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Annual Teaching Symposium

The 2020 Symposium will not be running this year

 ATS Schedule


Dr. Lisa Diamond will be presenting Insights from 20 Years of Mistakes and Surprises  as our 2019 keynote speaker.  


Lisa M. Diamond is Professor of Psychology and Gender Studies at the University of Utah.  She studies the expression of sexual attractions and sexual identity over the life course, and the influences of early life experiences on later sexual development.  Her 2008 book, Sexual Fluidity, published by Harvard University Press, has been awarded the Distinguished Book Award from the American Psychological Association’s Society for the Study of Lesbian/Gay/Bisexual/Transgendered Issues. Dr. Diamond has been teaching at the University of Utah since 1999, and has received numerous awards for her teaching, including the Social and Behavioral Sciences Superior Teaching Award and the Early Career Teaching Award.  As a jointly appointed professor in both psychology and gender studies, Dr. Diamond is experienced in teaching large scale lecture courses, like her popular course on love and relationships, and small scale seminars, like her gender studies seminar on sexual orientation.



 Daniel Gowon 

Instructional Designer, Teaching & Learning Technologies 

Whether you are new to Canvas or need a refresher, join your Canvas campus experts and start the semester strong! A fun session focused on how Canvas works and to get you started. 

Barbara Wilson, PhD, RN

Associate Professor and Interim Dean, College of Nursing; Associate Dean of Academic Programs, College of Nursing 

  • Discuss student perceptions of classroom incivility
  • Address factors known to contribute to uncivil classroom behaviors
  • Identify strategies that course faculty can use to enhance and support civil discourse
  • Discuss strategies that faculty can use to establish a supportive and effective learning environment 

This workshop will assist faculty and instructors in identifying, preparing for, and responding to uncivil behaviors in the classroom. Together, we will review general recommendations for managing incivility and discuss strategies that faculty can use to establish a learning environment where respect and consideration are the norm.

Drdave Derezotes, Professor, University of Utah; Director of Peace & Conflict Studies, College of Humanities; Chair of Mental Health & Director of Bridge Training Clinic, College of Social Work; Facilitator for President Watkin's Anti-Racism Task Force; MUSC Professor, Undergraduate Studies 

  • Understand the importance of local and global communities in our lives today.
  • Understand what a classroom community is, and how it feels.
  • Understand how to create “space” for classroom community-building.
  • Engage in some simple classroom community-building techniques. 

What is community?

From the Latin communis, that means "common, public, shared by all or many; the word “community” is a gift especially potent in today’s challenging and divided world.

The University can be a place where students learn about how to create community through relationship. The effective instructor’s role, regardless of her discipline, is in large part to help students co-create a community in the classroom, so that they can also do the same in their future professional and personal lives.

In this largely experiential workshop, we will explore our own experiences of community (or the lack of community) in classrooms and other spaces, and practice some simple techniques for co-creating community.

Holly Sue Hatfield
Doctoral Student & Graduate Student Instructor, Department of Economics; Graduate Fellow, Center for Teaching and Learning Excellence; President, Heterodox Economics Student Association (HESA)

  • Identify your central pedagogical commitments
  • Explore methods of non-linear course material presentation
  • Understand the learning benefits of non-linear and unpolished approaches

This workshop presents a “post-modern” lesson planning approach that is an alternative to the linear presentation of content in a prepared slideshow (or individual lessons in a semester-long plan).  The new strategy follows pedagogical commitments of (1) non-linearity in the presentation of content, especially as it relates to interleaving and flow-doodling, and (2) using thought-process demonstration as a learning tool, instead of presenting information as a finished product in a slide show. 

Rebekah Cummings

Digital Matters Librarian, Marriott Library 

  • Incorporate digital literacy in the classroom using the ACRL Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education
  • Teach students how to evaluate online content, identify four kinds of fake news, and recognize bias in reporting
  • Prepare students to critically evaluate opposing narratives in the run-up to the 2020 Presidential election 

Many university students assume because they are digital natives that they are digitally literate. Unfortunately, being excellent users of technology is not the same as the ability to critically evaluate the information we come into contact with online. This session will help teachers incorporate digital literacy into the classroom so that their students can become critical and savvy consumers of online content. In our session, we will define and categorize “fake news,” address bias and objectivity, and provide a framework for evaluating information online.

Mira (Mimi) Locher, FAIA, LEED AP
Chair, School of Architecture

  • Collaborate with others in an experiential learning activity.
  • Learn the history and fundamental concepts of experiential learning.
  • Devise an experiential learning activity for a course you will teach.

Experiential or “hands-on” learning requires innovative engagement with ideas, often proving to be transformative for students. Providing opportunities to interact with course material in meaningful ways can motivate students to think creatively and to become life‐long learners. In this session, you’ll participate in an experiential learning exercise and discuss ways in which you can incorporate this approach to learning in your own discipline and classroom. 

