Continuing Professional Development Workshops

Our Continuing Professional Development (CPD) workshops are designed for new and continuing faculty and instructional TAs at Mason, across all disciplines and ranks. Our workshops and series are designed to encourage and support faculty who are

  • seeking new insights and practical strategies about their teaching
  • participating in ongoing professional development regarding their teaching
  • documenting their growth and achievements in teaching at Mason

See our schedule below, and scroll down for information about how to earn your Formal CPD Certification at Levels 1-4 for your continuing development as a faculty member at Mason.


Summer 2021 CPD Level 1 Schedule

Level 1 Workshops are individual workshops in our CPD series, open to all Mason faculty and graduate students. These workshops emphasize community-building, reflective practice, and clear take-aways related directly to participants' own courses.

We will be offering the following workshops for Summer 2021. (To sign up, see information on our Trainings page.)

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  • Balancing Content Coverage and New Learning Strategies
    • June 10, 2021 | 10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.
  • Designing Writing Assignments
    • Jume 15, 2021 | 11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
  • Open Educational Resources (only need to attend one)
    • June 30, 2021 | 12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.
    • July 29, 2021 | 12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.
    • August 19, 2021 | 12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.


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  • Engaging Students in Hybrid Learning Environments (only need to attend one)
    • June 16, 2021 | 10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.
    • July 14, 2021 | 1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.
    • August 11, 2021 | 10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.


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  • Online Course Design Quality (only need to attend one)
    • June 17, 2021 | 12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.
    • July 15, 2021 | 12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.
    • August 12, 2021 | 12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.
  • Efficient Grading for Assignments and Activities (only need to attend one) 
    • June 29, 2021 | 1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.
    • July 28, 2021 | 10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.
    • August 18, 2021 | 1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.
  • Providing Feedback to Support Student Revision (only need to attend one)
    • August 10. 2021 | 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
    • August 12, 2021 | 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
    • August 17, 2021 | 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Level 1 Credential

A single workshop can provide useful information, but transformative learning and lasting professional development requires breadth and integration of skills. To earn the Level One Essentials credential, instructors need to

  • complete at least one workshop in each of the following categories, Design, Engage and Assess, within a 12-month period
  • complete the Educational Resource Reflection form and choose a related educational resource (i.e. syllabus, activity, assignment, screenshot of Blackboard element). Information about the Educational Resource Reflection form as well as a CPD Tracking Form will be provided at each workshop
  • submit the Educational Resource Reflection form and resource at Educational Resource Submission. Participants may choose to submit reflection and resource to the Stearns Center Archive or undergo peer review and publication on AOLI, Stearns Center repository for educational resources (Note: participants must register for an account at OERCommons to use this option)

Workshops and certifications may be repeated as faculty can demonstrate that they are working on different courses or course projects. Please see our Level 1 Essentials Credential flyer and see below for more information on our extended credential programs, Level 2-4.

See this flyer for the CPD Summer Schedule  (please see full descriptions, updated and exact times, and registration links on our Trainings and Webinars page).

Continuing Professional Development: FAQs

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What are the four levels of CPD Credentials?

Stearns Center CPD programs offer something for every faculty member. Our Level 1 credential focuses on key moments in course design and implementation. A credential at that level can be completed in just 5-6 hours: three workshops and a final Educational Resource Reflection document plus related resource completed within a 12-month period.

At Level 2, Course ReDesign Academy provides a two-day workshop supplemented by online modules and a whole-course-view project, while monthly participation in a yearlong Faculty Learning Community blends networking with peer-focused learning on special topics. At Level 3, Mixed Modalities Course Design (was Pivotal Pedagogy Foundations) provides a cohort-based, seven-week comprehensive course in teaching across modalities and/or incorporating flipped/hybrid pedagogies throughout a course. And at Level 4, Online Course Design Primer provides a cohort-based, seven-week comprehensive program for creating or redesigning an online asynchronous course.

All CPD levels will be offered on a regular basis in concert with faculty demand. Currently, our plans are to offer the following:

  • Level 1 (Essentials): Workshops are offered every fall and spring semester, with additional options for summer
  • Level 2 (Course ReDesign or Faculty Learning Community): CRA is offered every June and January; our Faculty Learning Community options change yearly
  • Level 3 (Mixed Modalities Course Design): MMCD is offered at least once a year when there is sufficient demand (summer)
  • Level 4 (Primer): OCDP is offered at least once a year when there is sufficient demand (summer)

