Seminars and Workshops

Seminars and Workshops (Semester 2, Academic Year 2020-2021)

CDTL runs a range of seminars and workshops to support teaching and learning. This page lists the Centre's seminars and workshops by topic and provides more details for each session. 

Open Conversations

The Myth of the Natural Teacher

In a recent article in the Chronicle entitled The Damaging Myth of the Natural Teacher, Beth McMurtrie laments that despite decades of evidence, good teaching is still considered more art than science. In this open conversation, we discuss on these myths and its implications on our teaching.

Please refer to this page for details about the course structure.

Making Lectures More Interactive

In an article titled Making Lectures more Interactive, Zachary Nowak and Marion Menzin offer their reflections on the challenges and successes of flipping their classroom. They discuss on how taking advantage of the teaching assistants might allow the interactive lectures to be even more effective. In this open conversation, we discuss on both the struggles that we have faced and the successes we have had when adopting interactive lectures for our large lecture classes.

Please refer to this page for details about the course structure.

Faculty Members’ Biases and Prejudices

Understanding unconscious bias in general and in our own teaching is important to ensuring that the classroom is a democratic space where all students are treated in unbiased ways. This Tomorrow's Professor Posting on Faculty Members’ Biases and Prejudices examines some ways of dealing with explicit and implicit biases in teaching and learning. In this open conversation, we explore and discuss what does this mean to you as a teacher at NUS.

Please refer to this page for details about the course structure. 

Learning and Grading 

In a recent post in the Inside Higher Education, Matt Reed mulls over if universities should keep the pass-fail grading system that many adopted in 2020 as the COVID-19 pandemic unfolded. In this open conversation, we discuss on the timely topic of Learning and Grading to finish off the semester.

Please refer to this page for details about the course structure. 

Assessment and Feedback

Designing assessments to minimise cheating

Do you want to make your assessments robust to cheating? Are you simply tired of using cheating-detection tools and conducting proctored exams? Do you want to design assessments that supports student learning?

This webinar will introduce ways in which you can promote academic integrity rather than spending time thinking about policing. Specifically, this session will discuss strategies and ways that assessment design can help address the problem of cheating during online exams and tests.

21 Oct 2021, 10:00 – 12:00

Please refer to this page for details about the course structure

Deep learning through PeerWise MCQ creation

The purpose of this workshop is to explore the use of an online platform for creating multiple-choice questions (MCQ) questions - PeerWise. In this workshop, participants will have the opportunity to develop a training roadmap to engage their students to work collaboratively to contribute question stems and answers, provide explanations, answer questions contributed by other students, rate questions for difficulty and quality, and participate in on-line discussions of all these activities. 

Please refer to this page for details about the course structure

Developing rubrics for assessing students' learning

A rubric is a scoring tool that lists the criteria for student work and articulates levels of quality for each criterion. It can help in communicating your expectations to students while also helping you in assessing student work fairly and efficiently. They can also provide students with informative feedback on their strengths and weaknesses, and prompt students to reflect on their own work.

In this workshop, we discuss key features of a quality rubric, present some examples of rubric for assessing student work. You will then have an opportunity to use the steps discussed to construct a rubric for one of your assessment tasks.

Please refer to this page for details about the course structure.

Using ExamSoft for digital assessment & feedback

This 2-part session aims to enhance your understanding of using an online assessment tool (ExamSoft) to enhance students’ learning, with a specific focus on test design and effective feedback.

The first session will introduce the key features of ExamSoft in relation to the design/ redesign of different assessment tasks and questions, while guided by principles of assessment preparation and design. This session will draw attention of participants to the necessary steps in preparation for online assessment.

The second session will build on the first by analyzing and interpreting the reports derived from the assessments and consider feedback strategies for improving teaching and learning. Participants will have the opportunity to work through a customized digital assessment assignment with guidance from the session leads.

  • Session 1 – (a) Overview of guiding principles of assessment design; (b) Preparation and design/ redesign of online assessment task and questions
  • Session 2 – (a) Using multiple reports for providing feedback to inform teaching and learning.

