New Faculty Course Design Institute

The New Faculty Course Design Institute (CDI) is a teaching & learning seminar spread over three half-days in August where new William & Mary instructors (TE, NTE, and other faculty in a teaching role) will be provided an opportunity to build or enhance higher education course design skills and create multiple products in preparation for the fall semester. Throughout the series, there will be both asynchronous and synchronous activities geared towards creating core course components including a course syllabus, key assessments, and learning activities. Included are deep dive opportunities where instructors can extend their learning on specific topics of their choosing. The series is structured so that instructors will LEARN key strategies, CREATE course elements, and then REVISE based on peer feedback opportunities provided throughout the series. As human connection is a hallmark of the William & Mary experience, this series models strategies for cultivating connection across disciplines and course types. 

Fall 2021 Program

Meet your Facilitator: Mike Blum

With more than 20 years at William & Mary, Mike Blum’s favorite type of projects are those that combine storytelling and technology. As a program manager and teaching consultant at the Studio for Teaching & Learning Innovation, his current areas of focus include developing communities of practice and designing collaborative pathways for effective teaching and learning. Mike also manages the STLI Fellowship program.

Meet your Facilitator: Leslie Cochrane

Leslie Cochrane teaches Linguistics courses, including a COLL 200, COLL 350, and COLL 400, with frequent cross-lists in English, Anthropology, and Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies. She was recently awarded William & Mary’s Thomas Jefferson Teaching Award. She is serving this year as a STLI Fellow, focusing on accessibility and universal design, and has served in the past as a Fellow of the Center for the Liberal Arts, helping to facilitate the university-wide undergraduate curriculum.


Meet your Facilitator: Michael Gaynes

Michael Gaynes has served as a faculty fellow on the CLA and has been an enthusiastic champion of the COLL curriculum having developed multiple classes in COLL 100, 200, and 350 . He teaches interdisciplinary courses in sculpture and expanded media focusing on concepts of time and memory, force and motion, embodiment and the nature of the self.

Meet your Facilitator: Leslie Grant

Leslie Grant is the associate dean for academic programs and an associate professor in educational policy, planning and leadership. She frequently works with schools and school districts, both within the United States and internationally, and presents at international, national, and state level conferences in the areas of classroom-based assessments, the use of data to improve student learning, and cross-cultural comparisons of effective teaching practices.

Meet your Facilitator: Paul Heideman

Paul Heideman is the Boles-Ash Distinguished Professor of Biology at William & Mary. He is a former STLI Teaching Innovation Fellow and advisory council member. A winner of multiple teaching awards at W&M including the Faculty Award for Excellence in Teaching and the Plumeri Award for Faculty Excellence, Paul emphasizes interpersonal connection with his students and serves as a leader in the pedagogical community.

Meet your Facilitator: Lori Jacobson

Lori Jacobson is the Director of W&M’s Writing Resources Center (WRC). Through the WRC and her COLL 150 course Coming of Age in Young Adult Literature, she helps students transition to college-level writing and research. She also facilitates the biannual faculty workshop Communication Concepts in COLL 100/150, alongside CLA faculty fellows and other co-educators. Her approach to teaching is focused on active student engagement with course material: In order to learn, students must do.

Meet your Facilitator: Jackson Sasser

Jackson Sasser consistently delivers academically challenging and transformational learning experiences to his students. One example is his recent COLL 300 study away course, focused on the civil rights movement, for which he developed new course materials and established relationships with practitioners and civil rights activists in Alabama, who engaged directly with students during their class visit. Across all of his courses he regularly wins high praise from students, who cite their intellectual growth, excitement, and strengthened writing and communication skills, and the value of in-class discussions.

Meet your Facilitator: Drew Stelljes

Drew Stelljes serves as the Assistant Vice President for Student Engagement and Leadership. For the past 12 years, Drew has been the faculty member for the DC Office Summer Institute on Leadership and Community Engagement and he teaches the class Urban Education: Policy, Practice, and Leadership through the W&M Washington Center. Recently Drew co-taught three semester-long classes with former FBI Director James Comey. He was also previously the co-director of the Civic Agency Project, an undergraduate think tank that focuses on civic engagement and democratic engagement. 

Meet your Facilitator: Katalin Wargo

Katalin is responsible for the design and delivery of faculty professional learning opportunities related to course design and development of in-person, blended, and online courses.  She provides transformative professional learning experiences to instructors at all career stages to enhance their instructional practice.

