Center for Teaching Excellence

Faculty Development

The Center for Teaching Excellence (CTE) is committed to the professional development of USMA faculty members. To that end we offer the  Master Teacher Certificate Program and, along with the USMA Faculty Development Committee, sponser symposiums and workshops for faculty throughout the year. 

Faculty Development Workshops Sign-up

As part of the Center for Teaching Excellence mission, we offer workshops to faculty to enrich teaching in and out of the classroom. We ask that you sign-up for these workshops so that we will know the number of attendees for planning purposes.
Click the FDW Workshop Sign-up button below. This will re-direct you to the Faculty Development Workshops sharepoint sign-up page on the CTE Sharepoint site. You may have to enter your O365 credentials to authenticate. In the Faculty Development Workshops sharepoint module, click the FDW Workshop Sign-up link and choose your preferred session(s) from the drop-down menu in the resulting pop-up window. When you click Save after making your choice, your name and session choice will be recorded internally. Each session choice requires a separate registration and all registrations will be confirmed via an email to your USMA email account. Please Note: Since the page requested is on an internal site, this sign-up process only works within the USMA network.
More information about individual workshops is located in the schedule below.


Browse Faculty Development Workshops

AY 2020-1 Workshops:
Teaching with Harvard’s Case Method Workshop (See Below)

Teaching With Harvard's Case Method

31 OCT 1200 – 1255 in the ATCL (JH 121) in the Jefferson Library. This workshop will introduce participants to the case method and share effective teaching methods and styles from the case method that faculty can apply in any classroom.

  • What is the Case Method?
    Pioneered by the Harvard Business School, the case method is an educational innovation that presents challenges confronting leaders in business and government – complete with constrains and incomplete information – and places students in the role of the decision maker.   Through the dynamic process of orchestrated discussion, exchanging perspectives, countering and defending points, and building on each other’s ideas, students hone their abilities at analyzing issues, exercising judgement, and making difficulty decisions all while reinforcing theories and principles.

  • How does the Case Method work?
    When students are presented with a case, they place themselves in the role of the decision maker as they read through the situation and identify the problem they are faced with. The next step is to perform the necessary analysis—examining the causes and considering alternative courses of actions to come to a set of recommendations.

  • Teaching with the Case Method
    Unlike lectures, case method classes unfold without a detailed script. Successful instructors simultaneously manage content and process, and they must prepare rigorously for both. Case method teachers learn to balance planning and spontaneity. In practice, they pursue opportunities and "teachable moments" that emerge throughout the discussion, and deftly guide students toward discovery and learning on multiple levels.

Moderator: Mr. Willis Emmons Senior Lecturer and Director of Harvard Business School’s Christiansen Center for Teaching and Learning 

Inclusive Teaching for a Diverse Student Body

was held on 04 MAY 2018, 1200-1300 hours, in the Haig Room of Jefferson Library."Looking to create a more inclusive classroom experience for students, but unsure how to begin?" Start small by discussing the importance and relevance of inclusive teaching, and by learning teaching strategies you can implement immediately (e.g., how to foster productive student-student interactions, set discussion guidelines, and collect feedback on course climate). 


  • Define and explain the necessity of inclusive teaching
  • Brainstorm small strategies that foster inclusive teaching through workshop activities
  • Identify strategies to implement in their own courses

Moderators: Dr. Amanda Jungels and Christine Simonian Bean, Center for Teaching and Learning, ColumbiaUniversity.

Leveraging an Additional 20 Minutes

took place on 04 APR 2018 at 1205 hours in the CTE/IETD Technology Evaluation Classroom (JH423). In AY2019, some classes at USMA will move to a 75-minute format, adding an additional 20 minutes of classtime to faculty planning. How can we best use 75 minutes in the classroom? This workshop provided a perspective on how an instructor might holistically approach the transistion from a 55-minute class/40 lesson semester to a 75-minute/30 lesson semester. It highlighted an alternative perspective for maximizing cadet learning in this new framework.

