Faculty discuss new ideas for learning and teaching




The College of Agriculture and Life Sciences annually organizes teaching workshops to provide new ideas for faculty members to enhance the learning experiences of students as they prepare to become leaders in society.


Excellence in teaching is a high priority for Cornell’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences to prepare graduates for leading and contributing to society. Before coming to Cornell, new faculty members generally have no formal training in teaching. More experienced faculty need to be updated on new ideas for providing various learning experiences to students of diverse backgrounds and learning styles. After several years of teaching, enthusiasm sometimes can diminish.


In 2012 the CALS Office of Academic Programs and the Cornell Center for Teaching Excellence organized the 25th annual CALS Teaching Experience. This 2.5-day workshop provided 14 faculty members with opportunities for discussing new ideas for learning and teaching. Fourteen faculty members actively discussed course planning, plans for successful learning, using technology for teaching and learning, and enhancing their teaching skills. The participants began creating new course syllabi or modifying existing syllabi as they thought about designing their courses for student learning. In addition, panels provided insights about successful and less successful teaching from the point of view of undergraduate and graduate students and of faculty.


Participants have acknowledged that these workshops have increased their enthusiasm for teaching. It also has provided many new ideas for instructors to enhance the learning experiences for their students. Participants complete the workshops with new or improved course syllabi that help these instructors to create clearer learning objectives and plans for their courses and that help students to understand the expectations for these courses. Participants also learn about resources that further enhance their teaching beyond the workshops. Past participants have commented that they have implemented new ideas from the workshops into their courses. Students are the ultimate beneficiaries of the enhanced learning experiences that better prepare them for society when they graduate. The entire global society benefits from Cornell students who contribute toward a better quality of life.

Submitted by: 

  • Viands, Donald R

Researchers involved: 

  • Gantner, Ann
  • Wysocki, Mark W
  • Viands, Donald R
  • Way, David

Organizations involved: 

  • CALS Office of Academic Programs
  • Cornell Center for Teaching Excellence

International focus: 

  • United States of America

United States focus: 

  • New York