Seminars For Excellence in Teaching

Since 2008, the Academy for Teaching and Learning has hosted a series of one-hour Seminars for Excellence in Teaching (SET) to help colleagues meet the historic expectations of excellence in teaching at Baylor. For new Teachers of Record (TOR), SET satisfy SACS requirements for professional development in teaching. For more experienced TOR, SET facilitate the sharing of ideas and insights about teaching and learning today and encourage participants to renew their commitments to inspirational teaching. SET are also a valuable resource in the preparation of graduate student Teachers of Record.

All members of the Baylor community are invited to attend SET in accord with our core commitments to seek learning and apply knowledge and to pursue excellence through continuous improvement.



Locations vary. Carefully note the venue of the SETs you register for.


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Technology-Enhanced Engagement and Feedback

Jon Eckert (Educational Leadership)

Monday, January 24
2:30-3:30pm
Hybrid Event
In-person location: Moody 104 (Active Learning Lab)
Online: Zoom link provided with registration.

During the pandemic, we all learned technologies for instruction. But how do we know if we’re using the right tools in the right ways? This session will present original research findings and facilitate discussion on the use of a wide range of technologies aimed at improving student engagement and feedback, including lightboard technology, Mentimeter, Gimkit, Pear Deck, Slido, and Mural. Hear from Baylor faculty how these technologies facilitated learning for Baylor students.


Technology with Heart: How to Harness What You See in Navigate to Steer Every Student Toward Success

Carroll Crowson (CASE)
Jeffrey Olafsen (Physics)
Jeff Strietzel (Educational Leadership)
Meaghann Wheelis (Institutional Research)

Tuesday, February 15
3:30-4:30pm
Hybrid Event
In-person location: Moody 104 (Active Learning Lab)
Online: Zoom link provided with registration.

Big data and artificial intelligence are part of our daily lives, holding promise to enhance our everyday experience even while we critically evaluate their uses. Student data is increasingly a factor in helping students on their academic journey, and its possibilities are not limited to student success offices. Faculty, too, can responsibly use available student data to support student learning. In this session, we’ll peek under the hood to understand the model scoring that Baylor currently uses and explore how it informs student success work. Most importantly, you will learn how to find meaningful data about your students based on access you already have to steer every student you work with to success.


Intentional Online Teaching: Lessons from Learning Design Fellows

Paul Anderson (Finance, Insurance, & Real Estate)
Maria De Mesa (Chemistry and Biochemistry)
Nicole Kenley (English)
Karenna Malavanti (Psychology and Neuroscience)

Tuesday, February 22
11:00am-12:00pm
Hybrid Event
In-person location: Jones 200 (Dennis Campbell Innovative Learning Space)
Online: Zoom link provided with registration.

Over the last two years, instructors were asked to create and teach online courses that were developed under stress of a rapid transition from in-person to online teaching. Traditionally, online course design is a systematic process that involves ideation and revisioning which takes time. In this session, we will hear from the 2021 Summer Learning Design Fellows, who will share their insights on developing quality online learning experiences. They will also share design strategies that transferred well from their online courses to their in-person courses.


Fraternity and Sorority Life: What Every Baylor Professor Needs to Know

Tranquility Cowan (Senior Coordinator for Fraternity and Sorority Life)

Tuesday, March 1
11:00am-12:00pm
Hybrid Event
In-person location: Jones 200 (Dennis Campbell Innovative Learning Space)
Online: Zoom link provided with registration.

Baylor University hosts over 40 fraternities and sororities, with 25% of Baylor undergraduates participating in Greek Life. Fraternities and sororities form a foundational experience for many students, providing opportunities for leadership, academic excellence, service, friendship, and spiritual growth. Yet many faculty are unaware of how these organizations holistically impact a student’s experience. In this session, participants will learn about the rhythms, activities, and commitments involved in fraternity and sorority life, equipping Baylor instructors to better interact with students and connect their courses to these key extra-curricular experiences.


