Drop in and join us for rich conversations on teaching and learning! Sparkshops are designed to be delivered to groups of instructors during informal gatherings or departmental meetings. Sparkshops are meant to start exploration of a chosen topic with continued support from the CTL as requested. There are two types of sparkshops:

1.  Teaching-related topic discussion (informal gatherings): 45 minutes.

2.  Department or College meeting sparkshop (by invitation): 15 - 20 minutes

What are the Goals?

To provide a brief introduction to a teaching-related topic and to “spark” interest in learning more.

To facilitate reflective conversations around teaching and learning.

To support scholarly teaching and promote student success.

2021 Fall Term Sparkshops

12 noon - 12:45 pm

10/15/21 - Engaging Students through effective questioning: Strategies and tips. Registration required. Questioning is central to teaching. University teachers pose many questions during a class to check students’ understanding, and promote critical thinking. Facilitators (Funmi Amobi & Weiwei Zhang) will briefly share evidence-informed strategies for using Bloom’s revised taxonomy, different question types, and effective questioning techniques to support student engagement and learning success. Participants will discuss discipline-based questioning practices.

11/12/21 - Increasing student participation in whole-class discussion: Procedures and strategies. Registration required. Discussion promotes critical thinking and communication skills. It helps students become co-constructors of knowledge and understanding. Getting all students to participate equally is clearly a challenge in whole-class discussions. Facilitators (Funmi Amobi & Weiwei Zhang) will briefly share evidence-informed procedures and strategies for increasing active participation in whole–class discussions. Participants will discuss discipline-based discussion practices.

Session Sign-in, & Anonymous Evaluation:

Resources:  Login to Box for relevant resources at When logging in, be sure to use your OSU credentials.

*Note: Sparkshop sessions will be recorded and may be made publicly available by CTL; no recording by other means is permitted. If you have privacy concerns, do not turn your video on, mute yourself, and feel free to change your Zoom name to a pseudonym. If you would like to ask a question privately, you may do so by addressing your chat question to the moderator only (and not to “everyone”). Additionally, chat will be used and moderated for live questions from the community, and saving of chats is enabled. Each Sparkshop session will be shared on the CTL website the following Wednesday.  

BLOG - Transparency in Learning and Teaching: Begin with SMARTE and SMARTER Student Learning Objectives

Recorded Sessions​* 

Each Sparkshop session will be recorded and shared. As a reminder, complete the Session Sign-In & Evaluation (above) so we can track your attendance.​

May 14, 2021 - Engaging Students in Large-Enrollment Classes: Successful Practices. Teaching large-enrollment courses can be challenging when it comes to creating interaction that promotes student engagement. Yet, they present pedagogical, technological and active learning-driven opportunities to energize students and facilitate their learning. Funmi Amobi (CTL), Erica Woekel (CPHHS) and Demian Hommel (CEOAS) will discuss strategies for helping faculty address the challenges associated with teaching large classes, and present successful practices for engaging students in large-enrollment courses.

April 23, 2021 - Engaging Students on Zoom: Attention supports. Do you ever wonder: How do I grab students’ focus on learning right from the beginning of class and maintain their attention throughout the entire class period? Funmi Amobi (CTL) and WeiWei Zhang (AT) will discuss how to apply evidence-based pedagogical practices coupled with applicable Zoom and Google tools to engage students in synchronous class sessions.

March 12, 2021 - Assessing Student Learning: Getting Students Motivated to Complete Pre-Class Reading Assignments. Are you concerned that students are not meeting course expectations for completing pre-class readings and assignments? Join us for a lively discussion of evidence-based approaches to making assignments transparent, and consequently maximizing student motivation to complete coursework.

February 12, 2021 - Using Diagnostic and Formative Assessment Strategies to Promote Student Learning and Engagement.  Have you ever wondered how to capture your students’ thinking about an upcoming topic before they even get to class and how to actively engage them in learning throughout an entire class period? Join us for a lively discussion of evidence-based diagnostic and formative assessment methods to focus students’ minds and attention on learning.

January 8, 2021 - Assessing Student Learning: Making the Alignment of Student Learning Objectives and Assessment Transparent. Have students ever asked you the following questions: “Why do we have to take this test?” “How is this group work project relevant?” To preempt these incidents, join us for a lively discussion of evidence-based strategies for implementing visible alignment of student learning objectives (SLOs) and assessment methods.

December 11, 2020 - Assessing Collaborative Group Work: Have your students ever expressed concerns about free riding by some group members in a group project?  We will discuss effective strategies for using confidential peer-evaluations to grade group work fairly and equitably.

November 12, 2020 - Implementing Successful Collaborative Group Work: Are you concerned about how to design a successful multifaceted and multiphase group project in your course? Worry no more. We will discuss workable structures and strategies for planning, implementing and monitoring group projects. (link to resources - no recording)

October 16, 2020 Transparency in Teaching and Learning: Begin with SMARTER Learning Objectives:  Have your students ever asked the ‘Why’ question? Why are we learning this? We will discuss how to answer the question preemptively before class, by using SMARTER learning objectives to make your teaching and student learning more transparent. (link to resources - no recording)

Facilitator: Funmi Amobi, Instructional Consultant and College Liaison.

Please contact me at [email protected] to set up a Sparkshop.

Facilitator: Weiwei Zhang, Student Response System Product Manager

Academic Technology | Information Services  

[email protected]