Designing MCQ assessments that require higher-order thinking and reasoning skills

A frequent criticism of multiple-choice questions (MCQs) and other objectively scored assessments is that they only test factual knowledge and not conceptual understanding, which makes use of MCQs problematic in the context of online education. While most educators recognise the importance of testing definitions, concepts and principles in recall-type questions, assessment tasks should also challenge students to think critically about the knowledge learnt and to be able to analyse, interpret and apply knowledge in different contexts. This session will support colleagues in designing objectively scored assessments that require students to apply higher-order thinking and reasoning skills by presenting the use of two-tier MCQs, an extended type of MCQs with a second tier that requires students to provide or identify a rationale or explanation for their choice. We will proceed by introducing the notion of a test specification, which helps in planning and to ensure that the test objectives are met. Participants will have the opportunity to write test items related to two-tier MCQs with reference to a suggested guide

Student Engagement

Maximising student engagement with course readings

Have you had difficulty in getting students to complete the required readings for your module?  Is it a challenge to get them to think more critically about the content? How can you tackle this challenge of not only getting students to read, but also to get them to engage with the course readings?

This webinar will introduce methods for increasing your students’ engagement with the assigned readings. It is designed to support faculty in providing structures for motivating students to engage with the readings in an effective and time-efficient manner. Applying these methods in their modules will enable faculty to create an active reading environment that can improve engagement and comprehension.

Please refer to this page for details about the course structure.

Synchronous online activities to promote engagement

Incorporating online synchronous teaching into your module can provide a stronger sense of connectedness among participants, promote engagement, and ultimately, enhance knowledge retention. For students to stay engaged with module activities, deliberate structures need to be put in place to help them embrace the flexibility that the online space affords to them. In this webinar, essential elements to facilitate successful educational experiences in synchronous online learning environments will be discussed, with practical ideas and applications to ensure your students are comfortable learning with their peers with technology, engaging them in discussion and practice, and assessing their learning.

While this workshop will emphasize tools that are free and under NUS campus wide license, such as Zoom, Poll Everywhere and Padlet, the general principles learned can be applied across a variety of platforms.

Although this session is aimed at those who are new to using active learning in synchronous online courses, there will be time for discussion and sharing ideas. Thus, those who are more experienced are also welcome to join.

Please refer to this page for details about the course structure.


Online Teaching & Learning

Using virtual learning spaces for collaboration

Classroom interaction is prohibitively expensive for large class size. The time to setup, administer, collate interaction via traditional means take away valuable time. Furthermore, without a good gauge of students' grasp on the lecture topics, the lecturer tends to go into "autopilot" mode while teaching. Good teachers can only adjust their delivery based on after-class feedback (e.g., semester end student feedback, or student performance on tests/quizzes).

In this hands-on session, we will be introducing to you the system called Archipelago, an online web based "crowd response system". Students, either individually or in group, can respond to questions prepared by the lecturer swiftly using their own device (e.g., smartphones, tablet, laptop etc.) Archipelago provides a set of simple yet powerful question types to enable effective interaction. In addition, the platform is easy to use for students (no account / login required), while maintaining full tracking ability for the lecturer (students responses are captured in details).

Please refer to this page for details about the course structure.

The power of visuals: Designing infographics for poster presentations

Infographics are images created to explain a particular idea or dataset. They often contain beautiful graphics to increase their appeal and help catch audiences’ attention.

Whether you are planning to present at a faculty/department sharing session or gearing up for a conference poster presentation, this workshop will guide you to design a more straightforward, engaging, and easy to understand in a short glance posters using powerful text and infographics. I will share with you the most common mistakes and provide you with some ideas to help you get started.

Please refer to this page for details about the course structure.

Zoom for online teaching

Zoom is an online video conferencing tool that allows you and your students to communicate and collaborate in real time. It includes several features that have the potential to increase student engagement, such as file sharing, screen mark up, screen sharing, chat and breakout rooms. These allow for teacher-student and student-student communication, sharing and interacting with learning resources, viewing presentations and working in groups.

This workshop will be conducted in a webinar format, using Zoom, where we will share with you how you can easily setup an online session with your students and the features you can use to create your own online teaching session.

Please refer to this page for details about the course structure.

Microsoft Teams for teaching online

Looking to teach your classes online? Come join us on a webinar on using Microsoft Teams for teaching online and for online meetings.  

