Effective Practice

Effectiveness in developing beginning and advance teaching skills and the ability to communicate and tutor undergraduate students. Participants in the two-part workshop series on course design, the syllabus construction, and the effective grading have provided feedback on the instructional design knowledge, teaching and assessment skills they acquired.                                                                       

Participants’ feedback on what they learned and valued from the events:     

Course Design:

Consider course objectives in terms of what students will be able to do at the end of the term, instead of what they “know”.

Focus more on aligning learning objectives with class structure and evaluations. The integrated model was also extremely helpful, and I will be creating my future syllabi with that in mind.                                 

Lesson Planning:

Setting a plan for day one and planning an activity for the first day, not just discussing the syllabus and letting them go.             

Be far more explicit in expectations for assignments, think of day to day assignments within the broader course objectives.    

Assessment and Grading Strategies:

Include more CATs to improve my teaching. I will be able to vary the kinds of rubrics I create. I have used analytic rubrics in the past, but I have never used weighing within my categories. I think the holistic rubric will also be helpful.

Information of the available TA tools at the institute like the mid-term evaluation.

Workshop ApproachParticipants commented positively the (a) opportunities for practice, (b) discussion oriented session, (c) sharing of resources and networking, and the (d) examples of teaching strategies. Importantly participants in these events had pointed to the need for a workshop on active learning which we designed and offered the Spring ’11 titled engaging students across disciplines. 

Effectiveness in cultivating a positive attitude and commitment for professional development among college instructors (i.e., graduate students, postdocs & faculty).

  • Observation Report: The graduate consultant mentor Dr. Chas Brua had observed one of the six teaching portfolio workshops that I designed and co-led with another graduate consultant (Dr. Beate Brunow) and wrote this letter of recommendation. Based on his advice and the reactions of the participants we increased the duration of the workshop from 1 hour to 1 hour and 30 minutes. Dr. Brua, thank you for the mentoring and support you have provided me as I entered this new field of faculty development.

Participant Feedback: Fourty-nine participants attended the teaching portfolio workshop during the six times that this workshop was offered and 25 (57%) provided feedback.  The majority of the participants found the program valuable, and the mentioned that they would apply things they learned from the program and encourage other colleagues to attend this event in the feature.  Eportfolio feedback

In addition to the ratings, participants provided qualitative comments about the event. Interestingly the teaching portfolio workshop had a broader impact beyond promoting positive attitudes toward professional development. Participants gained:

    • Knowledge about how to document their teaching expertise.
    • Information about resources relevant to portfolios.
    • Reflective, analytical and synthesizing skills.

Moreover, participants commented the methods that
facilitators applied including:

    • The variety of activities (e.g., brainstorming, discussion, presentation, prompting, questioning).
    • The presentation of examples and guiding principles.
    • The organizational aids such as the diagram and the guided notes.