FTEP symposia are workshops on instructional design and instructor development. Campus experts provide evidence-based tools to strengthen teaching and learning, and opportunities for interdisciplinary collaboration. We also offer short courses that study a topic in greater depth; these are linked at the bottom of the page.

Symposia are provided for our instructional faculty members and postdoctoral scholars. Participation in FTEP symposia is open to Professors, Associate Professors, Assistant Professors, Instructors, Senior Instructors and Scholars-in-Residence, as per your official HR Job Class, as well as postdoctoral scholars. Graduate students are only eligible to participate in those events which are marked as co-sponsored by the Graduate Teacher Program (GTP).

If you are interested in attending one of our events, please click the link below to register. If you would like to see a pdf of all symposia available please click on the link to the Event Guides on the right side of this screen.

August Back-to-School Events

Designing a Syllabus for an Effective and Flexible Course

Facilitated by Sarah Sokhey, Assistant Professor, Political Science. A well-designed syllabus has the potential to set the tone for an entire course and provide a blueprint for dealing with common challenges in the classroom. This FTEP session will address 3 main goals of syllabus design: 1) effectively communicating why the course is interesting and relevant, 2) designing the course so that it is well-organized, but also flexible allowing you to adapt the content of the course as you go, and 3) preempting potential complaints and problems by anticipating common issues.

Monday, August 12th, 1:00pm – 2:00pm, CASE Building Conf. Room E351


Active Learning and Group Work in Classes of Any Size

Facilitated by Jenny Knight, Associate Professor of Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology. Students benefit from working in groups, and there are many different ways one can organize and implement group work in courses of any size. We will discuss best practices for forming groups, different kinds of group work, accountability, and effective implementation. Bring questions and ideas, and we will work together to help you and your students get the most out of your course.

Tuesday, August 13th, 12:00pm –1:00pm, CASE Building Conf. Room E351


What Do You Want Them to Learn Today?: Writing effective learning goals to drive instruction and assessment

Facilitated by Stephanie Chasteen, Associate Director, Science Education Initiative. Students operate in a different reality than we do, and our goals are not always clear to them. Plus, we do not always teach for what we value. Taking the time to write clear learning goals or objectives can help you create a coherent, fair course, and makes it easier to write great assessments. In this workshop you will learn about and get practice writing learning goals.

Wednesday, August 14th, 12:00pm – 2:00pm, CASE Building Conf. Room E351


Creating Spaces of Belonging: Telling stories and making connections

Facilitated by Enrique Sepúlveda, Assistant Professor, Ethnic Studies. Many students feel they don’t belong in the academic setting or to the larger university culture. This is especially true of first generation college-going students, immigrants, queer students and students of color. This presentation calls for professors to consider and address the larger social context in which our teaching and learning is embedded, via the power of narratives and the practice of storytelling.

Stories are personal, as well as social and communal. When deployed effectively they can help us to contextualize our experiences and emotions, especially experiences and feelings of ˙displacement, transgression and social fragmentation that new students often experience. Integrating stories into our teaching can raise levels of consciousness and provide the connective tissue that allows us (faculty and students) to further explore and examine key questions pertinent to our disciplines.

Please join Enrique Sepúlveda as he narrates his educational journey from a near high school dropout to becoming a “university learner” with the help of professors who went beyond a technical view of teaching and learning that frames the learning process as simply a matter of content mastery and acquisition of technical skills. Using storytelling as a pedagogical tool to transform teaching and learning, Enrique will provide examples of how teaching and learning are situated in a social context, where learning is viewed as a feature of membership in a community of practice.

Thursday, August 15th, 12:00pm – 1:00pm, CASE Building Conf. Room E351


Fall Semester Events

Bringing Our Research into the Classroom

Facilitated by Laurialan Reitzammer, Associate Professor, Classics. You’ve heard it before: Budget your time, and don’t allow teaching duties to encroach on your research. Such counsel is ubiquitous, but putting it into practice is not easy. Teaching, many of us find, consumes all the time available, especially for those not expected to be in a lab on a daily basis. One solution is to integrate your research into your teaching. This strategy can benefit students and faculty alike.

Monday, Sept. 9th, 12:00pm – 1:00pm, CASE Building Conf. Room E351


From Arm's-Length to Arm-in-Arm: Building student rapport

Facilitated by Dave Brain, Associate Professor, Astrophysical and Planetary Sciences. Rapport is a beneficial but sometimes under-appreciated component of a student’s experience in a course, or college in general, and has been linked to student motivation, participation, and satisfaction with a course. In this symposium we’ll review the benefits of building rapport, and share and discuss strategies for fostering closer relationships (both instructor-student and student-student) during lecture and outside of the classroom. We’ll also discuss some of the challenges and perceived negative consequences associated with knowing students better (including issues pertaining to boundaries, expectations, and time), and how to handle them. As a result of our discussions we might even get to know each other better! This event is co-sponsored with the Graduate Teacher Program (GTP). Graduate student instructors are welcome to attend this session.          