Topics include:

  • Developing the syllabus
  • Optimizing a 75-minute lesson
  • Practical activities for classroom use

Moderator: LTC Hise Gibson, Department of Systems Engineering

The Important Elements of Instructional Design

On 27 MAR 2018, from 1205 to 1245 hours, the CTE sponsored The Important Elements of Instructional Design, that explored design of instruction to assist learners in their acquisition and use of knowledge and skills. It asked, with so many different methods available, how does one decide which technoque to use? Under what conditions? With whom? The seminar addressed the difficulties in negotiating the "balancing act" instructors struggle with and highlighted the science informing human learning and instruction.


  • The starting point for course and instructional design
  • Human cognitive architecture

Moderator: Dr. Steven Condly, Department of Behavioral Sciences and Leadership

Writing as a Tool for Learning

took place in the CTE/IETD Technology Evaluation Classroom (JH423) on 01 MAR 2018. This workshop explored how we can make use of writing in the classroom across widely different courses and disciplines. It further reckons with the challenges faculty often feel in balancing the demands of teaching the subject of their course with their desire to help cadets improve as writers. It sought to equip participants with several alternatives for advancing cadet learning through informal and low-stakes writing. 

Topics included:

  • Educational theory behind writing-to-learn
  • Ideas for maximizing learning in 75-minute classes
  • Practical activities for classroom use

Moderator: Dr. Jason Hoppe, Director, West point Writing Program

Classroom Activities to Increase Cadet Engagement

was held on 28 Sep 2017, 1250-1450, in the Haig Room of Jefferson Library. In this workshop, USMA faculty members from multiple disciplines will share a variety of classroom activities designed to increase and maintain student engagement also discuss the reasons why variety in the classroom is an effective tool for teaching. The workshop will include short presentations followed by group discussion. 

Topics include:

  • The pedagogical challenges of a longer classroom session  
  • Impressions from faculty currently piloting the 30-lesson, 75-min classes
  • Research findings on student attention spans 
  • Suggestions for variety in classroom activities
  • Classroom activities and transitions   

Moderators: Dr. Mark Evans (CFE), Dr. Stephen Finn (CFE)
Contributors: Dr. Russ Lachance (AARS), Dr. Brock Barry (CME), 
LTC Chris Fuhriman (GENE), CPT Ryan Leach (DSS & History), 
LTC Kristin Arney (MATH)

The Teaching with Technology  Fair

is the evolving successor to the iPad Pedagogy Symposium that began in AY2015. Co-sponsored with the Department of History, the 4th annual event took place on Tuesday, 06  February, 2018 in the Haig room of Jefferson Hall. The fair included representatives from various technology companies as well as  faculty from West Point academic departments. The purpose of the fair  is to demonstrate the use of mobile applications, iBooks, and other classroom technologies and to support the Academy’s mission to educate, train, and inspire cadets to a lifetime of honorable service. The Fair provides an excellent opportunity for faculty to share methods and collaborate with their colleagues.  The event is an open fair and attendees may come and go as they please.

Robotics and Artificial Intelligence:  An Interdisciplinary Theme

In Spring of AY2015, we held a workshop entitled, "Robotics and Artificial Intelligence:  An Interdisciplinary Theme." The event  took place Wednesday, 22 April, in the ATCL (room 121) in  Jefferson Library. The initial thematic statement, "Some of the most interesting and consequential decisions we face over the next twenty years involve how we humans will interact with increasingly powerful and even intelligent robotic systems — from battlefields to our roads," guided USMA faculty in teams of one, two, or three who were provided a small kit of electronic parts that included a programmable processing module.

In the first half of the workshop, teams built and explored very simple devices as a way to begin to unserstand how cadets might learn about and create their own robotic devices.  This part had two purposes — getting to know the hardware and seeing how working with robotic systems is tightly intertwined with the entire 47 month USMA experience.  As one example, lessons learned about how measurement — its benefits, costs, and unintended consequences — carries over to domains like high stakes testing and the Common Core Standards and even policing policies like stop-and-frisk.  In the second half of the workshop, teams developed and presented ideas brainstorming how robotics and artificial intelligence might be used in their own courses or programs.

iPad Pedagogy Symposium

In the Fall of AY 2015, we held the first annual iPad Pedagogy Symposium, co-sponsored by the Department of History and the Viola Foundation.

