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Confidentiality Policy

The Center for Teaching is a university-wide resource for the Vanderbilt teaching community. Its goals are to promote excellence in teaching through dialogue, inquiry and research, and to offer teachers feedback and an opportunity for reflection on their teaching. To fulfill these goals, the Center must offer a trustworthy environment to those it serves, and thus has established the following policies. These policies were created by the Center’s faculty advisory board with representation from all of Vanderbilt’s schools, and are also supported by the Ethical Guidelines for Educational Developers developed by the national POD Network in Higher Education. Please address any questions or concerns to the Center’s director.

Teachers can receive feedback on their teaching through the Center for Teaching in a variety of ways: small group analyses (SGAs), videotaping, class observations, microteaching, conversations about particular teaching challenges, or other consultation sessions.

The Center is dedicated to providing teachers with these opportunities to observe themselves and their students in a confidential manner, for formative purposes, without risk of evaluation or censure. Therefore:

  • The Center will gather feedback (videotape, SGA, etc.) about a course only upon the request of the teacher.
  • The Center does not make feedback information available to anyone except the teacher.
  • The Center expects that consultation on a videotape will occur first between a Center consultant and the teacher. The Center recognizes that teachers may benefit further by subsequently sharing the videotape with their colleagues, and they may do so at their own discretion.
  • Feedback gathered and/or given by the Center is meant to be formative, and thus is not intended to be used in promotion, tenure or re-appointment processes.
  • The Center will release the name of a participant only upon his or her request. At the request of a participant, the Center will provide written verification of participation listing the type(s) of activity, date(s) and Center consultant(s). Such “certificates of participation” may be included in tenure and promotion files, or used for other evaluative processes.
  • Occasionally, the Center may ask for a teacher’s written permission to show another individual or group an excerpt of a videotape or other material to illustrate a particular teaching issue.
  • The Center periodically consults with schools and departments on ways of improving the teaching done by, and the mentoring of, graduate student teaching assistants. In this capacity, the Center shares models and ideas, raises questions, and otherwise advises-but is not responsible for monitoring or enforcing TA teaching requirements.