Cool Tools Workshops introduce faculty to a variety of issues and strategies to complement or enhance current teaching methods. These include high-tech, low-tech, and no-tech tools and workshops open to all, including but not limited to Adjunct Faculty, Full-time Faculty, Master's Instructors, and graduate teaching instructors.
We will also offer Cool Tools at the very beginning of the Fall and Spring semesters in a week-long intensive format. Descriptions and calendars can be found below.
To register for these sessions, please visit the Workshop Registration Page. Once you have logged in, change "Type" to Cool Tools to view all the upcoming sessions.
|9 - 12||11 am - 1 pm Concept Maps||
9 - 10:30 Working with Student Veterans
10 am - Noon Social Media
|1 - 2:30||Heated Conversations||Improving Time Management and Self Directed Learning|
|3 - 5|
|9 - 12|
|1 - 2:30||Flipping your Classrom|
|3 - 5|
Student response systems (Clickers) offer an interactive tool that can keep student attention during lectures, gather instant comprehension data from students during class, and help students see their own learning in comparison with their peers in a safe way. There are definite best practices associated with clickers, and participants will leave with an understanding of the pedagogical theory and research behind the use of clickers, as well as best practices for implementing them.
Are you looking for alternative assignments that reflect your students' thinking process, comprehension of materials and ability to present ideas and concepts? This Cool Tools session will look at the benefits of concept mapping in the classroom. We will first look at the theory behind the use of concept mapping. We will then look at the practical side of integrating concept maps into your syllabus as assignments and how to use them for assessment. We will look at examples from several different disciplines, including Business, Math, Science and the Humanities. We will also learn how to teach students to effectively create concept maps and learn how you can create effective rubrics for assessing concept maps. We will also have a chance to explore web-based tools for concept mapping and finally create concept maps of our own.
This is a two-part session. Please sign up for both days. This session will help you rebuild a course from the ground up, ensuring that it is on strong pedagogical footing. It is intended for people who are actively redesigning a course, or are soon to start.
Participants will leave this workshop with a teaching portfolio model that incorporates multiple approaches for maximizing student completion of the ICES Online end-of-course evaluation AND other approaches to gathering formative data for self-assessment of their teaching that will directly support their demonstration of professional competence for tenure and promotion.
This session works to assist instructors with the implementation of group work in courses both large and small. Participants will leave with an understanding of why and when to use groups, what they can accomplish, and how to help groups work effectively. Session I focuses on Getting and maintaining student cooperation: team norms, contracts, and follow through, and observing teamwork: formal vs. informal group management. Session II focuses on Designing assignments for group work: changing methodologies and rubrics to reflect the group situation as part of the grading process. Linking assignments to learning outcomes.
We all fear the “deer in the headlights” and the wan, wandering discussion in class. This highly interactive session will explore and demonstrate ways to prepare students for focused and engaging discussion, to manage discussions and address the most common discussion problems, and to assess students’ participation in discussion – both in class and online. Please bring your laptop computer to this session.
This session is immediately followed by a hands-on session incorporating the content with Elearning, presented by the FTC. You may enroll in either or both sessions.
Using Desire2Learn (D2L) will assist you in becoming part of WMU's "Go Green" initiative. In this session, you will be introduced to all the tools needed to become green. The discussion for each tool will include time for hands-on experience.
There are excellent reasons to put quizzes and tests online, and to have students submit papers and projects through the Learning Management System (LMS). Such approaches can free up class time for more active learning and can support faster feedback. There are pedagogical and logistical challenges, however, that need to be considered and addressed. Participants will leave this workshop with an understanding of the pros and cons of online testing and assignment submission, and approaches to making them work in their specific course contexts.
This session combines both theory and application. Please bring your laptop computer to this session.
An awareness of the process of learning is crucial for student engagement and success. Metacognition actively engages the student in their learning through teaching three crucial skills: Planning/goal setting, monitoring progress, and adapting as needed.
By teaching these skills to our students we provide them with the tools for success. In this workshop we are going to explore the murky depths of metacognition, have fun with some brain-based teaching strategies and see just how the use of "wrappers" can really change our student's learning outcomes.
Podcasting and video casting can be a great way to “push the content delivery out of the classroom” or supplement in-class explanations of key concepts. Done right, they are easy to create and easy to maintain and update. This session will introduce participants to simple approaches to pod and video casting using university supported technology.
Arrangements may be made with the teacher for one-on-one hands-on training following the session. Please email our office for more information.
