Carnegie Mellon University

Student Academic Success Center

Office of the Vice Provost for Education

Workshops

Our campus workshops are interactive sessions free to the Carnegie Mellon community. Navigate the links on this page to find out how we can best help you.

Academic Coaching Workshops

These workshops help students improve their time management, productive habits, organization, stress management, and study skills.

  • Students will recognize the importance of creating a structured environment for success and methods for accomplishing what they intend to accomplish.
  • Students will be able to identify and apply techniques to improve the management of time including the Eisenhower Matrix, time blocking, and backward design.
  • Students will be able to understand concepts that assist them in achieving their own best performance including Ultradian rhythms and intentionality.
  • Students will be able to explain meta-cognitive awareness and its role in academic achievement.
  • Students will recognize the importance of mindset and strategies for developing a growth mindset.
  • Students will be able to identify and apply techniques to improve their motivation including back-casting and SMART goal setting.
  • Students will be able to understand their own types of procrastination and evidence-based strategies for overcoming them.
  • Students will recognize the importance of positive selfishness, intentionality, and methods for managing stress for maximum well being.  
  • Students will be able to identify and apply techniques to overcome procrastination including chunking, creating a high focus work space, and Ultradian rhythms.
  • Students will be able to understand their own types of procrastination and evidence-based strategies for overcoming them.
  • Students will recognize the various types of attention and methods for reducing divided attention.
  • Students will be able to identify and apply techniques to overcome procrastination including intentionality, creating a high focus workspace, and Ultradian rhythms.

Coordinated study groups can help you stay on top of course work, increase your understanding of course concepts, and improve your grades.  They are most successful and productive when students experience shared learning through positive group dynamics, cooperation, and collaborative work.

Attend this 60-minute hands-on workshop to learn the basics of creating a positive and productive group-learning environment for your study group. 

Learning Objectives

  • Understand best practices for creating a positive group dynamic, learning from each other, and holding each other accountable in a study group.
  • Become familiar with a variety of collaborative learning techniques for engaging with course material and cooperating effectively in a group setting.
  • Gain experience working in small groups for improved learning, decreased procrastination, increased motivation, and positive social experiences.

Communication Workshops

These workshops teach communication skills and rhetorical strategies for a variety of genres and situations, including writing skills, presentation skills and slide design, data visualization, team projects, and research papers.

In your professional life, you may often have to present technical data to non-expert audiences such as managers, clients, politicians, or members of the general public. This workshop teaches principles for creating graphs and tables that non-experts can understand. Students will learn to think of their data as a story that needs to capture the audience's attention, and will be introduced to strategies for minimizing distractions to this story so audiences can quickly grasp the main point.
Do you find that your students' writing is too wordy or is “choppy”? Concision and clarity are core principles of effective communication. Writing that clearly and directly emphasizes the bottom line helps readers easily and efficiently understand the main point. This workshop teaches simple – but effective – principles for being more concise and improving the logical flow between sentences and paragraphs. These strategies will help an audience follow the progression of students' ideas and arguments, in both the sciences and humanities.

This workshop will help your students create effective PowerPoint presentations to present complex information in a clear and compelling way. We will introduce innovative research on designing visually effective slides that increase audience engagement. We will also practice constructing and revising PowerPoint slides, and discuss other strategies for organizing and delivering a successful PowerPoint presentation.

