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Free workshops offer GCC students, teachers more personalized lessons

Free workshops offer GCC students, teachers more personalized lessons
Glendale Community College is hosting 25 free workshops mainly focused on topics relating to grammar, but also involving other work skills. (Courtesy of Drew Sugars)

Whether it’s avoiding vague language or polishing up citation usage, a series of workshops offered this summer by the Glendale Community College Learning Center is designed to help students, faculty and staff improve, revise or learn critical skills.

Having started late last month, the college is hosting 25 free workshops mainly focused on topics relating to grammar, but also involving other work skills. A list of workshops can be found at glendale.edu and the final workshop will be held Aug. 22.

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“The thinking behind the workshop series is why not have a way to complement, strategically, classroom instruction with these workshops?” learning center director Shant Shahoian said.

“Let’s say you have 30 students, and you’re going to cover the material. But, you know what, student No. 1 is going to need a little more help with X, and student No. 2 a little more help with Y, and student No. 3 a little more help with Z. The workshop series, if used well, could be a prescriptive exercise and offer help to each student,” he added.

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Workshops include titles such as “Keys to College Success,” “Proofreading” and “MLA and APA Documentation.”

The workshops are held in the learning center and last an hour, which Shahoian thinks gives valuable time and insight on a specific topic.

“The faculty who teach these workshops are regular faculty here, and I ask them what it is like to teach those one-hour classes,” Shahoian said.

“The word I get over and over is ‘indulgent’ because they’re able to go into great depth on one trouble area that they’d normally only get five minutes of time for during a regular class. They can devote an hour to run-on sentences and vague language, and it’s just something that staff doesn’t get a chance to normally do,” he added.

While the workshops are convenient for students taking summer classes, Shahoian said any Glendale Community College student can sign up as long as they have their student ID and use the MyGCC portal.

Outside of students, Shahoian thinks the workshops can be beneficial for instructors as well.

“The thinking behind that is in each of these workshops, we’re not just showcasing a particular writing skill, we’re also showcasing pedagogy,” Shahoian said.

“You could come to a workshop like this, if you’re a biology instructor, and maybe take something away about writing that you could then teach your students. You might glean some new strategies for teaching materials that you can take back to your class and apply those principles to biology or whatever the subject may be,” he added.

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