Research demonstrates that our syllabus and our first class sessions of the semester set the stage for our own and our students’ success. Too often, however, we just aren’t sure what belongs in a syllabus, how much detail is enough or too much, and how to convey expectations without turning our syllabi into 20 page tomes. Further, we are not sure how to use the first class sessions and worry that time taken away from plunging into content will put us behind before we even start. This session directly addresses these concerns. Participants will leave with the template for effective syllabi, and a selection of approaches to integrate in the first week to promote the understanding of expectations, build community in class (regardless of itssize), head off common student concerns, and set the stage for learning.
The connected world can be a distraction in the classroom, but the i-generated assignment can capitalize on student's virtual attention. In this hands-on workshop, participants will take the next steps in collaborative teaching and learning. By diving into Diigo and considering how we might use Study Blue and Evernote among others, we will discover the power of integrating some of the tech study tools that can capture your students enthusiasm for studying.
Please bring your laptop computer to this session.
As social media become more ubiquitous, people around the world have developed new methods of student engagement. This session will explain different forms of social media, and will discuss how you can use them in your classes. Please bring your laptop computer to this session.
“Cases” – real-life or simulated situations (written or multi-media) that offer realistic issues associated with our course content and skills – can serve as powerful foundations for student problem-solving and critical thinking. Participants will discuss the use of cases with facilitators from different disciplines and will leave with concrete ideas about how to find or create, utilize and assess case-based work in their courses.
Are you a first-time i>clicker user? Or, have you used i>clicker before but would like a refresher on the basics? If so, then this is the session for you! During this interactive session, you will learn how to:
If you wish to have an expanded knowledge in using the system, then stick around for the second session.
Rubrics lay out clear expectations for student work, identifying what excellent, average, and poor performance looks like for our assignments. They assist students in understanding and working toward our expectations, and assist us in justifying the grades and feedback we give. Participants will leave with an understanding of the fundamentals of rubrics, where to find pre-designed rubrics that can be applied directly to our assignments or easily modified, and if necessary, how to start from scratch building rubrics.
This session is immediately followed by a hands-on session incorporating the content with Elearning, presented by the FTC. You may enroll in either or both sessions. Please bring your laptop computer to this session.
Everyone’s talking about Prezi, but is it really different, and what are the benefits of using it in the classroom? Yes, it is different-- this 'zooming presentation editor' is slicker, simpler, and more attractive than other options like Power Point. Besides being attractive, the zooming and embedded media options can offer a more engaging learning experience. During this presentation we will take you from setting up an account (it's free, and internet based!) through creating your own presentation using some of the advanced tools. By the end of the session, participants will have the knowledge to use Prezi as a tool in the classroom.
While the elements of the traditional classroom such as lectures,
books, and papers, are important parts of student learning, they
have limited potential to offer students a strong connection to the
world outside of WMU. One way to supplement the student experience
is through service learning. Requiring students to volunteer or
complete community service is NOT service learning. Service
Learning is a distinct strategy that requires careful planning, and
integration of classroom curriculum and instruction with meaningful
service. It involves assessing a community need, collaboration
outside of the classroom, and reflection on the experience,
including drawing connections back to the curriculum. In this
workshop we will discuss service learning, hear success stories, and
learn practical strategies for implementing service learning.
We’ve all heard of Creative Commons (CC) and seen presentations and other materials online that say “licensed for use under creative commons”. But what is it and how can it benefit use as instructors?
In this workshop we will address both sides of Creative Commons. How to make use of materials already licensed under CC and how we can apply a CC license to our own materials. We’ll take a look at some CC plug-in tools that enable you to apply CC license from within a software package. And we’ll then take a look at where you can use your licensed materials.
This workshop is part hands on and part presentation please bring mobile device, e.g. laptop, tablet, netbook.
This Cool Tool session will help participants think through the process and review the guidelines for successful submissions. We will also show examples of past submissions that were awarded grant funds.
Participants are welcome to bring in their in-process proposals for feedback.
Can classroom discussion really be an effective teaching and learning tool?
Bring your thoughts and ideas, comments etc. to this workshop on all things classroom discussion. We’re going to take a look at how classroom discussions should lead to greater student understanding of the content. But often this doesn’t happen. What approaches can we adopt when we find they’re just not talking?
