Faculty Professional Development

The CTL provides a range of programming and resources for your personal growth and the development of your teaching practice. All professional development at the CTL can be recorded in your job description.

Programs

Contact: Angela Wartel

Faculty meet three to five times during the semester to discuss a selected book on teaching and learning. Participating faculty receive a complimentary copy of the book.

Reading for Fall 2020: Radical Hope

Reading for Spring 2021: Small Teaching Online

Recent selections:

  • How to be an Anti-Racist
  • Range
  • Make it Stick
  • White Fragility
  • The Spark of Learning
  • The Power of Meaning: Finding Fulfillment in a World Obsessed with Happiness
  • Whistling Vivaldi
  • Small Teaching: Everyday Lessons from the Science of Learning
  • Teaching to Transgress

Contact: Dr. Lloyd Mataka or the CTL

A Faculty Inquiry Group is a professional learning community assembled to foster teaching excellence and student success. Throughout a semester or year, faculty meet regularly to develop and investigate a question about their teaching practices, discuss results, and plan publication.

The goals of Faculty Inquiry are to:

  • Support student success in the classroom
  • Enhance teaching practice through interdisciplinary discussion and research related to a teaching and learning question or challenge
  • Share findings and experiences, especially through publication

Contacts: Jenny M. Scott, LaChelle M. Rosenbaum, and Jenni Light

The LC-FLI supports formal and informal leadership, and positive change in personal and professional spheres. You can find out more about the LC-FLI, and the cohort, in this overview document.

The 2020-2021 Cohort is:

  • LaChelle M. Rosenbaum
  • Jill S. Thomas-Jorgenson
  • Scott A. Wimer
  • Lorinda L. Hughes
  • Michelle D. Pearson-Smith
  • Rachel Jameton

Contact: Teresa Carmack, or the CTL

Introduction

Informal peer observations offer an opportunity for you to reflect on your teaching practice in a supportive environment.

Informal peer observations have three parts:

  • An initial conversation to identify the question that you are interested in having an observer help you answer,
  • The observation,
  • A follow-up guided reflection with an emphasis on next steps.

Classrooms that are observed can be on campus, online, or in the community.

Peer observations by the CTL are unrelated to the promotion and tenure process but reflections can be part of portfolios. They are confidential, flexible, based on observation, and positive and growth-minded.

Examples of questions 

  • Am I achieving a specific course outcome?
  • Are my students engaged?
  • Am I treating my students equitably?
  • How are my students feeling about the class at midterm?
  • How does my use of a newly adopted technology support my teaching practice?
  • How do I interpret SCEs and address them in a future class?

Ethical Considerations

All discussion and observations are confidential and only used for the purpose of enhancing teaching by the observee. Observations can only be requested by the observee and only the observee will receive feedback about the observation.

If requested, the CTL will provide a letter of confirmation that an observation has been done to the observee, but we will not provide written details of an observation.

In general, the CTL follows the ethical guidelines for educational developers.

A note about informal observations

You may be accustomed to a formal observation in which you are evaluated. Informal peer observation is a different process in which no judgment is made. Instead, the emphasis is on reflecting on an aspect of your teaching practice that you would like feedback on.

Your peer observer has the responsibility to respect your process and recognize that you are the expert in your classroom. We promise to honor your practice and personal growth as a teacher. You do not have to agree with all or anything your observer says.

As the observee, we ask that you do not ask for evaluation, but focus on answering a question about your teaching practice. Please listen to your observer’s feedback. We know that this can be uncomfortable. We also hope that the attention to your teaching is worth the short term discomfort.

Facilitated by Amanda Van Lanen and Rachel Jameton

Links that may be helpful:

Facilitating Workshops at the CTL

Workshops are compassionate and growth-minded, and typically related to engaging students, curriculum design, inclusive practices, and personal growth. Ideally, attendees leave with a new technique that can be implemented immediately, and some new ways to think about teaching in the longer term.

Please contact the CTL at the beginning of the semester, or the semester prior, during which you would like to run your workshop. Here is a rough timeline for planning your workshop:

  • The semester before: contact Rachel at the CTL to let her know you would like to facilitate a workshop at the CTL.
  • Before the start of the semester in which you will facilitate: You will be sent a calendar in which you can identify the week in which you would like to facilitate your workshop.
  • One month before your workshop or earlier: Rachel will contact you to set up a specific date and time for the workshop, and arrange a time to go over your workshop. You will also need to send in a blurb for the website and Ace.
  • In the month before your workshop: Rachel will advertise through the biweekly email and Facebook.
  • A few days before your workshop: You will be sent a roster of faculty/staff that have signed up by Ace and those faculty/staff will be sent a reminder about the workshop.
  • The day of your workshop: please see Standard Workshop Design below
  • After your workshop: We do not send out official thank you notes, but if you would like one for your portfolio, please request one. Also, if you are interested in survey results, please contact the CTL.

  • Please arrive 10 minutes before to set up room, make tea and/or connect electronically, get surveys from Rachel, greet attendees
  • Start your workshop with introductions
  • Note "rules" for discussion if you'd like
  • Model best practices
  • Summarize the conversation
  • Leave time for a reflection on "how can I use this information in my class or my life?" *this is particularly important so that faculty have time to connect the workshop material to their experience*
  • Give the three question assessment
  • Follow up with thank you and website link

  • Plan for every minute
  • Even a one person audience is worth 100% of your time and effort
  • Make sure that everyone introduces themselves
  • Use backwards design: start with your outcomes, then your activities, then your assessment
  • Focus on a clear idea/direction of what to do in the classroom. Faculty should leave with both a new easy-to-implement activity and the content.
  • Model exercises/active learning/CATs/HIPs/UDL with specific attention to your topic. So, if you are discussing relationship based teaching, you should model best practices in relationship building, etc.
  • Take abundant notes so that you can summarize the conversation
  • Have discussion questions planned out and clearly displayed
  • If possible, sit down
  • Make sure you have a solid foundation in the research before facilitating
  • Give every participant a chance to say something, even just a word or two. If you write down responses, makes sure to value everyone's contribution and write down everyone's responses
  • Give a handout for attendees to write on and take with them
  • Delocalize authority: get your audience to talk with each other
  • Practice beforehand
  • Practice FISH Philosophy https://www.fishphilosophy.com
  • Gauge where people actually are in their knowledge/interest

  • Not taking enough notes during the conversation
  • Leaving my phone on :)
  • Trying to pack in too much information and not leaving time for reflection
  • Going down a rabbit hole and running out of time for the important stuff
  • Not giving people enough time to think
  • Overplanning and not being flexible
  • Not having back-up technology
  • Not knowing my audience!

  • Help us start and end on time
  • Self-regulate your speaking time
  • Expect to be challenged and/or annoyed and/or feel like you said the wrong thing, even if you didn’t
  • If you need to arrive late, leave early or leave the room at any time, it’s ok
  • Help yourself to tea or other hot drinks, they are relaxing

Faculty and staff are invited to contribute to the "ideas and inspiration" pages. Many of these pages stem from a workshop or presentation, while others are an outcome of research, teaching philosophy and experience. Please contact the CTL with your ideas.