Stearns Center Events Calendar

Welcome to our events calendar page! Please bookmark this page to learn more about upcoming events and changes to events listed below.  Also, don’t forget to sign up for our monthly newsletter to keep up with all SC events and support resources!

  • Digital Learning (DL) – Webinars blend information with a Q&A period. They are recorded for future viewing. Recording links will be published on our Trainings page.
  • Writing Across the Curriculum (WAC) – Faculty Learning Communities and Webinars focus on writing and faculty development.
  • Continuing Professional Development (CPD) – CPD Workshops and Webinars help faculty to document their teaching over time. For more information on CPD credentials, click this link.

Summer/Fall 2024

August

Monday, August 12 | 9:30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. | via Zoom | Workshop: Fostering Engagement and Belonging with Inclusive Classroom Techniques | CPD Level 1 Engage | Facilitator: Rachel Yoho | Register here.

Are you ready to integrate inclusive teaching throughout your instructional spaces? Would you like to explore techniques and build tangible plans for your classes? This is where that journey begins. In this workshop, we will explore some of the definitions and terms often found in conversations about creating more inclusive classrooms. We will work together to advance our individual abilities in broadly inclusive teaching and learning to support all students. At the end of the workshop, we will have developed familiarity with concepts and terminology, explored deliberately inclusive classroom activities, and set one or two manageable goals for our classes.

Please reach out to Rachel Yoho (ryoho@gmu.edu) with any questions.

Monday, August 12 – Friday, August 16, 2024 | 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. | via Zoom | Introduction to Artificial Intelligence Inspired Pedagogies | CPD Level 2 | Facilitator: Laina Lockett | Register here. 

By now you’ve probably heard of ChatGPT or one of the other various new large language models (LLMs) that have taken the world by storm. But do you know how to deal with the ever-evolving artificial intelligence technology as it relates to your teaching? In this mini course you will be exposed to the basics of redesigning your course as it relates to learning outcomes and instructional activities. We will also explore how to get feedback from students regarding the changes that you make. (This is the same program as the program offered May 2024.)  

Monday, August 12 | 10:45 a.m. – 11:45 a.m. | via Zoom | Workshop: (Re-)Designing Syllabi for Inclusive Classrooms that Support Learners & Instructors | CPD Level 1 Design | Facilitator: Rachel Yoho | Register here.

Are you ready to align your courses with university commitments to inclusive teaching? Or are you developing a new course or submitting an existing one for the new university-wide tags (like Mason Core)? In this workshop, we will work to advance our understanding of inclusive course design and how to improve syllabi to be more inclusive for everyone in the space (including instructors!). During the session, we will have specific discussion time to focus on connecting these ideas with your course and your discipline. At the end of the workshop, participants will leave with a greater understanding of the potential considerations for designing and redesigning inclusive course syllabi and aligning with broader institutional initiatives and expectations.

Please reach out to Rachel Yoho (ryoho@gmu.edu) with any questions.

Tuesday, August 13 | 9:30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. | via Zoom | Workshop: Preparing Your Course and Yourself for Difficult Classroom Discussions & Situations | Facilitator: Rachel Yoho | Register here.

Do you have strategies to prepare yourself and your students to handle difficult conversations? This could be when you are having difficult conversations about topics like race, sexuality, religion, politics, or similar. These situations also could result from a discussion comment that makes a student or group uncomfortable or might even be about grades. In this workshop, we will discuss how to design (or redesign) your course and prepare yourself to facilitate important or “hot topic” conversations in the classroom.  Background information on how to design the course and prepare for facilitating important conversations in the classroom will be provided.  This workshop is applicable to instructors across all disciplines for facilitating important conversations, whether or not their designed course topics include socially pressing issues. This workshop is part of a two-part series for Mason faculty to engage in anti-racist and inclusive education across all disciplines.

Please reach out to Rachel Yoho (ryoho@gmu.edu) with any questions.

Tuesday, August 13 | 10:45 a.m. – 11:45 a.m. | via Zoom | Workshop: Supporting Student Learning through Self-Awareness and Reflection to Navigate a Complex, Global Society | Facilitator: Rachel Yoho | Register here.

