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CTL Workshops, Events & Professional Communities of Inquiry (PCI)

CTL Workshops, Events & Profesional Communities of Inquiry (PCI)

The Center for Teaching and Learning invites faculty, staff, and administrators to join these conversations, collaborations, and workshops to support your personal and professional growth as vital members of Sac State. The CTL is committed to opening space - in-person and virtually - to discuss pedagogical and scholarly topics, and to collaborate with campus partners across departments and divisions to develop strategies for enhancing and growing as practitioners and scholars.

If you have a workshop or PCI you'd like to facilitate, contact us at or drop by AIRC 3005.

For questions about accessibility or to request reasonable accommodations, please contact Som Sayasone at at least five (5) business days in advance or as soon as possible.

Spring 2024 Workshops

We are pleased to offer the following just-in-time workshops:

Equity-Minded Inclusive Teaching (EMIT) Workshop Series:

Equity-minded inclusive teaching strategies intentionally engage all students in learning while understanding their varied experiences, backgrounds, and knowledge. These strategies might also involve critically interrogating your curriculum and teaching practices (for example, how you structure your syllabus, engage students with your content, make class materials accessible, how you grade, etc).

The Center for Teaching and Learning, through the support of the Vice Provost for Faculty Success in Academic Affairs, these faculty-led workshops began in Fall 2023. The faculty presenters of these workshops focus on specific strategies to support our students inclusively and equitably.

Equity Minded Inclusive Teaching: Project-Based Learning 101

Project-Based Learning 101


Option 1: Tuesday 2/6 from 3 - 5pm | In-Person | AIRC 3005

RSVP | In Person Event

Option 2: Friday 2/9 from noon to 2pm | Virtually on Zoom

RSVP | Virtual Event on Zoom

For questions about accessibility or to request reasonable accommodations, please contact Som Sayasone at at least five (5) business days in advance or as soon as possible.

Abstract: This workshop is intended to increase participant familiarity with Project-Based Learning (PBL) as an active learning pedagogy and is designed to encourage its adoption among Sacramento State faculty. PBL is a pedagogy based on non-routine problems where students: 1) develop their own strategies and techniques; 2) explore, conjecture, experiment, and evaluate; 3) are given substantial responsibilities; 4) are encouraged to generate questions themselves; and 5) generalize the results they obtain. PBL prepares students to take on open-ended real-world problems and apply skills and concepts from the classroom to real problems, leading to real-world experience and impact. In this workshop, attendees will get to experience PBL-style activities, learn about the ins and outs of implementing PBL, and will brainstorm small steps for implementing PBL projects in their courses. Some of the best practices suggested by Worcester Polytechnique Institute's PBL training will also be incorporated into this workshop.

Biography of Facilitators: Sayonita Ghosh Hajra is an Associate Professor in the Department of Mathematics & Statistics at California State University, Sacramento. Sayonita has been serving as one of the Teaching and Learning mentors. She also co-facilitated multiple Faculty Learning Communities (FLCs), including the Wellness in the Classroom FLC since 2019.

Dr. Praveen Meduri is an Associate Professor of Electrical and Electronic Engineering at Sacramento State University. He is also a Technical Liaison to Cadence Design Systems and a Senior Member of IEEE. He received his PhD from Old Dominion University, VA, M.S. from Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, and bachelors from JNT University, India. His research interests include Embedded Systems, Smart Cities, VLSI Design, Engineering Epistemologies, and Active Learning. He is a champion of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in STEM education and actively works to reduce equity gaps in engineering through several sponsored grants from federal and private agencies.

Equity Minded Inclusive Teaching: Active Learning Techniques

Tips and Tricks for Encouraging Broader Participation & More Student Thinking with Your Active Learning Techniques


Option 1: Tuesday 3/5 from 3 - 5pm | In-Person | AIRC 3005

RSVP | In Person Event

Option 2: Friday 3/8 from noon to 2pm | Virtually on Zoom

RSVP | Virtual Event on Zoom

For questions about accessibility or to request reasonable accommodations, please contact Som Sayasone at at least five (5) business days in advance or as soon as possible.

Abstract: Hearing student voices and understanding their perspectives on the subjects we are teaching is an essential piece of culturally responsive teaching. Unfortunately, prior school experience for many students has placed them in largely passive roles, receiving information from and being evaluated by their instructors. Teaching practices that fall under the “active learning” umbrella can provide opportunities for students to voice their thinking as they engage with course content. However, simply incorporating small group work or whole class discussions will not always result in equitable benefits for students, as students may play passive roles during these activities. This workshop will provide instructors who use active learning practices with some tools to “up their game,” encouraging broader student participation and communicating respect for students’ thinking.

Biography of Facilitators: Cathy Ishikawa (Dept. of Biological Sciences and Interim Co-Director of the Center for Science and Math Success) has been experimenting with inclusive teaching practices since 1996, and started leading TA and faculty professional development workshops in 1998. She recently has been helping faculty design and implement course-based undergraduate research experiences (CUREs) and project-based learning through National Science Foundation-sponsored projects at Sacramento State (SIRIUS II, Project-ACE), Chico State, and Virginia Union University. In addition to using active learning to promote deeper student thinking, she has been experimenting with more equitable grading practices in her own classes.

