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University 101 Programs

Summer Workshops

Workshops are offered throughout the summer that are designed to meet the varying needs of our instructors. 

Summer workshops are open to all Instructors, Peer Leaders, and Graduate Leaders. The majority of workshops will take place virtually through the "U101 Instructors 2023 Blackboard Organization" via Blackboard Collaborate and recordings will be added to this website following each workshop.

If you have any questions, please reach out to Jasmine Carter  .

Integrating the First-Year Read into Your Course

Presenters: Callyn Fahey and Katie Hopkins 

U101 instructors can ensure students find significance in the first-year common read, How to Be Perfect: The Correct Answer to Every Moral Question, by incorporating meaningful assignments, discussions, and activities into the curriculum. During this session, instructors will walk through the curriculum guide to effectively integrate this year’s First-Year Reading Experience book into U101.

Weaving Sustainability & Wellness into Your U101 Class 

Presenter: Jessie McNevin

Sustainability is defined as meeting the needs of today without sacrificing the needs of the future. We often see students put their wellness (e.g., sleep, balanced meals, self care) on the back burner, perceiving it as a temporary sacrifice. Unfortunately, that sacrifice often recurs and becomes a habit. What if we could influence students before that sacrifice becomes a habit? Overlaying frameworks of sustainability and wellness allows students to examine these concepts on a macro and micro level. The presenter will share several activities, and each participant will receive a packet of lesson plans and ideas that can be scaffolded and woven into instructors’ existing curriculum plans.

Relationship-Rich University 101

Presenter: Caleb Morris 

University 101 assessment has shown that sense of belonging and acceptance is the number one predictor of a student’s decision to persist. But what are the magical ingredients that foster belonging and acceptance? In this session, U101 instructors will explore strategies for building relationships between instructors and students across all facets of the course, including check-ins, in-class activities, assignments, and beyond the classroom experiences. This session will highlight insights from the Appreciative Education movement (Bloom, et. al., 2013), Relationship-Rich Education (Felton & Lambert, 2020; Gardner & Artze-Vega, 2022), and Daring Classrooms (Brown, 2018). This session will also consider belonging as a goal of diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Artificial Intelligence in the Classroom: Use It or Lose It

Presenter: Adrian Anderson

Many instructors may be concerned with AI's ability to aid students in  circumventing the learning process. This presentation will focus on the possible positive uses of Artificial Intelligence in the U101 classroom.

Blackboard Basics

Presenters: Katie Hopkins and Jasmine Carter

Blackboard is an important learning management system that your students will use throughout their time at USC. It is expected that instructors use this technology for their class. This workshop will outline three levels of use for instructors to consider to effectively use Blackboard. From posting your course syllabus, assignments and grades, your students will appreciate and expect your use of this tool in your class.

Best Practices for Mentoring, Supporting, and Utilizing Your Peer Leader 

Presenters: Ailie MacLennan and Emma Reabold

Peer Leaders are valuable role models and serve as mentors, resources, and facilitators of learning for first-year students in U101. As a teaching partner, they have valuable input and influence that can help your class and teaching team relationship flourish. One key indicator of a successful  teaching team is consistent communication and weekly meetings. This session will provide best practices for weekly meetings, communication, establishing clear expectations, and supporting and mentoring your peer leader throughout their experience. 

Frustrated that Students Seem to Pay More Attention to Their Phones Than You? How Can We Help Their Brains? 

Presenters: Alisa Liggett and Jessie Townsend 

Based on James Lang’s recent book, Distracted: Why Students  Can’t Focus and What You Can Do About It​, this session will address the pervasive problem of distracted students, including how to use research on the effects of the technology students use as a distraction (cell phones) and/or as classroom tools (laptops).  Presenters will analyze the neuroscience around multitasking and the implications  it has on the student technology user, including research from students about the  frequency with which they distract themselves with technology in a classroom. Further, presenters will identify approaches for discussing and navigating technology use with students. Lastly, we will formulate ideas and strategies connected to how attention can be achieved in the U101 classroom.

Unpacking Reflection for First-Year Students through Strategies to Deepen Student Learning 

Presenters: Amber Fallucca, Julie Boyken, and Keah Tandon 

Reflection is an important method to facilitate learning and connections between experiences, yet it can be perceived as ambiguous or overwhelming to students. This session will provide strategies for introducing reflection as a skill to practice over time to make meaning across the college years. By highlighting activities in the U101 Faculty Resource Manual and lessons learned from Experience by Design, USC’s Quality Enhancement Plan, participants will walk away with a variety of resources to help incorporate reflection into assignments and to bring awareness to beyond the classroom activities to help students deepen their learning in approachable ways.

Building Community Beyond the Classroom

Presenter: Sandy Greene 

Beyond the classroom (BTC) activities are one of the most effective ways to build community in U101. This session will dive into strategies to engage students in BTC activities and will provide examples of successful BTC  classroom events. Participants will have the opportunity to discuss best  practices for creating, planning, and implementing BTC activities with the goal of building community.

Supporting Students with Disabilities 

Presenter: Annie Sacilowski  
Every student deserves equal access to all aspects of the USC experience. The Student Disability Resource Center (SDRC) coordinates efforts to ensure that students with disabilities receive reasonable accommodations and serves as consultants to faculty, staff, and campus and community partners. In this session, instructors can expect to learn what qualifies as a disability, SDRC demographics, and SDRC services available. U101 instructors will also gain an understanding of the interactive process for receiving accommodations while at USC, including information about the registration process for students as well as recommendations for implementing accommodations in the classroom. Finally, instructors will also develop a better understanding of how to tactfully connect students with our office and normalize accommodations, all while protecting the privacy and integrity of each student.

Semester Kickoff Webinar

In this webinar, the University 101 Staff will provide important updates, review the available resources that can assist you in teaching this fall, and discuss upcoming fall faculty development events.

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.