2023 Summer Faculty Development Institute

The Learning Design and Digital Innovation team is excited to announce that we'll offer Faculty Development this summer for ALL faculty! There are two formats: FDI Mini Conference (open to all faculty) and a Course Incubator Workshop (limited to 15). Applications closed on May 8, 2023.

Click on the + sign for details:

  • FDI: Mini Conference, June 26, 2023 (open to ALL faculty)
    • Morning Book Club: Read and discuss the popular book in higher education, Ungrading: Why Rating Students Undermines Learning (and What To Do Instead).
      Ungrading book cover

      Ungrading book cover

      With multiple contributors in higher education and K–12, this popular book examines decades of literature behind grading and assessment. It also provides many stories from faculty about their experiments in grading—what they’ve tried and how it is working. If you have ever wondered what grades actually measure in terms of deep learning or just dislike grading and wonder if there is a better way, we invite you to come. Whether you have been thinking a lot about this or are just curious, we invite you to come. We’ll begin the morning with a panel discussion of faculty who have been thinking a lot about grading and alternatives to the traditional model. Afterwards, you’ll meet with a small group to discuss the book in more depth. All participants will receive a free copy of the book. (9–12pm)

    • Lunch: Provided for all

    • Afternoon Workshops: Sign up to attend as many or few 1-hr workshops as you like. The schedule is still being finalized, but a sneak preview includes: Podcasting, Creating Infographics, Inclusive Syllabi, and Inclusive Pedagogies. You'll receive the full schedule and information about how to sign up in early May. Stay tuned! (1–4pm)
  • FDI: Course Incubator, June 27–30, 2023 (limited to 15 participants)

    Apply to attend the incubator if you are interested in significantly revamping a course you already teach or developing a new course. All course (re)design proposals are welcome, especially those developing courses for the Global Challenges and Social Justice general education curriculum. You’ll gain the foundations of how people learn and how to design courses which improve students’ engagement and learning, while supporting and being supported by your colleagues. You can apply to develop an individual or team-taught course; team-taught courses should submit a single FDI application and will receive privileged application status.

    Topics addressed this year:

    • Best practices of course design
    • Assessment, rigor, and equity
    • Active learning and inclusive pedagogies
    • Dealing with stressed, anxious, and disengaged students, as well as our own stress in the “post pandemic slump”
    • Learning technology workshops



    9–12 pm

    1–3 pm

    June 22

    iPad Workshop, Dr. Ian Camera, Apple

    June 26

    Book Club: Ungrading (all faculty)

    • Selection of 1-hr workshops (sign-up for any you want)

    June 27

    Backwards design

    Developing significant learning goals

    • AMA (Ask Me Anything) About DEIB, Dr. Jen Mitchell

    June 28

    Assessing learning

    Essential questions


    • Designing for ALL Students, Shelly Harrington
    • Unpacking rigor, Dr. Jen Mitchell

    June 29

    Active learning

    Peer learning

    • Extreme Home Makeover: Syllabus and Nexus site

    June 30

    Studio: Each person presents a course design challenge and the group workshops it.

    • Faculty First: How to enhance your wellness and build resiliency, Dr. Jenny Malatras
    • Happy Hour Celebration

    Note: A light breakfast and lunch will be served each day

    You will receive:

    • 10.9-inch iPad Air Wi-Fi 64GB - Silver, Apple Pencil 2, keyboard case. Note: ITS/College supported tablet alternatives available–see proposal for more details. Equipment is college-owned property for you to use while you are an active employee with the College.
    • Three books for your personal teaching and learning library: Ungrading: Why Rating Students Undermines Learning (and What To Do Instead), Creating Significant Learning Experiences: An Integrated Approach to Designing College Courses, and How Learning Works: 7 Research-Based Principles for Smart Teaching
    • Consultations from faculty colleagues, instructional designers, technologists, and staff at the College around writing instruction, digital scholarship, library use, making, diversity and inclusion considerations, and much more.
    • Instructional design and curriculum development assistance during/after FDI.


