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Given the enthusiastic response to our Curricular Innovation Series, which launched summer 2022, we will be phasing out our Expert Speaker Series spring 2023. Topics we hoped to cover in our Expert Speaker Series will now be included as options in our Curricular Innovation Series. Don't worry - the content below will still be available. 

Disability & Accessibility Series: Ableism 101

Otis College: Dr. Toni Saia "Ableism 101" (1:13:10)


Disability & Accessibility Series: Supporting Students with Anxiety and Depression

A Conversation with the Interim Dean of Student Affairs and Title IX Coordinator

Otis College: Dr. Carol Branch "Navigating the Classroom: Disability Services" (0:57:28)

TLC staff participate in a Q & A session centering on student accomodations

A Conversation with the AVP of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Otis College: Dr. Nick Negrete "A Conversation with the AVP for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (0:57:06)

Otis College AVP for DEI Dr. Nick Negrete gives a short presentation and holds a Q + A with faculty and staff.

The Art of Grantwriting

Otis College: Felice Myers "The Art of Grantwriting" (0:51:38)

Our resident College expert, Felice Myers, demystifies the process of grant writing. Additional topics in this session include researching grants, tips for a successful grant proposal, and the reporting process.

Designing A Zoom Class

Otis College: Dr. Parme Giuntini "Designing A Zoom Class" (0:23:07)

Everything you need to start setting up a synchronous zoom course that is flipped and inclusive and pedagogically sound.

Teaching College Students on the Autism Spectrum

On April 2, 2020 the Artists, Community and Teaching (ACT) program in collaboration with the Teaching/Learning Center invited Evelyn Kung, BCBA, Clinical Director at the Center for Autism and Related Disorders, to present an online workshop at Otis College for faculty and staff (and ACT students) about teaching students on the Autism Spectrum. 

General tips all faculty can employ to benefit all students that would also support college students on the autism spectrum:

  • Avoid vague language, slang, or undefined jargon – try to be specific and clear especially in instructions (ex. "This blue area in the right-hand corner" instead of "this area over here"). 
  • Organize and structure your class, try to be consistent in terms of instructions and processes each day or each week.
  • For discussion, use open-ended questions that allow for more critical responses as opposed to only a yes or no.
  • Conduct regular comprehension checks - to make sure all students understand the material - have students explain it in their own words, not verbatim to what was read or heard.
  • Set concrete and specific course/behavior expectations for your students (ex. no talking while others are speaking).
  • Review course/behavior expectations at the beginning and middle of your course to remind students.
  • Break complicated tasks into clear steps and a sequence, assist students through this sequence, each time assisting less so they develop mastery over the process.
  • To assist students in developing a self-directed art/design practice, or large scale project management (as opposed only following rules/structured assignments in which all steps are given by instructors) - use forward or backward chaining. Give the full list of steps at first, then allow students to determine the first or last step in the list, and after each project in which they successfully manage it gives them one more step to determine on their own for the next project (be patient).
  • Try to catch a student moving towards a heightened emotional state before an outburst or meltdown occurs. Give the whole class a break, or walk the student into the hall to talk privately. Give students choices on how to express what they are feeling (remember that verbal expression may be the hardest and therefore may increase the heightened state).

Culturally and Linguistically Responsive Teaching and Learning

Veteran educator Rowel Salvador has over 20 years of experience working with at-risk students within LAUSD.  He specializes in inspiring instructors to increase student engagement, improve student achievement and close the achievement gap at low-performing schools.  This presentation is derived from the work of Dr. Sharroky Hollie, author of Culturally and Linguistically Responsive Teaching and Learning: Classroom Practices for Student Success.

Disruptive, Distressed, Dangerous Students

Dr. Nicholas Negrete, Dean of Student Affairs, conducted a Convocation workshop targeted to faculty/instructors/staff fall 2018 at Otis College. This workshop supports faculty/instructors to identify types of distress, know when to "refer" students for support, manage classroom incidents, and how to follow-up after an incident has occurred.

Inevitably, students may face situational difficulties (relationship issues, death of a family, acute stressors, etc.) during their college career that can be addressed with targeted attention through counseling, advising, or other intervention options. Mental health on college campuses is of significant concern, and something many students face while working hard to function at a high level. 


Assistant Provost Joanne Mitchell and Faculty Members Emma Kemp and Rachel Roske lead a discussion on how they have navigated the new attendance policy as a means for improving classroom instruction and student outcomes.  This is in keeping with the vision of the policy to increase students' agency and responsibility for their own academic performance.

International Students

Dr. Darren Grosch, Director of the International Students Program at Mt. San Antonio College,  in this workshop focuses on best practices in teaching international students, promoting cultural consciousness, and engaged learning in our classrooms.

All About Accomodations

Dr. Carol Branch, Assistant Dean of Student Affairs & Title IX Coordinator at Otis College, provides helpful information about accommodations in the classroom in this workshop. What do those letters of notification mean? How do I arrange for an exam proctor? Why do I have to provide accommodations? Find out the answers to these common questions and more.


In this workshop, Natalie Salvador, Fashion Design Lecturer and Teaching/Learning Center Program Coordinator at Otis College, goes in depth in exploring motivation and how it impacts student classroom behavior. She provides helpful best practices for the classroom on how to foster student motivation. 

The Adolescent Brain

Dr. Julie Spencer, Physician and Director of Otis College Student Health & Wellness Center, conducted a fall 2018 workshop targeted to faculty/instructors/staff at Otis College. In this workshop she discusses the basic neurobiology and developmental stage of the adolescent/young adult brain and how this basic knowledge will help faculty/instructors and staff learn to better communicate with students.

Supporting Growth & Resilience in the Classroom

Dr. Rachel Brosamle, Psychologist/Counseling Director at Otis College fall 2018, conducted a Convocation workshop targeted to faculty/instructors/staff at Otis College. This workshop focuses on approaches and language you can use in the classroom to support resilience and student growth.

Facilitating Difficult Discussions in Turbulent Times

Dr. JoAnn Staten, Acting Assistant Chair for Liberal Arts and Sciences, conducted a Convocation workshop targeted to faculty/instructors/staff fall 2018 at Otis College. This workshop offers best practices for facilitating discussions on "hot-button" topics in ways that are inclusive and supportive, rather than divisive.

Creating Classroom Video

Natalie Arps-Bumbera spoke at a spring 2018  Otis College Academic Assembly meeting in the Forum on how video can enhance course instruction and the different types of video one can create.

Check out Natalie's "TLC: Instructional Video Making Basics" playlist on LyndaCampus to get started making your own instructional videos. Natalie Arps-Bumbera teaches in the Liberal Arts and Sciences department and has extensive experience in video production.

How eLearning Can Serve Studio

In this video, Randy Lavender (27-year veteran studio Professor, and Bricks + Clicks alumnx, former Provost) discusses how eLearning - going digital with course instruction - can enhance studio instruction. He addresses common concerns and questions in this video.

Going Online With Instruction

Spring 2020, TLC staff organized workshops on ways we can shift our course content online and provide opportunities for students to participate remotely.

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