2020 Faculty Retreat Project-Based Table Descriptions

Be sure to complete the 2020 Faculty Retreat registration form and sign up to participate in a project-based table.  You can also select your group during the day of the retreat.
Teaching and Learning Communities (TLCs)

Retention Strategies for Teachers: Keeping Students (and us) at SFSU (happily)
Led by Doreen Deicke

This TLC will provide opportunities for FYE teachers to develop an effective teaching persona for promoting retention.  We will explore questions centering on what level and type of teacher interaction leads to the most student success.

  1. Participants will create a student survey that gathers students’ responses to questions about effective teaching as it relates to retention; this document can be shared with the campus community.
  2. Participants will mentor new writing teachers and share our conclusions with writing program faculty regarding effective retention strategies.

Student-Centered ePortfolios
Led by Crystal O. Wong


This TLC aims to reach faculty teaching the “Golden 5” (i.e. First Year Experience, Oral Communication, Written Communication, Critical Thinking and Quantitative Reasoning).  Over the course of six meetings, this TLC will read and discuss scholarship on portfolio pedagogy, design and deliver student-centered eportfolio activities & lesson plans, and disseminate & showcase these resources on our TLC Portfolium.


  1. In this TLC, faculty will design and disseminate student-centered eportfolio lesson plans to the wider campus via Portfolium.
Teaching "Justice" - Impacted and Formerly Incarcerated Students: Lessons for a Truly Just Classroom
Led by Cecil Bell (Jason)


Our goal is to work with a group of teaching staff and faculty members on campus to develop best practices related to teaching formerly incarcerated students, based upon a deep understanding of lived experience, and the shared practice of longtime teachers connected to the justice-impacted community. As we develop those best practices, we aim to explore the ways in which those practices serve the needs of all students universally. 

Because listening, recognizing, understanding, and developing an awareness of social context and social history are central objectives in teaching generally, we anticipate that teachers who incorporate these lessons into their own classrooms will increase the retention and success of not only formerly-incarcerated or other differently-historied students, but students from a wide variety of traditional and non-traditional backgrounds. Faculty who improve the experiences of their students broadly, and create spaces in which individuals are not afraid, alienated, or triggered inadvertently, will increase student success and retention for new and returning students across the board.


  1. TLC faculty will develop a workshop designed to share & communicate these equity-informed best practices to faculty and staff who come into contact with Project Rebound students and may be impacted by the statewide expansion of the project. 
  2. TLC faculty will develop equitable teaching materials and handouts related to best practices that can be shared with faculty, staff and administrators across the state (and country) who are encountering formerly incarcerated students in their classrooms and communities.  
  3. TLC faculty will seek opportunities to share and distribute materials to a wider audience (e.g., San Quentin Spring 2020 Academic Conference).
Peer Learning with Eli Review
Led by John Holland


Participants will learn about the connections between equity-based teaching and peer feedback; the design of transparent assignments; the connections between feedback and metacognition; and the power of data analytics we can use to intervene early. Traditional peer feedback activities occur behind a veil that masks inequities that tend to occur in peer groups interactions.  Thus, instructors will be unaware of those students who need more focused intervention, sometimes for weeks at a time until we see the work they submit. Our students often provide superficial comments, empty praise and cursory suggestions to their classmates. Eli Review gives instructors a direct lens into the interactions, giving us information we can use to plan real-time classroom interventions and early insights into which students might need our intervention.  Peer learning pedagogy promotes life-long learning; it empowers students to learn from each other, encourages them to take ownership of their learning, focusing on how their own actions shape what they take from school. Eli Review offers analytics that make visible what was once invisible in classroom-based peer feedback sessions. Eli's analytics enable instructors to quickly identify writers whose drafts are not meeting as many criteria as other students and reviewers whose feedback to others is likely insufficient to promote revision. By paying attention to trends in Eli Review, especially early in the term, instructors can intervene with students who are off-pace.