Using Facebook (FB) in your courses:
Students are creating online lives that seamlessly integrate with their offline lives using Web 2.0 technologies such as blogs, Twitter, wikis, social bookmarking, video and photo sharing and social networking sites, such as Facebook. As of October 2012, there are one billion monthly active users. Approximately 81% of our monthly active users are outside the U.S. and Canada. There were 584 million daily active users on average in September 2012 and 604 million monthly active users who used Facebook mobile products as of September 30, 2012 (http://newsroom.fb.com/Key-Facts). Students check FB before they check their email. Many no longer check email on a regular basis because everyone they care about staying in touch with is on FB. So what does this mean for college and university instructors who are trying to engage their students in their learning by 'meeting them where they are'?
Wide ranging opinions abound about whether or not professors should 'friend' their students on FB because of its 'social' nature. But recently much has been written about ways to use Facebook as an approach to connecting and engaging students in their learning. FB has also made some changes in their functions that allow for individual instructors to have a bit more control over how they connect with their students.
This workshop will explore some of these suggestions and will involve hands-on activities in FB. We will be using a private FB group called Using FB in College Courses (WMU). You can request membership to this group by going to http://www.facebook.com/groups/168791489934132/
Educators often lament the poor study skills and time management issues of their students. This workshop will draw upon psychological literature to supply practical solutions for ameliorating these concerns. The focus will be on techniques that college educators can teach students or incorporate into their course structure. This workshop will cover topics such as metacognitive skills, student motivation, student procrastination and planning errors, promotion of active reading skills, and the SAFMEDS flashcard method.
An interactive workshop that will provide instructors with the resources and know-how to facilitate sometimes difficult discussions. An important aspect of developing critical thinking skills is creating an environment in which diversity of thought is valued and different ideas can be challenged. Learn how to create meaningful discussions while creating an inclusive space for a wide-range of ideas.
'Flipping' the classroom is not a new concept but is currently getting a lot of press in higher education. So what is it and how do you do it? What are the advantages and challenges? What resources are available to you at WMU to do this flipping?
The flipped classroom is actually a 'pedagogical model in which the typical lecture and homework elements of a course are reversed" (Educause, 2012). It transfers the responsibility of 'getting' content from the professor to the student. There are many ways to flip your classroom, but the most talked about method right now is to record your lectures and have the students watch them before coming to class so that you can spend precious face-to-face class time applying the content to real-life situations or scenarios, or for actual practice time or hands-on time.
In this 3-hour workshop, you will be introduced to the concept of flipping the classroom, why you may want to try it and how to start thinking about redesigning your course to be flipped. We will also explore some resources that will help you create the necessary pieces to be successful. You will leave with a plan and next steps to take to flip your classroom.
To get the most out of this workshop, please bring a laptop.
Western Michigan University’s Office of Military and Veterans Affairs, in collaboration with a variety of on- and off-campus constituents, provides services and programs to student veterans. The transition from “soldier to student” can be challenging, so this office strives to make that transition smoother and, in doing so, impacts the retention of this unique population. Learn about the history of the office and its continuing efforts that have earned WMU national ranking as a top military friendly institution. Attendees will take away classroom strategies for influencing the success of this increasing, and important, student group.
Beginning in Fall of 2010, Cool Tools will go "on the road”! We are moving to a new approach to the Cool Tools offerings, inviting departments to elect to have any of the CT workshops delivered to their faculty and staff during a regular meeting time for the department or other mutually convenient times.
Web 2.0: Prezi – Dynamic Presentation Platform
Effectively Utilizing Group Work (Part I)
(You must register for both I and II)
Effectively Utilizing Group Work (Part II)
(You must register for both I and II)
Using Cases for Active Learning
ICES Online and Beyond: Demonstrating “Professional Competence” through Multiple Approaches
Helping All Learners Succeed Using “Expectation Gap” Analysis
Best Practices in Peer Observations of Teaching
Fostering Effective Discussion in Class and Online
Helping All Learners Succeed: Working with International, Veteran, Adult, and Underprepared Learners
Web 2.0: Blogs, Wikis, and Teaching
Online Quizzes, Tests, and Assignments: Pearls and Perils
Pod and Video Casting
The Foundations: Best Practices in Syllabus Construction and First Week of Class
Using Grading Rubrics to Improve Student Performance (and cut down your grading time!)
Pedagogy of Clickers
Workshops must have a minimum enrollment of three participants. All enrollees will be notified two days before the workshop.
If you are interested in scheduling any of our workshops please feel free to contact us at email@example.com.