TeachTalks is a series of faculty-led conversations about teaching at NYU. Participants discuss issues currently impacting student learn­ing and share pedagogical innovations across disciplines. Sessions are interactive and typically incorporate brief presen­ta­tions, small group activities, and whole group discussion. By providing faculty an informal—yet informative—space to talk about teaching, TeachTalks supports the NYU teaching community to improve the student learning experience.


For 2021–2022, TeachTalks is focusing on the theme of Adapting to Change, Reflecting on Practice.

Reflection—on our students, on ourselves, and on the world outside the classroom—is key to effective and inclusive teaching. Reflection can increase our self-awareness and help us assess and reassess how we’re connecting with students and connecting students to course material. 

Through this year’s TeachTalks and Pedagogy Workshops, we will explore a range of evidence-based reflective practices to enhance teaching and learning in your classroom. Please join us!

TeachTalks currently are virtual events. All sessions are recorded and posted to this page.

NYU’s Distinguished Teaching Award Winners: Reflecting on Experience, Part 2 

Thursday, February 17, 2022
1:00–2:00 pm, on Zoom

Chiye Aoki (neural science and biology, CAS), Jennifer Hill (applied statistics and data science, Steinhardt), Amal Shehata (accounting, Stern), Adam Skolnick (medicine, Grossman); moderated by Vice Provost of Academic Affairs Georgina Dopico

Each year, the Distinguished Teaching Award (DTA) honors a select group of faculty for their commitment to teaching excellence at NYU. This past fall, recipients from 2019–2020 DTA convened a panel to share the successful classroom strategies they’ve developed over their careers, as well as the challenges they still face. This spring, recipients of the 2020–2021 DTA will continue the conversation, reflecting on their careers, teaching practices, and what they’ve learned about teaching in these extraordinary times.

What Have We Learned About Engagement During the Pandemic? The Student Perspective

Thursday, March 10, 2022
2:00–3:00 pm, on Zoom

This past year and a half, faculty and students alike have had occasion to appreciate anew the role of engagement in learning—its challenges, its benefits, how to cultivate it both online and in-person. In this special session of TeachTalks, we’ll hear from a panel of students about what they’ve learned about the importance of connection and communication for engagement this past year: What worked? What didn’t? What practices supported inclusion and belonging?

Making Grading Better for Everyone: Contract Grading, Learning, and Inclusion

Wednesday, March 30, 2022
11:00 am–noon, on Zoom

Gita DasBender, Nate Mickelson, and Leah Souffrant (Expository Writing Program, CAS)

Last year, NYU’s Expository Writing Program conducted a pilot of contract grading: the results were exciting. Though skeptics of contract grading cite the potential for lack of rigor and accountability, students didn’t confirm those concerns. Among the pilot’s positive results, most striking was how well it was received by students from underrepresented communities at NYU. In this TeachTalk, EWP faculty will share how contract grading can be used to enhance learning and inclusion in the classroom.

Creative Solutions to Global Challenges: Lessons from Teaching Remote at NYU Paris

Thursday, April 14, 2022
1:00–2:00 pm, on Zoom

Catherine Healey (history) and Joachim Lebovits (mathematics); moderated by Alfred Galichon, Director of NYU Paris

The possibility of teaching remotely—whether planned or unplanned—is now a fact of life. From managing live instruction across time zones to teaching place-based classes at a distance, NYU’s global faculty have had to adapt and innovate in ways similar to their New York–based colleagues. But some challenges are unique to our international campuses. Professors Healey and Lebovits will share how they adapted their content and course delivery, and how their students collaborated and even shared their own cultures despite the distance between them.

Past TeachTalks

May 21, 2020

What I Learned from Spring 2020

After navigating this unprecedented spring semester, what have we learned? What worked, what didn’t, and what lessons can we now apply to the summer, fall, and beyond? Using a framework for reflective teaching, we’ll discuss our most challenging moments as well as the unexpected bright spots we experienced during the sudden transition to remote teaching. Facilitated by Trace Jordan and Lena Scheen

May 28, 2020

To Zoom or Not to Zoom (aka How to Zoom Effectively)

What do we do with the time slot we’ve been allotted when our class goes remote? In this discussion, we’ll explore strategies for optimizing the synchronous time we spend with students, as well as some of the asynchronous alternative approaches that are effective when teaching remotely. Facilitated by Ted Magder and Stacen Keating

