Linda B. Nilson, Ph.D.

Linda B. Nilson, Ph.D. is an Internationally-Known Keynote Speaker, Workshop Designer/Leader, and Author on College Teaching, Scholarly Writing, and Academic Career Development.

Dr. Nilson’s keynote and workshop repertoire spans a wide range of faculty development topics.  Most of the workshops listed below are half-day (three hours) unless otherwise indicated, but the length can be adjusted and the topic adapted to a keynote speech.

General Teaching/Overview

  • Top 10 best and top 10 worst teaching practices I have seen  

Preparing to Teach

  • Formulating assessable student learning outcomes and sequencing them to create an outcomes map
  • Matching student learning outcomes with appropriate teaching methods and assessments
  • Designing and developing a course around student learning outcomes
  • Developing a graphic syllabus

Teaching and Learning

  • Engaging student with interactive lecturing 
  • Engaging students in their classroom learning/basic active learning
  • Engaging students in their out-of-class learning (reading)
  • Integrating critical thinking into a course
  • Preventing and troubleshooting problems in small-group learning
  • Discussion management and questioning techniques
  • Communicating with international students
  • Enhancing long classes with activity and interactivity
  • Motivating and teaching students to take good lecture notes
  • The truth about learning styles (multimodal learning)
  • Powerful learning techniques to share with students
  • Pedagogically sound ways to use laptops in class 
  • Valuable websites for teaching and learning 
  • Choosing instructional technologies that help rather than hinder student learning 
  • Flipping your classroom
  • Teaching students to be self-regulated learners (based on my 2013 book)
  • Teaching students to defer gratification and avoid procrastination (90 minutes)
  • Teaching and reaching today’s young students
  • Teaching with the case method and problem-based learning (PBL) – for all disciplines or for STEM disciplines specifically
  • Teaching students how to make concept maps, mind maps, and concept circle diagrams
  • Teaching to how the mind works 
  • Teaching and managing large classes
  • Getting students to do and comprehend the readings 

Classroom Management

  • Getting students to do the readings/prepare for class
  • Reducing student/classroom incivility by projecting a commanding persona
  • Responding wisely to student/classroom incivility  


  • Writing objective test items that assess thinking skills
  • Designing writing assignments and essay questions that assess thinking skills
  • Improving student-peer feedback and student self-assessment
  • Assessing/grading student work quickly and objectively with rubrics
  • Setting and assessing program learning outcomes (best for departments or department chairs)
  • Specifications grading (based on my 2015 book)
  • Assessing experiential learning (simulations, role plays, service-learning/community engagement; internships, field work)

Career, Research, and Teaching Evaluation

  • Quick-starting and managing the early stages of an academic career (for new/junior faculty in research-oriented institutions)
  • Writing a teaching philosophy (including as a basis of a teaching portfolio)
  • Measuring student learning in a course as evidence of teaching effectiveness (suitable to besubmitted for faculty review as a counterbalance to student ratings)
  • Peer assessment of teaching for promotion and tenure (best for departments or department chairs)
  • Becoming a more prolific scholar (best practices in scholarly writing and publishing) 
  • What student ratings do and do not evaluate about faculty members’ teaching