MATLAB teaching shotOne aspect of my work that I really enjoy is giving talks and running workshops for educational audiences. I’ve been doing faculty development work with my colleagues and for other audiences for over five years and it’s always gratifying, and usually as educational for me as it is for the people I help.

The faculty development workshops that I give on a somewhat regular basis involve:

  • The inverted or “flipped” classroom, including best practices for course design and training on the technology used in this model.
  • The use of classroom response systems or “clickers” in the classroom, including both the pedagogical and the technological aspects of such use.
  • The use of Eric Mazur’s peer instruction in university mathematics courses.

The most popular workshop I offer is Giving your class an inverted makeover, in which faculty work to prepare actual, actionable lesson plans to “flip” a single class meeting in a course of their choice. Faculty work together with my guidance to develop and organize student learning objectives for the lesson, curate or create resources for students to use outside of class, write a Guided Practice document for students, prepare an Entrance Quiz and in-class activities, and follow-up assessments. These are real, live materials that faculty can then implement immediately in class to see how the flipped classroom works, done in a framework that allows for easy replication of these plans for other lessons and other courses. Along the way I offer just-in-time technology training and help faculty navigate potentially tricky flipped classroom issues such as obtaining student and administrator buy-in and making technology accessible to all students. I offer one-hour, three-hour, and six-hour versions of this workshop.

I’ve also given workshops on demand in the past in such areas as the use of mobile computing in university mathematics courses, Prezi web-based presentation software, and web-based classroom response platforms. My expertise lies at the intersection of mathematics, education, and technology – and most of my workshops focus on some linear combination of those themes.

I am also an experienced public speaker to educational audiences, including keynote and plenary addresses to large (100+ member) audiences.

What you can expect

Whether you are looking for a speaker at your event or someone to come in and help your faculty work with the flipped classroom, peer instruction, or other pedagogical issues, I would love to be of service to you.  Here is what you can expect from me:

  1. Prompt, professional, and transparent replies to all your emails and phone calls. I understand that good workshops and talks are built on good relationships and mutual trust — which are based on good communication.
  2. A personal phone conversation with me prior to the event, to help me gauge your needs and interests.
  3. Thorough preparation and quality materials, especially for workshops which will provide a number of “take-home” materials for participants.
  4. Arrival on-site at least one hour before the talk or workshop, to be prepared and properly set up when the event begins.
  5. For talks — an energetic, positive message tailored to the specific interests of your group. For workshops — a vigorous time of work (and fun!) with a clear purpose in mind, again tailored to the specific interests of your group.
  6. A brief follow-up phone or face-to-face conversation following the event to make sure I met your expectations.
  7. Continued accessibility to workshop participants through email and social media, in case participants have any remaining questions or ideas that didn’t get addressed on site.

To contact me

If you are considering having me come and speak or work with your group, please contact me at You can also find me on Twitter at @RobertTalbert and on Google+ .

Upcoming speaking and workshop engagements

December 2014

  • Faculty consultation and seminar talk, Wilfred Laurier University, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada, December 12.

January 2015

  • Faculty consultation and seminar talk, Lenoir-Rhyne University, Hickory, North Carolina USA, January 8.

Recent speaking and workshop engagements

At the intersection of mathematics, education, and technology