This workshop provides advice on designing effective scientific research posters. We will teach some basic – but effective – visual design principles to create a compelling and memorable research poster. This workshop will help you create a persuasive visual "story" or narrative about your research project and findings. We will also discuss and critique several strong and weak examples of scientific posters.
This workshop covers some common mistakes students make when communicating with their professors and potential employers. We will discuss "right" and "wrong" ways to email or speak to professors about sensitive issues such as missed classes, difficulties understanding course material, or grading concerns. We also touch on some strategies for communicating with potential employers about job inquiries. This workshop will be particularly useful for freshmen and sophomore undergraduates, international students, or anyone concerned about how they are perceived based on their emails.
This workshop teaches four steps that make the case for why your research is an essential contribution to the field. These four rhetorical “moves” turn your research into a compelling narrative and highlight the importance and innovation of your work, especially when communicating to a non-specialist audience. These well-established moves can help you structure the abstract, introduction and literature review of journal articles and papers, in both the sciences and humanities. They can also be applied in various other contexts, including conference presentations, application materials, and grant proposals.
This workshop will unpack how to engage your audience in an oral presentation. We will discuss engaging an audience through your verbal delivery, body language, and message structure. This includes practicing public speaking techniques for effective delivery, and strategies to convey your presentation’s bottom line.
Teamwork is central to professional life, but most students don't know how to manage a team project so it flows smoothly. This workshop will teach your students how to create a teamwork infrastructure that will help them avoid the most common team problems. We will teach strategies for structuring collaboration, especially on group documents. This workshop will also cover effective strategies for talking with teammates when problems do occur. The advice in this workshop is based on Dr. Joanna Wolfe's research interviewing hundreds of students and professionals about their team experiences and practices.
Even if you do everything “right” on a team project, you can still encounter difficult people and difficult situations. This workshop teaches students to confront difficult team situations in a way that is most likely to yield positive results. We will teach strategies for confronting dismissive or aggressive teammates, responding to teammates who produce poor quality work, and advocating for a particular role on a project. We will cover both what to say and what not to say in tense situations.
A related work section, or literature review, synthesizes relevant past literature to connect your work to the broader field. It also builds your credibility by showing your familiarity with major developments and trends in the field. However, it is easy for the literature review to become a “data dump” that overwhelms your reader with extraneous or irrelevant information. This workshop will give students strategies and language to connect research into trends and put studies in conversation with each other. We will look at strong and weak examples and focus on the language they use. This workshop is appropriate for students in the sciences and humanities, writing literature reviews in journal articles, research papers, dissertations/theses, and more.
This workshop is typically given in individual classes to help students understand the conventions of their academic or professional discipline. We go over the main sections of a technical report—Abstracts, Introduction, Methods, Results, and Discussion—and then look at both strong and weak examples of technical reports in a given field to develop an understanding of what constitutes effective writing in this situation.

Language & Cross-cultural Workshops

These workshops give non-native English speakers and international students the opportunity to develop and practice English language and cross-cultural skills.

Many nonnative English speakers (NNES) have trouble writing clear and concise emails when communicating with faculty, colleagues, or students.  For example, students often use email on campus when making requests (e.g. asking for an appointment, requesting a document) or when giving an excuse or asking to be excused from a task (e.g., explaining an absence, explaining a missed deadline). NNES often have trouble effectively communicating in these situations because of language gaps and cultural differences.

This workshop addresses these challenges by reviewing how to organize emails when making a request and asking to be excused, presenting some useful language for communicating politely in these situations, and providing practice writing emails in these situations

As the result of attending this workshop:

  • Students will be able to identify when email is an appropriate method of communication.
  • Students will be able to understand the structure and organization of an email communication in the US.
  • Students will be able to identify useful language for politely interacting in emails.

This workshop will address the common factors, like cultural differences, interaction style, and assumptions about learning, that often hinder international students’ ability to interact effectively in the Carnegie Mellon classroom.  Specifically, this seminar will give you the opportunity to examine the role of participation and the definition of “learning” in the US classroom, investigate cultural variations in interaction style, review useful phrases and body language connected to classroom participation in the US, and practice jumping into class discussion.

As the result of attending this workshop:

  • Students will understand the role of participation in the U.S. classroom.
  • Students will be able to identify cultural variations in interaction styles.
  • Students will be able to feel more comfortable using phrases to effectively jump into discussions in the U.S.

This seminar is designed to help you improve your pronunciation skills. By attending this informal and interactive session you can improve your overall pronunciation so that you will be able to communicate more effectively as a student, as a TA, and eventually as a professional in your field. We will focus on those aspects of pronunciation which have the most impact on helping adult learners develop clear, comprehensible English to better communicate.  

As the result of attending this workshop:

  • Students will learn the appropriate use of stress, intonation, vowel lengthening, and pausing in thought groups to be better understood by an American audience.
  • Students will learn about how appropriately use the muscles of their mouth, lips, and tongue for better comprehensibility when speaking English.
  • Students will have the opportunity to engage in a practice session designed to help improve their pronunciation and intelligibility.

Workshop Recordings

Microphone

 

If you need a quick primer on a topic, browse our collection of previous workshop recordings.

 

Watch

Self-paced Videos

student talking to peers in a lecture hall

Mastering a second language requires repeated practice over time. These videos can provide hours of practice to supplement our language support workshops and allow you to work at your own pace with a variety of materials.

Tip: Watch online videos from your field to hear good examples of organizing language and rewording.

Watch

Want a workshop for your course or program?

Workshops are offered through several different SASC programs and are coordinated by different members of our team. If you are a faculty or staff member who would like to request a workshop for your course or program, please submit your request using our Google form.

Request a Workshop