Home/Virtual Events/Virtual Workshops
Virtual Workshops consist of one or more modules that provide opportunities for synchronous interactions between participants, the presenters, and the content in meaningful and fun ways. Prices vary based on your college’s membership status, registration date, and the number of workshop modules. Participants earn a digital badge and certificate upon completing all modules and a post-workshop evaluation.
NISOD Virtual Event Listing

Searching for Tangible Evidence of Critical Thinking Skills

Do you ever feel like you are lost in space in your own classroom, looking for evidence of intelligent life? Workshop participants explore their current practices in the classroom that encourage critical thinking skills. After watching videos of and participating in hands-on examples of critical thinking exercises, workshop participants create their own exercises to ensure higher-level critical thinking among their students.

By the end of this workshop, participants know or are able to:

  • Clarify the meaning of critical thinking in higher education and employment environments, including the most recent research about employers’ desire for graduates who possess critical thinking skills.
  • Evaluate teaching “scenes” from a selection of film clips and identify common mistakes teachers make when trying to elicit critical thinking responses from students.
  • Review and apply the “Seven Valuable Intellectual Traits” identified by the Foundation for Critical Thinking.
  • Practice strategies that indicate evidence of critical thinking in the classroom and in assignments.
  • Observe and use Discussion Question Requirements, Diversity Day, Daily Exit Cards, the One-Minute Paper, the Interview Assignment, Annotation Station, and Question Fishbowl.
Event Dates
 Module 1-September 30
 Module 2-October 1

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What’s the Secret to Creating Classroom Discussions That Work?

While they are effective pedagogical tools, leading discussions can be frustrating. They can easily go awry, leading to uncomfortable silences, the domination of a couple of speakers, superficial contributions, or off-topic remarks. This workshop reviews research-based principles for guiding classroom discussion and strategies for designing and facilitating classroom discussions that work to create an effective, positive learning experience. You’ll experience a variety of specific strategies first-hand, including those relevant to small classes, large classes, online courses, and a variety of disciplines. Plus, you’ll reflect on how to apply these strategies to your own classes. You’ll also learn what you can do to prevent the “common discussion pitfalls” listed above, along with what to do when they happen. You’ll also learn how to design discussions as a part of your course so they truly help students learn (and so you’ll know that they worked!).

During this workshop, you’ll experience these engaging discussion techniques first-hand. Expect a fast-paced, highly practical day!

By the end of this workshop, participants know or are able to:

  • Review and discuss 12 research-based principles to guide class discussion.
  • Experience a variety of discussion techniques that faculty can use to engage all students.
  • Explore strategies to prevent and respond to common discussion pitfalls.
  • Design discussions that lead to deep, meaningful, and measurable learning.


  • Structured small group discussions and activities on 12 research-based principles on class discussion.
  • Discussion “mini-simulations” including framing and debriefing.
  • Designing a “discussion that works” for one of your classes.
Event Date
 October 15, 2021

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Emotional Intelligence, Student Efficacy, and the Growth Mindset

Have you ever wished you could change your students’ attitudes toward more positive engagement in their learning? YOU CAN! The secret rests in appreciating that all of us have a profound impact upon the emotional state of the students that we engage with every day. Whether interacting with individuals or groups, the neuroscience is clear: The affective domain powerfully impacts student cognition, persistence, motivation, and performance. During this multidimensional, highly-interactive, experiential, and fun workshop, participants explore ways to promote positive, enthusiastic, and engaged collaboration among students. They also explore how to encourage student learning in a manner that maximizes motivation, a sense of inclusion, and equity within the learning environment!

The workshop includes PowerPoint slides, stories, video, breakout room activities, and opportunities for full group discussions, all of which allow participants to interact with each other and process the information in a fast moving and fun format.

  • Demonstrate the impact of emotion on learning.
  • Create positive learning outcomes associated with respectful and affirming relationships.
  • Identify, nurture, and develop talents, rather than focus on weaknesses.
  • Understand how positive emotions expand cognition and creativity.
  • Understand how the affective domain profoundly influences persistence and practice compassionate correction.
  • Apply premises behind the “Growth Mindset” and growing intelligence to our learning environments.
Event Date
 November 5, 2021

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Teaching Critical Thinking Skills in Communications Courses

This workshop provides participants with concrete tools for teaching critical thinking skills in Communications courses. The workshop targets critical thinking skills in courses that emphasize reading, writing, and oral presentation. By the end of the workshop, participants are able to help students create better drafts, organize speeches, analyze the written word, and write complete argumentative and research papers. All skills will be contextualized around critical thinking.