  1. Empower Students to Learn From Each Other: Faculty will learn to teach students to give each other better feedback as an explicit pedagogical goal.  Teaching students how to give helpful, mindful feedback empowers them to learn from each other. It also encourages them to take ownership of their learning, to focus on how their own actions shape what they get of out school.  Faculty will learn to monitor student learning with the real-time metrics in the Eli Review application.
  2. Scaffold the Intellectual Work of the University: Faculty will learn how to take students beyond the simple peer review activity,  promoting sustained engagement in weekly write - review - and revise cycles. Faculty will learn how to teach students to select and prioritize anonymous feedback from peers that result in a focused revision plan that teaches students how to engage the intellectual work of the academy. Faculty will learn to give their feedback later in the writing process, commenting at the point of the revision plan where students do their thinking and reflecting. Eli Review is a scaffold for that work.
  3. Build Community: Faculty will learn employ  Vygotsky’s Theory of the “Zone of Proximal Development to quickly create peer review groups in which participants learn from peers at a similar skill level. Peer learning exposes students to a range of other students' work so that they can recognize that they are not alone in their struggle and also that improvement is within their reach. Students trust each other and the process as a class improves in giving feedback and as the instructor attends to their work in peer review. 
  4. Analytics enable instructors to quickly identify: Faculty will learn to read Eli Reviews analytics to enable them  to quickly identify students who are working off-pace or falling behind in the class.
Critical Active Pedagogy (CAP) and ExCo
Led by Dan Curtis-Cummins

 and Jolie Goorjian

The “Critical Active Pedagogy (CAP) and ExCo” TLC will explore various approaches to active learning (Universal Design for Learning, inductive learning, project-based learning, Just-In-Time-Teaching) combined with theory on critical pedagogy based on Paulo Freire, bell hooks, and others. CAP promotes engagement and retention of all students, especially First Year. Participants will teach the Golden 5 or will be students who teach ExCo classes. For full description, contact facilitators.


  1. The faculty and participants will adapt their course activities and materials to increase equity of learning (UDL), engagement, excitement, and success.
  2. Faculty and ExCo teachers will work together as colleagues creating a horizontal, long-term CAP network across our campus.
  3. Participants will have the opportunity to promote ExCo by becoming CAP certified and leading CAP Communities in their departments, to encourage their students to teach and take ExCo classes. As a result our TLC will use “Critical Active Pedagogy” to connect teachers and students to the spirit of SFSU’s social justice history and mission which dates back to the 1960s, when ExCo and the College of Ethnic Studies were born.


Who's Who in the Grading Contract: Positional Pedagogies and Contract Grading
Led by Lee Chen-Weinstein

 and Dan Curtis-Cummins

The Positional Pedagogies and Contract Grading TLC will engage participants with critical reflection on the impact of their positional pedagogies in the classroom, particularly around contract grading. Together we will read current literature about the intersections of a teacher’s race, gender, class, etc. and theories of equitable assessment practices. Participants will ideally be teachers in the “Golden 5” who want to improve their relationships with students by using their positional pedagogy to connect teaching and learning to identity, to create an “ecology” of interpersonal relationships, which will increase retention. The ecology approach, from Asao Inoue’s work, actively reframes classroom power dynamics. Participants can use positional pedagogies as a necessary foundation for reflecting on inclusive classroom ecologies, empowering students to participate in their own grading process, and better meeting our goals for First Year student equity, retention and success.


  1. The faculty will learn about positional pedagogy from multiple perspectives and critically reflect on the impact of their own positionalities in their courses (whether using a grading contract or not).
  2. Faculty will have the opportunity to develop, workshop, and improve their grading contracts to achieve the goals of promoting equity in the classroom.
  3. Faculty will contribute to the publication of a research study by the facilitators, Dan and Lee, and have opportunities to develop their expertise and innovation with contract grading and other equitable assessment to share with their colleagues in respective departments.
Talking about GWAR in Sociology (TAGS)
Led by Jen Reck


The proposed TLC focuses on the Sociology Department’s GWAR course, uniting a group of GWAR instructors to collaboratively develop more equitable and social justice-oriented teaching strategies, create curriculum and pedagogies which will better accomplish the GWAR SLOs, and improve student success and retention in the major.