David Parker, Ed.D.
Director, Center for Creating Community

  • Understand the complex components of implicit bias 
  • Identify possible instances of bias 
  • Create ways for reducing the bias effect

How do we help to create and sustain an authentically-inclusive environment so that everyone feels connected? Creating this environment means that the richness of ideas, backgrounds, and perspectives are treated with respect and value. Intentionally examining our implicit biases with compassion and empathy helps to put the concept of authentic inclusion into practice and policy. In this interactive workshop, we will examine the influence of implicit bias. We will look at ways to reduce the bias effect in order to create and sustain an inclusive environment for learning.

Dr. Tobias Hofmann, Assistant Professor, Political Science,

Alexander Lovell, Graduate Student, Political Science 

  • Understand the value of simulations for active and experiential learning
  • Implement a variety of simulations in social and behavioral science courses
  • Develop new simulations for traditional and online courses
  • Use simulations for student assessment 

Simulations have become increasingly popular in the social and behavioral sciences and related fields, and this workshop will present evidence that, if used properly, they can be an effective teaching tool that encourages active and experiential learning, facilitates the making of connections between abstract theory and practical application, and allows students to practice interpersonal skills. We will introduce participants to several sample games and provide resources that instructors can use to design and implement simulations in their own courses. Depending on the interests of the workshop participants, we will also discuss how to integrate simulations into online courses, how to use them for student assessment, and what opportunities exist at the University of Utah to connect them to ASUU-supported extracurricular activities.

Kate O'Farrell, Student (PhD), Department of Health, Kinesiology, and Recreation, College of Health
Katherine Pagano, Student (PhD), Department of Health, Kinesiology, and Recreation, College of Health
Christopher Pfledderer, Student (PhD), Department of Health, Kinesiology, and Recreation, College of Health
Brandon Campbell, Student (MS, Thesis), Department of Health, Kinesiology, and Recreation, College of Health  

  • Share lessons learned from graduate students that have worked at every level.
  • Discuss strategies to succeed as a TA and first-time (or new) instructor.
  • Develop individual goals in preparation for upcoming semester.
  • Identify campus resources. 

The purpose of this presentation is to provide first-time or new to teaching folks with some lived experiences from folks that have been a TA in the past. The workshop will be led by current instructor, Kate O’Farrell, along with several other PhD and MS students that have either taught or TA’d in the past. Lessons learned, tips for survival, and support will be provided as we navigate a new challenge in the path through graduate school or new teaching opportunities.

Presentation Slides: How I Survived as a TA

Holly K. Johnson

Higher Education Instructional Consultant, Center for Teaching and Learning Excellence; Adjunct Assistant Professor, College of Architecture + Planning

  • Learn about 5 different activities to use in the classroom and where to find resources.

Engage your students in the learning process by using strategies that will encourage them to take an active role in their education. In this session you will learn several activities that can be used in classes from the humanities to the sciences and everywhere in between.

Cathy Hwang

Associate Professor, S.J. Quinney College of Law 

  • Brainstorm how participants can integrate skills into non-skills classes. Skills include, for example, research, writing, professionalism, presentation, or methodological skills.
  • Discuss practical how-tos, including how to develop ideas, design exercises, and streamline grading.
  • Participants should leave with several concrete ideas of how to integrate skills into their own courses. 

How do we help students gain research, writing, presentation, professionalism, and other core skills in courses that are not specifically marketed as “skills” courses? In this session, we discuss how to integrate skills-enhancing exercises into non-skills (i.e., substantive/theoretical/doctrinal) courses, including both seminar and lecture courses. In this session, we discuss how to generate ideas for exercises that integrate skills, the practical how-tos of how to get buy-in from students to do these exercises, and how to streamline grading of these exercises.

Patrick Tripeny, Director, Center for Teaching and Learning Excellence; Associate Dean for Undergraduate Studies; Professor, School of Architecture

  • Learn a reason or two why students complain about not being able to understand you when you work with formula.
  • Learn a couple of strategies to enhance your instruction and your students learning while teaching math based courses. 

Teaching formulas can be so… formulaic and boring. Is there a better way? Come to this lively session to discuss how to translate formulas and equations for students, making it a dynamic, interactive process of learning.

Holly Sue Hatfield

Doctoral Student & Graduate Student Instructor, Department of Economics; Graduate Fellow, Center for Teaching and Learning Excellence; President, Heterodox Economics Student Association (HESA)

  • Identify your preferred classroom climate
  • Develop a pre-emptive strategy for maintaining your desired classroom climate
  • Practice responding to comments that catch you off-guard

Students can surprise instructors by introducing discussion or comments that aren’t appropriate for our university culture, and that we’ll need to respond to promptly and expertly.  In this workshop, we’ll explore how to establish standards of inclusivity in the classroom as well as how to deliberately initiate and effectively facilitate conversations that are difficult because of political or cultural pressures, thereby providing our students with opportunities to develop the skill of polite disagreement in conversation.

