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Malone Center for Excellence in Teaching

Professional Development Programs

Professional Development Programs

The Malone Center for Excellence in Teaching sponsors a number of professional development programs designed to support faculty in the use of evidence-based instructional approaches, to promote the integration of innovative instructional technologies, and to foster students’ academic success. Information about these programs can be found below.

Did you miss a workshop that you were interested in? Resources from past workshops can be accessed on the Past Professional Development Workshops page.

Toolbox Talks

These monthly lunch workshops present a how-to guide and hands-on demonstration of an innovative instructional tool. Lunch is provided with proper registration. All Toolbox Talks are held in Wills 200, 12:00-1:00 p.m. Upcoming workshops:

Cultivating Empathy
February 19
Through careful design of assignments and activities, teachers have the capacity to cultivate empathy in their students. This empathy – valuing the perspective of others – is imperative for leading meaningful class discussions and carries well beyond the classroom. During this workshop, participants will learn about and practice a few practical techniques for cultivating empathy in the classroom.
Cultivating Empathy Registration Form

Connecting with Students Digitally
March 11
As the number of non-traditional students and online courses continue to grow, there is an increasing demand to meet with students digitally. During this workshop, participants will be introduced to a few different platforms for hosting virtual office hours and virtual advising appointments.
Connecting Digitally Registration Form

Tours of Online Classrooms
April 3
What does an online liberal arts class look like? What are some different ways to set up an online course? Are online courses really as rigorous and as engaging as face-to-face courses? Participants in this workshop will receive answers to these questions and more as they tour some of UM’s online classrooms.
Tours of Online Classrooms Registration Form

Individuals needing disability-related accommodations during one of these events should contact the Malone Center ( or Disability Support Services (205.665.6250, as early as possible. Efforts will be made to accommodate all access requests regardless of timing, but the University cannot guarantee that requests made with less than one week’s notice can be met.

Faculty Book Club

Faculty book club meets three times during the semester to discuss a text related to teaching and learning. Limited to 10 participants, book club provides an opportunity for deep discussion in a small group setting.

The spring 2020 book club will discuss:

Small Teaching Online: Applying Learning Science to Online Classes
by Flower Darby and James M. Lang
Join us as we explore Darby and Lang’s suggestions for small and strategic changes to online teaching that have power to transform student learning in online courses. 

The spring faculty book club meets on Mondays at 3:30 p.m. This semester’s meetings will be February 3, March 2, and April 6.

The spring 2020 book club has reached capacity. Please contact the Malone Center ( to be placed on a waiting list.

Special Events

We host workshops or seminars on a variety of topics of interest to faculty.

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: Evaluating Open Access Journals
This workshop is presented by Carmichael Library.
Thursday, March 19
3:30-4:30 p.m.
Wills 200

Faculty Research and Teaching Symposium

During this event, we highlight accomplishments of UM faculty in teaching and creative endeavor. The day will feature keynote addresses from the 2020 Outstanding Commitment to Teaching awardee and the 2020-2021 University Scholar as well as short oral presentations, artistic demonstrations, and posters. The event’s schedule will be organized around the University’s class schedule to allow faculty, staff, and students to come and go as needed. Mark your calendars to join us either as a presenter or a participant (or both)!

Call for Proposals
Please consider presenting your scholarly, creative, and/or pedagogical project. You may choose to present a 15 minute talk, conduct a 15 minute performance, display an artistic work, or present a research poster.

Abstract Submission Deadline
September 21, 2020 at 5:00 p.m.

Faculty Research and Teaching Symposium
Wednesday, October 7, 2020
10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
J. A. Brown Room, Carmichael Library

Teaching Effectively Online Training

This training series equips faculty to better utilize Canvas. Completion of the three training phases certifies instructors to teach online or hybrid courses at the University. The training phases are sequential and must be completed in order. However, all phases do not have to be completed within a single semester or academic year. The phases and dates of training are:

Canvas Basics
In the first phase of training, you learn basic Canvas skills such as setting up a course homepage and creating an assignment. There is an in-person training followed by a week-long online session that allows you to practice the skills you have learned. In-person sessions will be held:

  • Friday, February 21, 11:30-1:00pm
  • Tuesday, March 17, 3:30-5:00pm

Pedagogy and Policy
In the second phase of training, you learn about best practices for designing online course content and more difficult Canvas skills like designing and applying a grading rubric. This phase is completed entirely online during the following dates:

  • February 27 – March 19
  • March 26 – April 16

Building Your Course
In the final phase of training, you build a module of your online or hybrid course. This phase is completed entirely online. It can be completed during the following dates:

  • April 17 – 23

Spring 2020 Teaching Effectively Online Registration

New Faculty Orientation and Resources

The Malone Center for Excellence in Teaching hosts a two-day new faculty orientation each fall, which is required for all first year faculty. New faculty orientation introduces participants to the University’s policies and procedures that are pertinent to teaching faculty. This orientation is followed by regular meetings throughout the first academic year to better acquaint our newest faculty to the UM campus and culture. 2019-2020 new faculty meeting dates are as follows:

New Faculty Orientation
August 19 – August 20
2019 New Faculty Orientation Handbook

Supporting Your Students
September 13

Launching a Research Program at UM
October 25

Mid-year Check In
December 6

Learning Experiences for Students
January 24

Academic Advising
March 6

End of the Year Reception
April 10