Teaching Continuity at Caltech  /  Caltech Adaptable Teaching Series

Caltech Adaptable Teaching Series - Summer 2020

CTLO, AMT, and the Library, along with guest speakers and panelists with experience teaching remotely and using online approaches, offer the Caltech Adaptable Teaching Series (CATS) to support Caltech faculty and instructors in preparing for fall 2020 teaching.

All are welcome and you may sign up for as many of the sessions as you wish.

  • How To sessions focus on using one or more related tools or technologies for specific teaching tasks
  • Discussions explore approaches to teaching beyond the tools and technology, through examples and experiences shared by Caltech colleagues
  • Office Hours for remote/online teaching are available in September as scheduled; during these times, CTLO and AMT staff will be available for Q&A, demonstrations, troubleshooting, and discussion.

RSVP here for upcoming CATS sessions and Office Hours

Access video and slides from past CATS sessions

Once you sign up, you will receive an email confirmation with Zoom connection information. If you miss the email or don't receive it, please email ctlo@caltech.edu and we will send you the information.

Portions of the synchronous sessions are being recorded and can be found here as they become available.


Summer 2020 Caltech Adaptable Teaching Series:

Come to office hours with questions, discussion topics, or interest in hearing what other instructors are working on. CTLO and AMT staff will be ready to answer questions, troubleshoot, and discuss topics of interest. RSVP for any CATS or Office Hours sessions to receive a full schedule with all Zoom links; email ctlo@caltech.edu if you need this information.

Office hours are all 11:00 am - noon PDT:

  • Wednesday, September 9
  • Friday, September 11
  • Tuesday, September 15
  • Thursday, September 17
  • Monday, September 21
  • Thursday, September 24
  • Friday, September 25

Wednesday, August 5, 2020, 11:00 am – noon PDT.

Video | Slides

Join Jenn Weaver, CTLO Associate Director for University Teaching for this quick 101 session about how to get started in adapting your in-person course to an online environment. The first half of this "How To" session will give participants a roadmap for identifying priorities and highlight some of the choices that Caltech instructors made in their spring courses. After this overview, participants can share the challenges they are facing and ask questions about effective remote teaching practices. Missed this session?


Thursday, August 6, 2020, 11:00 am – noon PDT.

Video | Slides

Join Leslie Maxfield, AMT Director, and Gina Marie Napolitan, AMT Multimedia & Video Specialist, for this overview of how to use Zoom and Canvas Studio to create video content for fall courses. Pre-recorded videos can be assigned to students to watch asynchronously, so that your synchronous meeting time with students can focus on discussion or collaborative problem-solving. The first half of this "How To" session will introduce the tools, their distinct advantages, how to get started, and where to find further instructions. After this overview, facilitators will stay on Zoom so that participants can try out the tools, ask questions, or demo other features.

Friday, August 7, 2020, 11:00 am – noon PDT

Video | Slides

Join Cassandra Horii, CTLO Director, and Bill Hall, Instructional Designer, for a quick tour of getting started with Canvas. The first half of this "How To" session will give instructors an introduction to their course blueprint, main features of setting up the course structure, and how to explore additional choices and details. After this overview, facilitators will stay on Zoom so that participants can try out Canvas, ask questions, or demo other features.

Monday, August 10, 2020, 11:00 am – noon PDT

Video | Slides

This session will provide details about the Caltech Library's plans for supporting Fall term teaching. It will discuss options available for instructors to make required and optional course materials available to students, both in digital and physical form. Specifically, historical student use of reserves, copyright policy around digital reserves, and textbook purchasing options will be discussed. Texts required for classes are due into the Library's Adopt-A-Text system by August 17th (and reserve materials by August 24th), so this session is intended to help instructors make appropriate requests for course materials. A demonstration of Adopt-A-Text will be given, along with a brief overview of other Library support services for teaching.

Wednesday, August 12, 2020, 11:00 am – noon PDT

Video | Slides

Join Cassandra Horii, CTLO Director, Mike Vicic, Lecturer in Chemical Engineering, Katie Bouman, Assistant Professor in CMS, Mike Mello, Teaching Professor in Mechanical and Civil Engineering, and Jim Barry, Faculty in Fine Arts, for this discussion of various different approaches to designing remote labs and experiential courses or course components. Panelists will share their insights, successes, and lessons learned from the spring and participants will have a chance to discuss and ask questions about their ideas for the fall.

Monday, August 17, 2020, 11:00 am – noon PDT

Video | Slides

Join Jenn Weaver, CTLO Associate Director for University Teaching, and Hanna Song, Senior Director of the CCID, for a discussion of how inclusive teaching can be effectively implemented online. This session will give participants insights into the diverse contexts that students are now learning in and dispel assumptions that we make about our students' learning environments. We'll discuss evidence-based best practices for creating equitable remote classrooms, including the value of transparent communication and expectations, and how these can give all students an equal opportunity to be successful in your class.

