Center for Teaching Excellence Workshops

Designed to help faculty with planning and thinking creatively about teaching

  • To register, please e-mail the Center with your request. ( If you have any questions about the workshops in general or particular workshops that interest you, please contact any one of us.
  • This semester we will be Skyping our workshops to anyone who is off campus. If you would like to participate via Skype, please let us know when you sign up, and provide your Skype name and phone number. 


CTE workshops are not lectures, so come prepared to work on issues in your own teaching, reflect on your teaching goals, and expect some practical takeaways that you can apply in your courses. Here is your slate of teaching workshops to help you build and maintain momentum in your teaching this semester!

Moodle for Course Enhancement

Tuesday, September 1, 3:00-4:30, ACC #1
Moodle is more than a repository for material and a platform for quizzes. In this workshop we will review various Moodle activities and functions that can help you organize your course and enhance your students’ learning. Some experience working with Moodle will be helpful, but is not necessary.

Fostering Student Engagement

(a single session will be offered twice)
Wednesday, September 2, 2:00-3:30, ACC #1
Wednesday, September 9, 7:00-8:30, ACC #8
What engages or engaged you as a student? You don’t have to be an entertainer to keep students’ attention and encourage them to work in your class. Students tend to be more engaged with course materials and activities when they clearly see the relevance to their own interests, when they are appropriately challenged, and when they have a clear sense of what is expected of them and how they will be assessed. In this workshop you will focus on a particular activity or assignment, perhaps one you have been struggling with, and enhance its engagement potential.

New Faculty Guide to Teaching

Thursday, September 3, 12:30-2:00, ACC #3  [Note the new date and location]
Very few faculty receive formal training as teachers, and yet, day to day, this is a substantial part of their responsibilities. This workshop is for those who need a quick start guide (or refresher) on the essential do’s and don’ts of great teaching, from syllabus construction to assignment design to conducting an engaged and productive classroom.

Insights from the “Generation on a Tightrope” Faculty Learning Community

Thursday, September 10, 11:00-12:30, ACC #1
In the spring of 2015, 30 faculty participated in faculty learning communities with the book, Generation on a Tightrope: A Portrait of Today's College Student by Arthur Levine and Diane R. Dean (2012) as their reading focus. This book generated discussion concerning the characteristics of the current generation of students and ideas on how to develop teaching techniques to address the challenges posed by these characteristics. This workshop offers insights into some of the common difficulties we face in the classroom and moves the discussion forward to practical suggestions for improving the process of teaching and learning.

Moodle Formatting

Friday, September 18, 1:00-2:30, Feinberg 249 (Note the new location)
While it is perfectly acceptable to use Moodle in a basic formatting fashion, don’t you wish your sites had some personality and style? If you consider your course site to be an extension of your own teaching and classroom, why not make it as inviting and accessible as possible? In this workshop I will show you how to make your Moodle course as efficient as possible and give it a shine that welcomes your students to the process of learning outside the classroom.

Problem-Based Learning

September 23, Wednesday 12:00-1:30, ACC #1
Problem-Based Learning (PBL) began as a response to weaknesses of medical education and its emphasis on memorization. Rather than spending time memorizing blocks of information, students learn the basics by working on problems. This is a learner-centered pedagogy in that students are expected to be self-directed in the learning process. PBL give students the opportunity to learn content and skills through analysis and application. This problem-based learning workshop will offer both the theoretical foundations for PBL, as well as specific techniques for implementing it in your classroom.

The Learning Brain

Tuesday, September 29, 10:00-11:30, ACC #1
A companion workshop to the Learning Brain FLC for those who are interested in the topic but need the short version! Current research on the brain has yielded information that can have significant impact on how we design courses and teach our content. What is particularly helpful is understanding how the brain processes information through the various layers of memory, vision, and emotion. We will review some of the literature from neuroscience and discuss how what scientists are learning about the brain can inform how we are teaching.

The Tao of Teaching, Part I: A Pedagogy for Mental Health in Chaotic Times

Tuesday, October 6, 12:30-2:00, ACC #1
This workshop is not so much about teaching strategies and techniques, but about changing one’s mind in a way that gives rise to a holistic and healthy approach to teaching. Participants should expect to engage in discussions that challenge traditional views about the nature of teaching and learning. Lunch will be served, so please contact Brianne to register for this workshop.

The Tao of Teaching, Part II: Practicing What You Seek

Wednesday, October 8, 12:30-2:00, ACC #1
Designed primarily for those who have taken the “Tao of Teaching Part I,” this workshop can be beneficial for those who would like to re-think their approach to practical pedagogical issues concerning course activities, assessments, and assignments. The perspective taken from this approach is based on the principle of wu-wei, which advocates action derived from compassion, restraint, and unimportance. Lunch will be served, so please contact Brianne to register for this workshop.

Special Workshop Requests:
The CTE is happy to create and facilitate a workshop for your department or program focusing on particular topics, populations, events, or challenges. Please contact Becky, x3043 or Michael, x3304 if you would like to discuss a special workshop for your group.

Contact Information

For general inquiries about the Center for Teaching Excellence, please contact:

The Center for Teaching Excellence
SUNY Plattsburgh
301 Feinberg Library, Plattsburgh, NY 12901
Phone: (518) 564-3043
Fax: (518) 564-5100