Graduate Student Teaching Colloquia

The Colloquia are held each Monday from 1:00 - 2:00 pm via Zoom.  For access to the Zoom meeting, or other more information about the colloquium, contact Zach Wrublewski:  zwrublewski@huskers.unl.edu

Graduate Student Teaching Colloquia Fall 2020

September 14, 2020: This week, we continued our discussion of issues related to teaching during the pandemic. Much of our discussion focused on how to enforce attendance policies when some of our students are taking our classes remotely. We also talked methods for teaching students how to write well, and particular types of skills on which to focus in order to properly prepare our students for the major kinds of assignments we tend to implement in our classes

September 7, 2020: This week, we discussed issues related to teaching during the pandemic. In particular, we talked about ways in which to engage students in remote-learning contexts, as well as how to foster positive 'backchannel' discussions while teaching in remote or hybrid situations.

September 1, 2020: This week, we kicked off TC for the semester by laying out the basics for this semester's meetings. We also discussed issues relating to maintaining healthy discussion environments in our courses, issues with engaging in group-work while following social-distancing guidelines, as well as ideas about how to adequately respond to making a mistake in class.

Graduate Student Teaching Colloquia Fall 2019

November 6, 2019: This week, many of our members described their experiences at the recent AAPT workshop held in conjunction with the Kutak Center's Ethics and Broader Considerations of Technology Bazaar. Among many topics, we spent the most time discussing how to properly align one's assessments with their course goals, as well as specific types of assessments that would be useful to achieve certain types of non-ability-centered course goals.

October 30, 2019: This week, we discussed the sixth chapter of What the best Teachers Do. In particular, our discussion centered focused strategies to allow students to satisfy course goals in different ways. We also discussed how to create an environment in which students had more commitment to learning.

October, 16, 2019: This week, we analyzed the fifth chapter of What the Best Teachers Do. We focused most of our discussion around ways in which we can create a natural critical learning environment for our students, as well as potential pitfalls that might ensnare even motivated, well-intentioned teachers.

October 9, 2019: This week, most of our discussion was focused around interesting learning activities that we can introduce in order to provide our students with a variety of experiences. In particular, we spent a lot of time workshopping ideas for potential educational games we can use to teach certain topics in introductory philosophy classes.

October 2, 2019: This week, we discussed the fourth chapter of What the Best College Teachers Do. A few of the most heavily discussed topics were the nature of the types of methods philosophers typically expect to teach their students to use, and the extent to which we may have unreasonable expectations of our students given our learning objectives and course assessments.

September 25, 2019: This week, we discussed how best to help our students through tough, technical philosophical works. We also spent some time talking about what sorts of non-philosophy projects and articles to assign in order to supplement lectures on related topics in order to help foster a deep understanding of the related philosophical issues.

September 18, 2019: This semester, we've been working through Ken Bain's What the Best College Teachers Do. This week, we discussed the third chapter from this book, focusing specifically on designing good, effective courses and activities that will strengthen the skills our students will need to accomplish their goals in our courses.

Graduate Student Teaching Colloquia Spring 2019

April 22, 2019: This week, we discussed Chapter 6 of How Learning Works. We discussed the ways in which we can foster a positive classroom environment that promotes learning for all of our students. Also, we discussed the specific results from some recent surveys of our existing classes, and how the feedback we received can be useful in organizing classes in the future.

April 15, 2019: This week, we discussed Chapter 5 of How Learning Works. We discussed the sorts of feedback we should be giving students on different types of course assessments, and ways in which we can help our students practice relevant skills effectively. Also, we discussed how well some of the suggestions from last week's meeting worked out in our classes when implemented.

April 8, 2019: This week we discussed issues pertaining to potentially instructing quiz sections differently based on the average performance of the specific students in each section, ways in which we can address the specific needs of students who are struggling a bit while also engaging students who aren't struggling as much, and methods to foster student engagement in quiz sections for classes that don't require attendance. Also, we brainstormed ways in which to help students grasp the difference between truth and justification.

April 1, 2019: This week we discussed chapter 4 of How Learning Works. We discussed the areas of our courses in which expert blindness is likely to affect our teaching, and potential methods we might implement in order to minimize these effects. Also we work-shopped some ideas for assessments that might help our students with the complex skills required to be successful in our courses.

March 25, 2019: This week we did not hold a Teaching Colloquium meeting. Instead Professor Harry Ide led a syllabus workshop.