By the end of this workshop, participants know or are able to: 

  • Apply precise pedagogical methods that help students at any level improve their critical thinking skills.
  • Apply precise pedagogical methods to improve writing skills based on critical thinking practices.
  • Create critical thinking rubrics. 


  • Participate in exercises designed and proven to enhance critical thinking.
  • Create exercises and exams that enhance and measure critical thinking skills.
  • Use and create rubrics that provide viable measurements of critical thinking.

Participants can claim a digital badge and certificate upon completing the workshop and a post-workshop survey.

Event Dates
 Module 1-November 12
 Module 2-November 19

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Teaching With Your Mouth Shut: Keeping Students Active, Attentive, and Engaged!

Based on the popular book, Teaching With Your Mouth Shut (2000) by Donald Finkel, this workshop explores various active-learning strategies and activities that allow faculty to engage students without being limited to only lectures. The workshop incorporates the theory of multiple intelligences—interpersonal, linguistic, and kinesthetic intelligences—while demonstrating and sharing active-learning techniques and strategies. Participants receive lesson-planning ideas and learn how to incorporate music into the classroom. Participants also consider several classroom assessment techniques and explore at least three instructional technologies.

By the end of this workshop, participants know or are able to:

  • This workshop incorporates several engagement and reflection opportunities. Participants leave with a variety of activities and concrete takeaways they can immediately apply in their classrooms. Participants will understand and develop a model lesson plan; identify and develop higher-order thinking questions; and discuss and analyze various classroom assessment techniques, classroom management strategies, and effective grouping structures.
  • Warm-up activities and discussion starters.
  • Specific technologies to increase inquiry-based learning.
  • Questioning techniques that incorporate higher-order thinking skills.
  • Effective lesson planning embedding multiple intelligences.
  • Choosing and using music effectively in the classroom.
  • “Gallery Walk” and reflection activities.
  • Effective group dynamics and strategies.
  • Classroom assessment techniques including the minute paper, muddiest point, exit slips, one-sentence summary, etc.
Event Dates
 Module 1-December 2
 Module 2-December 3

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Meeting Students Where They Are

Are you seeking more ways to connect with your students? Use your own learning experience and identity development to leverage powerful learning for students. Participants explore adult learning theories, strengths-based approaches, and cultivating a sense of belonging in the classroom. This workshop models interactive learning in the remote environment with an emphasis on practice and application.

Setting the Stage

  • Identify best practices when working with individual students.
  • Recognize how your own identity impacts students.
  • Leverage your own identity to positively impact students.

Getting to Work

  • Foster a sense of belonging.
  • Practice using strengths-based language and cultivating a sense of belonging in student interactions.

Taking it Forward

  • Define elements of powerful learning experiences.
  • Identify effective uses of student success theories.
  • Create an action plan to meet students where they are.
Event Dates
 Module 1-December 10
 Module 2-December 17

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Teaching Critical Thinking in Pre-College English Courses

Many incoming community college students need remediation in English courses. This can be time consuming and lead instructors to believe that there isn’t enough time in the term to teach important thinking skills. This workshop provides participants with specific tools for teaching critical thinking skills in pre-college English courses. The facilitator provides proven methodologies to enhance critical thinking skills while teaching basic English writing and comprehension. By the end of the workshop, participants can better prepare students for transfer-level English courses and increase their critical thinking skills.

Key topics covered during the workshop include: 

  1. Critical thinking, remediation, and open-mindedness.
  2. Critical thinking as a foundation for college skills.
  3. Recognizing and using evidence.
    1. What is a fact?
    2. How is a fact different from an opinion?
    3. How should facts guide opinions?
    4. Emotions, opinions, and facts.
    5. Exercises to identify facts.
  4. The structure of an argument.
    1. Introduction.
    2. Basic writing exercises for students.
  5. Argument creation/formation.
    1. Levels of difficulty in argument creation.
  6. Moving from arguments to writing.
    1. Levels of difficulty in writing about arguments.
    2. Argumentation and rough drafts.
  7. Improving reading skills: Argument analysis.
    1. Understanding an author’s argument.
    2. Research, using multiple articles, and college-level writing.

