We offer multiple campus-wide professional development opportunities throughout the year. Our Fall 2022 line-up is available here. You can register for any of our events, where appropriate, by following the registration links found in our calendar of event entries below.

Lunch & Learn Gatherings

Our popular Lunch & Learn series involves brief and interactive presentations from members of our campus community on a wide range of topics – from teaching tips, to career development, to support for co-curricular experiences. Come gather with us over lunch to hear from campus partners about promising practices, relevant campus processes and procedures, and novel ideas to support teaching, learning, and scholarship. Have you got an idea for a Lunch & Learn event? Please submit your proposal here and if you have any questions, contact us at fdc@furman.edu. Beginning in 2022, many Lunch &  Learn session recordings are available on the FDC Moodle Commons website

A virtual option is available for those who would like to join this session remotely. A zoom link will be provided to all those who have pre-registered prior to the event.

You can register for Lunch & Learn Gatherings here.

Talking Teaching Conversations

Talking Teaching conversations provide an opportunity to build community and reflect on links between our teaching practice and student learning experiences. Join colleagues from a range of disciplines to discuss ideas about both long-standing and emerging pedagogical challenges. These open and informal conversations focus on emergent teaching and learning issues in an informal, discussion-based format. Each session has a loose theme, although specific topics of focus are established in real-time based on the interests, ideas, and questions of those in attendance. No advanced preparation is required. If you’ve got an idea that you’d like to discuss that isn’t on our schedule and you are willing to help facilitate a conversation, we invite you to submit this brief interest form. Interest in the topic, not extended preparation or expertise, is the only requirement to lead a Talking Teaching conversation. 

A virtual option is available for those who would like to join this session remotely. A zoom link will be provided to all those who have pre-registered prior to the event.

You can register for Talking Teaching Conversations here.

Learning by Design Studios

Our Learning by Design studios are focused on-demand sessions that explore a specific skill, technique, tool, or strategy. Watch these videos at your convenience and participate in a linked asynchronous discussion board. Access studio videos here.

Interdisciplinary Reading Circles

The goal of our reading groups is to enable small but sustained communities of scholars at Furman to work together to explore particular problems or themes through established research/literature, with outcomes that might range from new or revised courses to published work inflected by the reading and discussions that have taken place. Are you looking to expand your intellectual horizons through discussion with peers across the University?

Fall 2022 Reading Circles

Atomic Habits – An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits and Break Bad Ones

Drawing from the most proven ideas in biology, psychology, and neuroscience for making good habits inevitable and bad habits impossible, Atomic Habits is a comprehensive and practical guide on how to create good habits, break bad ones, and get 1 percent better every day. Whether you want to cultivate new habits of your own or better understand how to help students break unhealthy ones, the FDC invites you to join our fall reading circle for faculty and staff. Group meetings will occur monthly Sept. -Nov. Register for the reading circle here and the FDC will send you a copy of the book before our first session. Meeting time will be determined by group availability.

The End of Burnout: Why Work Drains Us and How to Build Better Lives

Although The End of Burnout tells the tale of a professor in academia, it’s central arguments about the ways we theorize and internalize our work—and ways to disrupt the deleterious effects of “productivity”– are applicable to all colleagues in higher education, including staff and faculty. This book interrogates the gap between our vocation and our work and challenges readers to confront how their own identity formation is structured and limited by the “slash” between work/life. In addition, Malesic offers examples of communities intentionally designed to resist the false separations between work and life. Group meetings will occur monthly Sept. – Nov. Register for the reading circle here and the FDC will send you a copy of the book before our first session. Meeting time will be determined by group availability.

Have you got an idea about a future book we should read? Suggest a reading circle book here.

Undergraduate Research Academy

We offer an bi-annual four-week undergraduate research planning course UR Academy to support an in-depth planning process for your undergraduate research and creative project(s) that account for a variety of potential scenarios of engagement (face-to-face, online, hybrid). The collaborative learning academy includes four facilitated asynchronous online planning modules (each with preparatory tasks and peer feedback) and a weekly interactive live reflective session. The weekly time commitment is approximately 3-5 hours per week. Upon completion, participants will have developed a detailed plan of action for engagement, mentoring, and project management that supports transformative research experiences for Furman students. The course involves four components:

  • Identifying Your Focus, Objectives, and Design
  • Setting Expectations, Feedback Loops & Reflection
  • Technology for Project Management, Data Collection, & Analysis
  • Project Alignment, Inclusivity, and Assessment

Our UR Academy takes place during the spring semester from mid-March to mid-April every other year. Our  next academy will occur in spring 2023.

Annual Learning Exchange

Each year, during spring study day, the Faculty Development Center facilitates the Furman Learning Exchange, an annual gathering of faculty, instructional staff, and students to exchange teaching and learning strategies, professional development hacks, and research in support of high impact practice in and beyond the classroom. One recent event included an asynchronous Escape Room (with a timed mission, puzzles, and “promising practices” content curated from our community). You can register to access the escape room here. Our 2023 event will take place in April 2023.

MayX Pro Series

This series of engaging professional development short courses is designed to provide space for important but time-consuming collaborative work that is often difficult to accomplish during the busy school year. During each MayX session, we sponsor several opportunities for concentrated professional development activity. Each hands-on, individualized course is designed to facilitate focused, guided activities that allow participants to meet individual goals and objectives. Course participation involves 3-4 concentrated sessions during the MayX term each year, with associated self-directed tasks. Stay tuned for our May 2023 offering announced in early April 2023.

Summer Course Redesign Institute

Our institute is offered at least once a year for anyone interested in enhancing their course design and structure, typically during the summer months. Whether you are hoping to make minor tweaks or a major overhaul, join us for a multi-week redesign process. Our institute involves a series of self-guided planning tasks and interactive synchronous sessions as we work through a step-by-step process designed to build a thoughtful, pedagogically sound course informed by the transformative power of liberal learning. Participants can anticipate 6-8 hours of investment per week. Using principles from Dee Fink’s Designing Significant Learning Experiences backwards design process, universal design for learning, and inclusive pedagogy, participants will have the opportunity to apply research-based teaching and learning principles to course design by: 

  • Reflecting and refining learning outcomes; 
  • Incorporating active, learner-centered design principles into course activities 
  • Identifying assessment strategies to strengthen connections between student learning and course assignments 
  • Identifying and refining components of classes that can be made more inclusive 
  • Networking and collaborating with colleagues across campus. 

Our 2023 Institute will take place in June 2023.