Excellence in Teaching Series

Excellence in Teaching Series

We carefully selected topics to cover a range of pedagogical and technological tools tailoring the College of Engineering faculty's teaching. Please complete the registration form if you would like to attend. All presentations and discussions will take place on Fridays from noon to 1:00 pm via Zoom. Zoom links will be provided upon registration. 

We are excited about the collaborations with COE faculty members across different disciplines and the Instructional Designer from the Center for Transformative Teaching. 

Featured speakers: 

Alisa Gilmore
Associate Professor of Practice
Electrical & Computer Engineering 

Carl Nelson, Ph.D.
Mechanical & Materials Engineering

Heidi Diefes-Dux, Ph.D.
Professor of Engineering Education
Biological Systems Engineering 

Jena Shafai Asgarpoor, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Practice
Durham School of Architectural Engineering & Construction

Steven Cain
Instructional Designer 
Center for Transformative Teaching

Title Description Presenter Date and Time

Meaningful Teaming Instruction and Assessment Anchored by CATME SMARTER Teamwork

Students do not learn effective team member behaviors and strategies that lead to successful team performance merely by being placed in groups and given activities to do. Students need formal, ongoing, and consistent instruction on teaming and assessment of their performance as team members. The goal of this session is to introduce the benefits of using the research-based CATME Model of Teamwork (https://info.catme.org/) as an anchor for developing course and curriculum level instruction on teaming through a commitment to a common set of effective team behaviors we seek to develop in our students. This session will overview the CATME Model of Teamwork, instructional strategies around the development of these behaviors, using CATME tools to manage and evaluate teams, and using CATME generated data for ABET assessment purposes. For those subsequently wishing to get up and running with CATME, a working group will be formed for Fall 2020 and initial training with CATME will be arranged in the near future.

Heidi Diefes-Dux 8/14/2020
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Zoom During this session, we will cover all of the basics of using Zoom to present content to your students. Topics will include a meeting room, recording a meeting, sharing your screen, using the chat feature, and creating and using breakout rooms. Yaoling Wang 9/4/2020
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Creating Canvas Content During this session, we will discuss how to create content in your Canvas course. Some of the topics discussed will include creating an assignment (including Discussion Board assignments), building quizzes, quiz groups, and question banks, Modules/Pages and linking content into the page, prerequisite (adaptive release) of content, Assignment groups and giving them weights for grade center, embedding documents from Box, embedding items from VidGrid. Jena Shafai Asgarpoor 9/11/2020
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Communication Options There are several options for instructors to communicate with their students: Topics discussed will include the use of email, Canvas Inbox (including reviewing your Canvas notifications settings), Canvas Announcements, Canvas Chat, Discussion Board, and Discord (Link to instructions). Nate Pindell 9/18/2020
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
VidGrid VidGrid, UNL-supported screen capture software, can be used to record lectures in order to share them with students. In this session we will cover the basics of using VidGrid, including claiming your VidGrid account, downloading the recorder, sizing the recording window, turning on the audio, turning the video function on and off, recording a session and saving the recording, creating folders, and sharing the recording link or embedding the recording in a Canvas page. Carl Nelson 9/25/2020
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
OneNote Basics & Annotation During this session, we will discuss how to be able to use your Microsoft surface to annotate your lectures. Some of the topics will include how to create binders and pages, inserting images and media, using the stylus to create personalized notes and equations, and how to customize OneNote for your purposes. Alisa Gilmore 10/2/2020
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Student Self-Reflection 

Whether we are teaching in a physical classroom or remotely, sometimes we just wonder whether our students are coming along with us. Embedding periodic self-reflection into our courses can provide us with a window on students’ presence – their engagement, their successes, and their struggles. Purposeful reflection has added benefits related to students’ development of learning strategies (ABET 7). For instance, reflection can raise students’ awareness of course goals, build their capacity to monitor and manage their learning progress and processes, and increase their ability to connect course content to their personal lives and academic and professional trajectories. Examples of reflection used with students at different academic levels and evidence of their impact on students’ behaviors and quality of engagement in a course will be highlighted. Recommendations for designing, implementing, and providing feedback on reflections will be shared.

Heidi Diefes-Dux 10/9/2020
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Grading and Feedback in Canvas This session will cover using the Canvas Gradebook, Speed Grader, providing feedback, and creating rubrics in Canvas. Nate Pindell 10/16/2020
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Yellowdig Yellowdig is a discussion tool that uses social learning platform to engage students with various resources. In this session, we are going to discuss how Yellowdig works and how to set up Yellowdig to grade students’ participation.  Steven Cain 10/30/2020
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Academic Integrity  In this series, we are going to discuss various strategies that help mitigate cheating in your class, and examine some technologies students could use to cheat.   Tareq  11/06/2020
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Microsoft Teams (TBD) Teams is a chat-based collaboration tool that provides teams with the ability to work together and share information via a common space. In this session, we are going to learn how to use Teams to chat, share documents and resources, make video calls, and more. TBD TBD


Choose the event(s) you would like to register for

2017 Archive Events

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Supplemental Videos in an Engineering Course: Why, How, for Whom

February 17, Scott Engineering Center 237 (Lincoln) and Peter Kiewit Institute 250 (Omaha)
1:00 - 2:00 pm

Short videos of worked-out engineering examples have been added to a course in thermodynamics as supplementary material. This talk outlines the decision-making process, the necessary technology, and the effort required in the creation of twenty-seven such videos. The impact on students from two semesters of experience is also discussed with regard to student use of the videos, student perceptions, and student outcomes. The impact on the instructor, such as lessons learned and future opportunities, will also be discussed.

