Educational Learning Opportunities

Professional Development for Individual and Team Learning

Faculty and administration need to continuously update knowledge and skills to guide their work. Using just-in-time learning individuals and groups are able to improve their skills when they are needed to meet the goals of organizational initiatives. 

1-Topic

These team learning sessions are delivered via a web-conferencing with a facilitator and participants. The topics are listed below. The length is usually 1-2 hours. Discussion during the session will be encouraged. A certificate of completion is awarded for successfully participating in the session to add to a professional portfolio. The cost is determined by the number of members in a team.

1-Topic

These team learning sessions are delivered via a web-conferencing with a facilitator and participants. The topics are listed below. Length is usually 1-2 hours. Discussion during the session will be encouraged. These start with a web-conferencing session and will include some additional resources and self-assessment reflection materials. Feedback is provided to participants for submitted assignments. A certificate of completion is awarded for successfully participating in the session to add to a professional portfolio. The cost is determined by the number of members in a team.

Mini-courses for Teams

Designed for small team instruction on the same topics which are listed below. Courses include additional resources and materials. Feedback is provided to participants for submitted assignments. They are also valuable for teams to get started by applying the course content to a business project. A certificate of completion is awarded for successfully participating in the session to add to their professional portfolio. The cost is determined by the number of members in a team.

Build-Your-Own-Learning Individual Courses

These individual courses are designed for one learner who has chosen 1-5 topics listed below. Each topic module of the course will include module content, some materials and resources and a reflective self-assessment. The length of each module can be completed in one week. A certificate of completion is awarded for successfully participating in the session to add to their professional portfolio. The cost is determined by the number of modules the individual takes.

Online Course Design Institute (University Faculty)

Each of these workshops, webinars or the online institute will help participants strengthen areas of their teaching. Using Innovation Synergy’s professional development program you can choose from a variety of workshops and webinars to help you meet the needs of students and the external needs challenging campus and online learning today. IS will also work with you to create customizable training modules.

This team-based set of courses has served over 300 participants who have designed over 350 courses in 2020. This 3-week online institute uses Zoom for the synchronous component and D2L Brightspace for online asynchronous content and activities to guide faculty who are creating a new course, want to improve a current course, and change a course to deliver it online. The institute opening orientation session introduces participants to the course navigation. Each of the following 8 sessions consist of a 2-hour content delivery with time for discussions and learning activities. Each session is followed by a 1-hour open lab for individual help.

Using the book, Designing Effective Teaching and Significant Learning as a text, author facilitators lead participants through the elements of integrated course design to support effective teaching and provide significant learning for students. The institute also examines how to assess the quality of courses and student learning results can serve in program review and institutional outcome assessment. The course will model how to use many learning management system tools including announcements, checklists, discussion, calendar, assignment folder, quiz, grades, surveys, rubrics, groups, glossary, FAQs, intelligent agents and awards. Knowing how these tools are used, and the pedagogy for implementation, will help faculty use them in their courses.  Info@Innsynergy.com

Contact us for further details.

PLANNING WORKSHOPS

EW1. Designing Courses for Significant Learning: The Cycle of Course design

Participants will examine a full 360° view of the Cycle of Course Design model. The components of the model consist of four broad categories of planning, designing, assessing and reflecting on the course design process from the individual course to how it ties into program and institutional accreditation and then back to individual reflection on effective teaching to deliver significant learning for students. Quality course design is critical for retaining students. This workshop provides design styles for clear navigation and the alignment of course learning outcomes, activities and assessment. This is a workshop that is excellent for administrators who need to evaluate the quality of courses as a part of faculty evaluation. In addition, the design for technology integration, accessibility for learners and assessing course quality are discussed.

EW2. Preparing for Your Course Design

This interactive presentation lays the foundation to planning for course design. As with any journey some preparation is needed to set up the success of the endeavor. A discussion of significant learning leads to the examination of taxonomy frameworks. The identification of a course’s situational factors leads to a deeper look at the expectations others have about your course, the characteristics of the learners and your own characteristics as their teacher. This analysis of the situational factors will help you with the pedagogical challenges that need to be addressed in design. Finally, participants will develop the Big Dream, the mission, vision, and values for the overall course.