Pamela K. Hardin, PhD RN

Associate Professor, College of Nursing; Associate Director, Center for Teaching and Learning Excellence 

  • Describe three course components of class to cover on the first day
  • List two different expectations (course, self, learner) you will cover on the first day 

So much depends on making the most of the first day of class that even seasoned instructors admit to some nerves about making a good first impression.  We all want to give students a clear understanding of course content, expectations, and the impression that the course is off to a good start.  To make the first day successful, you need to know just what to do, and why.  Start your course out right by using ideas from this set of tips for a good beginning.

Ryan Bown, MFA

Associate Professor, Entertainment Arts & Engineering 

Twitch ( ) is a streaming website perhaps most notable for its role in televising and popularizing eSports.  Now however, there are channels like ‘Just Chatting’ and ‘Art’, making Twitch a viable tool for education in its own right.  This presentation will focus on how streaming can expand the boundaries of the classroom. Attendees will learn how to implement the platform for increased student engagement inside and outside the classroom.

By the end of this presentation you will learn the following:

  • The history of Twitch

  • Traditional education & live streaming loops

  • Community building & accessibility

  • Quick Start Guide for Twitch


Dr. Udita Gupta

Associate Professor(Clinical), Urban Institute for Teaching Education (UITE) 

  • Effective reflective practices (from research and experience)
  • Avenues to incorporate reflective practices in your course
  • Impact of incorporating reflective practices

End of semester final course evaluation are one source of reflection for many who teach higher education classes. These evaluations help instructors in reflecting on topics taught well during the semester and areas that need to be changed/modified for next time the course is taught. Students face the same dilemma of not having ample opportunities to think and reflect on their own learning as well as on the course while its being taught. This often leads them to frustration, anxiety and panic of not doing well in the course. To avoid these kinds of situations, reflections can be a helpful tool for both the instructors and students. Whether the class comprises of few or many students, reflective practices initiated by the instructor can prove to be helpful to both parties.  

This session will explore research on reflective practices and will outline instructional strategies that instructors can use as reflections during the course of their teaching.    

Madison A. Krall, M.A.

PhD Student and Graduate Student Instructor, Department of Communication 

  • Introduce play as an educational mechanism and review its potential to help new instructors and their students meet a variety of traditional learning goals.
  • Demonstrate the applicability of play in higher education settings via successful, previously implemented activities and tactics from TA discussion sections and instructor-of-record classroom settings at the University of Utah.
  • Discuss the potentiality of play within and across disciplines and work as a group to determine both implementation strategies of play and instructional activities appropriate for teaching assistants that embrace joy, movement, and vulnerability. 

This workshop will offer incoming graduate students and experienced instructors a brief overview of how “playing” in the classroom works to help students both enjoy and be more participatory in their own educational processes. Introduction of the historical significance of play as an educational practice will be followed by an overview of activities and instructional tools that past teaching assistants and instructors at the University of Utah have successfully implemented into their courses. After a review of previous examples, discussion on overcoming the practical obstacles of incorporating play into varied disciplinary settings will occur. Attendees will then focus on how new teaching fellows and matured professors alike might integrate play into both their course content and student learning outcomes. Interested parties might also collaborate on the possibility of future collaborative “play dates” that bring learners from varied backgrounds together in order to experiment, create, and grow during their time at the University of Utah.

Holly K. Johnson

Higher Education Instructional Consultant, Center for Teaching and Learning Excellence; Adjunct Assistant Professor, College of Architecture + Planning              

  • Create successful slides using five basic tools: Layout, Type, Color, Icons, and Photos/Video.

Presentation and design are as important as content. Using visual slides in a lecture is a successful way to relay valuable course information and helps students retain knowledge long after the final exam. In this workshop, you will learn how to create impactful slide presentations for both PowerPoint or Keynote.

Anne McMurtrey
Director, Writing Center 

  • Learn the importance of grading transparency and self-care
  • Learn strategies for responding to student writing in meaningful ways that align with your learning outcomes
  • Learn time-saving strategies for grading, especially for large classes

The workshop will suggest an approach to reading – and assessing – student writing, as well as provide strategies for faster grading. The presenter will share her insights on action-forward feedback and advertise the services of the University Writing Center.