    The Incubator is designed to nurture ideas, not grow them to completion. It is a safe and fun place to begin thinking about a new course or revising an existing course. Ongoing Instructional Design consulting is available throughout the academic year to further develop the course. There is also an opportunity to apply for a Gen Ed course development stipend (contact Dean Kara Doyle separately for details):

    • $1,500 to develop a course (For team-taught course, each faculty member will receive this amount)
    • $750 to substantially revise an existing course


  • What is the format and expectation for participation?

    Participation for the summer FDI Course Incubator is expected June 26–30, face-to-face on campus, from 9 am-3 pm each day.

    Participation for the summer FDI Mini Conference ONLY is Monday, June 26th, face-to-face on campus, from 9 am-3 pm. There will be a one hour break for lunch between 12-1, where participants will be fed lunch.

  • Who should apply?

    Junior or senior faculty, visitors, and tenure-track faculty from all disciplines are welcome to apply. Many people who have done the FDI before like doing it again as it changes every year. We work to create a reflective and positive environment where we are all helping each other design or improve our teaching and courses. Applications closed on May 8, 2023.

  • How do I join the summer 2023 FDI Mini Conference ONLY or apply for the FDI Course Incubator?

    Applications closed on May 8, 2023.

    Questions about the FDI? Please contact Denise Snyder, Director of Learning Design and Digital Innovation. We look forward to an exciting summer learning, innovating, and creating with you!

  • Interested, but want to hear more?

    Here are some actual quotes from past participants about their experience in the FDI:

    What Participants Said After...

    Having the dedicated time and consultation of Denise and Stacie was invaluable throughout the FDI. I also found the small group meetings helpful in idea generation and relationship building. The one-on-one with Josh Bookin and Dr. Ivonne Garcia was also really useful.The combination of readings, small group work, presentations and discussion were really helpful for both modeling good pedagogy, and providing support for our course designs or re-designs. And it was really fun! Cherrice Traver, Professor of Computer Engineering

    Innovative, inclusive teaching means teaching with intention and that is just what the FDI does-- it helps provide foundational knowledge, evidence-base resources, and the support needed for faculty wishing to create significant, meaningful and lasting learning experiences. Jenny Malatras, Visiting Professor of Psychology

    It is incredibly valuable to join discussions with colleagues - in small groups and relatively large - about teaching strategies. The resources provided offer a buffet of options, some of which almost certainly will spark new ideas to improve our teaching. Jeff Corbin, Professor of Biology

    The FDI offered me an excellent opportunity to reflect on my teaching. It forced me to step out of my assumptions and rethink my teaching methods. I especially appreciated the many opportunities to discuss my individual teaching questions one-on-one with experts and in small groups. Maite Cruz Tleugabulova, Assistant Professor of Philosophy

    Some aspects from the three textbooks I read are helping me to see my syllabi differently. Dianne McMullen, Professor of Music

    I have some really concrete ideas for thinking about new assignments in two of my courses. I also have ideas for beginning my courses, both in the design of the syllabi and in establishing course goals and values collaboratively with the students. Patricia Wareh, Associate Professor of English

    I expect to use what I came up with in the design sprint to revise my courses—as well as overall fostering "understanding by design" in my courses, which I think will come from making small changes to focus first on the goals, then the assessments, then the material—reverse engineering a lot of what I already do for my classes. I think this involves tweaks not transformations. I also expect to revise my approach to some aspects of DEIB, from syllabus statements to community agreements on the first day of class. I also hope to use some technologies—in particular I'm thinking of adding a podcast assignment to my classes. Everyone should do the summer FDI at least once: it's a wonderful way to focus on improving our pedagogy through technology, inclusivity, and instructional design, as well as to meet our devoted colleagues across the curriculum! Dan Venning, Associate Professor of Theater and Dance

    During the FDI, I gained invaluable insights into more effective teaching techniques and ways to engage learners and enhance the learning process. I cannot imagine creating or teaching a new course without taking all that I've learned about instructional design into account. I wholeheartedly recommend the FDI to all faculty members. Erika Nelson Mukherjee, Associate Professor of German Studies