Microsoft Teams is a unified digital workspace that enables real-time collaboration between you and students through conversations, file sharing and video meetings. This session targeted specifically for NUS teaching staff will get you started on:  (1) setting up your classes, (2) managing communication and collaboration for your classes, and (3) conducting live video lectures, tutorials or meetings.

Please refer to this page for details about the course structure.

Recording online lectures with Panopto

Are you looking to create video lectures for your blended learning courses and flipped classroom sessions? Panopto is an easy-to-use platform for lecture capture and video content management that allows you to store and manage all your new and existing videos, including lectures, flipped classroom recordings, guest presentations, and live webcasts. It is integrated into the LumiNUS platform and it allows you to easily record and publish presentations online.

In this hands-on session, you will start creating presentation by applying the principles of multimedia design. You will then learn how to capture audio, webcam video, PowerPoint, and desktop screens, and be able to record narrated PowerPoint and tutorials.

Please refer to this page for details about the course structure.

Creating online teaching and learning resources using Microsoft Sway

Microsoft Sway is a unique and refreshing way to create visually appealing, interactive presentations and online resources. This workshop will walk you through getting started with your first Sway. The workshop will provide an opportunity for you to explore how you can create online resources for teaching and learning using Sway based on good practices in designing such online resources.

Please refer to this page for details about the course structure.

Teaching Portfolio

Developing a Teaching Portfolio: An introductory session

What is a teaching portfolio? How do I start preparing and developing a teaching portfolio at NUS? This introductory session provides faculty members with an overview of how to develop a portfolio and aims to help you to start thinking about reflecting on and evidencing your own teaching practice. Aside from playing a role in documenting one’s achievement as an academic teacher, a teaching portfolio is further a tool for reflecting upon ongoing professional learning and personal growth. One of the main goals of this session is to examine the key components of a teaching portfolio: the preface and the teaching statement, which consists of a teaching philosophy and 2-3 impact narratives that provide evidence in support of claims as to one's achievement. A second goal is to consider how these components can be put together into a coherent narrative to demonstrate one's strengths, areas of growth, and one’s reflection on practice. This workshop leads to two further sessions, namely writing seminars on impact narratives and the teaching philosophy statement. Following this introductory session, optional one-to-one consultations to discuss your own teaching portfolio are available on request.

Please refer to this page for details about the course structure.

Teaching Portfolio: Teaching philosophy statement (Writing seminar)

As documentation of teaching achievement a portfolio requires demonstration of impact: evidence of your contributions to students’ education or, if relevant, to improving institutional practice at the university (educational leadership). Such evidence needs to be integrated into an argument rather than merely listed, with the teaching portfolio consisting of 2-3 such brief impact narratives underpinned by a statement of your teaching philosophy. Building on the workshops ’Developing a Teaching Portfolio: An Introductory Session’ and ‘Teaching Portfolio: Impact Narratives’, this hands-on writing seminar will focus on drafting a teaching philosophy statement that articulates your beliefs and values about university teaching, as well as your goals and strategies as a teacher. The seminar will provide time for working on your own teaching philosophy statement, examining and critiquing examples of other statements, and exchanging drafts for feedback. Following the session, optional one-to-one consultations to discuss your own teaching philosophy statement, impact narrative, or full teaching portfolio are available on request.

Please refer to this page for details about the course structure.

Teaching Portfolio: Impact narratives (Writing seminar)

How do I demonstrate my achievement as a university teacher? How do I use evidence to make a case for being a good teacher? This hands-on writing seminar will build on the workshop ’Developing a Teaching Portfolio: An Introductory Session’ by providing participants with the opportunity to identify their key teaching strengths and craft an argument, rather than merely list all achievements. For the purposes of the seminar, each participant will focus on one such strength: a significant practice or undertaking through which you believe you have made a positive contribution to students’ learning or, if relevant, through which you have contributed to improving institutional practice at the university (educational leadership). The seminar will provide time for working on your own impact narrative, examining and critiquing examples of impact narratives, and exchanging drafts for feedback. Following the session, optional one-to-one consultations to discuss your own impact narrative are available on request.

Please refer to this page for details about the course structure.

For further information, please contact:

Kiruthika Ragupathi
Associate Director, CDTL