Outside the Assessment Box: Experiments in Alternative Assessment

Monique Ingalls (Church Music)
Sarah Kienle (Biology)
Moises Park (Spanish)

Thursday, March 17
3:30-4:30pm
Hybrid Event
In-person location: Moody 104 (Active Learning Lab)
Online: Zoom link provided with registration.

Instructors often envision a narrow range of options when devising learning assessments. Quizzes, exams, research and reflection papers, and presentations are our go-to methods for tracking student learning. However, when we think “outside the assessment box,” a world of possibilities becomes available. Instructors who experiment with alternative assessments find that these options motivate students, are more enjoyable to grade, reduce academic dishonesty, and connect student learning to crucial authentic contexts. In this session, a panel of Baylor faculty will showcase their experiments with alternative assessments, and participants will brainstorm and get feedback on their own alternative assessment ideas.


Teaching with Special Collections

Holly Spofford (English)
Sam Young (History)
Kazuyuki (Kaz) Hayashi (Religion)
Jon Snyder (School of Music)
Lauren Weber (Theatre Arts)
Benjamin Leavitt (History)
Julie deGraffenried (History)
Luke Sayers (English)
T. J. Geiger (English)
Ryan Sharp (English)

Tuesday, March 22
3:30-4:30pm
Location
Moody Library 104 (Active Learning Lab)

The Baylor Libraries Teaching Fellows Program encourages the use of rare books, archives, and other special collections materials in Baylor graduate and undergraduate curricula. In this session, fellows will present interactive poster discussions on how the use of special collections materials enhances teaching and learning in their courses. Attendees will leave the session with ideas for incorporating special collections into their own courses and prepared to apply for a summer fellowship.


Diversity in the Foreground: Course Content Decisions that Matter

Julie DeGraffenried (History)
Stephen Sloan (History)
Elizabeth Dell (English)
Joe Fulton (English)

Monday, March 28
2:30-3:30pm
Hybrid Event
In-person location: Moody 104 (Active Learning Lab)
Online: Zoom link provided with registration.

In recent years, Baylor has intensified its commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). Faculty have distinct opportunities to address one key aspect of DEI: making pedagogical decisions that help students encounter diverse experiences and perspectives. Moved in part by the diversity and inclusion commitment of the unified Core Curriculum, two faculty teams created new primary-source readers (published with Baylor Press) for Common Courses in history and English. Participants will hear and discuss how foregrounding diversity in content decisions opens new pedagogical possibilities in support of Baylor’s commitment to diversity.


Award-Winning Faculty Perspectives on the Student-Instructor Relationship

Nathan Alleman (Educational Leadership)
Sarah Madsen (Educational Leadership)
Byron Newberry (Mechanical Engineering)

Thursday, April 7
11:00am-12:00pm
Hybrid Event
In-person location: Jones 200 (Dennis Campbell Innovative Learning Space)
Online: Zoom link provided with registration.

Teachers in higher education, regardless of field or discipline, must attempt to manage the intersection of disciplinary expertise, classroom oversight responsibilities, and daily human interactions with students in a way that results in an optimal relationship for learning. Ideally, students would be justified in believing their teachers to be an appropriate combination of expert, fair and organized, and admirable. But teachers may also struggle at times to find the right balance in one or more of these areas. This session will present findings from interviews with expert university teachers on the interrelated aspects of teacher authority, suggesting a useful framework for faculty development.


Synthesizing the Research for Timely Teaching Guidance

Graduate Students in EDL 6302: Teaching and Learning in Higher Education

Wednesday, May 4
2:30-3:30pm
Hybrid Event
In-person location: Moody 104 (Active Learning Lab)
Online: Zoom link provided with registration.

Teaching effectiveness is a lively area of research, with all the nuances and complexities of other disciplines. Faculty strive to be successful teachers but often lack the time or training to explore and interpret the scholarship that can positively impact their teaching. Students in the graduate seminar on teaching and learning in higher education have synthesized literature on core questions for college teaching and produced brief, non-technical, open access “teaching guides.” Participants will hear and discuss their work ranging from how to write a syllabus, to what to do on the first day of class, to effective lectures and discussions, and more.