Fundamentals in Teaching

What is Fundamentals in Teaching?

FIT is a program designed for the graduate student and postdoc who would like to learn how to teach, but may not have access to in-classroom experience while in graduate school or while working in your postdoc position. The Fundamentals in Teaching is a self-directed workshop series designed to provide training and support for all graduate students and postdocs who are interested in learning the concepts of teaching, engaging students, and creating learning environments. These workshops are a part of The Graduate School’s professional development initiative.

How does it work?

We offer a variety of workshops and you can choose to take as many as you want based on your professional goals and interests. You may take the workshops in any order, and teaching experience is not required. Workshops are available in person, online, and on-demand throughout the year. Some workshops are offered multiple times a year, while others are special topics that are only offered once a year. A list of all FIT workshops can be found below.

Most FIT workshops will be offered on-demand. You can complete any of these workshops any time that is convenient for you. They are open to you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week! You can move through the workshops at your own pace. Registration is not required.

How do I register? Where do I find the schedule?

You can access the registration system with your unity ID and password. You may also view the workshops schedule on our Google Calendar.

What other programs and resources are available if I want to learn more about teaching?

We offer teaching certificate programs, preparing future faculty programs, and faculty mentoring programs. To compare the different programs, take a look at this grid.

Core Fundamentals


Description: Classroom assessment techniques (CATs) are strategies to quickly assess student learning and provide feedback. In this workshop, participants will discuss, practice, and share a variety of approaches for assessing students’ learning. This workshop is on-demand! Log in here to get started!

Outcomes: After completing this workshop, participants will be able to:

  • define classroom assessment techniques
  • discuss the benefits and challenges of using CATs
  • explain and identify several CATs that can be applied in their classrooms
  • practice the CAT as both a teacher and as a student


Description: Managing the classroom environment is one of the most challenging aspects of teaching. This workshop is designed to address classroom management issues and concerns. Topics will include: creating a welcoming environment, establishing guidelines and expectations, maintaining professionalism, and handling disruptive students. This workshop is on-demand! Log in here to get started!

Outcomes: After completing this workshop, participants will be able to:

  • explain the importance of managing a learning environment
  • compare today’s learning environment with your own past experiences
  • discuss how to establish guidelines, expectations, and rules
  • discuss non-confrontational ways of dealing with classroom issues
  • share and practice managing classroom situations


Description: “Are there any questions?” How many times have you asked this question only to receive blank stares from your students? Learning to ask effective questions is an essential skill for every teacher, regardless of the type of classroom environment. In this workshop, participants will explore strategies and techniques for asking questions effectively to generate more student participation. We will discuss word choice, timing, types of questions, and overall presentation style. This workshop is on-demand! Log in here to get started!

Outcomes: After completing this workshop, participants will be able to:

  • compare and contrast effective vs. ineffective questioning strategies
  • apply specific tools to generate effective questions
  • discuss how to address inaccurate responses
  • identify different types of questions
  • discuss presentation strategies to engage your audience


Description: For new instructors and graduate teaching assistants, it can be challenging to establish credibility and authority in the classroom. In this workshop, we will discuss how instructor credibility and legitimacy is established or lost and explore ways to respond to subtle and direct challenges to your authority. We will discuss how to change an environment once this type of challenge has occurred so you and your students can refocus and re-establish stability in the classroom. This workshop is on-demand! Log in here to get started!

Outcomes: After completing this workshop, participants will be able to:

  • recognize challenges to authority
  • discuss techniques to respond to challenges to authority
  • discuss ways to convey credibility and legitimacy
  • explore strategies for readjusting the classroom climate
  • develop ways to avoid and defuse a “feeding frenzy”


Description: The purpose of this workshop is to provide participants with an introduction to different grading and evaluation processes in teaching. Participants will practice creating a rubric and designing an evaluation process for their own course. Participants will also discuss best practices for grading and evaluation. This workshop is recommended for those who have limited grading experience. For those who have more experience grading, this workshop provides the foundation for more advanced workshops such as Responding to Student Writing. This workshop is on-demand! Log in here to get started!

Outcomes: After completing this workshop, participants will be able to:

  • discuss the different types of grading rubrics
  • compare the pros and cons of rubric
  • practice creating a rubric for an an assignment
  • practice giving constructive feedback
  • discuss best practices in grading and evaluation


Description: The Introduction to Teaching workshop is designed to introduce participants to the fundamentals of effective teaching and learning in the university classroom through exploration, application, and reflection. This workshop is designed to provide basic information about a variety of teaching topics and to offer “best practices” for enhancing teaching and learning in the university classroom. All CoAT participants must complete this workshop. This workshop is on-demand! Log in here to get started!

Outcomes: After completing this workshop, participants will be able to:

  • describe the characteristics of effective learning environments
  • develop a basic lesson plan including outcomes, learning strategies, and assessment
  • begin the process of self-reflection on your teaching, learning, and professional development
  • apply the information learned in this workshop to your own teaching experiences


Description: There are more than eight different learning styles, and traditional teaching methods only assist in addressing a few of them. In this workshop, we will discuss the different ways people learn and explore how you can make simple adaptations to your teaching to enhance the learning process. This workshop is on-demand! Log in here to get started!

