2024 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 three experiences you can choose from and there are separate sign-ups for each:

Click on the + sign for details:

  • Global Faculty Book Club: Education in the Age of AI, May 13–June 13, 2024 (open to ALL faculty)

    Join 4-week asynchronous discussion of José Antonio Bowen and C. Edward Watson's insightful book, Teaching with AI: A Practical Guide to a New Era of Human Learning, facilitated by the authors themselves. You’ll read and discuss the book in Perusall, a social reading platform that allows you to read and digitally annotate text with faculty all over the world. The journey runs from May 11th to June 9th through the Perusall Exchange® 2024 conference, offering a flexible way to participate. As this is an asynchronous discussion, you can do a little or a lot—you have the choice of how involved you are.

    Here's what awaits you:

    • Engaging discussions in Perusall: Explore the book's ideas with faculty from across the globe in an asynchronous format, allowing you to participate at your own pace. You’ll use the Perusall platform to read the digital text and annotate it with your comments and questions. If you’ve never used Perusall before, this is a good opportunity to try it out.
    • Author interaction: Benefit from insights directly from the authors throughout the reading experience. They’ll join the Perusall discussion by answering questions that faculty post and more.
    • Live events: Participate in exciting live discussions, including a special event on June 11th featuring the authors and Dr. Eric Mazur, a renowned physicist from Harvard and co-founder of Perusall. You don’t need to participate in the Perusall discussion to attend any of the Live Events.
    Sign up for the 4-week asynchronous reading experience (May 13-June 9):
    1. Fill out this survey by May 1.
    2. Denise Snyder will send you an access code to cover the cost of participation.
    3. Once you receive the access code, join the Perusall Engage event course and follow these instructions to enter your access code.
    Register for the 2024 Live Perusall Exchange Sessions! (June 10-13)

    Click on the individual links below to secure your spot at the live Zoom sessions! Attend as few or as many as you’d like.

    • Opening Keynote Event: Jesse Thaler (Monday, June 10th, 2024 @ 1pm EDT): Jesse Thaler is a theoretical particle physicist who fuses techniques from quantum field theory and machine learning to address outstanding questions in fundamental physics. His current research is focused on maximizing the discovery potential of the Large Hadron Collider through new theoretical frameworks and novel data analysis techniques. Professor Thaler joined the MIT Physics Department in 2010, and he is currently a Professor in the Center for Theoretical Physics. In 2020, he became the inaugural Director of the NSF Institute for Artificial Intelligence and Fundamental Interactions. jthaler.net

    • Teaching & Learning Panel Discussion (Monday, June 10th, 2024 @ 3pm EDT): Join panelists for an engrossing hour of conversation as we explore generative AI's impact on education.

    • Social Learning Amplified: Live (Tuesday, June 11th, 2024 @ 2pm EDT): Join for a timely conversation with Eric Mazur and his guests, authors José Antonio Bowen and C.Edward Watson to discuss their new book, Teaching with AI published by Hopkins Press. Following the discussion, there will be an audience Q&A.

    • Student Panel Discussion (Wednesday, June 12th, 2024 @ 12pm EDT): Join Dr. Eric Mazur and several students from institutions around the globe who have used Perusall in their courses for a candid discussion on how generative AI has impacted their learning.

    • Closing Keynote Event: Stephen Wolfram (Thursday, June 13th, 2024 @ 1pm EDT): Stephen Wolfram is the creator of Mathematica, Wolfram|Alpha and the Wolfram Language; the author of A New Kind of Science; the originator of the Wolfram Physics Project; and the founder and CEO of Wolfram Research. Over the course of more than four decades, he has been a pioneer in the development and application of computational thinking—and has been responsible for many discoveries, inventions and innovations in science, technology and business. stephenwolfram.com

      Don't miss out! All five sessions will be recorded, but registering beforehand allows you to receive the recording directly, along with any handouts or resources.

    Teaching with AI Engage Infographic

    Don't miss this opportunity to explore the possibilities of AI in education and connect with a global learning community!

  • FDI: Mini Conference, June 24, 2024 (open to ALL faculty), VART 204

    Sign up for as many (or as few sessions) as you like. While at first glance, you may think some of the sessions aren’t for you because of your discipline, each session presents pedagogies and strategies that can be used in any discipline.

