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Syracuse Workshop

Syracuse University
Saturday & Sunday, November 11-12, 2017
8:00 am - 5:30 pm

Syracuse, New York

Tier I Teaching Excellence Workshop
Syracuse University
Physics Department, Room 202/204
Syracuse, New York 13244
Register for Workshop

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

This workshop is being presented by Edward Prather and Gina Brissenden (Center for Astronomy Education, Steward Observatory, Univ. of Arizona) and is hosted by Duncan Brown, Peter Saulson, and the Syracuse Univ. Physics Dept.

Are you a current or future instructor teaching Astronomy, Space Science, Physics, or Geoscience? 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 and become 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-related sciences. Our CAE community of practice is dedicated to helping each other in a supportive online environment through advice and recommendations, as well as conversations 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 the best practices in implementing many different classroom-tested instructional strategies. Most importantly, you and your workshop colleagues will gain first-hand experience implementing these proven strategies yourselves.

During our many microteaching events, you will have the opportunity to role-play the parts of student and instructor. You will discuss, assess, and critique each other’s implementation in real-time, as part of a supportive learning community. You will have the opportunity to try out and practice teaching techniques, no matter your level of familiarity, in collaboration with kind and gentle friends and mentors. Even more seasoned instructors already using collaborative learning strategies are apt to pick up some new implementation tips, as well as have their own to share!

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 funded through the generous contributions of NASA’s Universe of Learning (UoL) Program.

P.S. 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.

Workshop organizer:
Gina Brissenden:


The Syracuse University Campus Map page offers comprehensive campus maps to academic buildings, residence halls, parking, directions, and more.

Hotel Information

The Syracuse University Planning Your Visit webpage has useful information regarding Food and Lodging:

A number of hotels are within walking distance of campus, with many others only short drives from the University. Hotel Skyler (a Hilton property)is the closest hotel to campus at 0.4 miles away. Other hotels within a mile of campus include Genesee Grand Hotel, Crowne Plaza, and Parkview Hotel. For a complete list, visit the Syracuse Convention and Visitors Bureau. To view hotels close to campus, select “Syracuse University” or “Downtown” as the location in the Regions menu (please note, the Syracuse Sheraton University Hotel does not have availability due to a college football game the weekend of the workshop, but the other hotels in the link provided have plenty of availability).

You'll also find information about local eateries on this page!