Outcomes: After completing this workshop, participants will be able to:

  • explore how your own learning style influences your teaching style
  • identify and explain the eight different learning styles
  • discuss the importance of considering different learning styles when developing lesson plans
  • discuss and share practical ways to include a variety of strategies to address learning styles in your classroom


Description: This workshop is a partnership between The Graduate School and Innovative Educators. There are NO COSTS for workshop participants from NC State. The workshop will include a pre-recorded presentation by Dr. Brian Van Brunt from Western Kentucky University. This practical session is designed for new and experienced faculty members who are looking for new tools to manage difficult student situations in their classrooms. The workshop will demonstrate techniques to re-direct, manage and calm the disruptive students. The facilitators will focus on the techniques of motivational interviewing to offer faculty members an underlying theory and clear examples of how to address today’s classroom problems. This workshop is on-demand! Log in here to get started!

Outcomes: After this workshop, participants will be able to:

  • learn practical skills, theory and examples of how the tools can be applied in their classrooms.
  • effectively work with disruptive students in the classroom setting.
  • explain the basic concepts of motivational enhancement therapy (or motivational interviewing) as applied to the classroom.
  • discuss the dos and don’ts when working with students who are frustrated and unmotivated.
  • learn the importance of establishing early classroom rules and etiquette to “get out ahead” of potential violent and disruptive behaviors.


Description: This workshop is designed to introduce participants to the concept of motivation in teaching and learning contexts. We will discuss teaching strategies and instructional behaviors that encourage student motivation and participation, challenge and support students’ learning, and inspire students to perform to the best of their ability. This workshop consists of two readings, one video, and two activities. You MUST complete all activities to receive credit. This workshop is on-demand! Log in here to get started!

Outcomes: After completing this workshop, participants will be able to:

  • define motivation in educational contexts
  • explain the importance of motivation in the college classroom
  • discuss the concept of “challenge and support”
  • discuss a framework for understanding student motivation
  • design and share teaching strategies to encourage student motivation


Description: This workshop is designed to introduce participants to the process of writing effective learning outcomes. As the basis for structured teaching and instruction, learning outcomes help to define teacher expectations for students within the curriculum, and writing learning outcomes is one of the most important steps to take before entering the classroom. In this workshop, we will discuss the importance of learning outcomes in the classroom and learn how to design successful learning outcomes. This workshop is on-demand! Log in here to get started!

Outcomes: After completing this workshop, participants will be able to:

  • define and explain the importance of learning outcomes in teaching and learning.
  • define and apply the three domains of learning outcomes
  • compare the content-centered method to the learning-centered method as planning tools.
  • describe the ABCD method for writing learning outcomes.
  • construct a learning outcomes grid that can be used as a tool for planning.

Advanced Strategies


Description: Everyone has experienced it, if not guilty of it: Death by PowerPoint. Most college instructors will agree that it is imperative to include a visual aid to supplement a lecture and reach visual learners, but what happens when these “visual” aids include as much text as your lecture notes? How can we incorporate visuals that enhance, rather than detract from or confuse the message? What should these visuals look like? In this workshop, you will learn why visuals are important for the learning process, what type of technologies you can use to create visuals, and some guidelines for creating presentations, handouts, and visual thinking tools to enhance your course and engage more learners. This workshop consists of one interactive presentation, one reading, and one activity. You MUST complete all activities to receive credit. This workshop is on-demand! Log in here to get started!

Outcomes: After completing this workshop, participants will be able to:

  • define visual learning and list some benefits to incorporating visual teaching strategies into your classroom.
  • identify (both low- and high-tech) tools for creating visuals for classroom use.
  • describe different ways in which visuals can be effectively incorporated into lectures or student activities.
  • design an effective visual tool (a study tool, visual presentation, or handout) describing three main points learned in this workshop.


Description: Writing assignments, including essays, lab reports, research papers, or essay test questions, can be great tools to test students’ critical thinking skills and comprehension of the course content. However, instructors often feel overwhelmed by an abundance of grammatical and organizational problems, and discouraged by the students’ lack of interest in their written feedback. In this workshop we will learn about four types of response, analyze instructor comments on student work, and practice effective response strategies in order to encourage students to use instructor feedback to improve their performance. This workshop is on-demand! Log in here to get started!

Outcomes: After completing this workshop, participants will be able to:

  • define, identify, and use corrective, directive, facilitative, and evaluative comments
  • analyze others’ as well as participant’s own comments on student writing
  • develop a response style that mirrors participant’s teaching style and philosophy
  • provide students with feedback that addresses the course objectives and assignment goals and encourages student reflection and/or revision

Your Teaching Philosophy and Portfolio


Description: This is self-paced online module designed to introduce graduate students to the process of creating a teaching portfolio. This workshop is part of the CoAT program, but it does not count as one of the six required workshops. This workshop is on-demand! Log in here to get started!

Outcomes: After completing this workshop, participants will be able to:

  • describe what a teaching portfolio is (and is not)
  • list reasons why a teaching portfolio is important
  • explain the three main components of a teaching portfolio
  • generate ideas for materials to include in their own portfolios
  • explain the importance of the teaching philosophy
  • analyze teaching philosophy statements


Description: Writing your teaching philosophy is one of the most challenging tasks you will do when developing your portfolio. It is also the most important. Write your Teaching Philosophy prior to the workshop, or come and learn how to build one! Bring two copies of your teaching philosophy draft to this informal session to work with a peer to develop your best teaching philosophy statement. This is the perfect opportunity to “field test” your philosophy, receive comments on your draft, and offer constructive feedback to one of your peers.

Note: This workshop is now required for all CoAT participants. 

Outcomes: After completing this workshop, participants will be able to:

  • apply feedback from peers to edit and revise their teaching philosophy statement
  • offer constructive feedback to others who are writing their teaching philosophy statement
  • apply the rubric and guidelines to evaluate the quality of teaching philosophy statements