    • 9:00–12:00: Community and Service Learning
      Are you curious about the transformational potential of service learning and/or community-based learning? We’ll begin by watching an award-winning documentary, Seats at the Table, which shows UVA students who traveled to a juvenile detention center each week to teach the residents. David Cotter will facilitate a full-group discussion about service learning based on the course featured in the documentary, his own experience, and this generation of students’ desire to make a difference in the world. You’ll hear about partnerships available at Union and then work in small groups to brainstorm how you might integrate service or community-based learning into one of your courses. If you are in Division I, II, III, or IV, this documentary has something for you!
    • 12:00-1:00 Lunch: Provided for all
    • 1:00–2:00: Book Club‚ Teaching to Transgress
      Read selections from bell hook’s Teaching to Transgress and participate in a discussion about how we can challenge the boundaries of bias and power, and create a more inclusive and welcoming learning space for our students. All Union faculty can access an electronic copy of the whole book through Schaffer Library.
    • Teaching to Transgress book cover
    • 2:00–3:00: Active Learning in STEM discussion group
      Who doesn’t love discussing a good meta-analysis during summer break? We’ll discuss a recent paper, Active learning narrows achievement gaps for underrepresented students in undergraduate science, technology, engineering, and math and think about what we can take from this paper and apply to our own courses? If you want more, take a look at Freeman’s earlier paper, Active learning increases student performance in science, engineering, and mathematics. It is the largest and most comprehensive metaanalysis of undergraduate STEM education published to date.
  • FDI: Course Incubator, June 25–28, 2024 (limited to 10 participants), ISEC 387

    (Limited to 10): FDI Course Incubator, June 25–28, 2024, 9 am–3 pm
    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 Complex Questions: Global Challenges and Social Justice general education curriculum. Courses that fit within the Engineering, Technology, and Society (ETS) perspective theme of the new “Complex Questions” curriculum are encouraged!. 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. Faculty will receive a free iPad (or similar tablet), as well as a selection of pedagogy books for your personal library. Note: Based on feedback from last year’s participants, we are trying something new. Most afternoons will provide quiet writing time for you to work on your course and then share something with the group. This structure, similar to Union’s Writing Retreat, is designed to help you have more of your course done by the end of the week.



    9–12 pm

    1–3 pm

    June 24

    FDI Mini Conference

    June 25

    Backwards design

    Developing significant learning goals

    Course Development retreat (quiet time to work on your course and workshop with peers)

    June 26

    Assessing learning

    Essential questions


    Course Development retreat (quiet time to work on your course and workshop with peers)

    June 27

    Active learning

    Peer learning

    • Course Development retreat
    • Designing for ALL Students

    June 28

    Extreme Home Makeover: Syllabus and Nexus site

    • Present courses to cohort
    • Happy Hour Celebration @ 3:00

    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.
    • Two books for your personal teaching and learning library: Creating Significant Learning Experiences: An Integrated Approach to Designing College Courses and a book we choose for you based on your pedagogical interests.
    • 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?
    1. Participation for the Global Faculty Book Club: Education in the Age of AI runs May 13-June 13 and participation is virtual. The asynchronous discussion is over 4 weeks on a platform called Perusall. You can do a little or a lot—you have the choice of how involved you are. There are also four, synchronous Live Events you can attend. You don’t need to participate in the asynchronous discussion to attend any of the Live Events (over Zoom). Sign-up.
    2. Participation for the summer FDI Mini Conference is Monday, June 24th, 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. Sign-up.
    3. Participation for the summer FDI Course Incubator is expected June 25–28, face-to-face on campus, from 9 am-3 pm each day. There will be a one hour break for lunch each day between 12-1, where participants will be fed lunch. Apply here.

    You can sign up for one, two or all three of these three summer FDI experiences!

  • 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.

  • How do I join one, two or all three FDI experiences?

    Participate in as many (or as few) of these experiences as you like by clicking on the respective sign-up or application link below:

    1. Sign-up for Global Faculty Book Club: Education in the Age of AI (open to ALL faculty)
    2. Sign-up for FDI Mini Conference sessions (open to ALL faculty)
    3. Apply for FDI Course Incubator (limited to ten faculty)

    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...

