Workshop presentation: Assessing Your Assessment Plan

December 3 (Armitage 108) 12:20-1:20 p.m.: “Grading: Frank Talk on Our Least Favorite Activity”
Join us for a “brown bag” conversation on grades, why we grade the way we do and the options available to us.

Spring 2013

February 13 (Faculty Lounge) 12:15 – 1:15 AND February 14 (Armitage 124) 12:20 – 1:20 p.m. : TMAC Open House
Meet TMAC director Bill FitzGerald and assistant Kathleen Lafferty to discuss plans for the Center and share a slice of teaching advice and pizza. 

February 27 (Faculty Lounge) 12:15 – 1:15 p.m. : “What’s Up With Academic Citation?” 
Join TMAC director Bill FitzGerald for a discussion on students’ citational practices. Dr. FitzGerald will highlight research from The Citation Project, a recent national study of what students know (and don’t know) about citing sources, do (and don’t do) in writing from sources. (Part One of a two-part series on academic citation and academic integrity. Brown bag/light refreshments.)

March 8 (Faculty Lounge) 12:00 – 2 p.m. : “The Problem of Transfer, or What Students Misplace Along the Way”
Knowledge transfer, or applying what one learns in one course to another, is one of the major challenges in higher education today; see CHE, 1/21/13). This workshop contextualizes this important conversation and identifies steps individuals and institutions can take to promote transfer. (Lunch will be served.) Workshop handout: transfer

March 11 (Armitage, Small Conference Room) 12:15 – 1:15 p.m. : “What’s Up With Academic Integrity?”
Join Associate Chancellor Mary Beth Daisey to discuss recently revised protocols for handling suspected violations of academic integrity. Share concerns and experiences or have questions answered. (Part Two of a two-part series on academic citation and academic integrity. Brown bag/light refreshments.)

Thursday, April 11 (3:00-4:30 p.m., ATG-Faculty Lounge): “How to Ask For What You Really Want: Effective Assignment Design” 
Come workshop a major assignment (paper, project, exam, etc.), new or old. Together, we will consider how to communicate learning outcomes, design useful assignment sheets and evaluation rubrics, and sequence the work we ask students to do in productive stages. (Light refreshments). Note: This event has been rescheduled from April 12. Workshop handoutassignment workshop

Monday, April 15 (5:00-6: p.m., Faculty Lounge): “Teaching Writing Online: Pedagogical Migration, Not Colonization”
–a presentation by Dr. Scott Warnock of Drexel University.
TMAC welcomes alumnus Scott Warnock (B.A. & M.A., Rutgers Camden), Associate Professor of English and Director of the Writing Center at Drexel. Author of Teaching Writing Online: How and Why (NCTE, 2009), Scott will address the pedagogy of writing in online environments. This event is co-sponsored by the Department of English. (Pizza will be served.)

Wednesday, April 17 (12:15-1:15 p.m., ATG-201): “Reading Across the Curriculum” 
It’s an open secret that our students do not read well and that we could do more to promote critical reading strategies beyond first year composition. Join colleagues from Biology (Dan Shain), English (Rafey Habib), Philosophy and Religion (Melissa Yates), and Psychology (Bill Whitlow) to discuss practical ways to promote effective reading in our courses. (Brown bag, light refreshments.) Note: This event has been rescheduled from March 28. 

Wednesday, April 24 (12:00-1:00 p.m., Campus Center, South C): “A Conversation on Undergraduate Research: CURCA and Beyond” 
Following this year’s Celebration of Undergraduate Research and Creative Achievement (CURCA) on April 18, let’s meet to discuss the place of undergraduate research at Rutgers Camden, including our annual showcase of that research. What challenges do we face? What could we do better? With additional resources, how might we expand our efforts to promote UR? (Brown bag.)