Cultivating Joy in Learning

November 8, 2023, 1:00pm to 2:00pm
Intended audience: 
Academic Support Staff, Faculty, Graduate Student Instructors, Instructors
Part of series: 

Picture of the facilitators

Learning environments can promote student belonging, academic  identity, and joy using inclusive teaching practices. This workshop continues our critical discussion of ways to incorporate inclusive teaching, famed by Universal Design for Learning (UDL). UDL guides instructors to proactively implement multiple ways to demonstrate understanding, engage in content, and have content represented. Through this UDL lens, this workshop explores how joy in learning creates resiliency, intrinsic motivation, meaning-making, and deeper learning. It is also linked to truth, beauty, aesthetics, artful thinking, wonderment, and activities where students feel personal fulfillment and have opportunities to create solutions to real-world problems (Muhammad, 2023).

Join our workshop as we provide stories of deep learning, teaching, and researching that use joy-informed pedagogy to activate student agency, promote healing, and build community. Our discussion will revolve around these critical thinking questions: Where does joy fit into learning, and how does it manifest in learning? Can deep learning happen without joyful discoveries, deeper self-awareness, transformation? 

In this workshop, you will learn how to:

  • Reframe Rigor 

  • Why joy? 

    • Activator for intrinsic motivation and resilience 

    • Deeper/lasting  learning 

    • Meaning-making

  • Teaching & Learning Stories

  • Reflection Q & A

Tara Mason, Ph.D. is the Universal Design for Learning Consultant at the Center for Teaching and Learning. She holds a Ph.D. in Special Education from Texas Tech University and an M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. She has over 20 years of experience working in K-12 as a special and general education teacher, coach, and interventionist. Her research primarily focuses on Universal Design for Learning, writing, promoting equity and inclusion, assistive technology, trauma-informed instruction, mentoring, and special education teacher preparation. 

Eileen Kogl Camfield, Ed.D. serves at UC Merced as interim director in the Center for Engaged Teaching and Learning and as a teaching professor in the Global Arts, Media, and Writing Studies Department. Her dedication to equity and diversity aligns with research on anti-racist pedagogy and resilience theory. Currently, she's editing a volume titled Joy-Informed Pedagogy: Uplifting Teaching and Learning

Jackie Shay, Ph.D. is a microbial ecologist and equity-focused pedagogy consultant with a decade of experience in inclusive biology teaching. Jackie is currently serving as the Associate Director of the Center for Engaged Teaching and Learning at UC Merced.

This hybrid event will be held in person in 117 Dwinelle Hall (Academic Innovation Studio) and also on Zoom. Please RSVP for the Zoom link, and if you're joining us on-site, please make sure to register as well. This workshop will also include an optional 45-minute Q&A open lab directly after the workshop for any in-person participant wanting to work towards inclusive teaching goals in their own courses. 

➡️ RSVP for this event here!⬅️

Unable to join us for this workshop? Check the RTL events calendar for future offerings of this workshop. Engage with our asynchronous offerings on this topic: Inclusive Teaching Guideor receive customized assistance by emailing, or by scheduling a consultation


Research, Teaching, and Learning (RTL)

Series description

Explore the transformative potential of inclusive teaching through our workshop series. This series offers a comprehensive guide to designing equitable and engaging classrooms that cater to the diverse needs of all students. Gain practical insights into implementing inclusive pedagogical strategies and techniques that foster an inclusive learning environment.