to the UConn Teaching, Learning, and Assessment Task Force web site!
The Task Force was charged by the provost with recommending ways to: 1) enhance the quality of teaching and learning at the undergraduate and graduate levels; 2) offer opportunities for professional development for faculty; 3) develop assessment tools to inform and improve classroom instruction; and 4) ensure that quality of teaching will be a strong consideration, along with research, in reappointment, promotion, tenure, and merit, as mandated in the by-laws.
The Task Force met during the 2006-2007 academic year to address its charge, and members considered and debated many ideas related to effective classroom practice. In the end, the Task Force prepared a report around three main areas: 1) enhancing the value of teaching; 2) opportunities for improving teaching; and 3) the evaluation of teaching. The report was accepted by the Provost and made available to the university community on this website. The website provided administrators, faculty, and staff an opportunity to share their thoughts on the recommendations made by the Task Force. In addition, open forums were scheduled during March, 2007 for the purpose of discussing aspects of the report as well as an opportunity for university members to provide feedback on the report to Task Force members.
In May, 2007 a Teaching, Learning, and Assessment Oversight Committee was appointed and charged with analyzing the feedback in order to revise the original report and to oversee the implementation of the recommendations of the revised report. In carrying out its charge, in addition to the feedback from the university community, the oversight committee adhered to a set of core principles on effective teaching that were used in writing the revised the report. They included: 1) research and teaching should be viewed as synergistic activities—each should inform the other; 2) instructors should strive to create classroom environments that respect and value student opinions; 3) instructors should have a deep understanding of their subject matter, a knowledge of learners and how they learn, an understanding of ways to engage students in the learning process, an understanding of appropriate assessment techniques, and an understanding of ways to use technology to enhance student learning and performance; 4) instructors should be engaged in ongoing reflective practice of their teaching.
The debate over the relationship of teaching and research at the University of Connecticut can and should continue. This revised report reflects the consensus about the need to address ways to support instructors in their teaching and to consider methods to evaluate teaching, both formative (for the instructor’s benefit alone) and summative (for merit, PTR, etc.).
The revised report is divided into three main sections with recommendations. The menu items at the left will lead to web pages displaying recommendations contained in
the “Revised Report of the Task Force on Teaching, Learning, and Assessment” as well as providing links to additional documents and web resources.
The complete Revised Report of the Task Force (15 page ) is available via clicking on the link here as well as in
the Resources section. Links to Adobe® Reader®-viewable
Portable Document Format documents are indicated by underlined
text followed by ( ). Adobe® Reader® may
be obtained by clicking here.