Wednesday, Sept. 11th, 2:00pm – 3:00pm, CASE Building Conf. Room E351


Showcasing Student Learning and Engagement: ePortfolios as a metacognitive high impact practice

Facilitated by Andrea Feldman, Senior Instructor & ESL Coordinator, and Rolf Norgaard, Teaching Professor & Associate Director, Program for Writing and Rhetoric. As CU students prepare for careers, internships, and graduate education, one way to synthesize, highlight, and reflect on their learning is to create an ePortfolio. Data suggest that when ePortfolios are implemented properly, students build a more holistic self-picture, gain agency, and find new ways of understanding themselves as learners. ePortfolios differ from other e-media in that they allow integration and synthesis of students' work, reflection, and intellectual growth. These metacognitive processes are very important in the development of a learner, and promote higher order critical thinking skills. This session will demonstrate student examples of ePortfolios and discuss student comments and feedback. Examples of student projects incorporated into the portfolio will be demonstrated. Handouts will be provided with specific suggestions to foster reflective writing, audience awareness, and assignment suggestions. This event is co-sponsored with the Graduate Teacher Program (GTP). Graduate student instructors are welcome to attend this session.

Monday, Sept. 16th, 12:00pm – 1:00pm, CASE Building Conf. Room E351


Writing for Publication: Expressing reasoning in writing

Facilitated by Tim Lyons, Instructor of The Program for Writing and Rhetoric. Writing for publication doesn’t differ in essentials from writing for any reader or group of readers, for in every case the writer must think of the reader with each sentence, in every connection from one sentence to another, and in the overall construction of an essay. Because the people who guard the gateways to publication may have particular needs depending on the gateway they guard, the writing must intuit those needs, taking the reader/gatekeeper into consideration while remaining true to his own intention and conviction. In this series of workshops, we will explore the ways in which you can accomplish this multifaceted task so that your audience can grasp your purpose, follow you as you work to accomplish it, and benefit from the process.

There are two sessions of this course:
Tuesday, Sept. 17th, 2:00pm - 4:00pm CASE Building Conf. Room E351
Wednesday, Oct. 16th, 2:00pm - 4:00pm CASE Building Conf. Room E351


Doing It All: The first seven years

Facilitated by Myles Osborne, Associate Professor, History. This session with recently tenured professor Myles Osborne is about succeeding in the first seven years at CU. The symposium is presented by a faculty member with an extensive publication record (including three books), but little knowledge about – nor interest in – time management techniques. Professor Osborne discusses how those who dislike work plans and schedules can move forward successfully at CU being productive scholars, teachers, and colleagues, by thinking about the bigger guiding principles, agendas, and strategies that we might use in our work.

Wednesday, Sept. 18th, 3:00pm – 4:00pm, CASE Building Conf. Room E351


How LISA Can Help You Assess Learning Goals

Facilitated by Eric Vance, Associate Professor, Applied Mathematics and Director of LISA, the Laboratory for Interdisciplinary Statistical Analysis. In this symposium, we will review creating learning goals for a course, discuss the importance of assessing these goals, and learn methods for assessing them. We will also discuss how LISA can help you assess your course learning goals. Participants should arrive with learning goals for their courses and then apply the principles from the first half of this symposium to create their own assessment plan. We will discuss example plans from the participants on how to assess learning goals.

Monday, Sept. 23rd, 12:00pm – 1:00pm, CASE Building Conf. Room E351


Exploring the Potential for Object-Based Learning with Primary Sources in Special Collections & Archives 

Facilitated by Dr. Nicole Jobin, Associate Director and Instructor, Sewall RAP and Dr. Susan Guinn-Chipman, Instruction and Exhibits Manager, Special Collections & Archives.  The materiality of Special Collections & Archives’ works is central to the hands-on, kinesthetic experience of fully engaged, object-based learning.  A wide range of faculty from varied disciplines have discovered the possibilities of using our collections to connect students to their subjects in new ways.  In Special Collections, among other things, students can touch and feel old bookbindings, page through rare books, read diaries and account ledgers, and examine photographs from a full range of photographic history.  They can also experience the difficulties inherent in the operation of antique microscopes and in setting letterpress type.  The hands-on immersion in these primary sources – each rich in haptic learning – provides students with a lens through which to approach their course subject.  This session will provide examples of how to incorporate Special Collections & Archives into your course work.  We will look at how to access the range of materials available, how to create an engaging assignment, and how to think about appropriate student-learning outcomes. 

Tuesday, Sept. 24th, 3:00pm – 4:00pm, CASE Building Conf. Room E351


Understanding and Addressing Student Mental Health Concerns in the Classroom

Facilitated by June Gruber, Assistant Professor, Psychology and Neuroscience. Challenges to student wellness on college campuses are a growing concern nationwide, with 1 out of 3 first-year college students reporting serious mental difficulties and up to half of students rating their mental health as below average or poor. Despite widespread agreement and scientific findings indicating that optimized mental health is critical for fostering student success and engagement, relatively little guidance is typically provided for instructors on best practices for addressing common and serious student mental health concerns arising in teaching and mentoring settings. This workshop will focus on common student mental health concerns instructors may encounter, practical strategies for addressing them effectively and sensitively, and areas to further enhance student wellness in the classroom and campus at CU Boulder and beyond.

