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The Essentials of Teaching and Learning

Don’t have a lot of time? Explore the basics of teaching and learning in 60 minutes! This series of interactive workshops emphasizes a learner-centered approach to teaching, and provides you with practical strategies informed by the research literature on effective teaching practices.

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Program Description

Each Essentials workshop is an interactive one-hour session during which you learn about practical strategies informed by literature on teaching and learning. These fast-paced sessions include opportunities to interact and share ideas with colleagues, practice using teaching strategies, reflect on and plan your pedagogical approach, and take away resources for further exploration.

Workshops in this series include:

Preparing to Teach
Start off the semester strong! Get ready to facilitate student learning by planning for the start of your class and reflecting on your teaching practices. The session provides strategies and resources that prepare instructors to enter the classroom or other learning environments. You will think about and share how to get started – consider what to do before classes begin, plan for the first day of class, and reflect on your teaching practices.

Syllabus Design
Set the tone for your course through your syllabus! Discover ways to develop and implement a learner-centered syllabus. You will discuss the purpose and essential elements of a course syllabus, review sample syllabi, and explore how to create a syllabus that supports learning.

Active Learning and Interactive Classrooms
Engage students in their learning! Explore strategies and techniques to promote student engagement in lecture, discussion, and lab. You will experience various active learning techniques and consider how these can be adapted to serve different needs and learning contexts.

Grading, Rubrics, and Feedback
Assess your students’ learning! Learn about assessment basics, effective feedback practices, and rubric implementation with a focus on improving student learning. You will discuss formative and summative assessment, analyze feedback techniques, and practice using a grading rubric.

Evaluating Improving Your Teaching
Why wait for end-of-term course evaluations? Implement ongoing formative classroom assessment techniques, collect midterm feedback, invite peers into your classroom, and reflect on your teaching – now! Consider different ways to gather feedback from students and peers and leave with an action plan.  

The Essentials workshop series is inspired by the Fundamentals of Teaching + Learning at the Sheridan Center for Teaching and Learning at Brown University.

Related CTL Programs, Services, and Resources

Reflective Teaching Seminar
Interested in deepening your engagement with the fundamentals of teaching practice? The Reflective Teaching Seminar allows participants to explore evidence-based teaching and learning in an interdisciplinary community of practitioners.

The CTL offers consultation on all topics addressed in the Essentials of Teaching and Learning sessions. To set up a consultation, email


Questions about the Essentials of Teaching and Learning? Contact the Faculty Teaching Initiatives and Programs team at


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