    The Incubator was eye-opening, inspirational, and transformative for me. I especially encourage junior faculty to give it a try! Ellen Gasparovic, Associate Professor of Mathematics

    Stacie and Denise are effective facilitators and knowledgeable guides to the latest pedagogical innovations. They pushed me to think in new directions. Kirk Wegter-McNelly, Assistant Professor of Science, Philosophy and Religion Program in Religious Studies

    I've learned more about teaching and pedagogy in the last two years through the FDI, than the previous ten. The facilitators provide evidenced based strategies that really work in the classroom and increase student engagement. I would recommend attending multiple FDI, as that creates a scaffolding learning environment for teaching. The first year is filled with overwhelming possibilities, but as you implement various strategies in your classroom, you attend the next FDI with a more targeted approach. Holli Frey, Professor of Geology

    Throughout the FDI Incubator, I felt that my ideas were welcomed and respected. I also felt that there was a good back and forth among all participants during the coffee and happy hours, which helped us think through so many different options and ideas for our courses. I'm glad I have so many colleagues outside of my department with whom I feel comfortable brainstorming on course design. Denise and Stacie provided an excellent and refreshing example of equity and inclusion. Everyone's strengths were valued and all were treated fairly and equitably. No one individual's ideas were favored over another. Everyone was welcomed and their perspectives appreciated. Because of how harmoniously Stacie and Denise worked together, organized the activities, conducted our group interactions, and modeled equity and inclusion, I believe I learned so much more and felt better-informed about how to proceed with my course design. Finally, as a team, Denise and Stacie demonstrate how to use one's leadership position to "steward" or "shepherd" others in positive directions for the greater good. Jill-Marie Murphy, Professor of English

    Having the opportunity to rethink our pedagogical approaches by experimenting with and learning about new strategies and models is always a plus in our teaching and course design. The FDI offers precisely this experience. Daniel Mosquera, Professor of Spanish and Hispanic Studies

    There was something for everyone! This was an excellent way to hear about a variety of new learning technologies and strategies. Some I was ready for, others were beyond me, but now I have a good sense about the resources available on campus. I was amazed that they are almost all also linked to Nexus so that students can find everything from that single source. Jill Salvo, Associate Professor of Biological Sciences

    With a modest investment of time, incubator participants receive valuable training and suggestions, often leading to pedagogical innovations for their classes. Mark Walker, Professor of History

    Just as our students struggled with finding and sustaining community online, we do, too! The FDI reminded me, in really productive ways, that we belong to lots of communities of support. Jennifer Mitchell, Assistant Professor of English

    I think the program will help me to refresh courses that I felt were getting stale. Joyce Madancy, Professor of History

    However you teach now, the FDI will open your eyes to teaching ideas that are probably new to you. Doug Klein, Professor of Economics

    The thing I love most about being an educator is the constant challenge to engage students who come into a class with such varied skills and background knowledge. After this workshop, I feel more confident about trying new techniques and technology to (hopefully) inspire more of my students to push themselves, take risks and think creatively. Barbara Danowski, Professor of Biology

    It made me think about teaching in new ways. Helen Hanson, Associate Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering

    If you are in a pedagogical rut, or looking to take a new direction with your courses, the readings and workshop discussions in FDI offer excellent ways to shake up your routine and develop alternate ways of thinking about the elements of teaching and student learning. Kara Doyle, Professor of English

    High-impact, high-quality teaching practices that will make your courses the most sought-after on campus. Megan Ferry, Professor of Chinese

    The FDI is about collaboration. It's an opportunity for individual faculty members to think through their teaching as part of a well informed, experienced, and supportive group of like-minded teachers. Joe Johnson, Director of Writing Programs

    I highly recommend the FDI to colleagues who are interested in learning about and discussing innovative teaching strategies at the intersections of technology and pedagogy. If only one could participate every year! Kristin Bidoshi, Associate Professor of Russian

    Sessions provided a great opportunity to recharge and refresh my teaching strategies. Tim Olsen, Professor of Music