DESIGNING WORKSHOPS

EW3. Integrating Your Course Design

Designing your course properly allows you to teach interactively and engages students with significant learning experiences. Participants will have the opportunity to engage in Fink’s integrated course design to develop and align learning outcomes, assessments and activities in face-to-face, blended and online courses. Examples of completed 3-column and 6-column tables demonstrate course integration to use as a model as participants layout their own course design alignment. Note: This presentation includes the Preparing for Your Course Design workshop. For a deeper dive with an extensive amount of individual feedback we recommend that participants take the Online Course Design Institute (9 sessions spread over 3 weeks with 18 hours of instruction and 8 hours of individual help).

EW4. Aligning Learning Outcomes, Assessments, and Activities

This workshop is a portion of the Integrating Your Course Design presentation. Participants will examine this alignment to be sure that students are being prepared to succeed and performing to the high standard in meeting course outcomes. They will also gain experience of how to write measurable outcomes that are course-level appropriate. As course designers, faculty often create learning activities and assessments that don’t adequately measure the outcomes or offer a multiple perspective of providing practice and assessments. This workshop will discuss integrated course design best practices and Fink’s Taxonomy of Significant Learning. A crosswalk for aligning learning assessments and activities with outcomes will be provided.

EW5. Creating a Learning Framework: Developing learning activities and techniques

Participants will examine research-based learning models and current thinking about learning processes as they relate to teaching and learning in various formats. Understanding the characteristics of students is key in providing the foundation as it reinforces the course design model. In a theory to practice approach, this presentation provides the descriptions of learning activities, as well as templates and sample learning activities and techniques appropriate to bridge the course outcomes to the assessments and to promote active learning and stronger student engagement to be delivered in both online and F2F environments.

EW6. Designing Activities for Engaged Student Learning

Learning activities in a course make up the largest proportion of the time in which faculty teach and students learn. The activities are the bridge from outcomes to the assessment of outcomes. They also prepare students for success in the course and after graduation. Activities need to be as engaging as they can, involving active learning. Participants will examine their courses for active versus passive learning as they redesign assignments they recognize as not being as effective as possible. Learning activities are often the way students evaluate a course and measure their progress. Having engaging learning activities motivates students to succeed.

EW7. Working with Developmental Level Students

This presentation takes a deeper dive into successful strategies and design elements that help developmental level students succeed. This is especially helpful for faculty who haven’t had difficulty learning and as experts can use some assistance in working with students with strategies to prepare for the course content.

EW8. Delivering Significant Learning in Classroom Presentations

Do you know that there are ways to present a course session so that you can use your time together optimally? Participants will discuss a design to deliver significant learning in the F2F, blended and online classroom environment. As both a faculty developer and dean, my faculty benefited greatly from the ideas shared with them to help their students walk out of the class talking about the content and experiences they learned. This workshop will deliver ways to help students organize their thinking and learning throughout the course session so they will remember it the next time you meet building on what they previously learned.

EW9. Designing Courses for Introverts and Extraverts

Think back to how you learned best in your post-secondary education. Which classes did you enjoy most? In reflecting upon the reasons you enjoyed them, was it because of the content, the faculty, the learning activities or a combination? All of these elements are key in the design of a course in order for students to be successful. For all students to master the outcomes and achieve success, there is a situational factor that is often overlooked and should be considered in the planning of the design to capitalize on your course’s effectiveness for both introverted and extraverted students.

EW10. Learning How to Learn

One of the greatest failures of lifelong learning is when students who have been through years of school continue to ask the question, “How am I doing?” Why don’t students know how they are doing? Why can’t students self-assess their progress in their learning. The answer is simple. We don’t teach them to do so. This carries over from the classroom to the career. This workshop provides the strategies so students will be able to self-assess their improvement on their journey in lifelong learning as they continue to learn how to learn.

EW11. Communicating in Your Course

Planning for the integration of multiple approaches to communicate a welcoming and engaging environment for learning is the focus of this session. A variety of communication tools and strategies are discussed to better engage students before, during, and at the end of the course for the purpose of developing a more student-centered experience. Examples are provided so you can analyze the effectiveness of current strategies on the path to designing a communication plan which integrates into the course design. The 2-hour presentation demonstrates the use of the learning management system tools which are discussed in the 1-hour presentation.

EW12. Making Your Course Accessible

Accessibility for all learners is critical for student success. You will discover how to make your course and content materials meet Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requirements. A discussion of providing accommodations for student learning provides insights to broaden pedagogical practice which benefits all students, not only those who need the accommodation. These skills are also important to teach students so they can develop their own accessible materials in the course and the workplace. Finally, a discussion of how students are accessing courses today with devices and access will add a new dimension to accessibility.