June 11, 2020

Inclusive Teaching Online: How to Engage Remotely with All of Your Students

How can we create online learning experiences that are meaningful, relevant, and accessible to all students? This session will focus on strategies for including the unique experiences and needs of each student in your remote classroom, and for making all students feel like they belong. Facilitated by Chandani Patel

June 25, 2020

Remote Learning, NYU Style

What makes an NYU education uniquely NYU even when teaching remotely? Online as well as in person, NYU faculty bring their breadth of experience and insight, their NYC perspectives, and their global connections to students all over the world. Join us to share your unique strategies for ensuring that your students can still experience the feeling of belonging to the NYU academic community. Facilitated by Patrick Deer and Danielle Ompad

July 9, 2020

Digital Storytelling: Telling the Same Stories in New Ways

How can you communicate what you already know as a subject matter expert through simple, compelling videos? We’ll explore how to create asynchronous, instructional videos that will transform parts of your lecture into engaging digital stories. Facilitated by Stephanie Geggier and Linda Sormin

July 23, 2020

Engaging Students Through Project-Based Courses

How can you create online learning experiences for project-based, experiential, and hands-on learning, while also fostering student engagement? De Angela Duff (integrated digital media) and Jack Bringardner (engineering) of NYU Tandon will share their experiences implementing senior capstone and vertically integrated projects.

August 5, 2020

Ready Your Class for Research: Partnering with the Libraries on Instruction

NYU’s Libraries can help you engage your students with research activities and projects. In this session, meet some of NYU’s subject librarians to discuss how collaborative learning can shake up the virtual classroom, and how research instruction can enhance your students’ learning. Facilitated by Shawn(ta) Smith Cruz, Andrew Battista, Katherine Boss, and Marybeth McCartin

September 17, 2020

Engaging Students in a Blended Classroom

All classrooms require creative and inclusive ways to engage students, but the blended classroom presents special challenges in this regard. Together, we’ll explore how a framework of connecting, collaborating, and communicating can set the stage for successful student engagement. Facilitators will also demonstrate how inclusiveness is essential to this “3C” approach. Facilitated by Anandi Nagarajan

September 30, 2020

What If It Doesn’t Work? Navigating Uncertainty in the Online and Blended Classroom

Navigating the unprecedented classroom situation this fall will require flexibility from faculty and students alike, as well as a willingness to try new things. Adopting new technologies and teaching modalities can feel overwhelming—even in matters beyond our control, we may feel accountable when things don’t work. Join the conversation to explore how a spirit of pedagogical experimentation can result in meaningful learning. Facilitated by Carolyn Kissane and Nicholas Lanzieri

October 15, 2020

Active Learning Anywhere, Anytime

Whatever the mode of teaching, engagement is essential to learning. We’ll review some high-impact, low-effort active learning strategies that can be adapted to online as well as socially-distanced in-person classrooms. In small groups, you’ll have a chance to brainstorm ways to incorporate these strategies into your courses. Facilitated by Regine Gilbert and Karen Ross

October 28, 2020

A TeachTalk on TeachTalks: Building a Teaching Community at Your School or Department

When NYU shifted to remote learning last spring, there was a clear need for conversation, community and support around the challenges of teaching. Teaching and Learning with Technology (TLT) developed TeachTalks both to help address that need and to provide a model for others. In this TeachTalk, we’ll hear from faculty and administrators who developed TeachTalk-like programs for their faculty, and brainstorm strategies for sparking similar conversations within your own department or school. Facilitated by Anandi Nagarajan, Emerson Ea, Nancy Gleason, and Edward Kleinert

February 9, 2021

What Have We Learned, How Have We Changed? Lessons from a Survey on Teaching at NYU

It’s been nearly a year since we pivoted to remote learning in New York, and in that time we’ve navigated a great deal of new teaching and learning terrain. Based on the results of the Fall Teaching Survey from the Provost’s office, we continue to seek new ways to learn and adapt for both ourselves and our students. This session will be led by Clay Shirky, Vice Provost for Educational Technologies, and De Angela Duff, Associate Vice Provost and Tandon Industry Professor, who will share a synopsis of the survey’s findings, as well as their insights in response. Participants will share their own lessons from 2020 in small breakout groups.

