Hear from Faculty, Share with Faculty: Peer Perspectives on the Teaching Commons

This fall, we’re using the CNDLS blog to highlight the Teaching Commonsa compilation of resources and case studies designed to help faculty revitalize their courses and gain insights into practical issues in pedagogy at Georgetown. As a living resource, the site continually evolves to encompass new scholarship in teaching and learning, as well as technological innovations that are changing and enhancing the current teaching landscape. To help you explore all that the Commons has to offer, we’re showcasing tools and other information on a semi-weekly basis, guiding you through the semester in real time. Missed the other posts? Check out our takes on crafting a syllabus, starting the semester, leading discussions, evaluating learning, designing assignments, and active learning.


What’s the equivalent of getting a cup of coffee with a fellow teacher and picking their brain about pedagogical practice, but without ever leaving your desk? Our hope is you think of the Teaching Commons!


What we imagine you’d think of had the question ended with “… but you’re a cat.”

At CNDLS, we see the Teaching Commons as, in part, a virtual meeting place, a space where teachers can share their experiences—the good, the bad, and the complicated—with their peers, whether they’re in the same department or on a separate campus. With that in mind, we’re trying to bring a multiplicity of voices to the conversation, and we’ve got some fresh (yet seasoned) perspectives for you to check out.

In a variety of new videos, you can hear from Georgetown professors Betsy Sigman (Business) and Marcia Chatelain (History) on building great syllabi; Heidi Elmendorf (Biology) on working with teaching assistants; Jason Tilan (Nursing) and Nora Gordon (Public Policy) on finding productive ways to integrate technologies into your courses; Josiah Osgood (Classics), Deb Sivigny (Performing Arts), and Gordon on fostering vibrant class discussions; and Chatelain on balancing emotionally challenging material in the classroom.

We’re also interested in your thoughts. At the bottom of Teaching with Technologies and Difficult Discussions, you’ll find links where you can submit your own experiences and ideas, and we hope you will. Likewise, if there’s something you’d like to see on the Teaching Commons that isn’t there yet, feel free to reach out to us at cndls@georgetown.edu—we’re here to help support faculty as they lead the charge of teaching and learning on the Hilltop, but we’re also here to listen!