Equity Minded Inclusive Teaching: Supporting Neurodivergent Students

Supporting Neurodivergent Students in College Settings


Option 1: Tuesday 4/9 from 3 - 5pm | In-Person | AIRC 3005

RSVP | In Person Event

Option 2: Friday 4/12 from noon to 2pm | Virtually on Zoom

RSVP | Virtual Event on Zoom

For questions about accessibility or to request reasonable accommodations, please contact Som Sayasone at at least five (5) business days in advance or as soon as possible.

Abstract: Neurodiversity is an umbrella term that encompasses a wide range of disorders including autism spectrum disorder, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, dyslexia, and others. More recently, the term neurodiversity has been used to encompass individuals who identify as neurodivergent but who may or may not have a medial diagnosis, and who may or may not receive accommodations in their educational trajectory. Neurodivergent students report challenges in academic settings including (a) difficulty in transitioning to a new environment, (b) changes in structures, supports, and routines, (c) feelings of isolation, anxiety, and overwhelm, (d) fear of stigmatization if they disclose a diagnosis, (e) perceived need to conform to academic norms (Clouder et al., 2020). Educators can support neurodivergent students both in practical strategies in the classroom, by teaching the “hidden rules” and expectations of academic culture (Payne, 2018) and by intentionally fostering a sense of belonging and encouraging “brave spaces.” Specific equity-minded teaching practices that will be introduced through a neurodiversity lens include building intrapersonal awareness, developing transparently designed assignments, and critical discourse analysis of student-faculty interactions.

Biography of Facilitators: Tonia Davis, PhD, CCC-SLP is an associate professor at California State University, Sacramento and a licensed pediatric speech language pathologist. She received her B.A. in Linguistics and Psychology from Emory University in Atlanta, GA, and her M.S. and Ph.D in Hearing and Speech Sciences from Vanderbilt University in Nashville, TN. Dr. Davis’ research interests include the speech and language outcomes of children with neurodevelopmental disabilities, quality indicators for speech language pathology service delivery models, and scholarship of teaching and learning. She teaches coursework in pediatric speech and language disorders, anatomy and physiology, and research methods. Dr. Davis currently serves clients birth-to-three and their families for speech, language, and feeding treatment.

Spring 2024 Professional Communities of Inquiry

For the Spring 2024 semester, we are pleased to offer the following Professional Communities of Inquiry (PCI):

Past Workshops, Descriptions and Handouts

Michelangelo, Donatello, Raphael, Leonardo…. Until recently, it was established wisdom that any survey of art history was doing students a grave disservice if it did not include multiple works of art by these venerable Italian Renaissance artists. But if an instructor did not include, for example, the architecture of Mimar Sinan, the prolific architect responsible for more than three hundred buildings in the Ottoman Empire, no one would bat an eye.

This is not unique to art history; teaching in many disciplines, such as music history, literature, humanities, and philosophy among many others, is often structured around a canon. While the idea of a discipline having a common core of authors or texts that are considered pedagogically and culturally valuable is not inherently bad, the trouble with canons is that they were shaped via institutions that were entangled with imperialism, colonialism, racism, and other forms of oppression and exclusion.

This workshop is designed to help instructors in any discipline where their teaching is affected by the existence of some kind of canon.

This workshop had the following handout: Canon Fire! Critically Interrogating What We Teach and Why through an Antiracist Lens handout

The workshop will review various challenges experienced by a diverse university student body following a post-COVID transition back to in-person instruction. Nationally, students are experiencing increased difficulty with class attendance, engagement, sense of belonging, and overall mental health. These factors, and more, are negatively impacting student retention, progress to degree, and overall student success (Bulman & Fairlie, 2022).

University instructors are experiencing a rapidly changing classroom climate, have increased demands on their time, and are challenged by steep learning curves, as well as new and diverse student needs. Similar to healthcare professionals and K-12 teachers, university instructors are experiencing burnout and compassion fatigue at alarming rates, forcing many to leave fields they are passionate about (Pressley & Ha, 2021; Saladino, Auriemma, & Campinoti, 2022).

The workshop aims to not only recognize student needs and concerns, but also introduces practices that can encourage and promote student voices in the classroom, increase self-advocacy, and encourage students to re-engage in their success.

Using small and large group discussions and sample case studies, participants will identify various opportunities to practice increasing student engagement, inclusion, and success, while better managing their own risks for burnout. Attendees are encouraged to share individual challenges they have experienced in their courses.

This workshop had the following handout: Inclusive Teaching Practices in a Post-COVID Climate

A public exam takes study guides or sample exams one step further: instructors provide the actual exam ahead of time but redact strategic portions. Students take a non-redacted version in class, like a normal exam. This approach can reduce anxiety, promote deep learning, and eliminate barriers for students who may need more time to read and digest the instructions/question prompts on a test. In the workshop, we will include examples, tips for effectively using the technique, time to practice writing public exams, and an opportunity for feedback. We encourage you to bring an existing exam or questions you would like to try converting! This workshop had the following handout: Public Exam Workshop