Workshop Archive

Below we have provided for you a listing and summaries of past CAFE and SAM workshops.  Resources are provided and you will find links to helpful information that applies to the workshop topics.  Please browse through them and let us know if you would like more information or would like the workshop presented again.  

How to Develop a Hypothesis Using a Student Centered Method

Dr. Justine Whitaker of Biological Sciences will share knowledge from the Summer Institute for Scientific Teaching.  Participants will experience an example of active learning to teach the process of developing a hypothesis. Additionally, participants will engage in a discussion of how to successfully employ active learning in science (and other) courses at Nicholls.

Issues and Strategies for Facilitating an Inclusive Online Learning Environment

Alex Fabrizio from English, Modern Languages, and Cultural Studies will present on key categories for access, including technological limitations, students with disabilities, and marginalized populations. Participants will be asked to consider how these factors might impact students in the online environment in particular. Then, strategies will be presented for promoting inclusivity, including universal design in the online environment (e.g. captioning, screen readers), online-specific accommodations (e.g. extended testing time, note-taking), and encouraging whole-class discussion.  By the end of this workshop, participants will: consider multiple factors that may impact the inclusivity of their courses in an online environment and gain knowledge of specific strategies to promote inclusivity in online learning.

Managing Your Time Effectively: Work-Life Balance Strategies for Junior Faculty

Dr. Shaniece Bickham of the MACO Department is a 2019 Fellow with the Lillian Lodge Kopenhaver Center for the Advancement of Women in Communication. As part of the fellowship, she attended the Association of Education in Mass Communication and Journalism’s annual conference where she learned strategies for effectively managing work and personal responsibilities. Nicholls faculty can apply these strategies to ensure that they remain on top of their work and other obligations.

Ideas and Tips from AAC&U General Education, Pedagogy, and Assessment Conference

Faculty panel will share what learned at the AAC&U (American Association of Colleges and Universities) conference.  Please join us if you are interested in learning about best practices in teaching and assessment.

Nicholls Core Curriculum – Information and Technology Literacy Competency (general education)

Discussion of the General Education Information and Technology Literacy Competency rubric with ideas for teaching tools, including Credo Instruct offered through the Library, and assessments.

Threat Assessment and Response

Dr. Monique Boudreaux will present this CAFE workshop and will provide information from research and cases that will help faculty and staff identify, report, and manage persons of concern on the pathway to violence. Offenders do not “snap”; they plan their attacks. Identifiable warning behaviors, if reported and managed properly, can help prevent incidents of targeted violence. Threat assessment is a systematic, fact-based method of investigation and examination that requires and utilizes information obtained from an analysis of multiple resources; it focuses on a person’s patterns of thinking and behavior to determine whether, and to what extent, a person of concern is moving toward an attack. Providing proactive, not reactive responses are critical to the prevention of not only mass attacks but the health and well-being of our campus community. Incidents of targeted violence are on the rise and waiting on the arrival of law enforcement to attend to a person of concern is not a viable solution.

Ideas and Tips from the Lilly Austin Conference on Evaluation-Based Teaching and Learning

Faculty panel will share ideas from the conference for using best practices in your classroom.

GradesFirst Quick Start

Amy Hebert will present a brief introduction to GradesFirst and demonstrate how to look up student information and record advising visit records.  Time will be reserved for questions and other demonstrations based on attendee requests.  This workshop is good for anyone needing a quick refresher in GradesFirst and is also suitable for a first-time user.

Bridge to Independence

Bridge to Independence: Program practices and helpful strategies for students with Autism and Intellectual Disabilities in the classroom.  This workshop will give an overview of the Bridge to Independence Program servicing students with Autism and Intellectual Disabilities at Nicholls State University. Strategies and examples of classroom accommodations will be shared.

General Education Assessment Ideas Panel.

Unsure about how to integrate the new core competencies in your gen ed course? A faculty panel will share ideas on how to highlight the competencies for students and develop course-embedded assessments. Bring your ideas to the discussion too!

Gen Ed Course Approval Process

The sessions will discuss the new General Education course approval and review process as well as how to use new digital forms. All General Education courses will be asked to reapply to be in the core curriculum this year. If your department teaches gen ed courses, please send at least one faculty representative to the training.

Digital/online office hours and production value for online lessons

Are you satisfied with your digital/online office hours? Wish you could have a better way to reach your remote students? Come and join us for some interesting new technological solutions to be available for your remote students. We will discuss group messaging apps like discord and slack, as well as a brief introduction to live streaming office hours.  Presented by James Gilley, Ph.D. Assistant Professor of Political Science.

Who are our Student Veterans?

