Effective Teaching Practice Certificate Program

Contact Jonathan Waugh with any questions you have about this program.

Core Modules


  • The Crucial First Day of Class and How to Maximize It
  • Essentials of Creating Good Course Learning Objectives
  • Organizing a Course for Clarity (Backwards Design Method)
  • Elements of Engaging Presentations
  • Motivating to Learn
  • Difficult Teaching Situations

In addition to the six core modules, four elective options from the CTL programming offered throughout the year are needed to complete the certificate. Please contact the CTL Director or Associate Director for information.


The Crucial First Day of Class and How to Maximize It
Description: Important practices to include in your first day of class to set tone, expectations, and ensure a good start that will influence the rest of the term. Emphasis will be on techniques to comfortably obtain helpful information about your students, rapport-building techniques, how to start establishing you teaching presence and present course policies so they will be positively received. This is a repeat of the first core topic of the Effective Teaching Practice certificate and is open to all faculty regardless of whether you are interested in obtaining the certificate.


Essentials of Creating Good Course Learning Objectives
Description: The ABCD Method of writing course learning objectives, selection of appropriate terms and outcomes, and linking your objectives to professional behavior will be explored. Bring your syllabus. This is a core topic of the Effective Teaching Practice Certificate offered in the fall and is open to all faculty.


Organizing a Course for Clarity (Backwards Design Method)
Description: Course organization is typically considered by students to be the most important aspect when evaluating a course. This session will include discussion of techniques to enhance you course organization. Participants are encouraged to bring syllabi for courses that they would like to discuss with regard to improving organizational aspects (design, execution, communication and assessment). This is a core topic in the Effective Teaching Practice certificate and is open to all faculty regardless of whether you are interested in obtaining the certificate.


Elements of Engaging Presentations
What makes a presentation engaging? What are detractors? Other aspects of presentation delivery vary but the principles of engaging an audience are more universal. You can use this understanding to make any type of presentation more effective. These are the essentials that always apply and should be addressed in design. This is a core topic in the Effective Teaching Practice certificate and is open to all faculty regardless of whether you are interested in obtaining the certificate.


Motivating to Learn
Description: No one needs to be convinced of the importance of mastering how to motivate students to learn. This time we will discuss how principles from a best-selling book on research-based motivation tools can be applied to your course. You may be surprised to find that some of your course policies are demotivating learning. This is the fifth core topic of the Effective Teaching Practice certificate and it is open to all faculty.


Difficult Teaching Situations
Description: This lively, interactive session will present mini-vignettes of several common, difficult teaching situations and allow the audience to determine appropriate responses with the help of two in-person advisors (lawyer and administrator). The aim is to allow faculty to try a variety of options and learn what must be addressed to pass legal standards and make it easier for your administrator to support you if a student files a grievance.