The proposed TLC seeks to build our instructors’ knowledge and use of equity-based pedagogy and create a collaborative space for strategic thinking about the GWAR class.  These activities will help us assess barriers to student success and develop teaching methods which provide better pathways to success in SOC 300 and beyond. We will focus on effective writing instruction, learning more about best practices in composition pedagogy and supporting one another to craft and carry out pedagogies effective for teaching writing in Sociology. This will not only aid in student success, but it will make our departmental approach to writing pedagogy stronger and more consistent.


  1. Strengthen understanding and use of equity-based pedagogy: During participation in the TLC, each member will formally reflect on our current teaching practices, learn about equitable and inclusive teaching and learning pedagogies, and add (or strengthen pre-existing) equity-based teaching models into our classroom teaching.  This will occur through participating in learning activities focused on evidence – based and equitable pedagogies as well as engaging in syllabus review, peer teaching observations, and reflections on our teaching methods.
  2. Reflect on GWAR SLOs and how to meet them: The group will discuss the GWAR SLOs and assess how we accomplish these SLOs through our syllabi structure, content delivery, and assignments. We will also preview potential technologies to incorporate (e.g. Eli Review). Based on this analysis, we will collaboratively determine how to meet the SLOs and foster student success within each class in a way which creates a cohesive model across the GWAR sections.
  3. Develop a set of shareable class lessons: Each member will demonstrate a class lesson focused on writing to the group, get feedback, and revise the lesson. The group will develop a set of 5-7 lessons that are shareable within the group, department, and can be added to CEETL resource offerings. The lesson revision process will focus on the dual goal of equity and engagement-based pedagogy and best practices for teaching composition.
Creating Affirming and Inclusive Classroom Environments and Curricula in STEM
Led by Kimberly Coble


Our community will consist of faculty, lecturers, and graduate teaching assistants in STEM and STEM education. Introductory STEM courses can often become a “gateway” for many students, but this need not be the case. We will foster reflection on inclusive and equitable teaching through: discussions of selected readings in the education research and social psychology literature, development of peer observation checklists, observations of each other’s classes with an eye toward inclusive practices, and reflections on successes and challenges in our teaching. Readings will discuss systemic and environmental barriers faced by our students, such as stereotype threat and micro-aggressions, as well as ways to recognize students’ strengths and affirm their identities. We will also explore key areas of overlap in math and science curricula. The proposal for this TLC has grown out of “Teaching for Equity” workshops and GTA pedagogy courses held in the departments of Mathematics and Physics & Astronomy as well as discussions among faculty collaborators in the Center for Science and Math Education (CSME).

Suggested readings:

Estrada, M., Eroy-Reveles A., Matsui, J. (2018) The Influence of Affirming Kindness and Community on Broadening Participation in STEM Career Pathways, Social Issues and Policy Review, 12(1), 258

Gutiérrez, R. (2009) Framing Equity: Helping Students “Play the Game” and “Change the Game,” Teaching for Excellence and Equity in Mathematics, 1 (1), 4

Mendez, B., Speck, A., and Coble, K. (2019) Making Your Astronomy Class More Inclusive, Astronomy Education, Vol. 1, Chapter 12

West, E. A., Paul, C. A., Webb, D., and Potter, W. H. (2013) Variation of instructor-student interactions in an introductory interactive physics course, Physical Review Special Topics - Physics Education Research 9, 010109 

Yosso, T. J. (2005) Whose culture has capital? A critical race theory discussion of community cultural wealth, Race Ethnicity and Education, 8 (1), 69


  1. Support interdisciplinary curriculum discussions between math and science educators, with an emphasis on introductory courses.
  2. Create peer observation checklists centered on equitable and inclusive teaching practices based on the STEM education and social psychology literature.
  3. Provide oral and written feedback on teaching practices for each participant, based on the observation checklists.
Exploring, Fostering, and Supporting Lecturer Contributions to the University
Led by Kira A. Donnell


This TLC focuses on the issues, concerns, and contributions of SFSU’s lecturer faculty. At present, lecturers make up 40% of SFSU’s faculty, with lecturers comprising an even greater percentage of the instructional force in some departments. As lecturers, we strive to ensure the university is providing an equitable and inclusive workplace for us in which our interests and our pedagogies are supported. Our TLC will focus on ways in which lecturers can make positive contributions to the university’s First Year Experience initiative and  students’ development of oral and written communication and critical thinking skills. The instruction of lower division courses by lecturers means lecturers often serve as an introduction to university life for incoming students. Further, lecturers’ community work informs their teaching, promoting real-life application of oral and written communication skills for students. Investing in better support for SFSU’s lecturer faculty will lead to better quality of teaching and support for students, leading to higher rates of retention and graduation of students.


