ACM Online Course Design and Pedagogies Workshops

The Associated Colleges of the Midwest is a consortium of 14 liberal arts colleges deeply
committed to residential liberal arts education. Nevertheless, in the context of uncertainty about
how faculty and students will be permitted to engage each other this fall, the member colleges
are collaborating to deliver a series of online summer workshops designed to deliver the concepts,
skills, and techniques that will enable ACM faculty to redesign and reimagine residential face-to-
face course content for the online environment in ways appropriate to the liberal arts context.

The recordings and slides for each Monday session are on the Slack resource site set up for sharing resources during the workshops. Those who are interested can access the site https://acmworkshops.slack.com/ and then click on the Channel for each week’s session. First time users will need to register with Slack. It is free.

Final Workshop

Fostering Student Collaboration and Group Work in Remote and Socially Distanced Learning Environments
Monday, August 3 from 9:30am-11am

Led by faculty at Knox College, this session will model how to design online course elements that scaffold student engagement and collaboration from the very beginning of the class through specific assignments. 

To register for this workshop, visit this website. For additional information, see this flyer.

Past Workshops

Online Course Design Concepts Revisited: An Opportunity to Renew Conversations on Previous Topics
Monday, July 27, 9:30am-11am CDT

For the next workshop, participants will choose from one of five sessions encompassed under the theme Online Course Design Concepts Revisited: An Opportunity to Renew Conversations on Previous Topics. Facilitators for the first five ACM workshops will host sessions intended to provide participants an opportunity to follow-up on concepts covered, discuss course design strategies, and raise other questions that will help prepare faculty and staff to meaningfully engage students this fall. Please register for the session that best aligns with your needs:

  • Teaching and learning with care and hope: ways of being with crisis, trauma, and uncertainty in the classroom and beyond
  • The liberal arts mindset at a distance: tactics for building a hybrid course
  • Reimagining your syllabus for responsiveness: aligning goals, assessment, and strategies for teaching
  • Developing effective assignments for the hybrid context and beyond
  • Design your course once for multiple modalities

All sessions will be hosted on Monday, July 27 from 9:30am-11am CDT.

To view a recordings and access materials from this workshop go to the Slack resource site listed at the top of this page.


Considerations for Hands-on/Performance/Embodied Experiences in Hybrid Learning Environments
Monday, July 20, 9:30am-11am CDT

For this workshop, participants will choose from one of four topical sessions encompassed under the broader Considerations for Hands-on/Performance/Embodied Experiences in Hybrid Learning Environments. The four separate sessions, each providing for an open forum discussion, will cover topics related to:

  • Field Studies – Register HERE
  • Community-Based Learning – Register HERE
  • Art/Studio Classes – Register HERE
  • Laboratory Courses – Register HERE

Please register for the session that you will find of greatest value. All sessions will be hosted on Monday, July 20 from 9:30am-11am CDT.

To view a recording of and access materials from this workshop go to the Slack resource site listed at the top of this page.


Design Your Course Once for Multiple Modalities
Monday, July 13, 9:30am-11am CST

Led by Carleton College and Knox College, this session will cover strategies with which faculty can:
Preserve the essence of the residential liberal arts teaching & learning experience while designing courses to be resilient in the face of disruption. Participants will explore how to structure course activities and engagement to ensure that faculty and students who are on campus have equitable access to engaging experiences. By focusing on resilient and intentional design strategies, faculty will be able to plan their fall courses once, with confidence that they will be able to adapt if circumstances change.

To view a recording of and access materials from this workshop go to the Slack resource site listed at the top of this page.


Institute on the Block Plan and Intensive Teaching and Learning
Monday, July 6, 5pm-6:30pm CST and Tuesday, July 7, 5pm-6:30pm CST

In lieu of an ACM-hosted workshop during the week of July 6-10, you are invited to participate in a two-part Institute on the Block Plan and Intensive Teaching and Learning hosted by Colorado College. The two sessions will cover:

  • July 6 – Block Plan and Intensive Teaching & Learning Fundamentals
  • July 7 – Block Plan and Intensive Teaching & Learning Goes Remote

The Institute may be of interest to those who have asked about best practices and strategies for reducing the timeframe in which they will be required to deliver their fall courses. A description of the full Institute Program is available here.


Developing Effective Assignments: Using Multiple Modes of Engagement and Assessment
Monday, June 29, 9:30am-11am CST

Led by Coe, Macalester, and Monmouth colleges, this session on assignment design will:
Focus on the importance of transparency and Universal Design for Learning principles. Participants will have the opportunity to enact these principles and tools by workshopping an assignment and receiving feedback from their peers.

To view a recording of and access materials from this workshop go to the Slack resource site listed at the top of this page. 


Reimagining Your Syllabus for Responsiveness: Aligning Goals, Assessment, and Strategies for Teaching
Monday, June 22, 9:30am-11am CST

Led by Grinnell, Coe, and Macalester, this session will:
Invite participants to consider the contexts of their courses (time frame, format, etc.) and begin to refashion a course syllabus that welcomes students to radically hospitable learning experience. We will discuss the broad visions of the syllabus and use the principles of backward design to suggest strategies and recommendations to align learning goals with forms of assessment, instructor pedagogies, and course activities and materials.

To view a recording of and access materials from this workshop go to the Slack resource site listed at the top of this page. 


The Liberal Arts Mindset at a Distance: Tactics for Building a Hybrid Course
Monday, June 15, 9:30am-11am CST

Led by Beloit College, this session will: Introduce techniques for incorporating high-touch, active learning into your Fall courses and tactics for building contingency plans, no matter the format, while also building a toolbox for creating and maintaining a strong community. You will discuss strategies for incorporating synchronous and asynchronous activities to engage students and build community in the classroom that remain authentic to our identities as liberal arts educators.

To view a recording of and access materials from this workshop go to the Slack resource site listed at the top of this page. 


Teaching and Learning with Care and Hope: Ways of Being with Crisis, Trauma and Uncertainty in the Classroom and Beyond
Monday, June 8, 9:30am-11am CST

Led by Macalester College, will address topics related to Cathy Davidson’s (CUNY) statement, “The Single Most Essential Requirement in Designing a Fall Online Course”:  We need to be human first, professor second. We need to design as humans for humans in a global crisis. We need to design our courses with the awareness of pain, dislocation, uncertainty, and trauma now central to all our lives. It’s a lot to ask. It is the one and only essential as we design our courses for this disrupted fall. 

To view a recording of and access materials from this workshop go to the Slack resource site listed at the top of this page.