Tuesday, August 18, 2020, 11:00 am – noon PDT

Video | Slides

Join Jenn Weaver (CTLO Associate Director for University Teaching), Justin S. Bois (Teaching Professor of Biology and Biological Engineering), Sarah E. Reisman (Professor of Chemistry; Investigator, Heritage Medical Research Institute and Executive Officer for Chemistry), Nicholas R. (Nick) Hutzler (Assistant Professor of Physics) and Arushi Gupta (Undergraduate in Mathematics, Academics and Research Committee (ARC) Chair) for this introduction to digital, collaborative whiteboard applications, ways to use them for teaching, and how to incorporate them into office hours, recitations, and student collaboration. The first half of this How To session will introduce whiteboard tools and methods. After this overview, facilitators will stay on Zoom so that participants can try digital whiteboards, ask questions, or demo other features.

Thursday, August 20, 2020, 11:00 am – noon PDT

Video | Slides

Many instructors may be looking critically at course assignments and considering whether a new assignment may increase student learning or engagement in an online course. Join Susanne Hall, Director of the Hixon Writing Center and Teaching Professor of Writing, for an overview of ideas for incorporating writing assignments into STEM courses. Dr. Hall will outline and explain different types of STEM writing assignments with varied pedagogical goals, focusing on how writing assignments could be an asset to online teaching. She will also share best practices for assignment design, so that you can ensure students understand your expectations and goals for a writing assignment. Dr. Hall is also available for one-to-one consultation with instructors considering adding a writing assignment to a course.

Tuesday, August 25, 2020, 11:00 – noon PDT

Video | Slides

Join Leslie Maxfield, AMT Director, to learn what G-suite can do for your remote teaching. G-suite includes Google Drive, Google Hangouts Meet, and other tools, and offers a simple way to share materials with students, and is integrated into the Canvas Learning Management System. The first half of this How To session will introduce G-suite tools. After this overview, facilitators will stay on Zoom so that participants can try G-suite, ask questions, or demo other features.

Thursday, August 27, 2020, 11:00 am – noon PDT

Video | Slides

Join Cassandra Horii, CTLO Director, and Bill Hall, Instructional Designer, for this introduction to Canvas and Gradescope tools for collecting, grading, and giving feedback on assignments and exams online. The first half of this How To session will introduce both tools, compare their features, and show how to get started. After this overview, facilitators will stay on Zoom so that participants can try discussion forums, ask questions, or demo other features.

Tuesday, September 1, 2020, 11:00 am – noon PDT

Video | Slides

Join Cassandra Horii, CTLO Director, and Bill Hall, Instructional Designer, for a quick tour of getting started with Canvas. The first half of this "How To" session will give instructors an introduction to their course blueprint, main features of setting up the course structure, and how to explore additional choices and details. After this overview, facilitators will stay on Zoom so that participants can try out Canvas, ask questions, or demo other features.

Wednesday, September 2, 2020, 11:00 am - noon PDT

Video | Slides

Join Cassandra Horii, CTLO Director, for this introduction to using Canvas and Piazza discussion forums for Q&A, asynchronous discussion, and other uses that help support remote learning. The first half of this How To session will introduce both types of discussion forums, compare their features, and show how to get started. After this overview, facilitators will stay on Zoom so that participants can try discussion forums, ask questions, or demo other features.

Thursday, September 3, 2020, 11:00 am – noon PDT

Video | Slides

Join Leslie Maxfield, AMT Director for this overview of how to use Zoom effectively for live, synchronous class sessions. The first half of this "How To" session will introduce key steps in setting up Zoom meetings, sharing them with students via Canvas, managing views and features, and recording sessions. After this overview, facilitators will stay on Zoom so that participants can try out the tools, ask questions, or demo other features.

Thursday, September 10, 2020, 11:00 am – noon PDT

Video | Slides

Join Caltech Faculty members Paul Asimow, Eleanor and John R. McMillan Professor of Geology and Geochemistry, Catherine Jurca, Professor of English, and Antonio Rangel, Bing Professor of Neuroscience, Behavioral Biology, and Economics; Head Faculty in Residence, for a discussion about strategies for connecting and communicating effectively with students in remote and online courses. Panelists will share their experiences and ideas about how they have created authentic and meaningful connections, made their courses welcoming across a distance, and communicated clearly using digital methods. Cassandra Horii, Director of the CTLO, will facilitate the discussion.

NOTE: Date changed from September 16 to September 18.

This session will demonstrate to instructors how students can access requested reserve materials through Canvas. It will go over how to navigate to the course reserves section of a Canvas course, as well as how to access different types of reserve materials. A brief overview of other Library support services for teaching will also be presented.