Current & Upcoming Workshops

When Trauma Impacts Learning


February 16, 2015; 3:00 pm 4:45 pm


Claire Kaplan, Program Director, Gender Violence & Social Change
Hannah Trible, Counseling Intern
-Maxine Platzer Lynn Women's Center-

Dorothe Bach, Associate Director and Associate Professor
Itiya Aneece, Graduate Student Associate
-Teaching Resource Center-


In light of the recent events on grounds, many faculty and teaching assistants are asking how they can best support students affected by trauma. Question may include: How can I appropriately express my care and concern for my students’ safety? What do the recent policy changes mean for my interactions with students who confide in me? What accommodations can I make so that students in crisis feel supported in their learning? And finally, when tragic news shake up the community, how can I acknowledge or discuss difficult topics with sensitivity?

This workshop opens with an opportunity to learn how trauma affects social and cognitive functioning and academic learning and what recent policy changes mean for us as responsible teachers and caring adults. The majority of our time together will be spend discussing case studies to explore avenues for supporting individual students in crises and for creating spaces in our classrooms where difficult events can be acknowledged and discussed.

This workshops is co-sponsored by the Maxine Platzer Lynn Women’s Center and the Teaching Resource Center.

UVa Resource

Sexual Violence Education and Resources [UVa Dean of Students’ website that tells you: (1) What to do after an assault; (2) How to support a survivor; (3) What your reporting options are; (4) How to get involved; (5) and more]

Additional Resources for Responding to Trauma in the Classroom

Grappling With Trigger Warnings And Trauma On Campus [NPR Blog] 

Potentially Perilous Pedagogies: Teaching Trauma Is Not the Same as Trauma-Informed Teaching [research-based article]

Difficult Dialogues [this website from Vanderbilt University’s Center for Teaching offers with basic information and resources for college instructors] 

Available Spaces: 4

Developing Learner-Centered Syllabi (and Courses)

Presenter: Adriana Streifer

February 26, 2015; 2:00 pm 4:00 pm

This workshop is only available to Post-Docs and Graduate Students.

A syllabus is one of the most significant documents of any course: it sets the tone and expectations for the entire semester, and expresses the instructor’s core pedagogical values and approaches to teaching and learning. At the TRC, we strive to help instructors create what Ken Bain calls a “promising syllabus”: a learning-focused document that communicates clearly and compellingly what students will gain from the course, what they will do to achieve the promise it lays out, how they will know whether they are getting there, and how to best go about studying. It can be challenging to know if a syllabus successfully reflects those values and approaches, so we have designed a rubric to assess the capacity of a syllabus to contribute to a meaningful learning environment.

In this workshop, participants will learn how to use a newly-developed syllabus rubric that assesses the degree to which a syllabus achieves a learning-centered orientation. After a brief introduction to key concepts such as backward design, and learning goals and objectives, participants will have a chance to test the rubric’s functionality by applying it to sample syllabi. In pair and group discussions, participants will compare their scores to those given by trained raters. At the conclusion of the session, the presenter will briefly describe the results of scoring over 50 “before” and “after” syllabus pairs collected from instructors that participated in the Teaching Resource Center’s week-long Course Design Institute.

Upon completion of the session, participants will be able to:

  • articulate the basic purposes, functions, and limitations of the syllabus rubric;
  • use the syllabus rubric to score a range of syllabi;
  • consider how they may use the rubric to create learner-focused syllabi for their own classes


Bain, K. (2004). What the best college teachers do. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Available Spaces: 29

Innovation in Pedagogy Summit 2015


May 6, 2015; 8:00 am 5:00 pm

UVa's Annual Innovation in Pedagogy Summit brings together faculty, staff, and students from across UVa and the Commonwealth to engage in conversation about excellence in teaching and learning. For 2015, the Summit will be held on Wednesday, May 6 in Newcomb Hall, and record attendance is expected!

You can also join the conversation via Twitter using the hashtag #UVaTeach

Call for proposals! Click here to learn how you can share your teaching experiences with the UVa community and view the call for proposals. To help prepare your submission, a preview of the CFP form will be available.

Details for each session can be found by following this link.

Brief Schedule

Registration & Breakfast begins at 8:00 am

Welcome (8:45 - 9:00 am)

Opening Keynote (9:00 - 10:00 am)

  • Modeling Democracy in the Classroom: Making the Most of Class Participation
  • Jan French, Associate Professor of Anthropology, University of Richmond

Plenary Panel (10:00 - 11:00 am)

Break (11:00 - 11:15 am)

Concurrent Morning Sessions (11:15 am - 12:05 pm)

Break (12:05 - 12:15 pm)

Lunch (12:15 - 1:30 pm)

  • Free lunch will be provided to all presenters as well as all attendees who pre-register.

Concurrent Afternoon Sessions (1:45 am - 2:35 pm)

Break (2:35 - 2:45 pm)

Closing Keynote Address & Workshop (2:45 - 5:00 pm)

  • It Could Be Beautiful: Aspirational vs Operational EdTech (Closing Keynote)
  • Towards Gross Personal Happiness: Ecosystems of Inspiration & Frictionless Workflows (Workshop)
  • Tom Woodward, Associate Director of Learning Innovation, Academic Learning Transformation Lab, Virginia Commonwealth University

IDEAx Unconference (5:15 - 6:30 pm)

The Innovation in Pedagogy Summit is sponsored by the Office of the Executive Vice President & Provost and co-hosted by the Teaching Resource Center, the College and Graduate School of Arts & Sciences, the Curry School of Education, and the Office of the Executive Vice President & Provost.

Available Spaces: 210