Jackson Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL) Sessions

Editor’s Note: Each Friday during fall semester, the William G. Jackson Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL) will post a short note highlighting a teaching resource or event intended to help instructors teach better.

This week, I want to draw your attention to a new award and event series that will be offered throughout fall semester so that you can mark your calendars.

The first CTL Instructional Award Presentation Series will take place as follows:

  • Sept. 26, 10 a.m.:  Curriculum Development and Assessment:  Tara Bal – School of Forest Resources and Environmental Sciences
  • Oct. 10, 1 p.m.:  Innovative or Out of Class Teaching:  Don Lafreniere – Social Sciences
  • Nov. 30 (time TBD): Large Class Instruction:  Glen Archer, Electrical and Computer Engineering

Each recipient will make a 30-45 minute presentation, sharing the work they are doing that has drawn this recognition. Following each presentation, each will be formally recognized and will subsequently receive $1000 in additional compensation. Registration information for these events will be forthcoming.

Here’s some background for those interested. Until several years ago, the Fredrick D. Williams Award for Teaching Innovation was given to a single instructor who was bringing new technologies or teaching methods to campus.   With the implementation of Canvas and the push for blended learning, the award was discontinued mostly because there was so much innovation happening in so many places, it would have been extremely difficult—and maybe inappropriate—to single anyone out.

At the same time, academic leadership continues to recognize that eligibility for our main teaching awards (nomination to the Academy of Teaching Excellence) tend to be driven mostly by student feedback—which is great.

But other instructional contributions, by their nature, are unlikely to be rewarded through that process.   We need to recognize not only instructors who are trying something really new, but also teachers in large classes (where student evaluations are known to be lower), and those that do the behind-the-scenes work of curriculum innovation and assessment.

During spring 2017, academic deans were encouraged to recognize instructors making contributions in these areas as part of the Deans’ Teaching Showcase.

CTL and Provost’s office members then selected Tara, Glen and Don to make presentations from a pool composed of the Showcase and those nominated to the Academy of Teaching Excellence.

We hope to make this an annual cycle, both recognizing a broader set of important instructional contributions while sharing best practices across campus.

We hope you’ll make plans to attend as many of these presentations as your schedule allows.