Workshop Overview

This workshop will give you the opportunity to examine the way you teach a particular course. Perhaps you have been teaching the same course for years and want to modify it to incorporate more of what we know about how people learn. It could be that you are about to teach a new course for the first time. Or maybe you want or need to demonstrate more evidence for student learning in your course.

Over the course of the workshop, we will engage in a series of activities that will help you think about your course from the student learning perspective. You will learn about pedagogical techniques by engaging in them, not just by hearing about them. You will leave the workshop having begun to (re)design your course and with an action plan and resources for continuing the process.

The registration deadline is Monday, October 12, though late registrants may be accepted if space is available. Register now!

Workshop Goals

By the end of this workshop, participants will be able to:

  • Use the backward design process to design a course
  • Identify big ideas and essential questions of their courses
  • Articulate goals for student learning
  • Articulate learning outcomes and design an aligned assessment
  • Design a learning activity based on best practices from research on learning
  • Align learning goals, assessments and instruction


Friday, October 23, 8:30 am - 5:00 pm


In order to achieve the goals of this workshop, participants are expected to:

  • By October 12 (~10 days before the workshop),
    • Complete the pre-workshop submission, which will generate a web page that you will be working on during the workshop, and
    • Complete a survey about your teaching practices;
  • During the workshop, participate in all sessions, develop and submit an action plan, and complete a workshop evaluation;
  • After the workshop, complete a follow-up survey as requested.


The registration fee for the workshop is $75 per person.


Anyone currently engaged in teaching in an Earth-related discipline at the undergraduate level is eligible to participate. We encourage faculty, lecturers, and adjunct faculty from all institution types (two-year colleges, four-year undergraduate only, MS-granting, PhD-granting, etc.). Earth-related courses may be in geology, ocean and atmospheric sciences, environmental science or studies, physics, chemistry, biology, engineering, or many other disciplines.


The workshop will take place on the Tacoma campus of the University of Washington, in the Science building room 209. Room 209 is at street level on the corner of the Science building nearest the T-intersection of 19th Street and Jefferson Street (look for a big "W" at the intersection). You may want to download a campus map.

Off-street parking nearby is available for $6/day (or $2/hr for short-term parking) at the Court 17 Garage. Both lots are about a long city block's walk from the Science building. An alternative is to park at the Tacoma Dome (free) and take the Link light rail (also free) to campus - see the bottom of this page. The Dome/Link option takes about 10 minutes; plan on printing a campus map to get to the Science building if you use this option.

For More Information

For questions about workshop content, please contact Anne Egger (annegger AT

For questions about the local site, please contact Peter Selkin (paselkin AT