Focus on Teaching and Technology Conference (FTTC)

The Focus on Teaching and Technology Conference offers an ensemble of keynote addresses, faculty innovations during concurrent sessions, technology workshops, and vendor exhibits. The conference program has evolved over the years to reflect emerging trends in technology applications in higher education and developing shared expertise in online teaching experiences and strategies. Click here for more information.


Spring Forum on Teaching

Every spring, the Center for Teaching and Learning offers a one-day conference on teaching and learning open only to UMSL faculty and staff. It is designed to highlight some of the innovative and respected teaching happening here at our university and to bring in external parties that may inspire and help with educational projects.

Spring Forum 2021 Keynote Speaker and Workshop Leader

Dr. Courtney Plotts is a Dynamic Keynote Speaker, Author, and Professor.

Dr. Plotts is the National Chair of the Council For At-Risk Student Education and Professional Standards, the country’s only organization that provides standards for working with marginalized and nontraditional students in Kindergarten to College. Her role as National Chair includes training, consulting, and research.

Her subject matter expertise has been used in a variety of book publications. Most recently “Small Teaching Online” By Flower Darby with James M. Lang published in June 2019.

Dr. Plotts was recognized in 2017 by the California State Legislature for a bold commitment to change in education. She is currently in talks with higher education institutions to launch an institute that focuses on diversity and best practices in online teaching spaces to launch in 2021.

Keynote Address: Re-Connecting To Connectedness In Online Spaces: The Importance of People, Culture, and Community

Human connection is one of the most rewarding parts of being a faculty member. The development of students, the love of the aha moment, and the genuine relationships that faculty build so much to the educational process. But what happened to these connections when we moved to online learning? Why does it just not feel the same as face-to-face settings? What is missing and how can we get more of the authenticity back in our faculty and student learning relationships? Join Dr. Courtney Plotts as she presents Re-connecting To Connectedness. This keynote will explore meaningful concepts that will help faculty reconnect with their students and peers in online spaces.

Keynote Workshop: Re-Connecting To Connectedness In Online Spaces: The Working Strategies To Improve Your Connectedness Through Culturally Responsive Teaching Practices In Online Courses

This interactive workshop will give practical solutions for faculty to increase skills for building connectedness through culturally responsive strategies within their courses. Faculty will have the opportunity to work in small groups and learn new and easy strategies based in culturally responsive best practices.  Attendees will walk away with working solutions for common course frustrations and applicable strategies that increase cultural responsiveness in the online space.


Teaching Assistant Academy (TAA)

Offered annually, The Teaching Assistant Academy (TAA) is a day-long professional development conference for all Graduate Teaching Assistants and Graduate Instructors. The Academy provides resource and development opportunities for teaching assistants across all disciplines. Specialized sessions address the needs of GTA's and GI's for surviving and thriving in graduate school and for successful teaching and learning. The Academy is also a great venue to connect with other new and returning Graduate Assistants.


TAA 2020 Schedule