EW13. Integrating Learning Technologies

Technology can serve as a great way to increase engagement and enhance the quality of learning online and face-to-face experiences. Identifying a need and choosing appropriate tools and strategies to embed in the course can support learning activities, help students meet course outcomes, and prepare them for work after graduation. The process of choosing applications and tools to help faculty with course management so they can spend more time engaging with students and providing feedback occurs.

ASSESSING WORKSHOPS

EW14. Assessing Student Learning

Understanding types of assessments and strategies to use multiple measurements to assess the whole student will make assessing student learning more fruitful. The discussion includes developing backward- and forward-looking, authentic, and portfolio assessments. Included is an examination of the components of rubric development and the importance of feedback. A crosswalk chart will demonstrate how to link learning activities with assessment techniques. Finally, there is a discussion of how faculty can use assessment results.

EW15. The Power of Assessment

Participants will uncover the advantages of the Fink Taxonomy of Significant Learning and the types of course assessment. Assessment is used to determine student grades, measure course quality, and provide valuable information to improve program curriculum to meet accreditation. Finally, this overview of assessment will help participants consider the pathway that course assessment strategies lead to achieving institutional outcomes.

EW16. Developing Rubrics: The means to assess learning and measure success

Creating rubrics to assess students provide several positive outcomes. The first is that faculty have a set of established standards by which to consistently assess learning activities. The second is that students have a set of communicated standards to achieve as they complete assignments and assessments. Finally, rubrics can offer much feedback for students to progress in future learning. Course assignments and assessments could have rubrics to improve success as an effective way to measure student mastery of outcomes for projects and performance.

EW17. Classroom Assessment Techniques

Engaging students through measuring the effectiveness of the course elements is a way to retain students. Faculty can use a variety of quick and easy strategies to measure student learning. Participants will learn short-term ideas that deliver valuable information to make sure the course progress is on track. This helps to make sure that students are meeting the outcomes on formative and summative assessment. This workshop is a great combination with the Developing Rubrics (EW16) workshop.

EW18. Assessing Course Quality

“Do I have a good course?” This is a question which is on the mind of most faculty. Using the best practices of designing face-to-face, blended and online courses provides opportunities to assess the quality of a course. Gathering student feedback in reflection activities and course evaluation surveys are ways to measure what is working and what can be improved to build a stronger course through continuous improvement. This workshop provides multiple strategies to measure a course’s effectiveness and quality. The ideas presented improve course quality through both informal and formal means. Strategies and rubrics are provided to help participants self-assess course quality.

EW19. Assessing Your Program and Institution

Faculty are expected to provide academic leadership in program and institutional assessment. This presentation discusses designing the assessment pathway by integrating the micro to macro levels of assessment: from the student, to the course, to the program/department, to the institution by providing continuity for quality. Since some programs/departments and all institutions are required to measure their outcomes for accreditation, knowing how your course relates to the curriculum of the program/department and how these align with the institution’s mission completes the overall assessment picture.

REFLECTING WORKSHOPS

EW20. Reflecting on Your Teaching

Reflection on your teaching is key to continuous growth, improvement and sustainability. Additionally, there are a variety of steps retention for promotion and tenure. This presentation will focus on what you can do to archive your work to monitor performance and demonstrate accomplishments as evidence of your quality work. Participants in this workshop will develop a system to record their accomplishments for use in the tenure process, grant submissions, licensure and certifications, partnership development and accreditation requirements.

EW21. Teaching Like You Learned, May Not Be Preparing Students for the Future

Consider for a moment how you learned your discipline in higher education. Your professor may have already been 30 by the time you took the course. Your professor learned from someone who may have learned the discipline 30 years before that. If you are teaching the same way you may be using practices that are over 70 years old. Your students learn differently now. They think differently now. They are entering professional careers that are much different now and are constantly changing. “We are currently preparing students for jobs that don’t yet exist … using technologies that haven’t been invented … in order to solve problems we don’t even know are problems yet.” — Richard Riley, former Secretary of Education

EW22. Developing Centers for Teaching and Learning

A campus Center for Teaching and Learning is one of the most powerful organizations an institution can create. Directors can work closely with faculty to improve teaching and learning and to assist the institution in strategically planning for and the success of initiatives. Each center has a unique design based on the needs for a campus and provides the resources for faculty employees to succeed in the classroom and their professional duties. Note: Consultant work is also available in designing a campus center.

Reach out today.

We would enjoy talking with you about your organization’s needs.