February 24, 2021

Academic Integrity: Strategies for Pandemic Challenges

Remote learning has raised new concerns for maintaining academic integrity, and new challenges for promoting trust between instructors and students. Jenni Quilter, Professor of Expository Writing, and Alexej Jerschow, Professor of Chemistry, will consider approaches to supporting academic integrity in both small and large undergraduate classrooms. Participants will have the opportunity to discuss in small breakout groups their own challenges and solutions for maintaining academic integrity. This session will also touch on the new measures the university is taking to educate incoming students about academic integrity.

March 18, 2021

Good Teaching—Whether Online, Off-Line or Somewhere-in-Between

Since March of last year, being a teacher has been defined by the need to adapt: to new modes of teaching and to new tools, platforms, and techniques. But what has remained the same through it all? What aspects of good teaching transcend format? In this session, Distinguished Teaching Award-winning faculty Elena Cunningham (College of Dentistry) and Selin Kalaycioglu (Courant Institute of Mathematics) will lead a conversation on the evergreen principles of effective teaching. Following brief presentations from the facilitators, participants will join breakout groups to discuss how they’ve remained true to what they value most in teaching, regardless of format.

April 1, 2021

Navigating Current Events in the Classroom

Current events, whether or not they directly relate to course material, can have a profound effect on our students and on their learning. Knowing what to say amidst the stress of traumatic news, and how to direct fraught conversations so students don’t feel excluded, may feel outside our role as teachers. Creating space for these conversations and guiding them, however, are important strategies for creating learning and inclusion in the classroom. In this session, Maria Brea (Steinhardt) and Chandani Patel (Global Inclusion, Diversity, and Strategic Innovation) will share some of their strategies for holding space for dialog and compassion in the classroom, while also meeting learning goals. In breakout rooms, participants will have the opportunity to discuss their own challenges navigating current events with students.

April 15, 2021

Teaching Remote in the Performing Arts

Educators in the performing arts were challenged to teach as never before during the pandemic. Remote learning technology has been central to their efforts, but so too has been the imagination of faculty and students to find new ways to communicate, build community, and demonstrate their art to a virtual audience. In this session, Professors Jonathan Haas (music, Steinhardt) and Kathryn Posin (dance, Gallatin) will share how they’ve adapted to the technology of online teaching, as well as how they’ve adapted that technology to what they teach. Jonathan will demonstrate the media networking technology he uses to synchronize music played simultaneously by students at varied locations. Kathryn will show how her students created unique dance pieces in locations throughout the world, and will engage participants in a live movement exercise. Both will also share how and why they intend to continue to integrate what they’ve learned when they return to in-person teaching.

September 28, 2021

Pandemic Pedagogy: Teaching and Learning Through COVID-19

Connecting learning to issues and events that directly affect students is a powerful teaching tool. Professors Deer, Jordan and Klass dis­cuss Pandemics and Plagues, a co-taught medical humanities course offered in Spring 2021. They review how students analyzed their personal ex­per­i­ences of COVID-19 in a literary, historical and scientific context by considering various narra­tives about previous plagues and pandemics.

October 19, 2021

NYU’s Distinguished Teaching Award Winners: Reflecting on Experience

Each year, the Distinguished Teaching Award (DTA) honors a select group of faculty for their commitment to teaching excellence at NYU. Moderated by Vice Provost Charlton McIlwain, a panel of three DTA-winners from 2019–2020 discuss some of the successful classroom strategies they’ve developed over their careers, as well as the challenges they continue to tackle. 

October 26, 2021

To B or Not to B: Low-Stakes Assessment and “Ungrading”

Learning requires the space to experiment, apply, and make mistakes. As we continue to better understand the power of active learning and formative assessment, instructors are increasingly rethinking the value of high-stakes testing. Professors Magder and Ma lead a discussion about the value of low-stakes activities for learning, including emerging practices like ungrading.

November 4, 2021

The Value of Reflective Teaching: Using Observation Feedback to Support Your Teaching

Teaching observations can offer rich opportunities for instructors to reflect on—and enhance—their teaching. But giving and receiving teaching feedback can be a daunting process for both parties. Professors Duff and Kleinert share their experience both observing and being observed in the classroom, and explain some of the benefits of formative peer review in teaching.