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Sample Workshops

Chinese participants posing in front of Torgersen Bridge

Faculty programs support the professional enrichment of your educators and researchers by introducing them to teaching and research as practiced in U.S. higher education institutions and to holistic approaches to leadership and management in academia. 


Teaching and Learning 

This workshop focuses on practical, concrete approaches to teaching and classroom management. Drawing on research-based best practices, facilitators challenge participants to consider ways to apply similar practices in their own classes.

Contemplative Pedagogy

This approach encourages deep learning through focused attention, reflection, and heightened awareness. Participants are encouraged to engage deeply with course material through contemplation and introspection — examining their thoughts and feelings as related to the classroom content and learning experiences of their students.

Teaching as Inquiry, Experimentation, and Reflection

When designing a lesson plan, many instructors consider the course objectives, teaching techniques, and assessment of student learning. This workshop teaches participants how to implement their teaching plans, evaluate their lesson plans, and reflect on desired outcomes.

Conversations on Teaching

These informal and discussion-based workshops comprise discussions based on participants’ teaching situations, professional backgrounds, and areas of expertise. A number of Virginia Tech faculty members will share their teaching experiences.

Teaching and Learning Studio

Educators use design thinking to create student-centric, active learning experiences. Participants employ creative practices to design and facilitate such experiences, including team teaching and the use of physical space as a teaching tool.

Inquiry-Based Teaching in Science

Inquiry-based science is an investigative approach to teaching and learning, wherein students are provided with opportunities to investigate a problem, search for possible solutions, make observations, ask questions, test out ideas, think creatively, and use their intuition.

Alternative Approaches to Course Assessments

Thinking outside of the box, teachers can make small changes in their course content and assessment that may have big impacts on how their students engage with coursework.

Instructional Technology and Design

This relatively new field applies what is empirically understood about how humans learn and improve upon performance to design, develop, implement, and evaluate supporting products, processes, and environments.

Blended/Online Learning

Online courses are those in which at least 80 percent of course content is delivered via the internet. In blended instruction, 30 to 80 percent of course content is delivered online. These courses not only change how content is delivered, they also redefine traditional educational roles and provide different opportunities for learning.

Create an Effective Learning Environment

To achieve effective and successful learning experiences, students need to actively interact with course content. This workshop will explore some of the many ways that faculty can improve engagement in the classroom.

Intellectual Development and Critical Thinking

Participants will explore the nature of critical thinking, the stages of intellectual development students typically exhibit, the connection between the two, and the best ways to support students’ development.

Introduction to Communicating Science

Participants will take part in improvisational theater exercises aimed at helping them connect more directly and spontaneously with audiences.

Beyond the Classroom: The Use of Technology

Facilitators will introduce new tools and methods for using classroom technology and explore how technology can be applied to improve learning and creative processes — especially for final/capstone projects.  

Teaching Teamwork

Are your students ready to work in groups? Have they learned how to work effectively and collaboratively in teams? This workshop helps teachers engage students in the “Four C’s” — critical thinking, creativity, collaboration, and communication.

Women in Higher Education

This workshop focuses to the history of women in higher education, including current statistics and data relating to women’s experiences in academia. Its goal is to foster a more inclusive work environment within institutions.


Research Methods

This workshop provides an overview of research methods — exploring data collection methods, research study types, and level of audience. It includes sessions on survey development and administration, interviews and focus groups, observations and rubric development, data analysis, and reporting using qualitative data.

Research Policies

Participants will get an overview of pertinent Virginia Tech research policies, including cost sharing, consistency in reporting administrative and clerical costs, effort reporting, intellectual property, cost transfers, conflict of interest, and more.

Research Compliance and Integrity

Virginia Tech is committed to ensuring research is conducted in a safe and ethical manner, and in compliance with pertinent laws, regulations, and guidelines. Participants will learn about the offices engaged in research oversight and their different roles and responsibilities.

Research Proposal and Grant Writing

Faculty members and researchers who conduct research rely on external funding and can thrive only if they develop strong skills to secure grants. This workshop covers the major aspects of developing competitive research proposals and the core skills necessary for effective grant writing.

Getting Published

What makes research worthy of a high-impact journal? This workshop examines various publishing strategies to achieve that goal.


Leadership Skills for New Deans and Department Chairs

This workshop is designed for academic leaders looking for a team-centered approach to enhancing the skills and confidence of their colleagues, for ways to identify and resolve daily issues and conflicts, and for means to build consensus among their teams.

Management Skills for Academic Deans and Department Chairs

The day-to-day management of resources and personnel is an often overlooked and underdeveloped skill in newly appointed deans and new department chairs. This workshop will build and strengthen the administrative skills needed to ensure success.

Dimensions of Management for Successful Leaders

This workshop is grounded in research studies that have quantified what the world’s most successful managers do to achieve higher levels of retention, productivity, performance, and customer satisfaction. 

Time Management

What are the best practices for analyzing and planning work in order to optimize overall effectiveness? Participants will learn methods to improve their efficiency and effectiveness in managing time and tasks.

Leveraging Cognitive Style

Dynamic colleges and departments benefit from the diverse personalities, experiences, and skill sets of their members. Understanding different “cognitive styles” is critical when leaders are faced with problem-solving and decision-making that impacts stakeholders. Adaption-Innovation Theory is a tool to understanding how an administrator’s approach to completing tasks impacts team dynamics.

Leading Change

Learn to lead change in your institution, within your community, and beyond. Participants will develop skills for managing their charges through change. They will explore differences between change and transition, and recognize stages of transition. Participants will further examine their personal responses to change and learn methods for successfully managing personal transitions.