A Sparkshop is a 15 or 30-minute workshop on an evidence-based instructional practice that can be presented to faculty during a department meeting or other teaching-related meetings.

A Sparkshop is a 15-minute workshop on an evidence-based instructional practice that can be presented to faculty during a department meeting or other teaching-related meetings. Key Goals Include: 
§     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.

Each Sparkshop consists of:

§     an introduction to a teaching approach/technique
§     reasons faculty might implement the approach in their course (research/principles)
§     a description of the teaching approach and examples of how it can be implemented
§     an opportunity to practice the teaching approach
§     an opportunity to request more information and implementation support.


Minute 1:  Facilitator introduces Sparkshop
Minute 2 - 3:   Facilitator presents handout (research/principles) on the topic.
Minutes 3 -7:   Facilitator presents prompts, Faculty review handout, Faculty think, write, pair, share responses
Minute 7 –11:  Facilitator describes teaching approach
Minute 11 – 14: Activity: What to do with the teaching approach: Facilitator presents prompts, Faculty think, write, pair, share responses.
Minute 14 – 15: Conclusion: Facilitator distributes notecards to write answer to Muddiest point question.
Facilitator informs faculty about the opportunity to request more information (individual consultations) and implementation support (classroom visits).

Based on The ‘Sparkshop’: Making Faculty Development Timely and Department-Based. Retrieved from


Three categories of Sparkshop Topics


Assessing Student Learning: Formative Assessment: This Sparkshop will focus on how university teachers can use simple classroom assessment techniques (CATs)—to gather same-day feedback on student learning and make informed adjustments to support learning success. 

Assessing Student Work: Creating and Using Rubrics: This Sparkshop will focus on how to use a rubric to provide feedback and feed forward to students’ work.

Assessing Student Work: Collaborative Groups: This Sparkshop will focus on how to apply the principles and strategies that emphasize positive group interdependence and individual accountability to assess student work, and how to remove the problems of equity and fairness in assessing group work.

Assessing Teaching: Using Continual or Mid-semester Student Feedback to Improve Your Teaching: This Sparkshop will focus on When and How to collect feedback, What to collect and What to do with student feedback.

Assessing Teaching: Using Classroom Observation and Reflection to Improve Your Teaching: This Sparkshop will focus on the procedures and strategies for setting up a classroom observation, determining what to observe, and conducting a productive post-observation feedback, analysis and reflection.

Active Learning

Active Learning: Writing SMART and SMARTER Learning Objectives: This Sparkshop will focus on how to write SMART and SMARTER learning objectives using the revised Bloom’s Taxonomy and the Dimensions of Knowledge to reinforce student learning and engagement.

Active Learning Lesson Planning: Using the Gradual Release of Responsibility Framework: This Sparkshop will focus on how to use the Gradual Release of Responsibility Framework to implement an active learning instructional practice in which the university teacher does less of the work and students gradually undertake increased responsibility for their learning.

Active Learning Lesson Planning: Using the Play, Pause and Repeat Approach: This Sparkshop will focus on how university teachers can optimize student learning by applying the Play, Pause, Repeat approach to pause lectures and give students frequent planned opportunities to clarify and organize their ideas of the learning by discussing with their peers.

Inclusive Teaching

Inclusive Teaching: What’s in a Name? This Sparkshop will focus on how to apply specific strategies to learn students’ names in large-enrollment classes.

Inclusive Teaching: What is it? Key Principles: This Sparkshop will address the key principles of inclusive teaching as a precursor to successful implementation of inclusive teaching instructional best practices.

Inclusive Teaching: Instructional Best Practices: This Sparkshop will focus on how to implement evidenced-based teaching techniques that increase inclusivity and student success.


LINC Sparkshops - Bring a friend and join us in a cozy faculty lounge at the Learning Innovation Center (LINC) 468 for Friday lunch-time conversations on teaching and learning.

What are CTL Sparkshops in LINC?

CTL Sparkshops are 30-minute workshops on evidence-based teaching practices facilitated by Funmi Amobi, Instructional Consultant and College Liaison in the Center for Teaching and Learning. They are designed to be delivered to small groups of faculty during informal gatherings in LINC.


Sparkshops are facilitated by Funmi Amobi, an instructional consultant and College Liaison in Oregon State University’s Center for Teaching and Learning. Funmi provides consultations to faculty in individual and small group settings to support teaching excellence and student success. Funmi holds a doctorate degree in secondary education with major emphasis in curriculum and instruction from Arizona State University.  As a reflective practitioner, she is a life-long student of the scholarship of teaching and learning.  To schedule a Sparkshop call Funmi @ 541 737 1338 or email: