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Special Topics

Occasionally, the CETL will offer need-based workshops that fall outside the purview of Teaching Matters. These workshops will address a variety of topics, are open to all faculty, graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and non-undegraduate staff, and do not involve a certificate.

Upcoming dates and registration links will be announced over Happenings one week in advance, and will also be posted on our events calendar. You may also sign up for our workshop email listserv; the listserve is used only to send notifications about upcoming workshops (e.g. when registration opens, if/when we are offering a new or unscheduled session, etc.)

To suggest possible topics, please feel free to email us at

Workshop Title Description Presented by:
Conducting Education Research in University Courses In this (almost) full-day workshop, participants will gain working-knowledge on a variety of topics regarding conducting research in education, from research funding opportunities and rules regarding IRB/FERPA, to discipline based education research practices. This will be a very interactive workshop and participants are asked to bring their laptop or tablet. Anali Makoui
Succesfull Group Work and Group Dynamics in the Classroom this workshop provides some of the basics behind setting up and managing small group work in a way that will maximize the groups' work output, the individual members' learning, and the individual's and group's self-awareness and self-monitoring. We will discuss group dynamics and provide the attendees with relevant resources. The information provided in this workshop is applicable to all types of group work, though the focus is for academic purposes. Anali Makoui
How to Write a Statement of Diversity This workshop is dedicated to writing a diversity statement. A statement of diversity is increasingly becoming an expected component both of a faculty's portfolio, as well as of an academic application/promotion. The workshop is desigend so that the attendee will leave with at least a skeleton for an effective diversity statement in hand. Anali Makoui
Gauging Student Confidence in University Courses This workshop focuses on introducing some history and implementations of gauging student self-confidence, with the aim of providing simple examples of beginning to implement student self-reflection surveys. This workshop is targeted to any graduate student or faculty interested in using student self-evaluation to inform their instruction.  By understanding how UC Merced students view their own skills in a variety of courses, I believe we will gain a much richer understanding of the student population at this campus. This workshop will be facilitated by UCM graduate student (Applied Mathematics) and CETL Instructional Intern Mr. Mario Banuelos. Mario Banuelos
Critically Consuming News – Instructional Strategies This workshop highlights instructional strategies for teaching students to think critically about news sources.  Presenters will share lessons, activities and resources used in the classroom to engage students in understanding and evaluating news. Sara Davidson-Squibb, Angela Winek, Jeremy Mumford

Student Engagement in Large-Enrollment (or Any Sized!) Courses

After a review of current research, and basic pedagogical terms, including Bloom's taxonomy, we will focus on the presentation of several activities and models that can easily be implemented in large-enrollment classrooms to increase student engagement with course material, without the need to drastically change your current course curriculum/design. The techinques presented in this workhsop have been especially curated for instructors of large-enrollment classes (e.g. 50 to 300+ students), though they can still be easily used in smaller classes, too.

Anali Makoui
Creating a Teaching Portfolio The basics of how to create a teaching portfolio will be presented in this workshop, including where to start, what materials to include, and best ways to curate. Registered attendees will be asked to bring in specific materials prior to the workshop. Anali Makoui
Teaching Effectiveness and How Do We Measure It? -- A Facilitated Discussion and Presentation We will evaluate and discuss this question from different perspectives. A very interactive session where we will deconstruct the term teaching effectiveness, explore best metrics and assessement methods, and present a summary of data from various studies that have tried to address this topic. Anali Makoui
Commenting on Student Writing

This workshop will adress where to focus your attention and how to phrase comments on student writing. A portion of our time will be spent practicing these skills. Please note that this workshop is intended for those who are not trained in teaching writing.

Amy Fenstermaker
Using Cognitive Psychology to Improve Student Learning This presentation introduces some of the current research in the field of cognitive psychology as it relates to learning, as well as ways to use these findings as instructors. Chanita Intawan