CITL Events

Previous First Fridays Workshops

CITL has been offering teaching and learning workshops through our First Fridays workshop series since 2021. Please see below for a list of previous topics. Feel free to reach out to us at with any topic requests for future First Fridays, or to request a topic for your department or unit.


February 3, 2023

9:30 am - 10:30 am  
ChatGPT: Reimagining Learning & Teaching
This workshop will provide an introduction to ChatGPT, what it is and isn't, and delve into
considerations for learning and teaching in higher education today. Get a look at this new technology and leave with things to consider as you engage your students this semester.

11:00 am - 12:00 pm  
Teach Students How to Learn: Critical Thinking and Metacognition Practices
Do students know how to learn? What is the difference between studying and learning?
We'll discuss these questions and identify several practices of critical thinking and metacognition that you can apply to help students improve their own learning.

12:30 pm - 1:30 pm  
Emotional Rescue: Using Emotions to Maintain Student Engagement
Examine what role emotions play in memory formation and learning in the classroom and how we can channel them toward positive outcomes for our students.

March 3, 2023

9:00 am - 10:00 am  
Reimagining Learning & Teaching II: AI-Augmented Practices
Continuing our series exploring the opportunities and impacts of generative AI tools, like ChatGPT, on higher education. Join in as our panel shares their thoughts, visions and new approaches, and then engages in a conversation with you and your colleagues.

10:00 am - 11:00  am
Teaching Practices that Impact Students’ Mindset
“I am not good at math!” Does this sound familiar? Students with such a fixed mindset tend to give up easily. Conversely, when students have a growth mindset and look at failures and challenges as opportunities, they flourish. This session will help you identify specific teaching practices that you can apply to promote growth mindset.

11:00 am - 12:00  pm
Sophomore Student Success
Our students face a number of unique challenges and considerations during their second year of college. In this session, learn more about the needs of sophomores and the special role that faculty play in impacting their success and unlocking their potential.

April 7, 2023

9:30 am - 10:30  am
Reimagining Learning & Teaching III: Latest in Generative AI
During the latest session in the series, we will look at new developments in generative AI tools, further discuss impact on teaching and learning, and strategies related to incorporating these tools into your courses.

11:00 am - 12:00  pm
Teaching Innovations: Faculty Learning Communities
Have you ever wanted to take a deep dive into a teaching-related topic but weren't sure where to begin? In this session, we will explore the concept of Faculty Learning Communities (FLCs), programs that offer an opportunity for structured collaboration with colleagues on a project over the course of a year. Hear from some of CITL's FLC facilitators about their experiences leading these groups.

12:30 pm - 1:45  pm
Course Covenants
Build a supportive classroom community with a course covenant. Join Drs. Rachel Dubrofsky and Navita James in this interactive workshop.


September 2, 2022

10:00 am - 11:00  am 
Virtual Global Exchange Fundamentals
Learn about this high-impact education practice that provides accessible global learning opportunities. This workshop will introduce you to the concepts, tools, and best practices for designing a Virtual Global Exchange activity.

11:00 am - 12:00  pm 
Flip Your Lecture!
“I need to cover the content and have no time for activities.” Does this sound familiar? In flipped classroom model, students are introduced to content before class via readings, videos and more. You and your students use the freed time to apply concepts, allowing for immediate feedback. In this workshop, we will explore the potential benefits of this model, and identify steps for flipping one lecture.

12:00 pm - 1:00 pm   
Building Classroom Community
Do you find that your students are often reluctant to "come out of their shell" during your class meetings? Would you like to see more open discourse, sharing and collaboration among your students? Join us for a discussion of the theories and strategies related to establishing a sense of community to foster learning.

October 7, 2022

9:30 am - 10:30 am   
Teaching Critical Thinking
Developing students’ critical thinking skills is often listed as an important objective in many courses. But what, exactly, are we asking them to do? How can we help students identify key critical thinking skills and know when to apply them? In this session, we’ll hear from some faculty who are leading the charge on “de-mystifying” critical thinking, as well as discuss some effective strategies that you can use to promote it in your course.