Are you interested in incorporating techniques to help students develop their own self-awareness and navigate a complex, global society in your field, discipline, and course?  Or are you (re-)developing a course for one of the new Mason Core designations of Just Societies or Global Contexts?  This workshop is designed to support your teaching around helping students develop their self-awareness, particularly related to your discipline.  This workshop includes the concepts of positionality and intersectionality broadly, but particularly for the new Core areas. At the end of the workshop, we will have explored the concepts and applied them to potential activities and assignments in our courses.

Please reach out to Rachel Yoho (ryoho@gmu.edu) with any questions.

Wednesday, August 14 | 9:30 a.m. -10:30 a.m. | via Zoom | Workshop: How to Handle Difficult Classroom Discussions and Situations in the Moment | Facilitator: Rachel Yoho | Register here.

Are you prepared to handle difficult discussions and charged situations in the classroom in the moment? Do you usually think of things later that you wish you would have said or done?  In this workshop, we will prepare and practice how to handle important and potentially tense classroom conversations in the moment.  Our focus will be on how to support everyone in the classroom – including yourself – during tense times.  We will discuss and practice several teaching approaches.  This workshop is applicable to instructors across all disciplines for facilitating important conversations, whether or not their designed course topics include socially pressing issues (like race, gender, religion, politics).  Please note, this is the second in a two-part workshop series on important conversations.  However, participants are welcome and encouraged to attend this session even if they were not able to attend part one.

Please reach out to Rachel Yoho (ryoho@gmu.edu) with any questions.

Wednesday, August 14 | 1:00 p.m. – 2:15 p.m. | via Zoom | Workshop: Surviving to Thriving: Incorporating Trauma-Informed Instructional Practices | Facilitator: Rachel Yoho | Register here.

Whether individual or collective, trauma can have a significant impact on lives and how students (and instructors) show up and are able to engage in the classroom.  In this workshop, we will explore the concept of trauma and how it applies to the classroom, recognize a few common trauma responses, investigate several educational best practices, expand our thinking with resilient pedagogy, and begin to apply these concepts to our own teaching.  Together we will move beyond minimum legal requirements or accommodations to design and implement evidence-based instructional strategies in university education.

Please reach out to Rachel Yoho (ryoho@gmu.edu) with any questions.

Thursday, August 15 | 9:30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. | via Zoom | Workshop: Helping Students Learn in Difficult Classroom Conversations and Situations | Facilitator: Rachel Yoho | Register here.

Are you ready to take your next steps in engaging successfully in difficult classroom conversations and situations?  In this leveled-up workshop, we will explore the elements of free speech in an educational context, investigate types of disruptions and situationally appropriate teaching responses, and analyze scenarios with colleagues.  This workshop is applicable to instructors across all disciplines for facilitating important conversations, whether or not their designed course topics include socially pressing issues (like race, gender, religion, politics).  Please note, this is the third in a four-part workshop series on important conversations.  Participants are encouraged – but not required – to engage with parts 1 and 2 before joining this session.

Please reach out to Rachel Yoho (ryoho@gmu.edu) with any questions.

Thursday, August 15 | 2:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. | via Zoom | Hands-on Syllabus Workshop: (Re-)Designing Syllabi for Inclusive Classrooms that Support Learners and Instructors | CPD Level 1 Design | Facilitator: Rachel Yoho | Register here.

Are you ready to align your courses with university commitments to inclusive teaching? In this hands-on and collaborative workshop, we will create one specific action for increasing inclusion in your syllabus that works for you, your course, and your context.  Participants are asked to bring a syllabus that they would like to focus on during the session.  At the end of the workshop, participants will leave with a syllabus ready to go for the next time they offer the course.

Please reach out to Rachel Yoho (ryoho@gmu.edu) with any questions.

Friday, August 16 | 9:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. | via Zoom | Classroom Inquiry: Planning a SoTL (Scholarship of Teaching and Learning) Project | Facilitator: Breana Bayraktar | Register here 

You tried a new pedagogical approach or curricular innovation and it seemed to work! If you had studied the impact of that teaching change on your students’ learning, you would have been engaging in the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL), which invites you to examine your classroom practices systematically, improve your teaching based on your findings, and then share your findings with others. In this workshop, we will brainstorm potential research questions and methods and draft plans for collecting and analyzing data. Attendees will be eligible for a drawing to win a copy of Nancy Chick’s Book, SoTL in Action.