Notes from “They Won’t Come to Workshops…” #slate14

Notes from “They Won’t Come to Workshops…” at the 2014 SLATE Conference, led by Rachel Bicicchi (Millikin University), Mike Sukowski (Chicago State University), and Linda Wareck (Oakland Community College).

This was a great session with many ideas of alternative methods used at the presenters’ institutions that have been more helpful or better received than traditional workshops.


  • Low Attendance
  • Time
    • Workshops are too long
    • Faculty schedules are too restrictive
  • Lack of faculty pedagogical knowledge leads to a struggle to see how they might teach differently
    • Teach the same way they were taught
  • Faculty who are tech confident think workshops are too slow
  • Faculty who are afraid of tech attend the same workshops over and over again without making visible progress
    • They have convinced themselves they will fail

Solution #1: Book Group

Goal: Use an alternative format that encourages new voices

Solution #2: Videos

  • Posted “Moodle tip of the week”
  • Problems addressed:
    • Time – videos are less than 10 minutes and can be watched anywhere/anytime
    • Fearers can watch over and over
    • Confidents can watch quickly without being interrupted
  • Created with Camtasia, fairly casual with minimal editing

Solution #3: Online Certification Training

  • CSU has a provision in their contract that faculty must be “prepared” to teach online
  • Build OCT to have faculty learn about online teaching and submit assessments like online students
  • Based in Moodle, video tutorials

Solution #4: Virtual Workshops

  • Live and recorded workshops saved in Moodle
  • Goal: help faculty become familiar and proficient with using Moodle
  • Built around a theme for the year
  • Designed to be “just in time”

Solution #5: Minute 2 Get It

Solution #6: Share and Tell

  • Face-to-face opportunity for faculty to share their best practices with each other
  • Similar to show and tell
  • One time made scones & shared recipes (in addition to sharing teaching)

Solution #7: Honoring Faculty

  • Intersperse workshop announcements with news about significant achievements from faculty
  • Copy to University Communications and Marketing
  • Now people send in announcements for him to distribute and share

Future Ideas

  • Online class for online instructors
  • Faculty “maker” workshops
  • Faculty-led discussions
  • Online orientation for students (exists, but want to add more interactivity)
  • Online orientation for faculty

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