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Teaching Commons

Events and Workshops

Future programming suggestions are welcome at

Spring 2018 Programs


Conversations about Teaching & Learning

Thursday, February 22:   Unpacking the Report of the Experiential Learning Task Force

11:45 a.m.-12:30 p.m., Teaching Commons - Hedberg 223

Join members of the task force for this informal discussion of the findings, recommendations, and implications of their report submitted last September. You will find the report at Link to Report.


Thursday, April 5:  How and Why to Adopt a Digital Textbook and Integrate it into e-Learning for All Students

11:45 a.m.-12:45 p.m., Teaching Commons - Hedberg 223

Several faculty have opted for a digital version of their textbooks embedded within eLearning for every student. Join this informal discussion of how and how well it worked.

Facilitator: Chris Grugel and invited users of embedded texts


Teaching Practice Sessions

Wednesday, April 11: Constructing a Successful Sabbatical  Proposal

4-5:30 p.m., Teaching Commons - Hedberg 223

This workshop is designed for those who are already planning to apply for sabbatical or who see it in their near future. The content will include an overview of proposal guidelines from P&T Committee member Chris Blaine (Professor of Chemistry), sharing of exemplary proposals from past years, and the opportunity to ask questions and begin outlining your proposal.

Please bring a laptop for accessing proposals.


Thursday, April 12: The Payoff Matrix: Helping Students Evaluate the Cost of Change

11:40 a.m.-12:30 p.m., Teaching Commons - Hedberg 223

This session will focus on the use of a practical decision-making tool to use with students. Faculty will learn how to elicit change talk, help students strengthen intrinsic motivation, and help students sustain change.

Presenter: Lydia Zopf, Interim Director of Counseling Services


Thursday, April 19: Efficient Paper Commenting in the New LMS (Schoology)

4-5 p.m., Teaching Commons - Hedberg 223

Not one, not two, but three ways to mark up documents in Schoology! No more downloading/uploading of files with oh so many clicks. Changing to the new learning management system offers a number of different ways for faculty to comment directly on papers. This session will showcase the differences/advantages between these tools that might vary on the type of assignment students are completing.


Thursday, April 26: Supporting Students in Distress

11:40 a.m.-12:30 p.m., Teaching Commons - Hedberg 223

Educators are often the first to notice students with mental health challenges. This session will focus on how to identify students in distress, how to support students with acute mental health symptoms, and how to connect students to appropriate support services. 

Presenters: Lydia Zopf, Interim Director of Counseling Services; Stephanie Mitchell, Professor of History


Thursday, May 1: Decoding the Discipline: Identifying and Eliminating Bottlenecks to Student Learning

4-5 p.m., Teaching Commons - Hedberg 223

Bottlenecks are those assignments, or elements of an assignment, on which students struggle to figure out and then meet our expectations. Causes for bottlenecks include the way in which assignments are designed and explained, how students draw on their prior learning in deciding what to do, their affective response to the assignment, and their motivation to succeed. Through a decoding process that involves systematic reflection and articulating exactly what we expect students to do (possibly in an interview with a colleague), we can identify strategies for eliminating bottlenecks.

This session will include an overview of the decoding process and brief demonstrations by colleagues who are attempting decoding this semester. Learn background information on decoding

Facilitators: Dennis Munk, Director of the Teaching Commons; Leslie Cameron, Professor of Psychological Science


Equity and Inclusion Certificate Program

The following workshops are open to all faculty and staff. A registration link appears below.

Wednesday, April 25: Facilitating sense of belonging and achievement through the design of course syllabi and assignments

4-6 p.m., Teaching Commons - Hedberg 223

Clearly articulating general expectations for a course through a carefully constructed syllabi, elaborating on instructions for assignments, and anticipating where students might struggle are practices that facilitate success for all students and especially for those less prepared. Students who are challenged to meet the demands of a class are more likely to persist and feel positively about their experience when their instructor exercises transparency in designing, modeling, and explaining what to do. In this workshop, participants will be provided models and guided through a process of modifying their own assignments as well as engaging in effective syllabus audit.

Facilitators: Dennis Munk, Director of the Teaching Commons; Jeffrey Seymour, Assistant Professor of Sociology and Criminal Justice


Wednesday, May 2: Understanding DACA/undocumented students and families

4:30-6 p.m., Lentz Hall 331

Undocumented and DACA students in the United States face unique limitations and uncertainties when it comes to the pursuit of their academic and career goals. This introductory workshop will familiarize faculty and staff with past immigration legislation and future possibilities, dispel stereotypes surrounding immigrant students and families who lack a clear path to citizenship, and facilitate discussion around meeting the needs of this student demographic at both an institutional and individual level. Workshop participants will leave with additional recommended materials to facilitate their ongoing development in this subject area.

Facilitator: Carrie Espinosa, Director of the Center for Student Success


Fall 2018 Programs


Support for Part-time Faculty

Monday, Aug. 27: Connecting and Reconnecting Session

5:30-8 p.m., Saemann Lab - Hedberg 217

The Connecting and Reconnecting session for part-time faculty was initiated in 2012 upon the recommendation of several part-time faculty. The purpose of this session is to share important information about Carthage, the liberal arts tradition, and important resources for students and faculty with part-time faculty who are often on campus only in the evening or on weekends.

Those who attend will learn the following:

  • What Carthage’s identity and mission as a liberal arts college means for its faculty, staff, and students.
  • How you can help a student with special learning or emotional needs get the support they need to be successful.
  • How to use our E-Learning course management system, including recently added tools.
  • How to submit an early alert to the Center for Student Success if a student in your class is not being successful, or if you have other concerns.
  • How your students can utilize the services of the Writing Center as a resource on all types of written assignments.
  • Where to get answers to any questions you might have now, or may have during the semester.

To RSVP, please send an email to


Upcoming Teaching Commons Events

  • A schedule of programming for April-May will be announced in early March. If you have suggestions for sessions it is not too late to share them at
  • This year’s course design workshop will be held on May 30, 31, and June 1. Details will be announced in early April.
  • Registration for next year’s (2018-19) faculty learning communities will be held later this semester. Suggestions for new topic-based or cohort-based communities are invited at