The Robert and Mary Pew Faculty Teaching and Learning Center serves as a catalyst for promoting a culture of teaching excellence at Grand Valley State University.  Rooted in a liberal education tradition and informed by the scholarship of teaching and learning, we advocate innovative teaching and student-centered pedagogies.  We partner with faculty as they prepare students to contribute meaningfully to their professions and societies.

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Storytelling and the first days of class

Thinking ahead to next semester, how might you use stories to introduce your course and engage students in the content? Here are just a few ideas:

  • Your journey to your discipline 
  • What student success has looked like in past course offerings
  • The programmatic context of your course
  • The connections between the course content and societal issues 
  • The alignment of the assignments and learning experiences you have designed with the course student learning objectives

To learn more about incorporating storytelling into your teaching, we invite you to explore resources that we have found helpful:

Twenty Minutes to Better Teaching--Winter 2019 Offerings

The next installments in the Twenty Minutes to Better Teaching Series is HERE! For each of the topics in this series, we will spend the first 20 minutes of the session watching a 20 Minute Mentor Commons video and then engage in a 30-minute discussion. Registrants will be provided with a link to the video and supporting materials via a dedicated Blackboard site.

The Pew FTLC offers faculty 24-7 access to video-based professional development through our subscription to the 20-Minute Mentor Commons. To browse the digital library content of the 20-Minute Mentor Commons yourself, contact us at for an access code and instructions.

How Can I Encourage the Growth Mindset with Three Simple Tips?

Help your students adopt a growth mindset, embracing opportunities to learn, make mistakes, and change. 

Do your students perceive their abilities as inherently limited (a fixed mindset) or do they embrace opportunities to learn, make mistakes, and change (a growth mindset)? Discover how to build a foundation for your students, helping them understand that there is such a thing as a growth mindset, and demonstrating for them what it is and how it works.


Pew Grand Rapids Campus: February 25th, 3:00—3:50 PM, DEV 117E

Allendale Campus: February 27th, 2:00—2:50 PM, LOH 163

Register in Sprout.

What Are the Best Questioning Strategies for Enhancing Online Discussions?

Student engagement in online discussions requires structure and special attention to the types of questions asked.

Whether you teach face-to-face or in an online/hybrid format, you may be asking students to participate in online discussions. How effective are the discussions? What do students think? Are you happy with the level of student engagement with the discussions?


Pew Grand Rapids Campus: March 18, 3:00—3:50 PM, DEV 117E

Allendale Campus: March 20, 2:00—2:50 PM, LOH 163

Register in Sprout.

How Can Talking Through Course Evaluations Improve My Teaching?

Interpreting and discussing course evaluations with yourself, academic leaders, and students.

This program explores three conversations faculty might have when discussing course evaluation results- the conversation with one's self about negative feedback, the conversation with an academic leader about evaluations, and the conversation with students about course ratings.


Pew Grand Rapids Campus: April 15, 3:00—3:50 PM, DEV 117E

Allendale Campus: April 17, 2:00—2:50 PM, LOH 163

Register in Sprout.

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Promoting a scholarly approach to teaching and learning, supporting reflection on professional practice, encouraging growth at all career stages, and rewarding innovation in teaching.

Page last modified February 19, 2019