This SAM session led by campus Coordinator of Veteran Services, Gilberto Burbante, will begin by complicating our understanding of veteran students here at Nicholls. Because that category comprises a few different kinds of student — and because each kind contains its own diversity — the discussion will then turn to the variety of resources for veteran students, considerations for advising, and the ‘PTSD Stigma.’

General Education Communication Rubric

The Communication Team will present the proposed learning outcome and rubric for the new General Education Communication Competency. Join us for an open discussion. We look forward to hearing your feedback and suggestions.  Facilitated by the General Education Communication Team.

You can view the communication rubric here: GenEdRubric_Comm_SharedSep19

Credo Instruct

(available through Ellender Memorial Library)  The Credo Instruct program which includes standards-driven instructional videos, tutorials, and quizzes that can be used to cover topics like evaluating information, fake news, citations, academic integrity, and much more.  Presented by Ms. Brandy Burbante, University Librarian.

Moodle tools to use in your face-to-face courses

This session focuses on the Moodle tools you can use in your face-to-face courses and how to access and use them.  New tools covered will include Hot Question, Student Quiz, Glossary, Journal, Sign-In Sheet block, and iClicker Integration.

Complete College America (CCA)

Louisiana has been a Complete College America alliance member for many years.  Along with consultants and partners from all areas in higher education, CCA researches students success, retention, progress towards graduation, and other areas to offer institutions information and resources to increase student attainment.  The University of Louisiana System is adopting the CCA “game changer” strategies as part of a system-wide student success and retention initiative.  Participants in this workshop will learn about the CCA “game changers” and how to apply them to their academic programs.  The ULS system recommendations for co-requisite remediation and Math/English completion will also be discussed.  Presented by Dr. Amy Hebert, Director of Student Success and Retention.

Customizing Moodle for you

Moodle now enables users to customize their view and preferences.  In this session you will edit your user profile, learn to customize your dashboard view, customize the layout of your course blocks (and copy that to other courses), customize your preferences for receiving notifications, Moodle Messages, and forum notifications.

University Honors Program

This workshop will offered faculty and staff an introduction and information session about our University Honors Program.  Presented by Dr. Brigett Scott, Director of the University Honors Program.

You can find more information about the University Honors Program by clicking here.

Creating an Effective Peer Mentor Program: Recruitment, Selection & Training to Increase Persistence & Academic Success of Mentees 

Effective peer mentor programs serve as an integral part of an institution’s ability to promote the improvement of academic success, persistence and successful graduation of students. Program development from recruitment, selection, training and retention are essential components to ensure a successful peer mentor program on your campus.

Limited resources and increasingly complex student demographics and issues require institutions to rely on peer mentors to enhance the support that faculty and staff already provide.  Peers are in a unique position to role model how to succeed both academically and socially and know how students actually navigate our colleges and universities. Peer mentors help to improve success for all students — particularly diverse and traditionally disadvantaged college populations by increasing their engagement, retention and graduation rates.

As a result of this webinar, you will be able to:

  • Communicate the value, benefit, and impact of effective peer mentor programs to students who need additional support — increase retention, academic success, engagement, and graduation rates across diverse student populations by reducing barriers to seeking help.
  • Identify key and practical program decisions you will make while designing a successful program — deepen your pool of peers seeking to help others, develop a matching process that increases student and mentor fit, and design a comprehensive training program for mentors.
  • Model the mentoring skills you want your team to employ beginning with your selection process — use behavioral interviewing and appreciative questioning techniques to find the best team and identify previously untapped student leaders.
  • Develop a training program that is grounded in a strengths-based approach and deepens peer helping skills — ensure mentors role model how to succeed both academically and socially so their mentees thrive on campus.
  • Motivate and support volunteer or paid peer mentors — understand how their needs differ and provide the encouragement, additional guidance, and critical knowledge they need to support other students and to grow themselves.
  • Assess the impact and the benefits of two frameworks for mentoring relationships — the GROW model & the Appreciative Education model — meet their individual needs, help them achieve their goals and transform their academic, personal and professional lives!

Who Are Our Student Veterans?

This SAM session led by campus Coordinator of Veteran Services Gilberto Burbante will begin by complicating our understanding of veteran students here at Nicholls. Because that category comprises a few different kinds of student — and because each kind contains its own diversity — the discussion will then turn to the variety of resources for veteran students, considerations for advising, and the ‘PTSD Stigma.’

Session participants will learn

  • the three types of student veterans on campus;
  • the impact of course scheduling on financial aid for student veterans; and,
  • the services and resources available for veterans at Nicholls.