    Active Learning methods are a game changer. These methods not only engage students and support better learning, but also they make the class fun and enjoyable. And that is a great motivator for me. Developing a new course is a lot challenging if my objective is to 'transfer'. And with FDI's support, half the battle is won even if we have a SFD. Prateek Arora, Assistant Professor of Economics

    I loved the FDI Incubator! I learned so much in just one week. I remembered several of the ideas we encountered from the new faculty boot camp, but I really appreciated the time and space to consider these ideas more deeply and brainstorm with my colleagues. Chris Chandler, Assistant Professor of Music

    The teaching methods I acquired during that week are pretty much how I learned on my own. Now, not all and perhaps not most of our students are self-directed learners as I am. For me, it was invaluable to understand how I can design classes that convey experiences and methods to students (how to become excited, engaged, and self-directed) that seem "automatic" for us as profs. Sarina Kuersteiner, Assistant Professor of History

    This is the third FDI that I've participated in. I highly recommend the incubator to anyone who is interested in learning about best practices in pedagogy. We learned about how our students learn and best practices for engaging students in deep learning (among other really fascinating and practical matters). We practiced backward course design, discussed assessing student learning, all while crafting and then workshopping our new courses. While it was a lot of work, it was also really a lot of fun! I have so many ideas for my new course and can't wait to work on it over the coming weeks! Kristin Bidoshi, Associate Professor of Russian

    The focused dedication to course improvement and professional development is incredibly useful. Luke Dosiek, Associate Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering

    I found the incubator very valuable in both formulating my classes and getting me excited about teaching again. I appreciated the structured approach to course design, emphasis on best practices in student learning, and opportunity to workshop my classes with other faculty. Jennifer Fredricks, Professor of Psychology

    Designing or redesigning a course can be fun and will get you excited about it. The excitement will make your class better, and ultimately make you feel more satisfied with the work that you do. Allison Conley, Lecturer of Visual Arts - Printmaking and Drawing

    Comparing notes on pedagogy is always helpful. Comparing notes on pedagogy with a self-selecting group of faculty who are expressly dedicated to rethinking and expanding how they teach is extremely helpful. Greg Callaghan, Assistant Professor of Classics

    It changed the way I think about different aspects of my teaching, and gave my confidence in my ability to navigate situations I have yet to experience. Overhauling your courses is a lot of work, and I know much of what I want to incorporate will need to be done over 5 years, not 5 months, but I'm excited to add new ideas to my courses. Stephanie Curley, Assistant Professor of Electrical, Computer & Biomedical Engineering

    I did my first FDI in 2014 which really helped me think differently about how I teach and the skills I want students to take away. This second FDI was a great opportunity to apply new research informed strategies, especially given the rate of change amongst each generation of students, especially after covid and what we know now about inclusive learning. Having the opportunity to work collaboratively and connect with other faculty was very rewarding and encouraging. I left inspired and eager to apply what I learned! Lorraine Cox, Associate Professor of Art History

    This weeklong workshop fundamentally changed the way I have taught and often silently struggled to engage students in the classroom and foster their learning for years. I gained so many helpful strategies, ideas, and insights from the FDI backward design activities and from meaningful discussions with colleagues that I feel renewed excitement about redesigning my syllabi and returning to the classroom this fall. Erika Nelson Mukherjee, Associate Professor of German Studies

    The FDI is an opportunity to engage with other faculty who have similar goals and investment in student-centric learning. As a senior faculty member, it's a chance to share experiences and lessons learned, but also be exposed to new ideas and perspectives from junior colleagues. Holli Frey, Professor of Geology

    This is my 3rd time attending the FDI, and each time I have left feeling enriched. Denise Snyder and Stacie Cassat Green are the ultimate dynamic duo. They embody the crucial qualities every effective educator needs to be highly successful. Denise and Stacie bring a wealth of knowledge to the FDI, but they don't impose their knowledge, methods, or expertise on others. They make suggestions, offer constructive feedback, and share their own successes and failures in a way that is respectful, validating, and encouraging. They know how to make learning fun and interesting but also challenging in a way that pushes attendees to dig deeper to find answers. Having David Collinge and Sonia Sandoval there was just extra icing on the cake. I'm highly impressed with Union's Learning Design and Digital Innovation team. It is so apparent that this area of the college has all the right people in place and is thriving under Denise's directorship. The FDI is a sensational way to kick off summer! Jill-Marie Murphy, Professor of English

    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

    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

    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

    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

    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

    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

    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

    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

    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

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