Responding to Student Writing handout.docx

Kate O'Farrell, Student (PhD), Department of Health, Kinesiology, and Recreation, College of Health

  • Examine definitions, theories, and current research surrounding self-compassion, well-being, and work-life integration.
  • Practice self-compassion techniques (through experiential learning) to take into your daily life and teaching.
  • Discuss resources available on campus, online, and in the community.
  • Establish a self-compassion and well-being plan as you move into the new semester.

The purpose of this workshop is to provide instructors and TAs with some tips and tricks for practicing self-compassion and establishing a practice of well-being while being an instructor. Considerations of work-life integration, self-compassion techniques, and additional tools will be provided.

Presentation Slides: Self-Compassion, Well-Being, and Teaching: Is It Possible?

Liz Bond Rogers, Associate Instructor, Center for Teaching & Learning Excellence / Office for Inclusive Excellence  

  • Review the basic principles of inclusive teaching and learning
  • Learn strategies for creating an inclusive classroom climate
  • Analyze ways to develop an inclusive syllabus

 As our classrooms become increasingly diverse, higher education institutions are addressing the positive impact that inclusive teaching has on student learning. This workshop will provide an overview of inclusive teaching principles and several strategies to set the tone for an inclusive classroom. We will focus on elements of an inclusive syllabus, the importance of the first days of class, and how to begin developing rapport with students.

Donna Ziegenfuss, Ed.D.

Associate Librarian, J. Willard Marriott Library  

  • Reflect on your own information and research behaviors and skills or those of your students.
  • Develop an awareness of what the literature claims about how students “do” library research.
  • Compile some new ideas, strategies, resources, and models to empower yourself or your students to conduct more effective library research.

This session will present strategies for designing and teaching library research skills for students. How can we help students be more effective researchers? What strategies can you implement in your classroom to develop students’ confidence levels with using information resources? What U of U resources are available for you to help mentor and scaffold students as they do research across their college paths? Come and learn how the library can help you integrate library research resources into your course research assignments.

Patrick Tripeny, Director, Center for Teaching and Learning Excellence,

Jolene Des Roches, Assistant Dean of Students 

  • Learn about the offices and centers on campus that will make you a better and more efficient instructor.
  • Learn about the offices and centers on campus that will make your students better and more efficient learners.
  • Learn about the Behavioral Intervention Team, when it is appropriate to approach them and how to do so. 

The University of Utah is a very large campus with hundreds of offices and centers to support the missions of the students, faculty and staff of this university.  This session will discuss many of these offices that pertain to the teaching and learning missions of the university and how we can help assure a safe environment for learning.

Kyle Turner, PharmD, BCACP

Assistant Professor (Clinical), College of Pharmacy 

  • Explore the C.O.A.C.H. framework as a means to engage learners in their own person and professional development
  • Determine one’s own coaching tendency based on the ask-tell spectrum
  • Practice coaching utilizing the C.O.A.C.H. framework

In this session, attendees will gain exposure to the C.O.A.C.H. framework which serves as model for building strong relationships and advance learner development and progress in practice, research, teaching and more! The session will highlight concepts such as the optimistic stance, the ask-tell spectrum which attendees can use during their own personal coaching situations. Students, TA’s, and seasoned faculty members will find new concepts, techniques and ideas to enhance their abilities and become optimal coaches regardless of practice or research area.

Toolkit Coaching handout.pdf

Audra L. Carlisle
Instructional Designer, Teaching & Learning Technologies

“Good design is making something intelligible & memorable. 

Great design is making something memorable & meaningful.

— Dieter Rams 

Have a course on Canvas that doesn’t feel fresh and engaging anymore? Come learn with us about some important and innovative ways to redesign your courses with expertise from the Teaching and Learning Technologies office at the U. We’ll be covering:

  • Applying visual design concepts to your Canvas course
  • Creating and maintaining accessible content
  • Addressing student needs through good technical writing techniques

CK Miller

Graduate Fellow, Center for Teaching and Learning Excellence

  • Understand what, why, and how class discussions can be used as an effective pedagogical tool
  • Identify the types of discussions that can be used in a classroom environment for small, medium or large size classes
  • Design and compose an effective pre-discussion framework 
  • Evaluate the quality of your in-class discussions, revise based on evaluation results, and use a discussion guidelines to mediate discussions
  • Motivate comprehension of important concepts using student moderators and discussion questions

Using learning objectives as a framework, this workshop will review whole-class discussion strategies, introducing different types of class discussions and how they work for different subjects and classroom set-ups. Some of these include fishbowl discussions, moderated panels, or popcorn discussion (also known as a 'Quaker assembly'). In addition, this workshop will review setting up class discussions (and students) for success- some strategies that will be elaborated on include: mandatory 'discussion' questions, outlines, chosen moderators and more! 


Annual Teaching Symposium Overview (PDF)

to pdf

Last Updated: 7/10/20