A Celebration of Teaching

Celebration of Teaching with streamers and hands holding puzzle pieces

Tuesday, May 7 – Sykes Ballroom

Incredible teaching happens every day across WCU. Join us on Tuesday, May 7 for a series of four events to sample and discover new WCU teaching innovations, dialog with peers on teaching topics, and celebrate the teaching excellence that happens across WCU. The day’s events will include mini-workshops, our 9th annual Teaching Excellence Showcase, a virtual keynote presentation, and the TLC Teaching Awards Ceremony. We hope to see you there!

The Teaching Showcase is an open invitation, you can stop by any time during the event.  


select an event to learn more about it

09:30 – 10:30 Mini-workshops (four 30-minute, hands-on small group workshops)

30-Minute Workshops are practical sessions with participants engaging with technical tools, practicing a teaching strategy, or creating something for use in their course. They are NOT “talk at” sessions with little to no participant activity. The session ends with the participants walking away with a partially finished or finished example relevant to their context.  

9:30 – 10:00

Select a session to learn more

Collaborative Learning Techniques that Engage, Connect, and Assess with Tiffany Bennett – Ballroom C

The workshop will showcase three collaborative learning techniques that faculty members can use in their courses to (a) engage students, (b)assess subject content, and (c) foster relationship building. These activities can be used across any discipline at WCU. The first activity is called fan-n-pick which encourages group participation. The second activity is called quiz-quiz-trade which allows students to assess each other. The final activity is called Think-Pair Share which allows for short pair discussions. Resources on how to implement the activity will given at the end of the session. 

AI Powered Study Guides with Heather Waymouth and Daris McInnis – Ballroom B

Conversations regarding students’ ethical use of AI are taking place across campus. Additionally, many students transitioning to the university from high school settings do not know how to access higher order thinking skills to improve the effectiveness of their studying. In this session, participants will experience how EDR 120 (College Reading and Study Skills) professors harnessed the power of students’ desire to use AI ethically as a learning tool through a study guide/practice test comparison activity informed by Bloom’s Taxonomy. This activity was initially designed as a support for incoming first year students whose applications indicate that they might benefit from additional support in their transition to college, thus the activity is intended to promote access and equity in college-level learning. Participants will step into students’ shoes and consider how to write a good AI prompt to generate a practice test or study guide for a course the participant teaches. Working collaboratively with others, they will improve their prompt and produce a sample study guide/practice test. Participants will then review Bloom’s Taxonomy and use it as a tool to evaluate the effectiveness of their AI-created study guide. We will discuss how this activity can be tailored to different types of assessment – multiple choice, short answer, extended response, etc. so that is applicable across disciplinary contexts. Participants will also walk away with a 1-page quick reference handout which includes material covered in the workshop, as well as how we extended this activity by having students create their own HUMAN-created practice test/study guide and compared/contrasted the two study guides.

10:00 – 10:30

Select a session to learn more

Elevating Class Discussions with Padlet presented by Dara Dirhan – Ballroom B

Learn how to utilize Padlet as an alternative tool for online discussion and gain access to the WCU Padlet pilot. Dr. Dirhan has been using Padlet with students in her courses for the last three years and will show you how she incorporates the various multimedia components to engage students. Her students give Padlet rave reviews and find it more enjoyable that traditional D2L discussion boards. 

Leveraging AI for Inclusive and Equity-Minded Teaching with Matthew Kruger-Ross – Ballroom C

This workshop will focus on leveraging artificial intelligence (AI) to promote inclusivity and equity-minded teaching in higher education settings. The workshop will provide participants with practical strategies and tools to integrate AI into their teaching practices across various disciplines. The workshop will commence with an overview of AI technologies and their potential applications in higher education. Participants will explore how AI can support inclusive teaching practices and enhance student engagement and learning outcomes. We will focus on AI-driven adaptive learning platforms, natural language processing tools for feedback and assessment, and virtual reality simulations for experiential learning. At the end of the workshop, each participant will leave with a personalized action plan outlining how they intend to integrate AI into their teaching practices to enhance equity and inclusivity. This artifact will include specific goals, strategies, and timelines for implementation, ensuring that participants have a tangible roadmap for incorporating AI into their teaching. Through group discussions and collaborative activities, participants will learn from each other and gain insights into how AI can be used to address the needs of all students, including those from underrepresented or marginalized groups. 

10:30 – 12:00 9th Annual Teaching Excellence Showcase

Location: Sykes Ballroom
The showcase is a poster style presentation of an innovative teaching approach, eligible for the chance to win the People’s Choice or Judges’ Choice awards. Presenters share their concept from a high-ball table as folks encounter their station. No idea is too simple or common. We want to see excellence in all the forms it takes. Participants can come and go as needed as this is an open event. No registration required.


Role Playing Exercises – Casey Schmitt
Incorporating Service Learning – Gerardina Martin
Creating Simulations using VTS and A.I. – Nancy Barker, Danielle Yocom, & Michelle Kaulback
Embedding Campus Resources into First Year Experience – Adam Rainear
Discussions with Padlet – Dara Dirhan
Leveraging TLC Initiatives for Course Improvement – Jaeyong Choi
Podcasts as Texts – Anne Gill
Using a “Speed Dating” Model for Active Learning – Jackie Hodes
5-minute warm up: Journaling in the age of AI – Emily Southerton
The Future of OER at WCU – Marc Drumm
Student/Faculty Teaching Collaboration Program – Rodney Mader & Tom Andrews
Teaching Circle – Grading Practices – Rick Howard, Meghan Ramick, & Ashley Patriarca

12:00 – 01:30 Virtual Keynote – “Hope in a Time of Monsters: Supporting Faculty and Student Mental Health” by Sarah Rose Cavanagh

CELT spring book club book author Sarah Rose Cavanagh will interactively present some research and food for thought based on her book Mind Over Monsters: Supporting Youth Mental Health with Compassionate Challenge on how higher education should respond to both faculty depletion and the student mental health crisis. Read more about her presentation on Sarah’s website.

For those who can attend the in-person watch party in Sykes A, lunch will be provided. If you plan to attend in-person, please register.

01:30 – 02:00 TLC Teaching Awards Ceremony

Join Rammy and colleagues to celebrate the teaching accomplishments of numerous colleagues and programs from the last academic year as we hand out Golden Ram Teaching Awards. For those who cannot attend in person, we are hoping to livestream the event. 

If you plan to attend, please register.