March 18, 2019: SPRING BREAK

March 11, 2019: This week we discussed the third chapter of How Learning Works: Seven Research-Based Principles for Smart Teaching by Ambrose et al. We discussed potential types of motivation which may engage our students. Also we identified and discussed some philosophy-specific difficulties with motivating our students in the ways that will be most conducive to their learning and success in our courses.

March 4, 2019: This week we discussed ways in which to motivate student participation, particularly in early-morning course sections. Also, we analyzed the benefits and drawbacks to giving students rule-governed procedures for completing different types of philosophical tasks (with different learning objectives).

February 25, 2019: This week, we discussed the second chapter of How Learning Works: Seven Research-Based Principles for Smart Teaching by Ambrose et al. During the discussion, we focused on ways in which students organize their knowledge, and how this organization affects their learning in philosophy courses. Further, we thought about ways in which we can both foster beneficial organizational structures with the presentation of course material, and ways in which we can administer course assessments in light of the likely organizational structures of our students' knowledge. We also returned to the discussion of concept maps, analyzing ways in which they may help with these goals.

February 11, 2019: This week, we discussed the first chapter of How Learning Works: Seven Research-Based Principles for Smart Teaching by Ambrose et al. During the discussion, we focused on ways in which students' prior knowledge affects their learning in philosophy courses, and how we can effectively utilize this information to be better teachers. We also analyzed the potential usefulness of concept maps as both an activity which might be helpful in gauging the prior knowledge of our students, as well as an activity that fosters learning new knowledge in our students.

February 4, 2019: This week in Teaching Colloquium we discussed methods for helping students understand moral principles and how to help them understand how to analyze these principles. One specific problem area we discussed was the potential difficulty students may have when attempting to understand, generally speaking, what sorts of examples would accord with a particular principle, and what sorts of components an example would require to be a counterexample to a particular principle. We also talked about various strategies to employ to help with this potential problem.

Graduate Student Teaching Colloquia Fall 2018

October 1, 2018: This week in Teaching Colloquium, we discussed general methods and activity types to help with student participation in class. We also constructed the general framework of a specific activity to help with teaching ethical principles relevant to consent and communication.

September 10, 2018: Today the first meeting of the Teaching Colloquium was held. During the meeting, Mark Selzer presented some of the ideas he took away from the AAPT conference earlier this year. We also discussed general strategies for teaching early morning courses, and discussed the structure for the meetings that will follow.

Graduate Student Teaching Colloquia Spring 2018

March 12, 2018: This week in Teaching Colloquium we explored the potential effects of personalizing examples. Mark Selzer and Zach Wrublewski presented a schema for teaching specific philosophical principles through crafting a helpful progression of examples (which is the general topic of our proposed AAPT workshop presentation.)

March 5, 2018: This week in Teaching Colloquium we discussed 1) intrinsic motivation, 2) methods for helping struggling students, 3) helping students with study habits, and 4) classroom safety and security.

February 26, 2018: This week in Teaching Colloquium we discussed 1) writing tips for introductory students, 2) strategies to mitigate the "backfire effect," and 3) strategies for improving attendance and participation in classes.

February 12, 2018: AAPT Submission Workshop. This week in Teaching Colloquium we will be holding a workshop for a proposal by Aaron Elliott to the upcoming American Association of Philosophy Teachers (AAPT) Bi-annual Conference. The submissions are due in mid February.

February 5, 2018: AAPT Submission Workshop. This week in Teaching Colloquium we will be holding a workshop for a proposal by Mark Selzer and Zachariah Wrublewski to the upcoming American Association of Philosophy Teachers (AAPT) Bi-annual conference. The submissions are due in mid February.

January 29, 2018: This week in Teaching Colloquium we discussed strategies for working with both introverted and extroverted students, strategies for working with international students and non-native English speakers, the merits and demerits of implementing participation grades for introductory courses, and ways to eliminate bias when assessing participation grades.

January 22, 2018: AAPT Submission Workshop. This week in Teaching Colloquium we will be discussing and revising our submissions for the American Association of Philosophy Teachers Bi-annual conference. The submissions are due in mid February.


Graduate Student Teaching Colloquia Spring 2017

February 27, 2017: This week in Teaching Colloquium we will discuss Harry Brod's "Philosophy Teaching as Intellectual Affirmative Action". Click here

February 20, 2017: This week in Teaching Colloquium we will hold our first Teaching Colloquia: Monthly Clinic. Anyone may join us for informal discussion and advice on how to address issues you're having in the classroom. I especially encourage those who are newer to teaching to join us this week and share and discuss your experiences as newer teachers.