New Faculty CDI | STLI Academy

To augment the in-person sessions, STLI has created a companion online course to provide additional learning opportunities and resources for faculty. Engaging in these asynchronous materials is highly encouraged for instructors who are new to William & Mary or teaching in higher education. This asynchronous course will introduce you to the William & Mary landscape and will give you a foundation before attending the in-person sessions that will dive deeper into teaching topics. The New Faculty Course Design Institute is the premier course of our brand new professional and learning development academy – STLI Academy.

Monday, August 16

10:00 – 11:30 am | W&M Libraries: Your Instructional Partner | Read & Relax

Take a guided tour of Swem Library, meet your library liaison, learn how to put books on reserve, discover how to incorporate special collections into your course, and much more!

11:30 am – 12:00 pm | Lunch with the Libraries  | Read & Relax

Join your library colleagues for lunch (provided).

12:00 – 12:45 pm | Introducing the William & Mary Landscape: Synchronous Q/A Session with experienced W&M faculty | Ford Classroom
This session will include a panel of instructors and co-educators across the institution who will be able to answer questions about the William & Mary teaching and learning ecosystem. Come with your questions about our students, the W&M digital learning environment, our institutional instructional values, and more!

1:00 – 2:15 pm | Syllabus Design Deep Dive | Ford Classroom

Facilitators: Lori Jacobson & Michael Gaynes

This session will model effective course syllabi from across disciplines, guide instructors through conceptualizing the audience and purpose of their syllabi, and walk instructors through drafting powerful course descriptions and descriptive learning objectives.  You will also have an opportunity to create a product for peer review!

2:30 – 3:30 pm | Leading a Productive First Day | Ford Classroom

Facilitator: Jackson Sasser

This highly interactive session will illuminate possibilities and essentials for engaging students immediately on the first day of class.

Thursday, August 19

12:00 – 12:45 pm | Syllabus Writing Peer Feedback Session | Ford Classroom

Facilitators: Lori Jacobson & Michael Gaynes

Come with your syllabus to receive feedback from peers, disciplinary experts from across the institution, and our student partners.  

1:00 – 2:15 pm | Assessment Deep Dive: Developing and Using Rubrics and Checklists | Ford Classroom

Facilitator: Leslie Grant

This working session will model best practices for developing rubrics and checklists. It will have you conceptualizing how to write rubrics and checklists to encourage student success. You will also have an opportunity to create a product for peer review!

2:30 – 3:30 pm | Planning and Facilitating Engaging Discussions | Ford Classroom

Facilitator: Drew Stelljes

This session will discuss strategies for engaging students in rich and meaningful discussion across modalities.  

4:00 – 5:00 pm | President & Provost Mixer | The Wren Building

Join educators and co-educators from across the university at an informal mixer with President Katherine Rowe and Provost Peggy Agouris! This will be held in the Wren Building, the oldest academic building in the country.

Monday, August 23

9:00 – 9:45 am | Assessment Peer Feedback Session | Ford Classroom

Facilitator: Leslie Grant

Come with your rubric or checklist to receive feedback from peers, disciplinary experts from across the institution, and our student partners. 

10:00 – 11:15 am | Promoting Higher Order Thinking | Ford Classroom

Facilitator: Leslie Cochrane

This interactive session will illuminate possibilities for developing students’ higher order thinking across disciplines. Topics include incorporating student reflection and connection-making, promoting listening and note-taking skills, encouraging and responding to critical questions, and developing self-directed learners.

11:30 am – 12:30 pm | Multimodal Approaches to Creating Collaborative Learning Opportunities | Ford Classroom

Facilitator: Paul Heideman

This session will cover strategies for facilitating authentic collaboration opportunities in your course.  It will deep dive into deciding when it is appropriate to  incorporate collaboration , the kind of collaboration to incorporate (pairs versus small groups, practice problems versus extended projects; use of gesturing, sketching, role-playing), creating  positive interdependence among group members,  assessing group work, and preparing students for and fostering multimodal collaboration.  

12:30 – 1:30 pm | Mentoring Luncheon | Ford Classroom

Facilitator: Mike Blum

This luncheon is an opportunity to meet disciplinary experts from across the institution who serve as faculty mentors. Come join us for lunch and collegiality!