The seminar is at the heart of the Teach@CUNY Summer Institute, with small, interdisciplinary groups designed to build community centered around the experience of teaching as graduate students in CUNY. The seminar introduces and models teaching strategies and tools that participants can adapt to their own needs and contexts, and which are applicable across modes of instruction. The seminar begins broadly with core principles of teaching and then explores ways to enact those commitments in course design and planning. The overall goal of the seminar is for participants to explore a variety of teaching strategies, materials and modes; synthesize what they have learned across the seminar and institute to their own needs; and apply this knowledge and skills practically toward their future courses.

The seminar is designed to help participants:

    • Build community and support around teaching during the institute, online and beyond
    • Address the challenges of, and ways to navigate, teaching online during a pandemic
    • Reflect on various pedagogical approaches as experienced in the seminar
    • Adapt and apply pedagogical approaches for use in their own courses, disciplines and contexts
    • Develop teaching materials for their fall courses

The seminar’s curriculum is built in dialogue with the TLC’s Teach@CUNY Handbook. A new version of the Handbook will be published August 1, 2021; all references below are to readings from that edition.

2021 Seminar facilitators: Luke Waltzer, Luis Henao Uribe, Laurie Hurson, Atasi Das,  Talisa Feliciano, Miranda Fedock, Inés Vañó García, Chy Sprauve, Fernanda Blanco Vidal, and John Zayac.

Seminar Technology Platforms: Zoom, Google suite, CUNY Academic Commons (WordPress), Slack, Manifold, Padlet

Seminar Schedule

Seminar Day One | Principles & Introductions

Monday, August 9th, 10:00-11:15am

Our introductory meeting will provide an overview of the seminar and lay the foundation for discussion over the next 2 weeks. Attendees will have a chance to get to know their peers and the TLC facilitator(s). Together, we will reflect on our past teaching and learning experiences and discuss our hopes and anxieties for teaching in Fall 2021. The meeting will introduce the technology platforms that will be used during the institute and we will begin diving into the TLC’s Teach@CUNY Handbook.


    • Meet each other and the TLC staff
    • Reflect on our own education and experiences (both at CUNY and outside), including online during COVID-19
    • Articulate needs in the institute based on where participants are in their course planning, teaching experience, etc.
    • Acclimate to the technology and processes for the seminar

Pre-Meeting Homework

    • Read Handbook “Section One: Introduction,” “Chapter One: Teaching at CUNY” and “Chapter Two: Principles.”.

Seminar Day Two | Course Planning

Tuesday, August 10th, 10:00-11:15am

In our second seminar meeting we will critically examine the syllabus as an instructional artifact. We will consider the positions of our courses in the context of our disciplines and the CUNY curriculum and discuss the intersections between course policies and student success. Much of this work is reflected in the syllabus as an instructional  artifact


    • Consider the structure and role of their course in the discipline, college, etc.
    • Explore sample syllabi
    • Think critically about the syllabus, learning goals and how they support course design
    • Consider policies in light of teaching online/hybrid/hyflex
    • Consider students needs and positions during an ongoing a pandemic

Pre-Meeting Homework

    • Read and annotate Handbook “Chapter 3: Getting Started” and “Chapter 4: In the Classroom.”
    • Obtains a copy or sample of the syllabus for your course (if possible)

Seminar Day Three | Design: Assignments & Scaffolding

Thursday, August 12th, 10:00-11:15am

During meeting 3, we will focus on concrete design practices that allow you to achieve your course’s learning goals. In particular, we will explore diverse types of assignments, and practice scaffolding assignments.


    • Explore and design different types of assignments
    • Learn about and practice the concept of scaffolding
    • Design an assignment with scaffolded steps

Pre-meeting Homework

    • What kinds of culminating assignments are common in your field? Reflect about your own experience as a learner about what works and what doesn’t about culminating assignments.
    • Read and annotate Handbook “Scaffolding” section of Chapter 4 and “Chapter 10: Assignments.”
    • Choose one of the examples available in the Handbook Chapter 10 and explain how it would serve your course’s learning goals. Alternatively, ask your colleagues to share an assignment with you.
    • Think about a class project (i.e., final project, paper, presentation) that you plan to incorporate this semester

Seminar Day Four | Practices: In the Classroom & Blending Modes of Instruction

Monday, August 16th,10:00-11:15am

On this day we will continue to connect teaching principles to structuring the course. Day Four will focus on facilitating student learning through class activities that build classroom community, encourage active learning, and connect synchronous and asynchronous work.


    • Critically consider how to develop a classroom culture that empowers students
    • Identify active learning strategies for your course
    • Develop strategies for combining synchronous and asynchronous work

Pre-Meeting Homework

    • Read and annotate Handbook “Chapter 5: In the Classroom”
    • Browse through “Chapter 9: Activities”
    • Explore course websites (to be shared)

Seminar Day Five | Assessment and Principles

The final meeting would be dedicated to strategies for assessing the achievement of learning goals. We will discuss grading student work, and reflecting about the course. We will revisit the principles.


    • Consider methods and practices for student assessment
    • Define spaces for self-assessment
    • Revisit the principles

Pre-meeting Homework

    • Read and annotate Handbook, “Chapter 6: Grading and Evaluating Student Work”