Center for Teaching Excellence

Throughout the year, CTE offers a series of timely programs open to the entire SMU teaching community.  Topics range from the theoretical to the practical, from time-tested to ripped from the headlines.  The programs are presented by recognized experts from within the SMU faculty, and are designed to foster discussion about teaching and learning issues.  


January 16, 2020 | 9am-1pm
Harold Simmons Hall 101

The Provost Office and the Center for Teaching Excellence in partnership with the Department of Teaching and Learning are excited to announce the Spring Teaching Symposium.

We invite SMU faculty, graduate students, and adjuncts to join us to learn about the fundamentals of teaching. The sessions will share key practices, research-based solutions, and tips for improving student learning. Breakout sessions will focus on three strands:

  • Effective teaching practices
  • Serving diverse students
  • Instructional technology

Lunch will be provided. Special Post-Lunch Session for New Faculty (less than 3 years at SMU) will be held from 1pm-1:45pm.

9:00 – 9: 15 am

Welcome and Orientation (HH 101’s combined)


Diversity (HH101)


Teaching (HH217)

Session 1

9:30 – 10:30 am

Moving beyond diversity: Recognizing and addressing implicit bias inbuilding equitable classroom communities

Sherril English

Implicit biases are the subconscious biases we all have that directly influence our relationships with our students and that have the potential to impact our students’ opportunities to learn. To create equitable classroom communities, professors must acknowledge their own biases and take the necessary steps to face them. Participants will better understand what implicit bias is and how it affects our classroom communities. They will also learn ways to address implicit bias within themselves and help students to do likewise.


HH VR Room

“But I need an A”: Tips for Guiding Conversations You Never Thought You’d Have

Paige Ware & Stacy Strang

In this session, we will use a mixed reality simulation lab to explore a how professors can guide students in productive one-on-one conversations on topics such as grade disputes, class absences, and course expectations. Participants will review common tips about do’s and don’ts from seasoned professors, followed by the opportunity to get real-time feedback while practicing these skills with avatar students in the simulation lab.


Tech Tools in the Classroom: More student engagement

Dara Rossi & Jennifer Culver

Come and learn how free web tools can improve classroom engagement! From creating interactive videos to polling students inside and outside of presentations, this session will show you how to make quick and engaging moments.

Session 2

10:45 – 11:45 am

Working with Students with Disabilities

Francesca Jones & Stephanie Al Otaiba

One of the challenges any new professor faces is understanding what their role and responsibilities are in accommodating a student with a disability and ways in which they can provide appropriate support. In this one-hour presentation, Drs. Al Otaiba and Jones will briefly share their expertise on the law protecting students with disabilities. They will also describe how (and why) to make accommodations. Further, they will share resources at SMU (e.g., Disability Accommodations and Success Strategies; DASS) and outside of SMU for supporting students and ensuring that every student reaches their potential and has the opportunity for success.

HH 117

Flipping Your Classroom and Best Practices When Teaching Online

Addy Tolliver

In this session, CTE’s Senior Instructional Designer Dr. Addy Tolliver will discuss the benefits and challenges of using video technology and other LMS tools to engage with students in your face-to-face course (inside the classroom and online).


Documenting Effective Teaching

Gail Hartin

Professional educators encounter many contexts in which they are expected to provide evidence of the quality and effectiveness of their teaching. Classroom observations are merely a snapshot of the complex ecosystem that shapes a classroom environment. This session will focus on practical ideas for collecting artifacts and evidence on an ongoing basis to showcase excellent teaching.


12:00 – 1:00 pm

Lunch with the Altshulers (HH101 combined)

1:00 – 1:45 pm

New Faculty Session (Mindset and Q&A)

Symposium Session Materials


First Thursday of Every Month, 8:30-10:30 am
Back Corner in the Starbucks at Fondren Library

Spring 2020 Schedule:

  • February 6th
  • March 5th 
  • April 2nd

Join us on the first Thursday of the month in the Starbucks at Fondren Library for free coffee and a time to connect with other faculty members to discuss teaching. This is a chance for you to share your stories, meet with other faculty, and visit with Instructional Designers Addy and Doug. We’re here to answer any questions you may have and think through ways to further enhance your teaching. (No RSVP needed).  

For a list of past programs and workshops,

Click Here

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