Professional Development Workshops for Faculty & Staff in Higher Education: Learning and Productivity



Do your faculty, staff, and/or administrators need energizing ideas and some motivation? Would your students, faculty and staff benefit from engaging with motivated faculty, staff, and/or administrators who have energizing ideas? In higher education, we facilitate the development of students into lifelong learners. Yet the demands of life can lead us to neglect a holistic approach to our own professional development.

If your existing or brand new professional development program could benefit from learning, engaging with, and trying some new ideas, consider one or more of these workshops. I offer these for faculty, staff and administrators in higher education. I can also tailor the workshops to one segment or a combination of these. The length varies based on your needs and interests.


A. LEARNING Focused Workshops:

Development a Mindset for Learning and the Persistence to Make it Happen

A student’s mindset is crucial to learning. This is especially important with underprepared learners. Before students are willing to put in the effort needed to learn the new skill or content in your course, they often first need to believe it is possible. Then these students must develop the willingness to struggle, fall short, and improve to really learn that new skill or content. They also need to be able to connect their own behavior with the progress they’re making or not making in your course. This workshop will focus on understanding the role of mindsets in learning and developing strategies for motivating students and developing approaches to foster student success and persistence.
I’ll be drawing on Carol Dweck’s research on the growth v. fixed mindset for learning (Mindset) and Angela Duckworth’s research on persistence (Grit) to explain the role of mindset and working through frustration to learn. Other concepts to explore will be why we lean toward a negative bias, the need for motivation in learning, the use of reflection activities (and how to incorporate these in your course), the beauty and benefits of neuroplasticity, and how to provide frequent feedback to students. Also the workshop will provide some activities around how to shift ineffective habits (behaviors and mindset/repetitive thoughts) to more beneficial ones.

Teach Like A Coach: A Time Honored Approach to Learning

Your teaching responsibilities at the college/university level are premised on your academic credentials and discipline-specific expertise. That expertise is vital! For students to benefit fully from that expertise they must do more than attend, listen, and watch. Doing is essential! How can you combine your content expertise with coaching to enhance student learning? As the “coach” you could set the bar (high), assign the drills, and watch the practice; then you could diagnose what and where instruction and correction are most needed. Participants in this workshop will explore further this metaphor of the instructor as a content-expert coach. Participants will also practice coaching. Imagine—that if you teach like a coach, your salary will look like a coach’s.

Increase Student Engagement and Learning with Evidence-Based Instructional Practices (EBIPs)

Interested in trying something new and practical in your courses? Mounting evidence shows that active learning increases students’ engagement with ideas and concepts in your course. Perhaps you’re not clear about how to get started. Maybe you know exactly what you hope to do, but long to brainstorm ideas with someone else.  If you want to learn more about active learning teaching techniques and how to implement those in your course, then take advantage of this workshop where you can see a demonstration and then practice at least a dozen Evidence-Based Instructional Practices (EBIPs).

Maximizing Student Motivation by Tweaking Your Course Structure

If your experience has taught you that students crave above average grades, then you have a valuable motivational tool. The key is to ensure that your course structure—particularly the grading structure, sequence of assessments, and variety of course requirements—maximizes that motivation rather than undermines it. This workshop will critique several different course structures from a student perspective and consider which ones best motivate students to meet the course objectives. Bring your course structure and/or your critical insight to this peer discussion about crafting course structures that maximize student motivation.

B. PRODUCTIVITY Focused Workshops:

Habits Highly Effective Leaders Practice to be Productive and Have Peace of Mind

Perhaps you’ve heard the expression, “Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff,” but all too often the mounting volume of small things can spin out of control and sabotage our best strategic planning and creative thinking.  How can we manage all those urgent email requests, that nagging sense of forgetting something important, and the constant stream of notifications that promise us something fabulous if we just click HERE?  While the distracting temptations grow exponentially, research reveals that our willpower is limited, making the challenge even greater. Help! This session offers you some structure for coping with endless email, managing daily distractions, fighting procrastination, and developing habits that will reduce your need for willpower, increase your productivity, and offer you some peace of mind.  Highly effective leadership requires strategic planning, creative thinking, broad networking, and flexible adaptation when things go wrong. BUT these high-level leadership skills rest on a foundation of managing the nitty-gritty of daily life.

The Productive Professor: Managing Time, Email, Procrastination and Competing Demands (or Daily Distractions) to Accomplish Your Work—and More

As faculty, we enjoy the privileges of flexible schedules and the rewards of challenging and engaging work. But procrastination, uncertainty, and anxiety can lurk within that flexibility and challenge. Juggling multiple, complex and long-term projects in the context of a flexible schedule also requires mastering the mundane, becoming cognizant of alluring distractions, and developing strategies for making consistent progress. This workshop offers a formula for productivity, an explanation for why knowing that formal is essential yet inadequate, practical strategies, and application activities


About the Facilitator: Janet G. Hudson, Ph.D.

I have 25 years’ experience in higher education guiding and supporting students, faculty, staff, and administrators. As an educator, scholar, and leader at three very different institutions, I have honed the skills of juggling multiple projects, writing, teaching, publishing, building consensus, mentoring, organizing, designing courses, and coaching others to become their best selves. I am a two-time winner of the Stephen L. Dalton Distinguished Teacher Award and author of the prize-winning book, Entangled by White Supremacy: Reform in World War I-era South Carolina. I am the former Associate Faculty Director of Innovative Learning at University of South Carolina’s Center for Teaching Excellence. I have served on the Executive Board of South Carolina Women in Higher Education planning and implementing workshops and conferences for emerging women leaders in higher education.

Faculty workshops led at the University of South Carolina, Columbia and Palmetto College, Midlands Technical Institute, Greenville Technical College, Tri-County Technical College, and the South Carolina Technical College System Conference 

Conference presentations given at the Women’s Leadership Institute at USC, Columbia; Oktoberbest: Symposium on Teaching, USC, Columbia; Winthrop University’s 3rd Annual Conference on Teaching and Learning; John Gardner Institute Conference 2015 Gateway Course Experience in Charlotte NC, and the 2016 Teaching Professor’s Conference in Washington, D.C.

Pedagogy Publication: Faculty Focus: Higher Education Teaching Strategies, July 27, 2016 Prior Knowledge as an Unexpected Obstacle to Learning