Teaching Talks & Hands-On HuskyCT

Teaching Talks

You are invited to participate in a series of informal teaching talks.  These are opportunities for participants to comfortably share teaching concerns and discuss techniques and strategies with colleagues, experts, and CETL staff.  All sessions will take place in Rowe 319 unless otherwise noted.  All UConn instructors —graduate students, TAs, and APIRs, as well as adjunct, tenure-track and tenured faculty—are encouraged to attend.

Attend all the sessions or choose only those covering the topics that most interest you. 

Contact Suzanne LaFleur if you have questions or would like more information.

Link to HBL CLC Map – https://lib.uconn.edu/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/FloorMap_Level2.pdf

Collaborative Learning Classroom is on the 2nd Floor of the Homer Babbidge Library. Once off the stairs or elevator take a left, take another left once through doors.


    Friday, Mar 1              11:00-12:15                Using personal stories in the classroom

    The goal of this workshop is to identify and develop two or three personal stories you can use to illustrate course content, promote vocational awareness in students, or establish rapport in the classroom. We will discuss ways that personal stories have changed the dynamics of a course and increased student learning and engagement.

    Register at – https://web9.uits.uconn.edu/fins/secure_inst/workshops/workshop_view.php?ser=724


    Monday, Mar 4           3:15-4:30                     Strategies for Increasing Student Motivation

    At this session, participants will discuss topics like

    • Intrinsic and extrinsic motivation
    • The role of student choice
    • Engaging student passion
    • The importance of the teacher/student relationship
    • Challenge and reward
    • The reluctant learner
    • Service learning and other experiential techniques

    Register at – https://web9.uits.uconn.edu/fins/secure_inst/workshops/workshop_view.php?ser=741


    Wednesday, Mar 6     1:30-2:45                 Reflective Practice- for the Instructor and for the Students

    We will discuss ways to use reflective practice to improve your teaching. We will emphasize quick, informal, reflective techniques, as well as more formal ways to do “self-checks” related to your teaching practice.  Journals, teaching portfolios, and reflecting on student feedback will be addressed.  We will also discuss strategies to help students reflect on their learning.

    Register at – https://web9.uits.uconn.edu/fins/secure_inst/workshops/workshop_view.php?ser=747


    Thursday, Mar 7         2:00-3:15                    Developing discussion & dialogue questions

    As instructors, posing good questions can make the difference for effective class discussion and dialogue. Come share how structured conversations promote critical thinking and build community in classes large and small.  We will explore how you can design your course with discussion and dialogue opportunities in class and on HuskyCT, and what to think about when you’re crafting good questions for this purpose.

    Register at – https://web9.uits.uconn.edu/fins/secure_inst/workshops/workshop_view.php?ser=725


    Tuesday, Mar 12         1:30-2:45                     Teaching Creatively

    We will discuss such topics as:

    • Taking chances
    • Playing to your strengths
    • Creative presentation techniques
    • Making it safe to fail
    • Using music and art
    • Divergent and convergent thinking
    • Using student creativity to help plan more interesting lessons

    Register at  – https://web9.uits.uconn.edu/fins/secure_inst/workshops/workshop_view.php?ser=746


    Wednesday, Mar 13               3:00-4:15         Managing Anxiety- yours and theirs

    We will discuss topics such as:

    • Lack of confidence & experience
    • Preparation 101
    • The first day
    • Establishing a comfortable and safe learning environment
    • Promoting interaction and connection between students and between student and instructor
    • Shared goals and expectations

    Register at – https://web9.uits.uconn.edu/fins/secure_inst/workshops/workshop_view.php?ser=745


    Thursday, Mar 14       3:00-4:15                    Giving feedback

    In this teaching talk we will share approaches to giving constructive feedback on student work and how to structure feedback to support learning. We will discuss how much feedback is enough; using a variety of modes of feedback; relating feedback to course objectives; feedback from TAs and professors; workshop models; using HuskyCT to give feedback.