The Symposium was held Wednesday, 29 October, 2014 in the Haig Room of Jefferson Library at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. Participants included representatives from Apple Computer, Blackboard, Rowan Technology, and USMA faculty with unique approaches to iPad use in the classroom who did presentations and Q&A about this quickly expanding technology. Lunch was provided through the generosity of the Viola Foundation. iPad apps and classroom techniques presented and discussed in a "trade-show" format at the symposium included:
 iBooks Author

  • iTunesU
  • BaiBoard
  • Adobe Ideas
  • BlackBoard Mobile
  • Socrative Clicker
  • Note taking Apps
  • Multi-User Displays
Introductory Overview of the Human-Centered Design Process

In AY 2014, we co-sponsored the following workshop with the Department of Civil and Mechanical Engineering, and the Departmrnt of English and Philosophy.

Introductory Overview of the Human-Centered Design Process

This faculty development workshop was held Thursday, 24 April, 2014 in the Haig Room of Jefferson Library at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. It was facilitated by IDEO (pronounced “eye-dee-oh”), an award-winning global design firm that takes a human-centered, design-based approach to helping organizations in the public and private sectors innovate and grow. The IDEO facilitators were David Haygood, Heather Boesch, Jillian Farrell, Bill Stewart, Michelle Kwasny, and Ann Kim. The workshop discussion points included:
What does it mean to develop creative confidence?

  • How do I measure it?
  • How do I integrate it into my courses and programs?

"Thinking like a designer can transform the way organizations develop products, services, processes, and strategy. This approach, which IDEO calls design thinking, brings together what is desirable from a human point of view with what is technologically feasible and economically viable. It also allows people who aren’t trained as designers to use creative tools to address a vast range of challenges." --IDEO website.

The Joy and Responsibility of Teaching Well and Integrated Course Design for Significant Learning

In AY 2013, we co-sponsored the following workshop with the USMA Faculty Development Committee.

This faculty development workshop was held Tuesday, 23 April, 2013 Haig Room of Jefferson Library at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. The guest speaker was Dr Stewart Ross, the Founding Director of the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning at Minnesota State, Mankato.  He is a Senior Associate with Dee Fink and Associates and has given over 100 workshops related to university teaching in the past 5 years.
The Joy and Responsibility of Teaching Well keynote address described the importance of continuous improvement as college teachers and how  we might reflect and improve.
Integrated Course Design covers the significance of course design within the array of tasks involved in teaching, and Identifies “Dreams” for student learning. Dr. Ross introduced the overall model of Integrated Course Design and work on understanding and taking the initial steps toward applying the key components.

Assessing Teaching

In AY 2012, we co-sponsored the following workshops, also with the USMA Faculty Development Committee.

This faculty development workshop was held Wednesday, 25 April, 2012 in the Haig Room of Jefferson Library at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. The guest speaker was Dr. Joseph Lowman, author of Mastering the Techniques of Teaching (Jossey-Bass; 2nd edition,1995) .

Dr. Lowman discussed with faculty the need for formative assessment of teaching faculty and described techniques to effectively conduct formative assessments. 
The participants discussed techniques for formative assessment using both in-class visits and video tapes. In small groups and break-out rooms they evaluated video tapes of faculty teaching. Dr. Lowman discussed and demonstrated techniques for this activity and provided guiding formats.  
After the break-out activities all participants regrouped to compare observations and challenges.

Effective Practices in On-Line Education and Distance Learning at West Point

In AY 2011, we co-sponsored the following workshops, also with the USMA Faculty Development Committee.

This faculty development workshop was held Thursday, 19 January, 2012 in the Haig Room of Jefferson Library at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.

On-Line and distance learning is a growing phenomenon in higher education.

This workshop introduced USMA faculty to how on-line and distance education is employed across disciplines at the Academy, and explored the potential for on-line and distance education as a means to broaden educational opportunities for cadets.