  1. Disaggregate SFSU’s statistics on lecturer-TTK faculty ratios to better understand the impact of lecturers and trends of lecturer hiring on a department-to-department basis.
  2. Create and execute a survey of departmental practices regarding lecturers across the university including lecturer concerns and issues.
  3. Create a resource for lecturers that include classroom practices and innovative reading/writing approaches that are focused on student engagement and retention as well as (non-writing) innovative projects and field work that further classroom and independent learning.
Reflecting on Reflection
Led by Amy Love


This Teaching and Learning Circle will help members develop more engaging approaches to reflection that inspire deep and careful thinking in us as well as our students. We will review and discuss key articles from the literature on teaching reflection in a number of disciplines. Each meeting will include at least one reflective activity (developed first by the lead and then by the members) on a theme of inclusivity or equity. To help integrate the theoretical into the practical, the members will have the option of having their in-class reflection activities observed by other circle members.

This TLC is proposed for, but not limited to, teachers of English composition and Community Service Learning in any discipline.


  1. The group will create a package of engaging  reflective activities focused on themes of inclusivity and equity.
  2. Faculty will test their activities and get feedback in group meetings.
  3. Faculty will have the option of peer observation when they test their activities in class.
Teaching the SFSU Student Strikes
Led by Simmy Makhijani


Ethnic Studies—as a movement, discipline, and commitment to an education that matters—emerged from vibrant student-led strikes ignited at San Francisco State fifty years ago. This movement was forged through strong solidarity and unity across communities of struggle and led to the birth of the College of Ethnic Studies, which inspired a set of theories, frameworks, concepts and methods that now make up an entire discipline. Research developed in partnership with San Francisco State University (SFSU) and the Stanford Graduate School of Education (2010-2014) evidenced that students become more engaged in school when they learn things relevant to their lives. Further, the study evidenced that attendance and academic performance has increased due to student enrollment in Ethnic Studies courses. Resolutions to place Ethnic Studies in undergraduate and K-12 classrooms across the United States have followed these findings which have raised a series of new questions, primarily: What is Ethnic Studies pedagogy? How should it be taught? And who should teach Ethnic Studies (or how can educators across disciplines be prepared to teach Ethnic Studies)? Over the last 50 years, we have seen Ethnic Studies interpreted and practiced in multiple ways in order to provide culturally responsive pedagogy, community responsive pedagogy and teacher development.

However Ethnic Studies might get interpreted or practiced, this TLC argues that all Ethnic Studies educators must at least know the basic history of the SFSU Strikes (the longest student-led strike in the history of the U.S.) and should be prepared to teach it. This TLC, organized primarily for SFSU faculty aims to do just that. By the end of the TLC, participating faculty will have prepared a lesson plan (meaningfully considering the “Golden 5”) that can be easily adapted to any (Ethnic Studies) classroom and a basic guide for navigating the sizable repository of archival materials housed at SFSU.


  1. Adaptable comprehensive lesson plan(s) on the SFSU Student Strikes that can be used by SFSU/College of Ethnic Studies faculty and beyond
  2. Easy access guide to vast repository of archival material on the SFSU Strikes for use by educators, students, and movement peoples alike
  3. Faculty to further develop teaching skills, such as experimenting with different, more inclusive types of assessments and/or participation rubrics when teaching about the Strike
Elevating the First-Year Experience: First-Year Seminar Teaching with a Peer Mentor
Led by Grace Yoo


This TLC will focus on Area E/First-Year Seminar instructors who will be teaching with our inaugural first-year seminar peer mentor program this Spring 2020..  The TLC will foster reflection on theory and evidence-based practices involved in teaching effective first-year seminar (LLD, Area E) courses that support student success. Morever, this TLC will allow participants to share best practices of  peer mentorship in the classroom.


