Reflecting Allowed

Maha Bali’s blog about education

2. Non-Credit Teaching: Workshops & MOOCs

Reading Time: 6 minutes

Faculty Workshops at the American University in Cairo (list needs to be updated – below represents a sample)

MOOCs & Open Learning

  • Co-facilitator of #OpenLearning18 and #OpenLearning17 week on Open Access
  • Co-facilitator of Digital Writing Month (#DigiWriMo) November 2015. I wrote about my philosophy of making this an inclusive MOOC here
  • Co-facilitator of #moocmooc Critical Pedagogy via Hybrid Pedagogy (Spring 2015) with other educators affiliated with Hybrid Pedagogy; co-designed/co-facilitated week 2 with Jesse Stommel. See our prompt here.
  • Co-designer & co-facilitator of #TvsZ 6.0 (November 2014) with a group of educators from the US/Canada. Nominated for eddies 2014 for “Best Educational Use of a Social Network”.
  • Co-facilitator of #ccourses (Fall 2014) with a group of educators from the US/UK.

Full List of Workshops Developed & Facilitated at AUC with Descriptions since 2014

Blended learning extended workshop

Co-designed and co-facilitated several iterations of this multi-session blended workshop on blended learning with Gihan Osman (summer 2014) and was responsible for it with support from other members of CLT team (spring 2015). After this, became mainly responsible for the “Interaction Online” session of the workshop, given with Gihan Osman or alone, every semester since Fall 2015.

Tips for Inclusive Teaching (first offered Fall 2017)

In this workshop, faculty will be invited to reflect on how to make their classes more inclusive for diverse learners. They will explore strategies for recognizing differences among students in terms of comfort, interest and ability, and discuss possible ways of modifying their classroom practices and assessments in order to create opportunities for different students to learn more fully.

Are my assessments really promoting learning? (with Azza Awwad, Spring 2017 onwards, part of Assessment track)

“No system of academic assessment is intrinsically good, only good for a purpose. That purpose must be established first.” – Kris Shaffer This workshop invites participants to consider ways to enhance the learning value of assessments, in order to ensure assessments achieve their purpose. We will explore elements such as intrinsic motivation, feedback, pacing, approaches to grading, attitudes towards failure and space for student choice/relevance.

Designing an Engaging Syllabus (with Hoda Mostafa, Spring 2017 onwards, part of Course Design track)

Do faculty spend a lot of time working on their syllabi? How well do their students read it? In this workshop, we will encourage participants to explore ways of giving their syllabus a makeover in terms of content, aesthetics, medium and tone, with the purpose of presenting their course(s) in a way that promotes learning and engagement. Participants will leave this workshop with ideas on how to re-design their syllabus and get their students talking and thinking, while building excitement around embarking on the course journey.

Promoting Deep Reading with Annotation (with Nadine Aboulmagd, Spring 2017 onwards, part of Web-enhanced Track)

Annotation has been used by readers and learners for centuries and can enhance not only the way we read texts, but also how we interact with and analyze different types of multimedia in various disciplines. In this interactive hands-on workshop, we will explore the importance and potential of annotation as a pedagogical tool. We will also introduce and discuss digital annotation as a collaborative and engaging practice that could drive students towards acquiring the skills of 21st century critical thinkers and learners. Because annotation can be done both online and offline, we will discuss the affordance of each environment and mention several digital tools for annotation, while also engaging in a digital hands-on activity.

Beginnings and Endings: Every Minute Counts (with Hoda Mostafa, Spring 2017 onwards; part of Active Learning track)

How we start our class can set the tone for the rest of the session, and how we end our class can affect how students retain learning, interact with peers and engage with the instructor. This workshop focuses on creating an environment that promotes effective learning and wraps up key learning moments. Participants will learn about how to start and end class with teacher-tested icebreakers, focusing activities, team-building strategies and formative assessments that enhance learning experiences. Participants will construct a sample lesson utilizing some of the techniques in the workshop.

Promoting Digital Literacies (with Nadine Aboulmagd, Spring 2016)

Digital literacy has become essential to developing students into 21st century lifelong learners and citizens of tomorrow. The affordances of online and collaborative tools and social media allow teachers to expand beyond the space-time borders of the class, and offer opportunities for collaborative learning and global communication. In this interactive workshop participants will explore the main differences between digital skills and digital literacies, discuss how to teach digital literacy through online interaction among their learners, and be exposed to a variety of social media platforms they could use in their own teaching.