February 13, 2017: This week in Teaching Colloquium we will discuss Conception & Eflin's "Enabling Change" Click here

February 6, 2017: This week in Teaching Colloquium we will discuss Brian Besong's "Teaching the Debate" from the forthcoming "Teaching Philosophy". Click here

January 30, 2017: This week in Teaching Colloquium we will address three topics: discussing any issues that have come up in our current teaching assignments, developing a list of things we would like to read this semester, and discussing the time and nature of our new monthly teaching clinic.


Graduate Student Teaching Colloquia Fall 2016


November 30, 2016: Teaching Colloquium is suspended for the rest of the semester.

November 22, 2016: Teaching Colloquium is cancelled this week due to the Thanksgiving Break.

November 16, 2016: This week in Teaching Colloquium we will be working in more detail with the Paul Green article from last week. Click here

November 9, 2016: This week in Teaching Colloquium we will be discussing current issues that we are facing in our teaching as well as the attached article. Click here

November 2, 2016: This week we will read Chapter 4 of L. Dee Fink's "Creating Significant Learning Experiences". Feel free to poke around the rest of the book, but we will focus on Chapter 4.

October 26, 2016: The Graduate Student Teaching Colloquium moves on from its discussion of learner-centered pedagogy into a new series on course alignment. This is a pedagogical strategy that aims to consistently align lectures, classroom activities, and out-of-class assignments with carefully chosen learning objectives. We will read Chapter 3 of L. Dee Fink's "Creating Significant Learning Experiences". Feel free to poke around the rest of the book, but we will focus on Chapter 3.

October 3, 2016: The Graduate Student Teaching Colloquium will move on from the step-by-step method, but continue our current theme of learner-centered pedagogies. For next week's reading Click here

September 21, 2016: The Graduate Student Teaching Colloquium will further discuss more concrete applications of learner centered pedagogy this week. For the article being discussed Click here

September 14, 2016: The Graduate Student Teaching Colloquium is CANCELLED for this week. For the article being discussed next week Click here

September 7, 2016: This week Teaching Colloquium will move forward from last week's discussion of learner centered pedagogy, to a more concrete application of this pedagogy. For the article being discussed Click here

August 31, 2016: This week we will be discussing the concept of learner-centered teaching. This semester, the hope is to address problems you all might be facing as teachers, and to discuss topics in the literature on teaching philosophy.

Graduate Student Teaching Colloquia Spring 2016

February 23, 2016: We will be discussing challenges we might be having in the classroom.

February 16, 2016: Gabe Bruguier will be leading a discussion concerning the problem of group work and giving students the option of ejecting a member who is not pulling their weight in the group. He will also consider alternatives to this option that do not involve ejection from the group.

February 9, 2016: We will be watching and discussing Michael McMahon's TED Talk about enhancing and balancing teaching, research, and administration in higher education.

January 26, 2016: Chelsea Richardson will be discussing "condensed scaffolding."

Graduate Student Teaching Colloquia Fall 2015

November 30, 2015: Cancelled for rest of the semester. The Teaching Colloquia will resume in the upcoming Spring 2016 Semester.

November 23, 2015: Cancelled.

November 16, 2015: Gabe Bruguier will be presenting on something very special: the "Amazing Teaching Coloquium Spectacular!" This is his self-chosen title.

November 9, 2015: Cancelled.

November 2, 2015: Today we will watch and discuss a podcast episode called "In Praise of Think Pair Share" from the Cult of Pedagogy Podcast. In this episode Jennifer Gonzales explains, "Sometimes the simplest techniques are the most effective. Think-Pair-Share is a humble but powerful teaching strategy that’s due for some attention. In this episode, I talk about the benefits of Think-Pair-Share, plus some tips for making it work better for you."

October 26, 2015: This week's discussion will feature Dana Laufenberg's TED Talk entitled "How to Learn? From Mistakes." In this video "Diana Laufenberg shares three surprising things she has learned about teaching — including a key insight about learning from mistakes."

October 19, 2015: Fall Break

October 12, 2015: This week's discussion will feature a TED Talk by Dan Pink called "The Puzzle of Motivation".

October 5, 2015: Cancelled.

September 28, 2015: Dr. Adam Thompson will be presenting "Best Teaching Practices".

September 14, 2015: "Intrinsic Motivation in the Classroom" using Johnathn Stolk and Robert Martello's discussion of intrinsic motivation as a starting point.

August 31, 2015: This week we will be discussing Maurice Ashley's "Working backward to solve problems".  The topic is using retrograde analysis in teaching and learning.

August 24, 2015: This week the topic will be 'Using Video to Teach Philosophy' and we will be using a TED Talk by Salman Kahn called "Let's Use Video to Reinvent Education".