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Incorporating Peer Assessments

March 17, Scott Engineering Center 237 (Lincoln) and Peter Kiewit Institute 250 (Omaha)
1:00 - 2:00 pm

Great leaders are skilled at giving and receiving constructive feedback in order to develop themselves and others. Engaging in assessments helps us become more self-aware and to learn. The expectation for feedback also increases engagement in what is being assessed. It can include contribution feedback to team members, or performance feedback on other’s efforts. This session is a discussion on some approaches to engage students in peer assessments.

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Applying Blended Learning to a Synchronous Distance Course between Two Campuses

April 7, Scott Engineering Center 237 (Lincoln) and Peter Kiewit Institute 250 (Omaha)
1:00 - 2:00 pm

This talk presents an overview of a traditional linear controls course designed using blended, synchronous distance instruction.  The motivation for the design was to explore a potential new solution to distance learning between campuses.  Blended learning combines the best of teaching online and teaching in person in that it reduces seat time, increases active student learning, and optimizes in-class instructional time. This talk will cover faculty preparation, course design elements, technology, and course statistics and data collection.

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An interactive session on Assignments, grading, and Feedback in Canvas

May 5, Scott Engineering Center 237 (Lincoln) and Peter Kiewit Institute 250TBD (Omaha)
1:00 - 2:00 pm

Assignments in Canvas show students all of the activities that will be expected of them and the points for each. Assignments include quizzes, papers, projects, discussions, and participation. Assignments can also be used to set up grading rules and weight grades. Learn how to set up, download, and grade student submissions using the speedgrader and how to provide text and video comments. The session will also cover setting up extra credit and weighted grading.

2016 Archive Events

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Using Just in Time Teaching in a Flipped Classroom

September 23, Scott Engineering Center 237 (Lincoln) and Peter Kiewit Institute 160 (Omaha)
1:00 - 2:00 pm

Dr. Subbiah is the Kenneth E. Morrison Distinguished Professor of Food Engineering in the departments of biological systems engineering and food science & technology at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Dr. Subbiah has an active research program in the area of multiphysics modeling of food processes for improving food quality and safety. He has integrated heat and mass transfer models with microbial growth/destruction models for evaluating food safety risk assessment.

Dr. Subbiah co-invented a software program for food safety management system tracking microbial data in food processing plants and has pioneered hyperspectral and multispectral imaging systems for predicting food quality. He has developed a successful application of hyperspectral imaging system for forecasting cooked beef tenderness from fresh beef.

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How to design your CANVAS course

October 28, Scott Engineering Center 237 (Lincoln) and Peter Kiewit Institute 160 (Omaha)
1:00 - 2:00 pm

By Fall of 2018, CANVAS will be the official Learning Management System of UNL. In this presentation you will learn Canvas basics, how to design your course on the Canvas system including building assignments, pages, modules and grading. You will also learn about campus resources to support you through rebuilding your course.

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Using the online tool CATME to create inclusive groups in the classroom

November 11, Scott Engineering Center 111 (Lincoln) and Peter Kiewit Institute 160 (Omaha)
1:00 - 2:00 pm

This presentation will focus on the use of the website CATME as a tool that can be used to create groups in the classroom. While the random assignment of students to groups may appear to maximize class-wide diversity, it can isolate females or underrepresented minorities in a way that hinders their ability to perform well in the classroom. CATME is a tool that gathers demographic information from students, which it then uses to form groups which do not isolate, but rather clump those individuals. In addition, CATME provides a mechanism for users to rate the contribution of each team member. The presentation is given from the perspective of a user of this tool in the classroom. Mechanics and first-hand experience will be discussed.

2015 Archive Events

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WORKSHOP: "ASCE EXCEED TEACHING MODEL" by Dr. Gary L. Krause, College of Engineering, UNL

Materials associated with this presentation: (a) Blank Board Notes , (b) Board Notes Example , & (c) Bloom Verbs

This seminar provides engineering educators with an opportunity to improve their teaching abilities. It focuses on basic skills and principles for effective teaching and learning. This Mini-ExCEEd seminar is not a replacement for the full workshop, but it introduces faculty members of all disciplines to the ExCEEd Teaching Model.


  • ExCEEd Teaching Model Overview
  • Intellectual Excitement
  • Interpersonal Rapport
  • Learning Objectives
  • Lesson Outlines
  • Board Notes

Registration is not required.

  • Lincoln Campus: Monday, March 2, 2015 / 10 - 11 a.m. / NH 175
  • Omaha Campus: Wednesday, March 4, 2015 / 10 - 11 a.m. / PKI 108

Dr. Gary Krause has been teaching engineering at UNL for 25 years. He has taught classes from required freshman courses up to Ph.D. graduate electives. He has received 17 teaching awards at the department, college, and university levels. He also spent four years as a mentor and course instructor for the national ASCE ExCEEd Effective Teaching Workshop.

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WORKSHOP: "Should I blend my course?" by Dr. Sydney Brown , Online and Distance Education, UNL

Materials associated with this presentation: Presentation Slides

Through blended courses, students complete class online and face-to-face, allowing instructors to maximize the benefits of both formats. Learn the basics of designing a blended course. 


  • What is blended? 
  • What drives the adoption of blended models 
  • Factors that must be considered 
  • How to get started 

Registration is not required.

  • Lincoln Campus: Friday, Jan. 30, 2015 / 12 -1 p.m. / NH W213
  • Omaha Campus: Friday, Feb. 6, 2015 / 12 -1 p.m. / PKI 150

Dr. Sydney Brown has worked as an instructional designer for over 10 years, initially focusing on online learning, then moving to import successful techniques and strategies to face-to-face courses to improve student learning through the blend of online and face-to-face approaches. She specializes in innovative and effective technology use to support teaching and learning.