Portfolium for Early Adopters

You’ve heard that LiveText is gone. Perhaps you mourned, perhaps you rejoiced. It’s entirely possible you didn’t even notice. Its successor on our campus, though, is Portfolium, and we’d like to invite you to learn more about it — even if you’ve already dived in.

At this workshop, Renee Hicks will discuss how we’ll be using Portfolium to collect Freshman and Sophomore reflections, a few of its many other features, and how your majors can take advantage of everything it has to offer. She’ll be joined by Nicole Cotten, who will demonstrate the process for linking Moodle to Portfolium assignments.

G Suite for Education

Our own Sara Dempster will share how she makes use of the many FREE tools provided by Google for teaching and learning. As Nicholls adopts more cost-effective initiatives that will benefit students, these free tools can provide students with countless features that will help them to complete coursework. Google Tools can also help faculty to provide more interactive and engaging experiences for students in traditional, hybrid, or completely online courses.

Participants will learn:

  • How to access and utilize a variety of Google Tools inside and outside of the College Classroom;
  • Ways Google Tools can help to easily bring more of the 21st century to your classroom; and,
  • How Google Tools can be used to provide a more interactive and engaging classroom experience to students.

Draft Student Learning Outcomes for Gen Ed, March 20 & 21, 2019.  Each of these sessions dedicated to our ongoing redesign of General Education will present 2 core capabilities and will combine presentation with discussion. After Dr. Kaisa Young provides an overview of the planned gen ed changes, the leaders of teams that developed the new rubrics will briefly present the draft Student Learning Outcomes and rubric for each capability.

These presentations will be followed by focus group discussions — one for each capability — for a more detailed review and feedback.


Ethical Reasoning
Critical & Innovative Thinking

Quantitative Reasoning
Info & Tech Literacy

Surviving vs. Thriving Students

A reprise of a SAM classic for faculty who have joined Nicholls since Fall, 2017! These sessions engage faculty in discussion about the characteristics of these categories of students as a way of thinking about how and when to intervene with those who are merely getting by.

In preparation for the workshop, please plan to view Laurie Schreiner’s presentation at the National Symposium on Student Retention (NSSR) in 2016, “Beyond Grades and Graduation: Thriving as a Retention Strategy “

Participants will

  • be able to describe social connectedness and list ways to foster a sense of belonging and make students feel valued on campus.
  • be able to identify students who may benefit from guidance or mentoring.

FERPA Refresher

We collect more data today than ever before in higher education, and our responsible stewardship of all that information matters, especially in light of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, or FERPA.

The College of Education and Behavioral Sciences hosts this special session on FERPA led by Kelly Rodrigue, who will review the basics of FERPA — including the background of the Act — and discuss its application in light of 21st century tools and practices.

All are invited. Registration is unnecessary, but space is limited.

Matching Today’s Technology Tools with Proven Instructional Strategies

Back by popular demand, Nicholls graduate Marcus Stein will demonstrate how to pair tried and true instructional strategies with technology tools in order to design more efficient and engaging classrooms.

Participants will leave with a wealth of web-based and software-based tools that will modernize popular instructional practices like discussions, student modeling, and text analysis.

Participants will learn:

  • how to host engaging class discussions with backchannels and video commentary;
  • how to facilitate student-led instruction with wireless casting screen recording tools; and,
  • how to use Google Apps to make text analysis and research more engaging, collaborative, and efficient.

Creating and Reviewing Exams in ProctorU

In this session for faculty who teach online, Nimisha of ProctorU will provide a Webinar crash course for faculty on how to navigate their account and create an exam in ProctorU. This will be followed by a presentation by Andrew Simoncelli covering the Live+ post-exam experience.

Participants will learn:

  • how to create an exam in ProctorU
  • how to review exams, including:
    • how to access test-taker videos
    • how to view behaviors flagged by the AI
    • what the different touchpoints in the session timeline mean

Advising with Career Success in Mind

Did you know that Nicholls has a four-year plan for career advising? Have you ever wondered how to talk about life after college with your advisees? In this SAM session, Kristie Tauzin Goulas, Director of Career Services will present resources to assist when you are discussing future career goals and strategies with your students.

Participants will

  • be familiar with the 4 Year Career Plan;
  • know when and how to talk with advisees about career planning and goals; and,
  • be aware of the many resources available to students at career services.

A Comprehensive Introduction to Open Educational Resources (OERs)

Nicholls OER Coordinator Elizabeth Batte and OER advocate Dr. Chad Young will be discussing open access on Nicholls’ campus. Open access textbooks and other OERs are encouraged on campus for course adoption. Do you know how to find them for your course? Do you have questions about OERs that you need help answering?