  1. Document through images, video, interviews and surveys how faculty and peer mentors support first-year students in the classroom
  2. Create lessons plans that demonstrate  innovative strategies to teach the major components of the First-year seminar (LLD, Area E), including effective instruction that supports of intensive writing
  3. Create lessons plans in teaching with a peer mentor in first-year seminar
  4. Write a scholarly research publication that shares these innovative ways that faculty and peer mentors support student success in the classroom

Student Success in the Majors (SSMs)

The Student Success in the Majors tables will be hosted by faculty who have successfully secured a grant from Academic Affairs to develop an interdisciplinary minor or certificate. Any faculty member interested in the development of curricula on these topics should join the relevant table to hear about, and possibly contribute to, the curricular directions now and/or in the future.

Climate Change Causes, Impacts and Solutions Certificate
Led by Laura Burrus

Climate change is the defining issue of our time and the planet. It is already impacting people’s lives around the world through changes in weather, sea level, ocean chemistry, energy production and food and water security. Unfortunately, while climate change causes, impacts, and solutions are inherently interdisciplinary, education on these themes has largely proceeded within disciplinary silos. We seek to provide our students with the interdisciplinary skills and preparation they need to lead in responding to these challenges. We propose a Certificate (or Minor) in Climate Change Causes, Impacts and Solutions as an important step toward creating a campus wide initiative to address Climate Change.
  1. Map out exisiting courses (and instructor) that can be included in the Certificate (Minor)
  2. Propose PLOs for the Certificate (Minor)
  3. Identify opportunities associated with the Certificate (Minor) (eg - what internal and external stakeholders can we partner with?)
  4. Identify challenges that we will need to address in order for these certificates/minors to be successful and sustainable?
  5. Identify possible dates for a Climate Change Certificate retreat
Minor in Video Game Studies
Led by Christopher Weinberger

This program will address video games as creative and aesthetic objects, psychological and social experiences, programmed technologies, cultural artifacts, forums and modalities of interaction, platforms for storytelling and communication, opportunities for ethical and ideological inquiry, vehicles of politically charged messaging, sites of identity construction, and instances of collaboration and creative interaction for an incredibly diverse international demographic. Please join us as we seek to establish a robust framework for studying these complex multimodal objects. 


  1. A list of committed and interested faculty who might contribute to the establishment of the minor either by offering courses or helping with the design and proposal of the program itself
  2. A set of guiding questions and advice from diverse perspectives, from the theoretical to the institutional, on how to move forward with the establishment of the program
  3. Answers to some large and some granular questions about the implementation of our program, including especially issues of accessibility, advising, student resources, and potential avenues of funding.

Graduate Opportunities to Learn Data Science (GOLD)
Led by Nicole Adelstein

 and Diana Chu
Graduate Opportunities to Learn Data science (GOLD) will be a 2-year, 13-unit certificate program in Data Science for Scientists that students can complete in line with their Master’s degree program requirements. Of the required courses, three are devoted to learning data and computer science using assignments and examples drawn from biology and chemistry.  In the other courses, students will be supported in analyzing the data for their theses and making professional and academic connections. 
In this workshop attendees will learn a little R programming and data analysis skills in a course like setting, to help provided feedback for the curriculum development of the GOLD courses. We will also discuss strategies for learning data analysis skills and using data in the classroom.
  1. Demonstrate how we plan to introduce data analyses in the cornerstone course – Exploratory Data Science – in a short lesson (40 minutes). Workshop attendees will learn to analyze a data set from the course using the R programming language. No prior programming experience is needed.
  2. Workshop attendees will provide feedback to the short lesson.
  3. Workshop attendees will discuss how they use data in their courses or how they hope to use data in their future courses.