Participants can claim a digital badge and certificate upon completing the workshop and a post-workshop survey.

Event Dates
 Module 1-January 21
 Module 2-January 28

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Teaching Critical Thinking and Rationality in Science and Math Courses

This workshop provides participants with concrete tools for teaching rationality and critical thinking skills in Science and Mathematics courses. By the end of the workshop, participants are able to help students be more rational, deploy scientific and mathematical thinking more consistently, and recognize reasoning errors that can be corrected with scientific and mathematical reasoning. Instructors will understand rationality, the concept of mindware, detect gaps in mindware, andrecognize contaminated mindware.

Topics covered include:

  • Brain structure and rational and irrational processes
  • The concept of rationality
  • The science of rationality
  • Rationality and intelligence
  • The concept of mindware (Gaps/Contamination)
  • Probabilistic and statistical reasoning
  • Scientific reasoning
  • Experimental design
  • Anti-scientific attitudes
  • Conspiracy beliefs
  • Fundamental computational biases
  • Dysfunctional personal beliefs
  • The Theory of Evolution
  • The arrow of science and mythological worldviews
  • Science, mathematics, and opinion

Participants can claim a digital badge and certificate upon completing the workshop and a post-workshop survey.

Event Dates
 Module 1-February 4
 Module 2-February 11

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Multiple Pathways to the Language Learner’s Brain: Enhancing and Energizing Instruction

If you teach second language learners or a foreign language course and are looking for more effective, neuroscience-based strategies, this workshop is for you.

If a bilingual brain is a better brain (and it is!), then why are your language learners struggling? During this workshop, participants learn how the brain processes first and second languages and how the effort to become bilingual presents challenges until fluency is obtained. Learn the science of language learning and acquire instructional strategies based on that science that will energize your teaching and enhance your students’ learning.

This workshop covers the following topics:

  1. How the brain learns and implications for language learning.
  2. The most important factor in learning.
  3. Why students have trouble pronouncing words.
  4. The best way to present vocabulary.
  5. The so-called “learning style” that applies to all learners.
  6. How to design lessons according to the brain’s natural learning style.
  7. What to do about the pathway that can impair learning regardless of your strategies.
  8. A hidden impediment to learning that you may be creating.
  9. How to tap into the Motivation Pathway.
Event Dates
 Module 1-February 25
 Module 2-March 4

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Addressing Faculty Anxiety, Stress, and Trauma: Recover, Renew, and Rewire

Are you experiencing trouble concentrating? Are you struggling to regulate your emotions or experiencing sleep disturbances? These behaviors are normal reactions to high stress and trauma. Unfortunately, it’s easy for your brain to form pathways in response to anxiety, stress, and trauma. The more these pathways fire, the more likely they are to fire again and become “hardwired.” It’s important to rewire these pathways into feelings of calmness, resilience, and happiness.

Anxiety, stress, and trauma can damage your health and lead to long-term mental disorders such as depression. They also inhibit higher-order executive functions, while strongly activating the emotional centers. This makes it harder to remember, pay attention, think critically, plan, organize, and control emotions. Anxiety, stress, and trauma can affect family and home life, resulting in higher rates of substance abuse and domestic and health issues. Unfortunately, your anxiety, stress, and trauma are also contagious to students, and can impair their learning.

During this workshop, participants learn the science behind how stress affects them and actions that can be taken to effectively address it.

  • Participants learn why their brain feels foggy and why they aren’t performing optimally. They also learn about two nervous systems: fight/flight and rest/digest, as well as how to switch their physiology into the calming nervous system. Participants acquire recovering strategies—including how to calm down quickly—and practices they can use to inhibit the fight/flight response that impairs mental and physical health.
  • Participants focus on renewing and rewiring. It isn’t enough to stop stress every time it occurs; you must learn to stop it from occurring in the first place. Participants learn lifestyle practices that renew the mind, brain, and body, and reduce feelings of high stress. Participants also learn about the process of burnout and where and how they can stop it. The workshop concludes with information about post-traumatic growth, so that when these difficult times are over, participants remain as mentally healthy as possible and are ready to resume a normal life.

Learn what science recommends when undergoing anxiety, stress, and trauma, and experience multiple ways to create calm, resilience, and happiness pathways that work specifically for you!

Participants can claim a digital badge and certificate upon completing the workshop and a post-workshop survey.

Event Dates
 Module 1-March 11
 Module 2-March 18

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