Wednesday, Sept. 25th, 3:00pm – 4:00pm, CASE Building Conf. Room E351


Communication in the Classroom (formerly Teaching in a Nutshell)

Facilitated by Tamara Meneghini-Stalker, Professor, Theatre & Dance. In this course you will hone your skills at using your voice and movement to improve your students’ learning and understanding. Each participant in the course presents a few minutes of a class they teach, and then the group works together to identify communication strategies to enhance students’ learning experiences. This is a concrete, collaborative examination of communication in teaching, where participants support each other through the challenges of public presentation and analyze how communication affects students’ ability to learn.

There are two sessions of this course:           
Tuesday, Oct. 1st, 2:00pm – 4:00pm, CASE Building Conf. Room E351
Wednesday, Nov. 13th, 2:00pm – 4:00pm, CASE Building Conf. Room E351


Time Management

Facilitated by Diane Sieber, Associate Professor, Herbst Program of Humanities in Engineering. This session will review strategies for setting long-term and shorter-term goals and will consider how best to prioritize work responsibilities during the academic year. It will also discuss how to identify and master distractions that make it difficult to accomplish tasks that we have identified as “important but not urgent.”

Wednesday, Oct. 2nd, 3:00pm – 4:00pm, CASE Building Conf. Room E351


Academic Honesty in the Online Age

Facilitated by Clayton Lewis, Professor, Computer Science. Cheating is in the news at Stanford and Harvard. Stressed students are motivated to cheat, but also unsure about what behaviors are forbidden, especially concerning information online. Technology makes some forms of cheating easier, and some easier to detect. How should we respond to these developments in our faculty roles? In this session we'll share new approaches, and review old ones, including CU's Honor code. This event is co-sponsored with the Graduate Teacher Program (GTP). Graduate student instructors are welcome to attend this session.   

Monday, Oct. 7th, 12:00pm – 1:00pm, CASE Building Conf. Room E351


Creating a Digital Presence

Facilitated by Chip Persons, Associate Professor of Theatre & Dance. This symposium will help instructors reveal their on-camera presence for recorded instruction in online courses. Participants will build and strengthen their on-camera presence by recording and then watching themselves on video, along with the rest of the group, speaking about both themselves and their respective course content.

This is a two-part course, and registering commits you to attend both:
Part 1: Tuesday, Oct. 15th, 2:00pm - 4:00pm, CASE Building Conf. Room E351
Part 2: Tuesday, Oct. 22nd, 2:00pm - 4:00pm, CASE Building Conf. Room E351


Inclusive Pedagogy

Facilitated by Janice Ho, Associate Professor in English. Inclusive pedagogy refers to practices that help to remove structural barriers of exclusion in higher education and that increase learning access for students from different backgrounds.  In this workshop, we will consider (a) the importance and value of inclusive pedagogy; and (b) various strategies that can help translate the goal of inclusiveness into teaching practice, especially in the areas of syllabus design, course content, classroom discussion, and course assessment. Participants are encouraged to come with reflections about their own teaching assumptions and methods as well as ideas about how to promote inclusive pedagogy to share with the group. 

Tuesday, Nov. 5th, 3:00pm – 4:00pm, CASE Building Conf. Room E351


Flipping the Class for the Skeptic

Facilitated by David Brown, Professor and Chair of Political Science. This segment of the FTEP program addresses common hesitations, misperceptions, and challenges involved with flipping a classroom. The instructor, David Brown, will lead participants through the evolution of a happy lecturer to a strong proponent of active learning. Why flipping the class is not for everyone, how to get your feet wet, and how it can change your perception of research, teaching, and students will also be covered. Different tools and methods which have been successful and not so successful in Brown’s experience will be candidly discussed. New technological tools which facilitate the flipped classroom will be presented along with their advantages and disadvantages. This event is co-sponsored with the Graduate Teacher Program (GTP). Graduate student instructors are welcome to attend this session.           

Tuesday, Nov. 12th, 3:00pm – 4:00pm, CASE Building Conf. Room E351


Object-Based Teaching for Educators 

Facilitated by Hope Saska, Curator of Collections and Exhibitions, CU Art Museum. Collections on campus enable CU teachers to engage students with experiential learning activities that emphasize close looking and critical thinking skills. This workshop provides tools for teachers who wish to mobilize campus resources to diversify their teaching portfolios through object-based inquiry. Attendees will work with collections objects and learn techniques to spark classroom conversation and create innovative assignments.  This workshop will present close looking exercises and provide resources for incorporating visual and material culture into classroom teaching. The workshop will also include a general explanation of resources (collections, exhibitions and programs) at the CU Art Museum. This event is co-sponsored with the Graduate Teacher Program (GTP). Graduate student instructors are welcome to attend this session.

Wednesday, Nov. 20th, 3:00pm – 4:00pm, Art Museum Study Room