Teaching with Twitter (with Jesse Stommel, UMW, during Digital Pedagogy Lab Cairo, Spring 2016)

In this workshop, Jesse and Maha will introduce participants to approaches for using Twitter in their teaching and for educational outreach. We will discuss the ways the Twitter platform can be leveraged in our pedagogies and give examples from our own teaching. We will consider the ethical implications of working in public, and of asking students to work in public.

Discussion: Identity and Agency Online (with Bonnie Stewart, UPEI, during Digital Pedagogy Lab Cairo, Spring 2016)

In this discussion, we will start exploring questions of identity online and on social media platforms specifically. Participants will have opportunities to see examples of different approaches to presenting one’s identity online, and learn about research that has been conducted on academic influence via social media. Through pair and large-group activities, we will explore questions of agency and identity online and the role that metrics and algorithms can play in how others perceive our virtual identities.

Social Media in the Classroom (with Sherif Osman, first offered Spring 2015; later offered regularly within Web-Enhanced Track)

Is there value in using social media such as Twitter and Facebook in your classroom? In this workshop, we discuss our views on digital literacy and open learning, and share some approaches to using social media in ways that support student learning. We will also discuss good practices, and concerns over e-safety when using social media for learning

Listen Carefully and You Will Hear: Creative Formative Student Assessments (with Hoda Mostafa, first offered Spring 2015)

Every good educator knows the value of student feedback. It can be as simple as looking at your students’ facial expressions as you talk, to gauge their understanding or emotional response, or as complex as conducting multiple surveys and focus groups throughout the semester to get their input on an innovative new methodology you’re trying. Needless to say, it is about more than the end-of-semester student feedback results that are filled out by a small number of students with little room for reflection and thought.

This workshop shares our experiences with creative formative assessment in a course we co-teach, including reflective blogging, ePortfolios, and student-centered liquid syllabus.

Technology to Support Good Practice in Education (with Hoda Mostafa, part of Teaching Enhancement Certificate 1, first redesigned Fall 2015)

Many faculty members are familiar with Chickering & Gamson’s Seven Principles of Good Practice in Undergraduate Education. This workshop explores possible ways of integrating technology into our teaching to better enable us to achieve good practices, including ways of enhancing communication, encouraging active and cooperative learning, providing timely feedback and addressing diverse ways of learning.

Innovative Teaching – a Learning Community Forum (with Ahmed Hassanein, Spring 2015)

(no blurb as this was an open discussion on innovative teaching)

Building Community in the Classroom (first offered Fall 2014)

In this workshop, participants will experience several different activities that can be used to build a community of learners in the classroom, and will have a chance to discuss different options and brainstorm possible activities they could try in their own classes.

Doing Things Differently: Alternative Forms of Assessment (with Sherif Osman, first offered Spring 2014)

This workshop aims to generate discussion about alternative forms of assessment and engage participants in identifying opportunities for doing things differently in their own contexts. Strategies such as authentic and sustainable assessments will be explored and participants will have an opportunity to brainstorm methodologies for implementing such forms of assessment in their courses using approaches such as project-based and inquiry-based learning.

Custom Workshops

  • I worked with Iman Aziz from ALI to give a multi-session summer workshop (3 f2f full day and one brief online sessions) to select ALI faculty on the integration of technology into language teaching (usually called Computer-Assisted Language Learning, CALL). The workshop consisted of tying particular theories of language teaching and particular language skills, to various ways of using technology to teach them, such as blogging for reflective writing, and vialogues for reflection on listening to videos (Summer 2015, technical sessions co-facilitated with Nadine Aboulmagd).
  • CLT designed an institute one semester particularly for ALI faculty, and I gave one of the sessions focused on integration of technology
  • I designed a custom workshop for Mathematics faculty who are integrating MITx material in Spring 2018 to re-cap ways of making their classes more interactive while using MITx material to flip some of their previously traditional lecture-based sessions (workshop offered in January 2018, co-faciltiated with Nadine Aboulmagd)

Lazord Workshops

  • Critical citizenship for undergraduate Lazord fellows (offered once)
  • Critical pedagogy for undergraduate Lazord fellows (offered once)
  • Critical pedagogy for adult Lazord fellows (offered twice)

TAGS (Teaching Assistants/Graduate Students) Workshops at AUC

  • Networking for Professional Development (slides)

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