[CORRECTION] Registration link fixed for Faculty Wellness workshop
[CORRECTION] Registration link fixed for Faculty Wellness workshop
March 2023
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Faculty wellness: a workshop on post-pandemic teaching and well-being 

Though the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic initiated an abrupt disruption across higher education, it affected faculty, staff and students in highly individual ways. Not only did the pandemic force faculty to extend and diversify their roles as educators, mentors and stewards of the university, but it also continues to ask them to reimagine what education and student engagement will look like moving forward. With these responsibilities has come increased pressure, stress, feelings of inadequacy, dissatisfaction and the need to achieve a greater work-life balance. Please join the Center for Teaching to begin a dialogue on what constitutes faculty well-being, its cultivation, and its relationship with dynamic, challenging, and effective teaching. We hope you can join us. The workshop will be held via Zoom on March 24 from 10:00 to 11:00 am. If you are interested in attending, please register here.     

JFTF Spotlights

Each year, the CFT highlights the work of our Junior Faculty Teaching Fellows (JFTF). This month, Simone Stirner and Courtney Johnson share about their work in the JFTF program.
Simone Stirner, Assistant Professor, German, Russian, and Eastern European Studies:
The JFTF has been a great opportunity to reflect on teaching in collaboration with CfT faculty and other junior colleagues on campus and learn from each other in a supportive environment. The intensive seminar discussions and dinners often inspired me to take ideas for lesson design or classroom exercises right into my classroom in the following week....[READ MORE]
Courtney Johnson, Assistant Professor of the Practice, General Engineering:

I consider myself a lifelong learner, so I am always looking for ways to refine my teaching methods, and the JFTF program has allowed me to do that. I have been teaching in some capacity in both industry and academia for over 20 years... [READ MORE]

Course Design Institute on
Inclusive Teaching

We invite you to join in our Course Design Institute on the theme of Inclusive Teaching. This event will have an in-person component for those in the area but will be available virtually via Brightspace and Zoom, May 8 – 11 (9am-4pm Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, and 9-12:30pm Thursday). During the four-day institute, participants will (re)design courses with careful attention to the ways they can help all students thrive through greater belonging and engagement. In the institute we will explore a variety of facets of inclusive teaching, especially…
  • Motivating and challenging all students
  • Engaging a diverse range of voices and perspectives
  • Helping all students better understand – and cooperate across – differences
  • Developing trusting and productive dialogues about difficult subjects
  • Providing accessible and supportive assignments and activities
  • Closing performance and persistence gaps
  • Ensuring all students are meaningfully involved in their own learning and growth
Throughout the Institute’s events, participants will…
  • Learn strategies for designing courses in which learning objectives, activities, and assessments foster inclusion and equity
  • Work collaboratively in a mix of small- and large-group sessions to refine and apply these strategies to diverse teaching contexts
  • Expand a peer network of Vanderbilt educators dedicated to inclusion and equity
  • Develop a (re)designed syllabus and course plans for the coming semesters

    If you are interested in attending the Course Design Institute on Inclusive Teaching, please register here. If you have further questions, please contact the CFT’s Joe Bandy or Stacey Johnson.

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CFT Working Group: Syllabus Preparation for New Faculty 

Congratulations to those starting new faculty positions this year! The beginning of a new faculty position is exciting and comes with new expectations for course development. The CFT hopes to ease this transition by helping new faculty create their syllabi in advance of the upcoming school year. As such, this 4-week virtual learning community will provide camaraderie, resources, and accountability for the work of syllabi development. Our first session will include a brief presentation about Understanding by Design for course development (Wiggins & McTighe, 1998), introductions of group participants, and goal setting for the duration of the group. At each subsequent meeting, participants will spend two hours co-working using the Pomodoro Technique. We will start the session by sharing our progress on syllabi development goals, discussing any obstacles, and committing to goals for the co-working session. After this discussion, we will work in 20-minute blocks alternating with 5-minute breaks. During our last 10 minutes, we will discuss our accomplishments during the working sessions and set goals for the next meeting. 

Meetings will begin Friday, April 7th, and occur via zoom, for 4 weeks, on Fridays from 11 AM to 1 PM. Each meeting will be for 2 hours. Please email Julie Sriken with any questions or for more information. Please register here

International Teaching Assistants Working Group

Teaching in a college classroom creates many new opportunities; it also carries with it certain challenges.  This is especially true for international students. For this reason, the Center for Teaching is excited to offer an international TA working group.  

This working group will be a four-week virtual learning community.  Our first session will focus on understanding how our intersectional identities shape how we think about teaching and learning. Moreover, we will dedicate a portion of this session to empowering our identities as international scholars and being aware that these identities can serve as frames of reference to understand what is happening in the classroom.  We will provide space to discuss and work through some of the unique challenges of serving as an instructor while being an international student. This will lead to our second session, where we will focus on the culture of American classrooms and the “Unspoken Truths” about American classrooms.  We will discuss the main characteristics of the US classroom and reflect on how this differs from our previous understandings and prior experiences in our home countries.  The learning goal of our third meeting is to develop pedagogical skills to advance international graduate students’ adaptation to the US classroom and to provide international TAs with a space for building their own tools for better performance.  For our final session, we will wrap up and reflect on what we have taken from this learning group and offer a panel of experienced international professionals that will be available for questions and to share their journeys.

Session 1: Wednesday, April 5th  
Session 2: Wednesday, April 12th  
Session 3: Wednesday, April 19th  
Session 4: Wednesday, May 3rd  (non-mandatory) 

Please email Eugenia Zavaleta or Nauff Zakaria with any questions or for more information. Please register here

New Guide: Teaching in the Age of AI

The newest addition to the CFT’s extensive collection of teaching guides is called “Teaching in the Age of AI” and focuses on AI and machine learning tools and how instructors can work with such tools in the classroom. Across higher education, there is increasing concern about the implications of artificial intelligence (AI) for teaching and learning. What dilemmas does AI pose for our courses and assignments? How might it change how students learn? How might we respond with effective educational strategies? In February 2023, the Center for Teaching, the Writing Studio, and the A&S AI Grand Challenge Initiative co-hosted a workshop to begin a dialogue about the future of teaching writing in the age of AI. In this teaching guide, video from that event and additional resources broaden the discussion to include a variety of questions including:
  • What is AI and where can it be found?
  • How can I harness AI tools in my teaching to improve student learning?
  • How can I craft assignments that deter unauthorized AI use?
  • How does academic integrity relate to AI tools?
  • What resources are there for instructors who want to engage with AI tools?
Vanderbilt University is committed to providing universal access to all of our events.
Please contact Juliet Traub at
cft@vanderbilt.edu or 615-322-7290 to request disability accommodations. Advance notice is necessary to arrange for some accessibility needs.

©2023 Vanderbilt University · The Center for Teaching 
1114 19th Ave. South, Nashville, TN 37212
Phone: 615-322-7290 Fax: 615-343-8111
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