11:00 am - 12:00 pm   
The Rosenthal Effect: Expect More, Get More
The greater the expectations placed upon students, the better they perform. Communicating high expectations is a form of self-fulfilling prophecy. In this session, we will discuss this phenomenon and identify strategies to implement it in classroom.

12:00 pm - 1:00  pm  
Centering Course Structures
Are you looking for a different approach to your course policies and ways of engaging your students? Adopting a learner-centered approach to your course policies can not only increase equity and success of your students, but also make your work and course management simpler. This workshop will look at several approaches to learner-centered course structures and give you an opportunity to work through these ideas with your colleagues.

November 3, 2022

9:30 am - 10:30 am  
Assessing Critical Thinking
In this follow-up to last month's "Teaching Critical Thinking" workshop, we will continue our exploration of developing critical thinking skills in our students. Once we determine which skills we want them to achieve, what does assessment look like?

11:00 am - 12:00  pm  
Building Community Using a Course Covenant
Are you looking for a way to develop a community with your students that is centered on shared principles, values, and expectations? This workshop will introduce a framework for establishing a learning community and building a covenant with your students, increasing ownership, understanding and accountability for everyone interacting in the course.

12:30 pm - 1:30 pm 
Teaching Innovations: Improving Student Engagement
In this first iteration of our Teaching Innovations series, hear from fellow USF faculty members as they share their approaches for improving student engagement. During this interactive session, each presenter will share their experience followed by time for Q&A.


February 4, 2022

10:00 am - 11:00 am  
Active Learning through Student Engagement
This workshop is designed for faculty to develop personal skills toward the implementation of active learning strategies to build student engagement in their online courses here at USF.

11:00 am - 12:00 pm  
Designing Lesson Plans for a Dual-Audiences Class
In a dual-audiences modality, students can choose to attend class in person or online for all live, synchronous sessions. 100% of instruction is delivered both online and in the classroom. To keep both audiences engaged, careful designing and delivering of well-structured lesson plans are needed. By the end of this workshop, participants will be able to identify the functions and components of a lesson plan, create a lesson plan for a dual-audiences class,

1:00 pm - 2:00 pm   
Review—And If Necessary, Recalibrate—Your Course Plans
We are three weeks into this semester, and it might seem too early to evaluate what is going well and what could be improved. Yet this is exactly what we would like for you to do. We envision this as a sharing session for you and your colleagues to discuss how the plans you had on Day 1 correspond to current realities and how to remain (or get back) on track.

March 4, 2022

10:00 am - 11:30 am  
Unite: TRUTH Framework Workshop Series
The third TRUTH Framework level asks you to Unite, by incorporating team-building activities, facilitating difficult conversations, and participating in data-driven conversations about inclusion and equity practices.

11:30 am - 12:30 pm  
Should Learning Be Easy? Effortful Learning = Retained Learning
There is a misconception that learning should be easy. According to learning science, the harder the brain works to retrieve information, the longer the information retained. Spaced retrieval of information, especially after a short period of forgetting, feels harder but actually works better for long-term memory and retention. In this session, participants will identify techniques they can use to incorporate spacing and retrieval practices into their teaching.

1:00 pm - 2:00 pm   
Teaching First-Generation Students
In this presentation, we will discuss some of the difficulties encountered by first-generation students and best ways to support them.

April 1, 2022

10:00 am - 11:00 am  
Attention: Getting It and Keeping It
While it may seem more challenging to get students’ attention these days, research shows we are just as distracted as we've always been. Attention is critical for learning to occur, so in this session we will discuss why it is important to get students’ attention, specific ways to capture it and maintain it.

11:00 am - 12:00  pm 
Improving Teaching Through Reflection
John Dewey once said, “We do not learn from experience...we learn from reflecting on
experience.” Instructor’s self-reflection, colleagues’ perceptions, student feedback, and literature are common lenses (as Brookfield called it) through which teachers can critically reflect on and improve their teaching. In this session, participants will identify practices for critical reflection that can help improve their teaching.