    Register at – https://web9.uits.uconn.edu/fins/secure_inst/workshops/workshop_view.php?ser=726


    Monday, Mar 18         3:15-4:30                     The Introvert as a Successful Teacher/Student

    We will discuss topics such as:

    • Situations and learning environments where introverts thrive
    • Inclusive teaching strategies
    • Communication strategies
    • Distinguishing between introversion and lack of confidence
    • Developing a positive view of your temperament & personality

    Register at –https://web9.uits.uconn.edu/fins/secure_inst/workshops/workshop_view.php?ser=744


    Monday, Mar 25         11:00-12:15                 Creating a Positive Classroom Environment

    We will discuss topics such as:

    • Maintaining a positive attitude
    • Making students feel welcome and showing you care
    • Encouraging student participation and active learning
    • Giving choices and engaging student passion
    • Celebrating both success and failure
    • Using humor to make and/or emphasize a point

    Register at – https://web9.uits.uconn.edu/fins/secure_inst/workshops/workshop_view.php?ser=743


    Wednesday, March 27            2:30-3:45           (HBL CLC)          Using Improvisation and Role Play- an Active Participation Teaching Talk

    This is an interactive workshop where we will “do” more than “speak,” but there will be a discussion of how doing improv exercises can help students to be more willing to speak in class, as well as other practical applications.

    Register at – https://web9.uits.uconn.edu/fins/secure_inst/workshops/workshop_view.php?ser=742


    Thursday, Mar 28                   2:00-3:15                    The intellectual benefits of playfulness: bringing play into your class through complicity games (HBL CLC)

    Complicity games originated in the physical theatre work of Jacques Lecoq. In the classroom they can be used as a warm up to increase student focus and interest, as a useful, accessible metaphor to describe intellectual practice, as kinetic learning, and as a way to encourage participation and risk-taking.

    Link to HBL CLC Map – https://lib.uconn.edu/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/FloorMap_Level2.pdf

    Collaborative Learning Classroom is on the 2nd Floor of the Homer Babbidge Library.  Once off the stairs or elevator take a left, take another left once through doors.

    Register at – https://web9.uits.uconn.edu/fins/secure_inst/workshops/workshop_view.php?ser=750


    Friday, Mar 29                        11:00-12:15                            Sharing approaches to critical thinking

    How do you incorporate critical thinking into your course design? How do you build it into class time when class time already seems too short to cover all the content you want to cover? What are some critical literacy activities you have implemented in your classes? How did you think about assessment of them? In this teaching talk we will share experiences, challenges, and activities that can be modified to fit even a small amount of class time.

    Register at – https://web9.uits.uconn.edu/fins/secure_inst/workshops/workshop_view.php?ser=727



    Monday, April 8                11:00-12:15                        Mixing It Up: Adding Variety to your Classroom Instruction

    This session will address strategies such as:

    • Breaking up the lecture: when, how (videos, stories, role play, Q & A, iClickers, small group discussion, brief activities…) why
    • Q & A as review
    • Restatement of key points by students as a check for understanding
    • Small group discussion of key points followed by whole group discussion
    • Brief activities to reinforce learning objectives

    Register at – https://web9.uits.uconn.edu/fins/secure_inst/workshops/workshop_view.php?ser=850


    Thursday, April 11                            1:00-2:15                              Public Speaking and Presentation Tips for Instructors

    We will discuss topics such as:

    • Breaking up the lecture- small group discussion, large group discussion, questions (yours and theirs)
    • Effective use of PowerPoint slides & other visuals
    • Speaking the students’, or audience’s language, and making the presentation fit the audience
    • Moving away from the board or the podium
    • Effective use of humor

    Register at – https://web9.uits.uconn.edu/fins/secure_inst/workshops/workshop_view.php?ser=851


    Monday, April 15                              3:15-4:30                              Less Listening, More Active Participation

    At this session, participants will discuss topics like

    • When do I need to lecture, and when may I allow students to learn on their own?
    • Overcoming obstacles to active learning
    • Opening the lecture to increase active learning
    • Strategies to activate the classroom
    • Making students part of the planning process
    • Active learning through projects, problem solving activities, experiments…
    • Giving choices
    • Specific things to consider for the beginner

    Register at – https://web9.uits.uconn.edu/fins/secure_inst/workshops/workshop_view.php?ser=852


    Wednesday, April 17                            11:00-12:15                              The Teaching Persona

    In this session, participants will discuss topics like:

    • Effects of gender and age on how you present yourself, and what you can do as an instructor
    • How your personality affects your teaching style
    • Your sense of self and how it affects your work with students
    • How to develop an effective teaching persona
    • How much of teaching is a function of your personality?

