Intensive Workshops

Our Intensive Workshops give faculty focused, immersive and shared experiences of pedagogical challenges facing most of us. You'll work together with others from different departments and disciplines, learning from shared experiences while making connections with staying power.

How do they work?

Over the course of a 6-hour day, you'll experience a series of mini-workshops aimed at helping you develop capacities and building skills for handling a particular in-class challenge.

When are they offered?

We typically offer an Intensive in January, and again in August/September, depending on demand. On request, we may also offer our workshops to your department or other faculty cluster.

What will be offered this semester?

Our topic for January and August 2014 workshops is: Inclusive and Identity-Safe Classrooms. Click here for a full description: Inclusive Workshop details.

What other Intensives do we offer?

To date we have offered one other workshop: Reinventing Rigor. This workshop has been offered multiple times. Click here for a full description: Rigor Workshop details.

Other Intensives are in the works. And we are always vetting new ideas, so if you have a topic you'd like us to consider developing, please send it our way.

Detailed Descriptions

Below you'll find more detailed descriptions of our various intensive workshops.

Inclusive and Identity-Safe Classrooms

Inspired by the over 400 studies confirming the importance of creating inclusive, identity-safe classrooms for enhancing student performance, this day-long intensive for faculty on January 17, 10-4, invites you to join with your colleagues in a reconsidering a class or two, through the lenses of identity safety and inclusivity.

Building on the research-based concept of identity-safe classrooms – where learning is student-centered, relationships between students are supported and valued, diversity is treated as a value and caring is made visible – we reflect together on how to increase our own capacities to shift each and every classroom toward greater identity-safety. How do we work with the particular students in each class to create an environment that maximizes intellectual, social and emotional learning for all? What are today's best strategies for encouraging all of our students to learn, and to learn from and about one another, together?

Through a series of structured discussions and exercises, we will:

  • Explore our notions of inclusivity and identity as they relate to classroom experiences and learning outcomes, and consider ways our thinking might be "updated" based on recent research.
  • Examine and share some of the different ways of making our classes safe for all, of understanding and embodying diversity as a value, and of appropriately supporting caring in our classrooms, as well as the various challenges we face.
  • Consider where and how identity-safety both enhances rigor, and fits into the USF mission.

At the end of the day, you'll take home concrete new strategies for creating and maintaining a sense of rigor-enhancing inclusivity in your classes.

Reinventing Rigor

On April 29, 2011 Richard Arum and Josipa Roksa spoke at USF about their recent book, Academically Adrift: Limited Learning on College Campuses. Their book launched conversations across the world of higher education because of its disturbing findings: most college students are not gaining the critical thinking and writing skills we all hope for. You'll find the MP3 file of Arum and Roksa's talk here, along their PowerPoint file: Academically Adrift presentation download

Inspired by the findings of Academically Adrift, this day-long intensive for faculty invites us to join in a collective reconsideration of rigor. How do we know what to ask of our students? What does rigor mean? And what are today's best strategies for encouraging students to learn?

Through a series of structured discussions, we will:

  • Explore our notions of rigor. Where do they come from? Are they appropriate for our students? What are the different ways of understanding rigor?
  • Discuss with other faculty what they ask of their students, why, how they communicate expectations, and how they help students achieve these goals.
  • Consider where and how rigor fits into the USF mission.

At the end of the day, participants will carry home concrete strategies for applying new ideas of rigor in their classes.