ALERT: In response to COVID-19, we are offering professional and curriculum development to assist faculty.
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Workshop Offerings

Below you’ll find a variety of workshops we offer. We try to support all VCU faculty needs but have limited resources. Workshop requests will need at least 5 attendees and will be prioritized based on scale of impact. We will respond to all requests but allowing a minimum of 7 days between your request and the date of the event will greatly increase our ability to meet your needs.

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This workshop will explore different teaching tools that provide excellent enagagement with course materials while also being accessible to students with disabilities. Learn more about the Accessibility and Learning Technology workshop

This workshop will explore alternative options for assessment without creating a workload that is impossible to manage. We will discuss research data on types of assessments and see examples of how some alternative assessments might work for your class.Learn more about the Alternative Forms of Assessments workshop

The ability to augment reality or experience entirely immersive virtual reality experiences is now an achievable goal for educators. This is an interesting new world of options with a variety of old pitfalls. We’ll look at a variety of apps, experiences, and tools for creating these experiences. Interested participants will be able to use a number of applications to experience augmented and virtual reality for themselves. Learn more about the Augmented & Virtual Reality workshop

In every office or on every team, there are processes that are predictable and easy to repeat, but still must get done for everyone to be successful. Using Google Apps Script, we can automate some of those tasks in G Suite services. The possibilities here are only limited by the extensive tool set Google and G Suite provide and your ability to express that problem’s solution in a way it can be automated.

Here are just a few of the examples we’ve worked on recently:

  • Scrape data from a Google calendar daily, populate our data on appointments to a spreadsheet which automatically generates a report of how time is being spent
  • Generate styled Google Docs or PDFs from Google Form submissions and share them with other people
  • Create multi-step approval workflows using Google Forms, Google Sheets, and custom menu items and functions

This session will provide a gentle introduction to coding in Google Apps Script, a dialect in JavaScript. While experience is always helpful, we will treat this as a workshop for absolute beginners. Participants are encouraged to bring a laptop so they can code along during the workshop.

If you have a particularly interesting idea for a workflow to automate, bring your ideas to share with the group.Learn more about the Building Automated Workflows with Google Apps Script workshop

With today’s tools faculty (and students) are able to build their own increasingly sophisticated interactive media without having to learn how to program. Multimedia timelines, interactive maps, annotated charts, and much more are now things you can create and use in your courses. This workshop will give you an overview of some of these tools and provide an environment where you can get started building with support at hand in case you have any questions. Learn more about the Building Bits of OER Multimedia workshop

Do you know what is and isn’t allowed when you’re sharing resources with students online? Maybe you’ve heard of the “10% rule,” but is this rule reliable? In this workshop, you’ll learn the differences in copyright law for online and face-to-face teaching, best practices for remaining copyright-compliant in Blackboard, and how to find openly-licensed educational resources that can be used without copyright concerns.Learn more about the Copyrights for Online Teaching workshop

Creating a public digital portfolio can be an interesting and powerful way to document your work. Increasingly faculty are using portfolios as a way to reach out to the public and establish their identity in a broader context. This process can be useful as a reflective exercise and have additional benefits. This workshop will show you a variety of faculty portfolio approaches and design patterns in a number of different publishing platforms. We’ll also spend time discussing manageable workflows that keep your portfolio up to date without overly burdening you. Learn more about the Creating Faculty Portfolios workshop

Companies continue to pour resources into getting more information about you and your behavior online. We’ll show you how information can be exposed through URLs, your actions tracked through cookies, and ways to see what data is out there about you. We’ll touch on Virginia’s House Bill 1 (HB1) and the impact of the EU’s General Data Protection Rules (GDPR).

The latter portion of the workshop will focus on tools and patterns of behavior that will help keep more of your information private. Learn more about the Daily Life & Data Privacy workshop

Beginning with a discussion of early examples of data visualization in practice, we’ll talk about the process behind creating compelling and truthful data visualizations. This presentation will draw heavily on popular examples to illustrate both key concepts of the art/science of data visualizations and the differences between the various media that contain the visualizations themselves, including what limitations they offer. To better prepare you to produce your own data visualizations, we will do a few quick demos of tools across the spectrum of complexity that can help you create compelling and engaging visuals.Learn more about the Data Visualization & Infographics workshop

The confluence of distraction and rapid change in today’s digital environment can result in confusion and frustration. We’ll focus on limiting distraction and choosing tools and workflows that will help you do more with less effort. The foundation will be a quick overview of digital productivity patterns (pomodoro, GTD, etc.). From there, we’ll move into successful patterns for getting work done in key workplace applications. Learn more about the Digital Survival Skills workshop

A term coined by Bret Victor, explorable explanations blur the lines between data visualization, games, and simulations. They’re intended to teach through exploration and manipulation. VCU faculty can take advantage of the increasing use of data visualization in long-form journalism and more advanced educational materials. In addition to exploring the basic concepts and examples from a variety of disciplines, we’ll also look at tools that will enable you to create basic explorable explanations of your own. Learn more about the Explorable Explanations workshop

This workshop will explore the concept of a flipped classroom. We will also discuss how the flipped classroom works, the changing role of the teacher, and how flipping the classroom helps the students.Learn more about the Flipped Classrooms: Are they Hype or can they make a Difference? workshop

Using OER doesn’t need to mean giving up your textbook. You can use OER to augment, to extend, or to offer alternatives in targeted places. Is there one concept students always struggle with? Do some of your students need an alternative option? OER offers that possibility to students at no cost. In this workshop we’ll help you get a feel for what’s out there, how to find relevant materials quickly and effectively, and how to organize that material so you can find it when you need to use it.Learn more about the Getting Your Feet Wet with Open Educational Resources workshop

This workshop session will explore the possible ways to teach a lab course online.Learn more about the I Can’t Teach Lab Courses Online, Or Can I? workshop

This workshop explores ways to foster capacity for intercultural engagement among our online students. We will discuss both face-to-face learning activities that can be used online as well as technological resources for cultivating intercultural development in our online learning communities. Feel free to bring your own ideas and techniques.Learn more about the Intercultural Engagement and Online Students workshop

Almost all modern learning tools allow for some way to edit the HTML and CSS behind a piece of content using rich text editors. For many people, learning just a little bit more HTML and CSS can augment your capabilities with visual editors by allowing you to refine things at a smaller level.

This workshop is designed to be interactive. Participants will be encouraged to code along during the session, so please bring a laptop.

 Learn more about the Introduction to HTML and CSS workshop

This workshop will explore reasons and platforms for instructors or departments creating their own interactive, online textbooks. What are the pros and cons of using online textbooks? How can I build my own textbook over time? And what does it mean for students to “interact” with textbook materials?Learn more about the Is There a Textbook in This Classroom? Building Textbooks, Building Learning Spaces workshop

This workshop will investigate students perceptions of the online learning experience. We will discuss data collected on the student user experience and explore ways to make understand and navigating the online learning environment more student-centered and user friendly.Learn more about the Online Student User Experience workshop

This workshop will explore deployment of materials and learning activities that foster engagement and improve retention, while keeping the demands of a larger class size in mind. Faculty are encouraged to come to the workshop ready to share the challenges they’ve faced in their own courses with managing student engagement and combating attrition. Learn more about the Student Engagement and Retention in the Large Classroom workshop

The workshop session will be an extension of the Google Solutions workshop, where typical problems encountered by faculty will be presented with followed by a demonstration of how the Google Suite can help solve that issue. Faculty members are encouraged to bring their own classroom dilemmas for a group brainstorming session to take away their own solutions. Learn more about the There’s a Google App for That, Part 1 workshop

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