Professional Development Series Spring 2019

More sessions will be added in the coming weeks so please check back for additional opportunities. Space is limited. Please reserve your seat by RSVPing at

How faculty members can support student retention

Wednesday, January 23, 2-2:50 p.m. UC 332.

UM has made "Student Success" a high priority. Based on the "Six Roles for Faculty in Student Success" (EAB), we will engage in open discussion and planning to determine how UM faculty can utilize those principles to provide our students with their greatest opportunity for unimpeded progress along their path to graduation. Presenters: Members of the ASCRC workgroup on retention and withdrawal

Motivating students to attend class

Wednesday, January 30, 1-1:50 p.m. NAC 103

In this session, a panel of undergraduate students and a graduate student/instructor will share their insights on what motivates students to go to class and what keeps students engaged. Gain a better understanding of the student perspective on attendance and share ideas for how instructors can stem the tide of absenteeism. Facilitated by Leora Bar-el, Associate Professor, Linguistics. Co-sponsored by the Pedagogy Project. 

Kickoff for the new Teaching Excellence Initiative

Friday, February 1, 8:30 a.m.-12:50 p.m. Register for individual sessions.

Join us for a half-day of professional development on strategies for engaging students, using active learning, and developing creative ways to assess student progress. Connect with other instructors and hear from the Provost about his priorities around teaching. Learn more about our new Teaching Excellence Initiative

One Button and Lightboard Studio expanded technical support

One Button Studio: Every Tuesday through March 26, 2:30-3:30 p.m. or by appointment. MLIB 102

Lightboard Studio: Every Thursday through March 28, 2:30-3:30 p.m. or by appointment. MLIB 111

If you have been waiting to learn about these two great resources for making videos, this is the semester to dive in. Glenn Kneebone, Manager, Paw Print, Mansfield Library, will be offering weekly introductory sessions to the two studios and his staff will help with slide design and video editing.

OER@UMT: Grant Opportunity for Faculty Seeking Free, Adaptable Instructional Resources

Wednesday, February 6, 2-3 p.m. Mansfield Library 283

Come to this informational and hands-on session to find out what Open Educational Resources are all about and explore how to find these free and flexible instructional materials.  Wendy Walker (Mansfield Library) and Nancy Clouse (UMOnline) will give an overview of the new OER grants available this semester to support UM faculty in reviewing, adopting, adapting and creating OER. This grant opportunity is sponsored by Provost Jon Harbor, the Mansfield Library, and the School of Extended and Lifelong Learning. 

Understanding and addressing implicit bias

Friday, February 8, 1-2:50 p.m. UC 330-331

Drew Colling, SARC Director and Campus Assault Coordinator, will discuss ways to both recognize and address personal and institutional biases that are harmful to others. Together, we will explore ways to create inclusive and supportive workplaces on our campus. 

Effective writing assignments for online courses

Wednesday, February 27, 2-2:50 p.m. PFNAC 103

Want to move beyond discussion board posts for online writing assignments? Discuss strategies for using frequent, low-stakes writing assignments to gauge student learning and help students apply course content. Gillian Glaes, Visiting Professor, History, Adam Brewer, Assistant Professor, Public Administration, and Jake Hansen, Associate Director, UM Writing and Public Speaking Center, will lead this discussion of new ways to think about assigning and evaluating writing in your online courses. Co-sponsored by the Pedagogy Project.

Motivating students to complete assigned readings

Friday, March 8, 1-2:20 p.m. PFNAC 103

In this session, faculty will consider research findings on why so few college students complete course reading assignments, and examine strategies for motivating students to read and to learn more from those assigned readings. Kate Brayko, Associate Professor of Literacy Education (Teaching and Learning), will facilitate the session; she will highlight strategies suitable for a range of disciplines and course contexts.

Language and Cognition Research Colloquium

Friday, March 15 and Friday, April 19, 12-12:50 p.m. ED 123

Join a new interdisciplinary colloquium on research in language and cognition that started fall 2018. These sessions will include a 20-minute research presentation followed by Q and A and informal time for learning about the research of your cross-campus colleagues. Questions? Contact Pablo Requena, Assistant Professor, Modern and Classical Languages and Literatures and the Language Research Lab, or Amy Kinch, FDO. 

Writing competitive broader impacts proposals

Friday, March 15, 2–2:50 p.m. PFNAC 103

What makes for a successful broader impacts proposal or proposal section? Learn about best practices in broader impacts engagement and evaluation, use key elements to develop a strong, concise statement for grant proposals, and learn how you can collaborate with UM’s Broader Impacts Group from proposal development through program implementation. Presenters: Nathalie Wolfram, Associate Director, UM Broader Impacts Group and Beth Covitt, Head of Science Education Research & Evaluation, spectrUM Discovery Area.

Applying for private foundation grants and awards

March 21, 2-3:00 p.m. NAC 011

Katherine Swan, Proposal Development Manager, Office of Research and Sponsored Programs, and Jason Newcomer, Director of Corporate and Foundation Relations, UM Foundation, will present strategies for identifying sources of private foundation support for your research, refining your project ideas to be responsive to foundation priorities, and making the most of resources at the UM Foundation. 

Essential understandings for working with American Indian students

Friday, April 5, 1-4 p.m. Missoula College

This presentation will provide key understandings of the unique strengths and challenges facing today’s American Indian students. Marilyn Zimmerman, Senior Director of Policy and Programs, National Native Children’s Trauma Center, will discuss how faculty members can effectively provide support for both recruitment and retention of American Indian students. 

2019 Writing Assessment Workshop

Friday, April 12, 9 a.m.-3 p.m. UC 225.

Join us for a cross-disciplinary workshop on writing instruction and assessment. All faculty, staff, and graduate students are invited. We will assess and discuss student papers from the Intermediate Writing Courses as part of the University-wide Program-level Writing Assessment (UPWA). A light breakfast, lunch, and snacks will be provided. Contact Amy Ratto Parks, Assistant Director of Composition, with questions at  


You might also be interested in this conference hosted by Salish Kootenai College:

Service Learning: Engaging Hearts & Minds

Friday, April 12, 12:30-6 p.m. and Saturday, April 13, 8 a.m.-2 p.m.

Proposals for 15 minute 'Lightening Presentations' are being accepted through March 15, 2019. Topics for lightening presentations will include effective service learning models, assessing student outcomes of service learning, building effective community partners for service learning,etc. Travel stipends available for MUS teams through OCHE.

Videos and Resources from Past Sessions

Did you miss a professional development session in the past?  You may be in luck! An archive of videos and resources from many of the past FDO sessions on research, teaching, advising, technology resources, and more are available.