1:30 pm - 2:30 pm   
Integrating Podcasting into Teaching
Mr. Daniel Trego is an Educational Media Design Specialist at Michigan State University, where he serves as an expert in the areas of video and audio production and web design. He also teaches in the university's Spanish program. In this session, Dan will provide information about how to integrate podcasting into one's language teaching, including tips regarding creating and designing podcast activities.


September 3, 2021

10:00 am - 11:00 am  
CATs Adapted for Synchronous Online Teaching 
Do you frequently ask your students the questions: “Is everything clear?” “Any questions?” and end up with no answer, and disappointedly just move on? How could you know that students are actually learning what you want them to learn during class, especially in a synchronous online teaching environment where they keep their cameras off. Classroom Assessment Techniques (or CATs) are the answer. CATs are brief, non-credit, effective direct, formative classroom activities, that can help improve learning and clarify your teaching. In this workshop, we will apply several CATs like: think-pair-share, concept maps, directed paraphrasing, approximate analogy, and many others that can be adapted to synchronous online teaching. We will also discuss some tips on how to apply those CATs effectively.

11:00 am - 12:00 pm 
Proactive Strategies to Increase Success 
In this workshop, we will examine ways to reach out to students before it is too late. We will discuss ways to help students study, take notes, or take exams. We will provide you with concrete examples for developing self-efficacy in our students.

1:00 pm - 2:00  pm 
Cultivating a Classroom Community in Synchronous Online Classes
Teaching in online synchronous classes – with cameras off and students typing instead of speaking into their microphones – can make it seem next to impossible to cultivate a warm and welcoming classroom environment. This workshop focuses on several strategies, such as meeting with smaller groups of students, using Teams channels for communication, and incorporating tools like Padlet and Google Jamboard for interactivity and feedback, that you can implement in order to make meeting in Teams feel more like a community.

October 1, 2021

10:00 am - 11:00 am  
Leveraging Differences to Promote Inclusive Excellence: Addressing the Myths and Realities of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion in Higher Education
In this workshop, we will describe how to leverage differences in the higher education space to promote inclusive and equitable opportunities. We will reflect on the core values relative to thoughts, feelings, and behaviors that can impact our efforts to foster inclusive excellence.

11:00 am - 12:00 pm  
Info + Data Literacy Canvas Workshops: Building Foundational to Mastery Research Skills
The USF Libraries Information + Data Literacy canvas workshops represent a curated instructional experience which can enrich any lower or upper-level course with a research component. Assign one or more self-guided Canvas workshops and learning experiences to students directly or in collaboration with your librarian.

1:00 pm - 2:00 pm  
Using a Statistical Tool for Improvement of Multiple-Choice Questions
A multiple-choice question test is where we are asked to select a choice from a given set of responses to a question stem. In this workshop, we will see what statistics Canvas provides. A free-online tool will also be discussed, which will give you graphical and text outputs of several statistical variables beyond the Canvas statistics. Criteria for keeping, revising, or removing questions from the test will be discussed to make a more robust test.

November 3, 2021

10:00 am - 11:00 am  
IEP Workshop: Engaging in Difficult Conversations: Tips and Best Practices
In this workshop, we invite you to participate in a conversation on how to facilitate difficult
dialogue. We will discuss intentionality and how context may impact dialogue, as well as how the Hope Wheel can be used to engage students.

11:00 am - 12:00 pm  
Using Transparent Teaching for Student Evaluations
Do you dread reading your student evaluations? Do you find the evaluations are vague or not constructive? This workshop will address some end-of-year strategies for helping students understand the purpose of evaluations and as a result provide clear, helpful feedback.

1:00 pm - 2:00 pm  
An In-class Multiple-Choice Question Grading Scanner Solution and Best Practices for Writing Multiple-Choice Questions
As an independent follow-up to a previous workshop on using statistics to improve multiple-choice question (MCQ) exams, we will walk through a completely open-source and free solution (no programming skill required) to conduct in-class MCQ exams, and hence replacing or having alternatives to Scantron and Zipgrade. This demonstration will be followed by choosing best practices of item writing for MCQs via pointing out flaws in bad examples. Attendees will participate in a think-pair-share activity to write a few items for their courses.