USM Faculty Commons

Faculty Development

Faculty Development Workshops & Events are aimed at assisting faculty to learn, develop or advance their knowledge in skills in teaching, scholarship, service, leadership, use of technology in teaching, and other areas of faculty responsibility. Examples of programs include Lunch and Learns, workshops and training, topically focused panel presentations, orientation, or the sharing of faculty expertise.

Upcoming Faculty Development Events:

University College Short Course for New Online Facutly

October 29, 2014 to November 26, 2014

Between 10/29/2014 and 11/26/2014, University College e-learning specialist Robert "B.J." Kitchin will facilitate 'Teaching Online: A Short Course for New Online Faculty' . This is a free, completely online and asynchronous course that is taught two to three times every year and covers the basics of using Blackboard to teach online. It gives faculty members an opportunity to be part of a learning community of new to online instructors as well as to get a sense of being an online student. To register, please contact B.J ( or visit this link by first signing into your UMaine account.

Student Mental Health and College SuccessStudent Mental Health and College Success:  What Faculty Need to Know

Session 1 - Nov 13th, 12-1:30 pm
Session 2-4 – Coming Spring 2015 – dates to be announced

Bring-your-own Lunch and Learn. Presented by Joanne Benica, Director of the Disability Center and Robert Small, PsyD., licensed psychologist and Clinical Director of Counseling Services
*Session Titles:*
1.     Steps to Take When You Know a Student in Crisis
2.     Shhhh! Keep Student Information Confidential In and Out of the Classroom
3.     You, Your Course, and Students with Mental Health Concerns: How to be Prepared
4.     Can We Talk? An Open Forum for Faculty to Discuss Teaching Students with Mental Health Illness

Learn More


Beaudry-ShedletskiVisual Literacy, Concept Mapping, and Visual Representation to teach Critical Thinking

Wednesday, October 15, 2014, 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM

To commemorate the publishing of their edited book, Cases on Teaching Critical Thinking through Visual Representation Strategies, IGI-Global,2014, Professors Beaudry and Shedletsky will offer an online workshop/seminar on visual literacy for faculty throughout the University of Maine System.  Attendees will also have the opportunity to hear from several of the authors from the Cases on Teaching book, as they will be participating in the workshops/seminar from a distance. The workshops/seminar will introduce faculty to visual literacy and concept mapping and work collaboratively all winter as faculty develop classroom applications, and then reconvene online April 6th to share insights.  All are welcome to register for the webinar but the first 20 to sign up will receive a free license to mapping software and will be active participants
in the seminar.



Title IIITitle III and StrengthsFinder Information Session

Bring your lunch, enjoy some refreshments, and learn about Title III, Strengths Finder, and the StrenthsQuest Program

October 7th, 12:15-1:45pm

Session is available via POLYCOM in Gorham, LAC, & Portland 

Have you heard about the Title III Grant at USM, but don’t know much about it?  Here is your chance to learn a basic overview of the Title III Grant and what it offers us here at USM.  One of the key features that is being implemented as through the grant is the adoption of the StrenthsFinder 2.0 assessment to all incoming students.  Focusing on student strengths, as opposed to their weaknesses is a key variable to growing student engagement and retention, and a number of faculty and staff have already begun working with this model. 

Join Prof. Judy Spross, Dr. Dan Jenkins, and Dr. Heidi Parker as they discuss how using the StrengthsFinder assessment, techniques, and accompanying methods in their classrooms has changed their practices.  Find out how you can take advantage of this opportunity yourself, and learn another way to make your work more meaningful and impactful on the lives of your students. 

Individuals who attend will be offered a code to take the StrengthsFinder inventory and access to the website and accompanying StrenthQuest materials.  This will be the first in a three-part StrengthsFinder training series.


Samantha Langley-TurnbaughWriting Group

Tuesday, 10/21, 11/18, 12/16, 1/20, 2/17, 3/17, 4/21, and 5/19
12-1pm, 312 Glickman Library, Portland Campus

During the academic year, the Faculty Commons, in collaboration with
Research Administration will be offering a writing group for faculty and
staff who are interested in goal-setting and accountability. Participants
meet weekly to discuss their projects, troubleshoot obstacles, and
celebrate successes. The Fall 2014 group kick-off meeting will be held
on October 21st, * 12-1pm *with regular meetings the 3rd Tuesday of each
month at 12-1.

Learn More

Share your ideas for topics, workshops, & activities.

Faculty Commons is a collaborative initiative. We welcome USM community suggestions on topics, presenters, and projects.

Request a co-sponsorship or submit an idea for an event.

Looking for a past workshops? Access the Archive of Faculty Development Workshops here