Attendees will receive an all access pass to understanding what is an OER, what makes them unique, and how to find the right one for your course. Q & A to follow presentation.

Participants will learn:

  • What an open education resource (OER) is;
  • Where to find peer-reviewed OERs;
  •  Why adopting an OER is important for your students; and,
  • How Nicholls can help in transition to an OER text adoption.

Creating an Effective Active Learning Environment in Large (and Small) Lecture Classes

In this special session hosted by Nicholls Chemistry, Dr. George Stanley — Cyril & Tutta Vetter Alumni Professor at LSU — will share some approaches to active learning in lecture courses. Given SAM’s emphasis on student engagement, this session will count toward SAM certification for all faculty (click here for a video of the session and presentation notes).

Watch Dr. Stanley’s presentation on YouTube.

Using Moodle to Identify At-Risk Students
Sometimes the data we need the most is a few clicks away. In this special SAM session for the CAFÉ, Nicole “Moodle Maven” Cotten and Lori “Cognos Cognoscente” Richard team up to discuss straightforward ways of using tools built into Moodle to identify and intervene when students might benefit from an extra push.

For this SAM workshop, faculty participants will learn:

  • How to identify and message students who have not responded to a forum
  • How to identify and message students who have not submitted an assignment for grading
  • How to view a course participation report to identify students that are at-risk to fail or drop your class
  • How to set up completion tracking to help your students stay on task (especially useful in an online course).

Active Learning
Active learning has received a considerable amount of attention over the past several years because it increases student interaction and reflection. Studies have shown that utilizing active learning techniques in the classroom is beneficial for increasing concept inventories and student engagement. In this presentation, Dr. Aimee Hollander will review multiple ways to employ active learning techniques in the classroom and practice simple to highly complex active learning strategies.

For this SAM workshop, faculty participants will:

  • Identify active learning strategies that will work best in your classroom;
  • Practice employing simple to more complex active learning strategies;
  • Discuss how to assess if active learning strategies are making a difference in student success in your course.

Introducing Moodle 3.4
You’ve probably noticed some of the changes in Moodle these days. Nicole Cotton will walk you through these and answer your questions.

Participants will be able to

  • Navigate Moodle 3.4 efficiently
  • Add navigation and administration blocks to a course
  • Enroll and unenroll students from a course
  • Use newly added configuration settings in various Moodle activities
  • Move multiple items in the gradebook to a category
  • Configure notifications

Personalized Online Instruction with Video Discussions
In this session presented by NSU Graduate Marcus Stein, faculty will learn how to create brief, targeted screen recordings using PCs, MacBooks, iPads, and Chromebooks. Participants will also learn how to facilitate engaging video discussions using screen recordings and FlipGrid, a free video discussion platform.

Participants should bring their own devices to this session.

For this workshop, faculty participants will:

  • learn how to create screen recording videos using any computing or mobile device; and,
  • learn how to deliver and manage personalized video discussions using FlipGrid.

Advising Scenarios: Panel Discussion 
Panelists will introduce a set of advising scenarios based on actual experiences here at Nicholls and lead a discussion with workshop participants on best practices in approaching the issues presented, offering insights from their own backgrounds as effective advisors. (read more)

For this SAM workshop, faculty participants will:

  • Be prepared to initiate intrusive advising;
  • Know where and how to send students for academic support;
  • Know where and how to send students for non-academic (i.e., Financial Aid, Counseling Services) support; and,
  • Be able to articulate the impacts of student support services on the long-term educational and career goals of their advisees.

High Impact Practices: Panel Discussion
Faculty from across campus will discuss examples of ‘High Impact Practices’ developed and delivered in courses here at Nicholls, focusing on the planning, design, and implementation of these (and what challenges they needed to overcome in order to ensure their success).

In this SAM workshop, faculty participants will:

  • Develop a sketch of a ‘High Impact Practice’ appropriate for their own course(s);
  • Anticipate the challenges – curricular, budgetary, scheduling, etc. – of implementing HIPs; and,
  • Be able to explain the benefits of HIPs to students

Demystifying the Moodle Gradebook

You know it’s supposed to make your life easier, but the Moodle gradebook seems designed to torture you.  Fortunately, Nicole Cotton will be on hand to help you design, navigate, and use the Moodle gradebook in ways that will make life better for you and your students.

Workshop participants will be able to:

  • Distinguish between Moodle created grade items and manually created grade items
  • Add, delete or edit grade items and categories in the Moodle gradebook
  • Configure a course gradebook correctly based on the syllabus
  • Create extra credit items in a course
  • Drop the lowest grade in a course
  • Edit what is visible to students in the  gradebook
  • Enter grades efficiently
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