May 2015 Teaching Seminar

May 13, 14, & 15, 2015

"How Can I Help My Students Do Their Best Work?  Strategies for Reaching, Focusing, Motivating, and Engaging Them as Learners"

Seminar Leader: Professor Linda Nilson, author of Teaching at Its Best (Jossey-Bass, 2010), Creating Self-Regulated Learners (Stylus, 2013) and Specifications Grading (Stylus, 2015)

Professor Nilson's biography

Sponsored by University College and the Faculty Professional Development Program


The generation of traditional-age students that we now teach presents us with unique challenges. Their values and priorities seem to run counter to ours and do not include our courses. Few of them know how to learn. And they don’t seem interested in mastering our material or doing their best work. In this cross-disciplinary, interactive seminar, Dr. Nilson will review the research on this generation, which confirms that you are not just imaging these challenges, and lay out strategies for reaching these students. For instance, you will learn how to induce your students to practice self-regulated learning, which studies show strongly enhances academic success and learning. In addition, Dr. Nilson will explain a new grading system, specifications grading, that motivates student effort, restores academic rigor, and saves you grading time. During the three-day program, you will have ample opportunity to modify your own course designs to incorporate self-regulated learning skills without sacrificing content and to set up a grading system that students generally like and that motivates them to learn and excel.

During the three-day seminar participants will have multiple opportunities to work on their own class designs and practices guided by Professor Nilson during this multidisciplinary, interactive working seminar. 
Applications are specifically sought from faculty who teach lower division courses that have high student enrollments.

Teaching Seminar Program Components

The faculty selected for the program will:
• Inaugurate seminar activities at an orientation lunch
• Participate in the three-day workshop
• Participate in follow-up discussions with Seminar colleagues during the year following the seminar
• Submit a brief report at the end of the academic year on the ways their teaching was influenced by the Seminar work and the impact of their work on student learning

Participating faculty may be eligible to receive a $1000 stipend for participation. 

The application period has now closed.

Contact Larry Gallagher, Director of Faculty Professional Development at or 523-7121 if you have questions.