CredentialFocusEstimated Time & TasksAppropriate for…
Level 1
Teaching Essentials: Core Workshops series offered every semester (must be attended live)
Concept and Application
Core teaching concepts and application to faculty’s courses
Core course design and assignment concepts
Applying (new) tools, approaches, or insights into faculty’s current teaching
4-6 hours: Complete at least one workshop in each of the following categories (design, engage, assess),
Complete an Educational Reflection Resource form and an educational resource and submit for archiving or publication
New and continuing faculty who are engaged in ongoing professional development, adopting new (or new-to-you) tools or skills or who are in the early stages of course redesign
New and continuing graduate students who have a TA appointment or who are adopting new (or new-to-you) tools or skills
Continuing faculty (and GTAs who are instructors of record) who are new to online teaching or engaged in ongoing professional development regarding online courses
Faculty who are participating in a related GMU curriculum initiative
Level 2
Course ReDesign Academy (Two-day workshop and supplemental modules offered every January and June) or Faculty Learning Community (6-10 meetings across a year plus a final FLC project)
Course Planning & Integration
Includes core concepts and application, and adds integration of essential concepts and tools throughout a new or redesigned course or approach to teaching
25-30 hours:
CRA = Complete online introduction modules (5-8 hours)
Attend a two-day workshop
Submit a ReDesign Mini Portfolio
FLC = Attend 6-10 meetings per year, each with advance preparation expected; submit a final FLC project or presentation
Continuing faculty who are redesigning a course
Continuing faculty who are creating a new course
Faculty teams (including GTAs) who are collaborating on a course redesign
Faculty teams who are exploring a pedagogical strategy or creating resources for other faculty
Level 3
Mixed Modalities Course Design (was Pivotal Pedagogy Fundamentals)
Seven-week workshop offered annually
Course Design and Implementation
Includes core concepts, application, and integration, and provides in-depth skills support leading to full-course (re)design
40+ hours:
Complete seven-week course, 5-7 hours per week
Complete final course plan
New and continuing faculty (and GTAs who are instructors of record) who are switching from face-to-face to blended or hybrid modalities (including synchronous web-conferencing and asynchronous online)
New and continuing faculty (and GTAs who are instructors of record) who are implementing active learning especially in large section courses (>60 students) and creating blended modalities in support
Level 4
Online Course Design Primer
Seven-week workshop offered twice a year
Course Design and Implementation
Includes core concepts, application, and integration, and provides in-depth skills support leading to full-course (re)design for an online, primarily asynchronous course
70+ hours:
Complete seven-week course, 7-10 hours per week
Complete final course plan
New and continuing faculty (and GTAs who are instructors of record) who preparing to design (or redesign) and teach an online asynchronous course

What do faculty gain from participating in a credentialing program with Stearns Center?

Stearns Center CPD workshops provide guided, interactive learning experiences for faculty from all ranks and disciplines. The CPD credential does not testify to the quality of someone's teaching (evaluation is best left to the local departments and academic units) but documents the intentionality and reflective practice of a faculty member who is interested in expanding his/her/their teaching repertoire and is involved in continuous improvement of their own teaching. (For more information about best practices for participating in unit-based evaluation of teaching, please see the Provost's Office resource here.)

Faculty and graduate students may find the following benefits to CPD participation:

  • Building a network of peers who have shared interests in teaching and learning
  • Learning new concepts or strategies that can immediately enhance their own teaching
  • Acquiring observational frameworks and developing reflective practices that enable them to continue to review and improve their own teaching
  • Gaining specific language and approaches for talking about and showcasing their own teaching strategies in ways that can support them during
    • ...unit-level evaluation (hiring, reappointment, promotion, merit review, and/or tenure)
    • ...individual or collaborative course redesign efforts
    • initiatives (such as Quality Enhancement Programs or online degree program development) that emphasize curriculum improvement
    • ...applications for grants, awards, or fellowships
    • ...planning for and participation in in SoTL (scholarship of teaching and learning) research for local or national presentation or publication

For more information, see our resource page on documenting your teaching.

How do faculty earn CPD credentials?

Credentials for our extended (Level 2-4) programming are issued upon completion of the full course/community.

To complete a Level 1 Essentials credential,

  • Complete at least one workshop/webinar from each of the following categories:
    • Design
    • Engage
    • Assess
  • Submit an Educational Resource Reflection form and resource (such as a syllabus, assignment or activity description, or screenshot of a Blackboard course item) related to one of the workshops at Educational Resource Submission.  Participants have the option to submit their resource for archiving or for publication in AOLI, Stearns Center's repository for educational materials housed in OERCommons
  • Participants have 12 months from the date of the first workshop attended to complete the steps for the credential. Workshops do not need to be completed in a specific order. Track your progress using our CPD Tracking Form

Stearns Center staff will confirm your workshop participation and receipt of your educational resource and issue your credential. We encourage faculty to list these credentials in their annual reports, on their cv's, and/or in other materials relevant to their learning and achievements as teachers.

I completed CRA/PPF/Primer previously; does that count?

Yes! All prior participants in our long-form courses can choose to list them either individually in their professional records (e.g., "Completed Course ReDesign Academy June 2018") or to identify them as part of the overall CPD (e.g., "Completed Stearns Center Level 3 CPD: Pivotal Pedagogy August 2020").

Can I complete more than one CPD?

Yes! Please note that our CPD levels are progressively inclusive: if you work on your Advanced Topics in Microbiology course at Level 1, you may participate with that same course in a Level 2 or higher CPD.

However, if you participate with that course in Online Course Development Primer, that Level 4 CPD includes all of the prior levels of learning, so there's no option to also earn a separate CPD credential for that course at Level 1. You may always choose a new course to work on at any level.

What other opportunities for CPD credentials are planned?

Depending on demand, we are hoping to implement the following options over the 2021-2022 year:

  • Asynchronous versions of Level 1 CPD credential
  • CPD focused on course delivery strategies (f2f) and course/time management strategies (online) for faculty and graduate students who teach from a standard syllabus
  • CPD focused on upcoming Mason initiatives such as the QEP and the Anti-Racist Curriculum and Pedagogy efforts
  • Additional specialized topics or more advanced strategy sequences
  • Integrations with other Stearns Center programming like the Innovations in Teaching and Learning Conference and Teaching Squares