    Register at -https://web9.uits.uconn.edu/fins/secure_inst/workshops/workshop_view.php?ser=855


    Monday, April 22                              11:00- 12:15                       Turning Struggles into Success

    We will discuss topics such as:

    • What to do when a lesson is going poorly
    • Addressing the sea of blank faces
    • Getting more students to speak during discussions
    • Tech struggles
    • Learning from challenges
    • Helping Students ‘Hear’ and Use Your Comments
    • Understanding What You See Happening in Class

    Register at  – https://web9.uits.uconn.edu/fins/secure_inst/workshops/workshop_view.php?ser=853


    Monday, April 29                              2:30-3:45                             Reaching Under-prepared Students

    We will discuss topics such as:

    • How to recognize the underprepared students in your course
    • Steps to take, including strategies for differentiated instruction
    • What are our responsibilities and how can we meet them
    • What are the student’s responsibilities and how can we assist her/him in meeting them

    Register at – https://web9.uits.uconn.edu/fins/secure_inst/workshops/workshop_view.php?ser=854




    HANDS-ON HUSKYCT Workshops and other EdTech Workshops


    Create Videos for Your Class
    Rowe 319 and Online

    Some advantages of using video in your class include the following:

    • Provides a way for students to review material
    • Provides instructors another way to present content (i.e. flip the classroom)
    • Record video “microlectures” before or after class to help with difficult concepts

    Using UConn’s video platform, Kaltura, you can record lectures, store videos, create quizzes and share them in your HuskyCT course. In addition students can use it for homework assignments or for discussions. The training will cover how faculty, staff or students can create, upload, store, edit and share videos.

    Once registered and if you will be attending via online please plan to join 10 minutes before the session begins to make sure you connect successfully.

    To join online – (https://us.bbcollab.com/guest/f87d3f49242d49ae9f46b2c97a286579)


    3/1 Friday 9:00-10:30
    Register at – https://web9.uits.uconn.edu/fins/secure_inst/workshops/workshop_view.php?ser=829

    3/11 Monday 1:30-3:00
    Register at – https://web9.uits.uconn.edu/fins/secure_inst/workshops/workshop_view.php?ser=830

    4/2 Tuesday 1:00-2:30
    Register at – https://web9.uits.uconn.edu/fins/secure_inst/workshops/workshop_view.php?ser=832

    4/25 Thursday 9:00-10:30
    Register at – https://web9.uits.uconn.edu/fins/secure_inst/workshops/workshop_view.php?ser=833


    Keep It Simple – Organizing Course Materials in HuskyCT
    Thurs., 3/7, 10-11:30 am
    Online via Collaborate

    This session will cover options for presenting and arranging materials in your HuskyCT course in ways that minimize confusion for students. We will discuss various options for adding content, such as the difference between sorting materials into folders or learning modules, as well as controlling the visibility of content to students. We will also cover options for adding multimedia elements to your course, such as audio and video, among the variety of other content options available in the system.

    Register at – https://web9.uits.uconn.edu/fins/secure_inst/workshops/workshop_view.php?ser=815



    Virtual Meetings: WebEx vs. Blackboard Collaborate
    Online only using WebEx (https://uconn-cmr.webex.com/join/kps05003) and Blackboard Collaborate Ultra (https://us.bbcollab.com/guest/d986329edfef42769b391c50935cdc6e)

    This workshop will increase your knowledge about and comfort level using either WebEx or Blackboard Ultra Collaborate as a communication and collaboration tool. You’ll learn how to use either of these products for small groups and online (virtual) office hours as well as which to use for your needs (office hours, guest lecturers, share screens in meetings, etc.).

    We will begin the workshop by going to my WebEx Personal Room at: https://uconn-cmr.webex.com/join/kps05003

    Then the second half of the training will be in Blackboard Collaborate at: https://us.bbcollab.com/guest/d986329edfef42769b391c50935cdc6e

    Before the Session Begins Please:

    1. Test if you can run WebEx on your computer and browser by going to: https://www.webex.com/test-meeting.html
    2. Test if you can run Blackboard Collaborate Ultra on your computer and browser (Chrome recommended) by going to: https://us.bbcollab.com/guest/d986329edfef42769b391c50935cdc6e (the room will be empty but you’ll be able to turn on your audio and video by clicking the microphone and camera icons shown at the bottom of the screen).

