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National Harbor Workshop

National Harbor Workshop

Saturday and Sunday, January 4-5, 2014
8:00 AM - 5:30 PM*

Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center
201 Waterfront St
National Harbor, Maryland 20745
(301) 965-2000

CAE’s Tier I Teaching Excellence Workshop for Current and Future Astronomy and Space Science Instructors

Presented by Rica French (MiraCosta College) and Seth Hornstein (Univ. of Colorado Boulder); hosted in conjunction with the 223rd Meeting of the American Astronomical Society(AAS); and sponsored by AUI/NRAO.

Are you a current or future instructor teaching Astronomy or Space Science? Would you like your classroom to actively engage your students in discourse about the big ideas of your class; how evidence is used to understand the universe; and the role of science in society? We invite you to come to our CAE Teaching Excellence Workshop. Spend time with your colleagues becoming an effective implementer of active-learning instructional strategies. Learn how to transform your classroom into a vibrant learning environment that will:

  1. increase students’ conceptual understandings
  2. improve their abilities to think critically, interpret graphs, and reason about quantitative data
  3. motivate them to actively engage in their learning
  4. improve their self-efficacy
By participating, you’ll become part of a nationwide community of practice, along with over 4000 past workshop participants and other educators of Astronomy and Space Science. Our CAE community of practice is dedicated to helping each other, in a supportive online environment, through advice, recommendations, and conversation about effective implementation strategies, effective pedagogical resources, science education research, public policy, specific classroom resources, and more. Our Tier I Teaching Excellence Workshops will provide you with the experiences you need to create effective and productive active-learning classroom environments. We will model best practices in implementing many different classroom-tested instructional strategies. But most importantly, you and your workshop colleagues will gain first-hand experience implementing these proven strategies yourselves. During our many microteaching events, you’ll have the opportunity to role-play the parts of student and instructor. You’ll assess and critique each other’s implementation in real-time, as part of a supportive learning community. You’ll have the opportunity to face and conquer your fears of unfamiliar teaching in collaboration with kind and gentle friends and mentors before you try them by yourself in front of your students.
Workshop Participants
Tier I Workshop topics will include:
  • Creating inclusive classroom environments
  • Strategies to improve retention & diversity of STEM majors & grads
  • Collaborative group learning
  • Interactive lectures, demonstrations, and videos
  • Effective uses of writing
  • Think-Pair-Share (Peer Instruction, Clicker Questions)
  • Lecture-Tutorials
  • Ranking Tasks
  • Assessment strategies (including homework, grading, and exams)

This workshop is sponsored by AUI/NRAO and will feature several new activities designed to effectively bring radio astronomy into your classroom.

* Please note: Saturday workshop hours are from 9:00 AM - 5:30 PM.

We at CAE are continually evolving our workshops based on the needs and recommendations of our workshop participants. If it’s been a while since you participated in one of our Teaching Excellence Workshops, we encourage you to participate again, as they have likely changed. Also, we encourage you to join your local CAE Regional Teaching Exchange.

You do not need to be a member of the American Astronomical Society (AAS), nor be attending this AAS meeting, to register for the workshop; however, we strongly encourage you to do both! The AAS now offers an Education Affiliate Membership , which is only $84.

You will need to register with the AAS for this workshop so that you can pay the registration fee:

Workshop Organizer:
Gina Brissenden:


View Registrant List

View Location Map (using MapQuest)


The Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center's website contains maps, directions, and transportation information here: Directions & Transportation

Hotel Information

Since this workshop is being held in conjunction with the 223rd AAS meeting, we encourage participants to make hotel reservations through the AAS room block for the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Centers. You can find the AAS travel and lodging information here: Travel & Lodging

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Webmaster:   Cornell Lewis