Essentials of Teaching and Learning

UNC Charlotte Essentials of Teaching and Learning School of Professional Studies

This certificate provides a foundation in important aspects of teaching and learning in higher education. Faculty, academic support staff, and graduate students seeking to earn the Essentials of Teaching and Learning Certificate should attend each of the five workshops in this series. The program has been designed so that the certificate can be earned in one semester but there is no time limit. Participants who complete all the requirements will be issued a digital credential via a Credly badge.


  • Basic Computer Skills: email, accessing the internet, uploading and downloading files, linking pages
  • No prior workshops required

Learning Outcomes

The participants will be able to

  • Design a course syllabus
  • Develop clear learning objectives
  • Identify tools and strategies for giving and receiving feedback
  • Identify inclusive teaching strategies
  • Identify active learning strategies

Required Workshops (13-15 hrs)

  1. Syllabus 101: Roadmap to Success (3 hrs): Your course syllabus is one of the most important documents you create for your class. It serves as an agreement between you and your students about your goals for the course and your expectations for your students, plus it conveys a first–and lasting–impression with your students. This session will provide information about the important components of a syllabus, ways in which you can enhance your course syllabus, and strategies for using your syllabus as a learning tool.
    * Workshop format: 3-Day, Online Asynchronous with a facilitator
  2. Introduction to Learning Objectives and Backward Design (5 hrs): This workshop clarifies the use of learning objectives and provides concrete steps to write objectives for your course.
    * Workshop format: 5-Day, Online Asynchronous with a facilitator
  3. Using Feedback to Improve Teaching and Learning (3 hrs): Feedback is integral to the teaching and learning process. Providing students with feedback can motivate and guide behavior change that translates into student success. Soliciting feedback from students allows faculty to make changes in their instructional strategies that also lead to student success. This workshop provides an overview of tools and strategies for giving and receiving feedback – both traditional and technology-based – that can be easily incorporated into any course.
    * Workshop format: 5-Day, Online Asynchronous with a facilitator
  4. Inclusive Teaching and Learning: Any workshop from the Inclusive Teaching and Learning series will fulfill this requirement.

4a. Enhancing Cultural Awareness (3 hrs): The session leaders will present an overview of the common definition and assessment of culture at UNC Charlotte and explore cultural dimensions based on theory and research. Participants will receive resources for sample assignments and a mapping exercise to enhance student cultural awareness.
* Workshop format: 3-Day, Online Asynchronous with a facilitator from the Office of International Programs

4b. Universal Design for Learning (2 hrs): This workshop covers universal design for learning foundations to make courses more accessible for students. This workshop covers the history of UDL, principles, and helpful strategies for Canvas. Universal design for learning is great for both new and returning faculty who can benefit from a refresher on items such as the Canvas Rich Content Editor.
* Workshop format: Online, Self-Paced

4c. Using Cognitive Empathy in the Classroom (1.5 hrs): Adversity outside the classroom has always seeped into the classroom via multiple pathways. However, in today’s environment, it is impossible to ignore how life challenges instructors’ ability to educate and students’ ability to learn. This workshop discusses cognitive empathy, what it is, and how to incorporate its use to strengthen the learning environment of the classroom, whether traditional, 100% online, or somewhere in between. The workshop includes multi-methods: short lectures, group discussions, and other activities. Please join us for an active session where everyone will learn something new.
* Workshop format: In-Person / Online Synchronous

  1. Getting Started with Active Teaching and Learning (1 hr): Active learning requires students to be engaged in their learning rather than being passive listeners. To enhance learning, students must speak, write, think deeply, and collaborate with others about the content and concepts presented in class. This workshop provides an introduction to active teaching and active learning strategies that can be used during class.
    * Workshop format: Online Synchronous


  1. Who is eligible to pursue and earn this certificate?
    • The CTL certificates are for instructors, academic support staff, and gradaute students.
  2. Do I have to complete all the requirements in a single semester or year?
    • No! You may take as long as you like to earn the certificate.
  3. How is the certificate awarded?
    • Participants who complete all the requirements will be issued a digital credential via a Credly badge.