    Please contact me before the session if you have any issues connecting to either system at karen.skudlarek@uconn.edu or at (860) 486-5052.


    3/13 Wednesday 9:30-11:00
    Register at – https://web9.uits.uconn.edu/fins/secure_inst/workshops/workshop_view.php?ser=831

    4/22 Monday 2:00-3:30
    Register at – https://web9.uits.uconn.edu/fins/secure_inst/workshops/workshop_view.php?ser=834


    Hands-On HuskyCT Series: Assessments and Assignments
    Rowe 319

    Three sessions:

    This three-session series walks participants through the most commonly used features in HuskyCT for assessing student learning: the Test and Assignment tools. Beginning with an introductory/overview session and progressing to two hands-on/review sessions, participants in this series will get an overview of the tools available to instructors and how to use them, including online quizzes/exams, file submissions for assignments, and using SafeAssign (a built-in plagiarism detection software) as it relates to pedagogy. We will conclude with a complete review of each participants’ strategies for assessing students using HuskyCT, and by the third session participants will be able to implement those strategies. (Please note: When registering for this session, please keep in mind that the series is intended for attendees who plan to attend all three sessions.)


    Using LockDown Browser for Tests in HuskyCT
    Thurs., 4/4, 10:30-12:00
    Rowe 319

    LockDown Browser is a custom browser that locks down the testing environment when used for administering a test through HuskyCT. When taking a test using LockDown Browser, students are unable to print, copy, go to other websites, access other applications, or close a test until it is submitted for grading. This session will cover the use of LockDown Browser for tests, quizzes, and exams in your course, including recommended settings and best practices.

    Register at – https://web9.uits.uconn.edu/fins/secure_inst/workshops/workshop_view.php?ser=819


    DIY Closed Captioning
    Rowe 319 and Online

    We will explore two applications (Kaltura and YouTube) that can be used to create closed captions for your videos. Both use computer-generated captioning which often requires that captions be edited by the video owner to improve accuracy. Research has shown that closed captions can benefit all learners as they watch the video content. Learn more about it here: https://er.educause.edu/articles/2017/8/a-rising-tide-how-closed-captions-can-benefit-all-students.

    Once registered and if you will be attending via online please plan to join 10 minutes before the session begins to make sure you connect successfully.

    To join online – (https://us.bbcollab.com/guest/278a2a4d55b748678b02bce4ff15556a)


    4/5 Friday 9:00-10:00
    Register at – https://web9.uits.uconn.edu/fins/secure_inst/workshops/workshop_view.php?ser=835

    4/30 Tuesday 2:00-3:00
    Register at – https://web9.uits.uconn.edu/fins/secure_inst/workshops/workshop_view.php?ser=836


    Using Groups in HuskyCT
    Tues., 4/9, 1:30-3:00
    Online via Collaborate

    This session will cover using online groups in HuskyCT, how to set them up and make best use of them, and some of the benefits and limitations of doing so. Instructors will learn how to create student groups in HuskyCT, allowing each group have its own separate areas of the course with its own separate functions, and enabling instructors and TAs to separate groups for grading.

    Register at – https://web9.uits.uconn.edu/fins/secure_inst/workshops/workshop_view.php?ser=820



    Hands-On HuskyCT Series: Grade Center Basics
    Rowe 319

    Three Sessions:

    In this three-session series, participants will learn the details of HuskyCT’s grading functions and be able to put them to use in their courses. The Grade Center in HuskyCT can be one of the most useful and time-saving features of the learning management system, but its many options and settings can cause confusion. This series will cover the basic functions of the Grade Center and break down its settings in an introductory/overview session, and then progress to two hands-on follow-up sessions. By the third session, participants will be able to use the Grade Center for both recording and calculating grades in their courses. (Please note: When registering for this session, please keep in mind that the series is intended for attendees who plan to attend all three sessions.)


    HuskyCT: Contact Daniel Facchinetti if you have questions or would like more information.

    Other EdTech: Contact Karen Skudlarek if you have questions or would like more information.