Faculty Professional Development Workshops

Canvas Basics Training

Whether you are just getting started with Canvas or just want a refresher, Canvas Basics training sessions are here to help. All sessions are hands-on. I will be demonstrating how to do things in Canvas, then giving you time to try them. With that in mind, please bring a flash drive loaded with the following materials to the Canvas Basics training session:

  • Your current syllabus saved as a Word file
  • A Word document or a PDF article
  • A Rubric if you have one
  • Some quiz questions: 1 multiple choice and 1 true/false
  • You may also want to bring a pen and paper for notes.

 All Canvas Basics training sessions are voluntary.

Or, Canvas Basics for Faculty is available online. This is a voluntary, fully online, self-paced, eCertificate course designed to introduce you to Canvas and its powerful tools that can assist you in providing students with the means they will need in order to succeed in your course whether you are teaching in a face-to-face, hybrid, or in a fully online class. To sign up, email Instructional Support at and include your NU email address.

Other Faculty Professional Development Workshops

Backward Design

NU’s Dr. Paul Vermette conducts a hands-on workshop in Backward Design, a somewhat contemporary approach to organizing and planning curriculum and/or lessons. Simply put, it forces a focus on the real goals, objectives (SLO), and learning targets as both the assessment of instruction AND the starting point for planning. While this seems to be a very simple and practical practice that instructors are actually doing already, it is far rarer than most of us assume.

This workshop seeks to help participants develop a personalized working approach that integrates the most effective aspects of Backward Design into their own teaching. Moreover, there is general agreement (from cognitive science) about the process by which “deep understanding” occurs in diverse learners and this process will be included as a central component of the session. In effect, participants will be using Backward Design to construct effective instruction that meets clearly stated objectives of their courses.

By the end of the session, participants will:

  1. Explain the major steps of Backward Design as applied to a specific piece of content that s/he teaches;
  2. Design multiple instructional pathways and practices that would help students learn and meet specific objectives;
  3. Explain their new plans in terms of the scholarly evidence supporting the learning process.

Helping Your Students Improve Vital Study Behaviors

Would you like your students to complete more of your assigned reading? Would you like them to better understand the reading?  Would you like your students to be more engaged in class and take better notes?  Would you like them to more actively participate in class discussions and activities? Would you like students to perform better on your tests? If so, attend this interactive workshop to learn strategies to help your students improve study behaviors essential to success in your courses.  Participants will be invited to share strategies they have found successful. This workshop is especially relevant for faculty who teach first-year students.

Helping Your Students Increase their Vocabulary Proficiency

Many students enter college with a limited vocabulary. The most common reasons are limited pleasure reading and limited direct vocabulary instruction in high school. This can pose significant obstacles for some students: they may not fully understand your required readings, things you say in class, and your test questions. Words that we might take for granted – such as ambivalent, unprecedented, hierarchy, latent, alleviate, affluent, correlation, tenuous, ominous, arbitrary, and refute – may be unfamiliar to some students, especially first-year students. This workshop will provide suggestions for helping students increase their college-level vocabulary without creating much additional work on your part.  Some discipline-specific word lists will be provided.