Individual consultations are among the most beneficial services the Center for Teaching offers. Each hour-long consultation is focused on your needs, allowing targeted approaches to address your context and your goals.
Consultations can center on any teaching-related question that you have, but they often revolve around several core needs:
- Instructional design
- Syllabus & course design
- Educational technology, including Brightspace and TopHat
- Mid-semester student feedback (gathered via small group analysis, or SGA)
- Classroom observations
- Student evaluations
- Teaching documentation, such as teaching philosophy statements
- Scholarship of teaching and learning (SoTL)
To set up a consult, contact the CFT at 615-322-7290 or firstname.lastname@example.org. You may wish to consider our staff page to determine if your needs would best be met through consultation with one person in particular, but if you’re not sure, we’ll guide you to the right person.
Factors that Encourage Teaching Improvement
Below are some characteristics of the instructor and consulting process that will most likely lead to progress when a person works with the Center for Teaching:
- The instructor is interested and willing to change.
- The instructor has support from the department.
- There is an adequate amount of time to work on making modifications to the instructor’s teaching strategies. Often, a couple of semesters are necessary to see significant change.
- The instructor has clear goals, guidelines and evaluation criteria, based on feedback from the department and school.
Substantive changes take time, and there are sometimes situations in which the CFT may not be able to facilitate that change. For example, if the situation and not the person’s teaching is the problem, change may not happen. Some examples of these kinds of situations are:
- having very large classes and no or few TAs or other administrative support
- finding room conditions that hinder rather than facilitate teaching
- receiving a teaching assignment right before classes begin
- teaching a class that is not in the instructor’s area of expertise
- being spread too thin with other responsibilities (committee service, research, etc.)
- health / family / personal problems
Teaching well requires a substantial time commitment. When major factors inhibit instructors from spending substantive time on teaching preparation and execution, it is very difficult for them to receive strong evaluations from students or their peers.
Adapted from materials created by the Center for Teaching Effectiveness, University of Texas at Austin
The Center is dedicated to providing teachers with opportunities in a confidential manner, for formative purposes, without risk of evaluation or censure. For details, view our confidentiality policy.