Public Humanities Certificate
Led by Elizabeth Bradley Hunter

 and Sukanya Chakrabarti
Description Coming Soon

Latinx Health Minor
Led by Marty Martinson

 and Katynka Martinez
Description Coming Soon

Research for Social Justice
Led by Juliana Van Olphen

 and Grace Yoo
Description Coming Soon

Latinx Criminal Justice
Led by Liz Brown

Descriptoin Coming Soon

LCA Certificate in Applied Research Skills (CURE)
Led by Anastasia Smirnova

 and Joshua Singer
Description Coming Soon

Affinity Groups

LGBTQ Teaching and Scholarship Challenges
Led by Mickey Eliason

Many faculty experience both challenges and rewards for teaching about and studying LGBTQ+ issues. This group will discuss ways to raise difficult topics in the class, address offensive or uninformed student comments, and conduct LGBTQ+ related research sometimes in isolation, sometimes in disciplines that have not been very inclusive. This group seeks to build community and support for LGBTQ+ informed faculty practice.
  1. Build community around LGBTQ+ scholarly endeavors.
  2. Discuss pedagogical strategies for teaching about LGBtQ+ issues.

Dealing with Student Stress While Mentoring them Through Your Program
Led by Rick Harvey

Helping student deal with stressful circumstances while in school frames the focus of the workshop.

  1. Restoring adaptive capacities in stress management
  2. Reinforcing skills for communicating with mentors
  3. Revisiting values clarification and prioritization skills

Social Justice and Scholarly Publishing: Open Access and the Pay-to-Read vs Pay-to-Publish Paradigm Shift
Led by Melissa Seelye

, William Jerome Jacobs, and Jordan Michael Nielsen
This affinity group will introduce participants to recent developments in scholarly publishing through a social justice lens. Our discussion will encompass the open access requirements of faculty who receive state research funding (as per Assembly Bill 2192) as well as the mounting criticism of major for-profit publishers, such as Elsevier. Participants will also learn about the shift from a pay-to-read towards a pay-to-publish model, which has implications not only for the Library, but also for faculty and our students.
  1. Learn how to better align your own publishing practices with open access requirements and social justice principles;
  2. Understand the impact of recent developments in the scholarly publishing industry on how university libraries provide access to scholarly journals;
  3. Provide feedback on how the Library and SF State as a whole can contribute to a more sustainable and equitable scholarly publishing environment.

Posthuman(ism) and Transhuman(ism) - an LCA affinity group open to faculty and staff throughout the University
Led by Ellen Peel

Our group discusses key works on posthumanism (how do we connect to other animate or inanimate entities?) and transhumanism (can we transcend our current human limitations?).  For example, what are the powers, rights, and responsibilities of non-human animals and robots?  We sponsor an annual mini-conference.  New members are welcome. 
  1. Recruit new members.
  2. Work on planning this spring's mini-conference.

Understanding the DRC/ORSP Grants Program and Developing Your Proposal
Led by Jessica Mankus, Maricel Santos, and Jimmy Bagley


  1. Determine which grant opportunity best fits current direction and focus.
  2. Understand the grant proposal format, requirements and review criteria.
  3. Identify key elements of successful grant proposals.

Data Informed Quality Online / Hybrid Learning & Teaching
Led by Jackson Wilson


  1. Discover the Quality Learning and Teaching (QLT) rubric, course certification process, and available faculty development and support;
  2. Discuss how data from CSU and SF State Student Success Dashboards may inform quality online and hybrid course design;
  3. Develop strategies to align and leverage the QLT Initiative and Student Success Dashboards to address opportunity gaps identified in the data.

Service-Learning in the Community: Making an Impact on Student Success
Led by Nina S. Roberts

There is a growing body of evidence demonstrating the efficacy of service-learning programs on student outcomes of particular interest to universities across the nation. Most notably, these outcomes include student recruitment, retention, and overall learning.  Join us for table talk about the values of service-learning and discuss the joys and challenges of incorporating service-learning to your classes and get answers to your questions! Research shows students engaged in service-learning report an increase in self-efficacy, a sense of confidence, a tendency to include service work in their career, a feeling of being connected with individuals and communities, and a greater understanding of diversity.  Why not weave this into your class!?


  1. Learn about service-learning outcomes based on research and their relationship to student success
  2. Discuss simple ways to combine course work with community service activities
  3. Understand key components of meaningful service experiences and projects

Senate Table
Led by Nancy Gerber

This affinity group will focus on developing the Senate Spring agenda calendar. We will also identify upcoming speakers we feel would benefit from a Senate address and continue to focus on the role service and shared governance play in strengthening the University.