ITG Spring Training Session Descriptions

Please RSVP for any sessions you would like to attend. You can also self-enroll in our accompanying Canvas course for additional details and supplemental resources on each session.

Building Community Sessions

Building Community (Part 1): Low-Stakes Tasks

Looking for some concrete ways to foster community during the online components of your course? If you’d like to tune-in to your students’ needs to give them a sense of agency or get students to care about each other’s interests and projects, you’ve come to the right place. Join Adam Engel (Instructional Designer) and Tina Dent (Assistant Director of Teaching & Learning) as we discuss using low-stakes tasks like formative feedback and collaborative pre-writing to build community in your classroom, wherever it may be.

Building Community (Part 2): Gamification

Want to spice-up your asynchronous Canvas activities? Hoping to avoid the dreaded “Zoom burnout”? Join Adam Engel (Instructional Designer) as we explore some fun, creative ways to motivate your students as they navigate your course content...and how designing online learning activities can be like building a Dungeons & Dragons adventure. Personal experiences and strategies are welcome and encouraged!


Canvas Sessions

Canvas For Everyone: Creating Accessible Content

What’s the deal with those little red and green accessibility meters that appear in Canvas with your images and documents? How can you design the online elements of your course in a way that’s inclusive for all learners? Join Adam Engel (Instructional Designer) as we answer these questions. We’ll cover how the Ally tool in Canvas is your best friend when it comes to accessibility, look at Canvas’ Accessibility Checker, and see how to correct auto-captions on Panopto videos. This session will help you meet the guidelines provided in the Teaching Guidelines During Covid-19 and also help you bake digital accessibility into your course design without being overwhelmed.

I Hate Canvas!

Tired of adding due dates one assignment at a time? Of having to relink every semester’s syllabus manually? Of needing to delete all your past announcements? What other parts of Canvas drive you crazy? In this 60-minute session, you’ll get the time to air your Canvas grievances with your peers and then kvetch as a group with moderator Christopher Connors, one of the resident Instructional Designers, and fellow salty-person. Sometimes, whining about what gets your goat can lead to discoveries that there are others who have already solved that same problem! Sometimes. Bring your sass and sense of humor, and be prepared to share some great successes in teaching the last few semesters as well! Adult beverage not required (though, honestly, is probably recommended).

Tidying Up Canvas to Help Students Stay Organized

One recurring theme we hear from students during Covid is that things are hard to find in their Canvas courses. Faculty also tell us that they're not always sure how to arrange their Canvas courses in a way that makes sense to them and their students. Join time management specialist Jodi Burrel (Associate Director, WARC) and Canvas tamer Natalie Hebshie (Associate Director, Online Learning) as we help you see Canvas through your students' eyes and walk you through some simple tweaks that could revolutionize your Canvas experience for you and your students. We'll focus on the elements of Canvas that give you the most impact for organization and time management: the Assignment, Calendar and Syllabus tools.

Making the Most of Modules

Are you getting emails from students asking where to find course material? Looking to control the flow of your course? In this session, we will discuss how using modules can help you structure your course to suit your organizational style while allowing students to effortlessly find and use your course materials. All levels of Canvas experience welcome! Facilitator: Dani Crisp, Instructional Designer.

Let's Talk Zoom Sessions

Class participation and engagement

This will be an informal conversation where faculty can share their experiences in building class participation and engagement in Zoom. VMA faculty member Kathryn Dietz will begin by sharing some ways that she uses Zoom in her flex and online courses. Then we’ll open up the conversation to those in attendance.

Just because you're Hearing doesn't mean you're Listening

The successful digital classroom relies on truly listening to your students to facilitate conversation that will lead to deeper understanding of the material. In this seminar we'll explore obstacles to listening well in the online classroom and brainstorm solutions to increase student engagement and maximize your learning environment. Led by Amanda Warren, Associate Director of Program & Student Support in the Speech@Emerson program.

Maintaining the Heart of your Course in Zoom World

Each college course reflects the interests, the skills, the heart of its teacher(s). In a time of online, virtual learning, how can you maintain what’s at the heart of your program? How do you keep the restrictions of a Zoom environment from inhibiting what you feel is most important to teach? This webinar will focus on strategies for using online platforms to keep those important pieces in place. Whether it’s building community, engaging and maintaining student energy and interest, or communicating core curriculum effectively in a way that will stick, in this workshop we will brainstorm and sample structures for teaching the material you most want to teach!

Let's Talk Zoom (April sessions)

Our final two Let’s Talk Zoom sessions in April will have a roundtable discussion format. Come discuss with and learn from your colleagues about Zoom tips and tricks!

We hope that you’ll leave the roundtable discussion with:

  • Tried-and-true ideas from other faculty that you can incorporate into your own Zoom class meetings.
  • New perspectives on or approaches to teaching on Zoom.
  • A greater understanding of how you can leverage Zoom’s features and tools to accomplish your teaching goals.

To that end, feel free to come with a problem, challenge or question you had or have about teaching on Zoom, as well as any solutions or workarounds you may have discovered so far (it’s okay if you haven’t quite found a solution yet!). We’ll use your challenges and questions as jumping off points for whole-group discussion throughout the hour.


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