Opportunities for Supporting and Enhancing Teaching
Even the best—or especially the best—teachers constantly seek ways to enhance their teaching, whether as a result of formal evaluations or as part of their own individual quests for innovation and excellence. We encourage faculty to participate in professional development activities aimed at enhancing teaching practice, and ask that administrators recognize and reward them for doing so, both at Storrs and the regional campuses. These recommendations all include specific attention to part-time instructors (often called “adjuncts”) and teaching assistants, in addition to the tenured and tenure-track faculty. Specific recommendations are:
- Workshops and seminars dealing with issues of pedagogy and best practice (e.g. case method, group discussion, active learning strategies, teaching in laboratories, team teaching, the teaching of graduate students since we usually refer to the teaching of undergraduates, etc.) to promote excellence in teaching.
- Workshops on the appropriate use of technology (e.g., PowerPoint, Podcasts, Classroom Performance Systems, Tablet PC (i.e., Digital Ink), etc.,) as tools to deliver high-quality instruction.
- Faculty course development grants for new courses and for significant revisions of existing courses.
- Faculty attendance at discipline-specific, as well as general, teaching conferences through university-level travel grants. Further, encourage faculty and administrators to host existing discipline-specific, national and/or regional teaching conferences.
- Faculty handbook and/or website on teaching resources, policies, and practices to be made available to all faculty and administrators through the Institute for Teaching and Learning website.
- Faculty newsletter and/or website on teaching-related matters, teaching tips, syllabus construction, instructor-student interaction, etc., distributed monthly through the Institute for Teaching and Learning.
- Training in how to perform peer evaluation of teaching and the evaluation of teaching portfolios to be offered by the Institute for Teaching and Learning
- Provide faculty professional development on teaching growth and improvement plans for faculty whose teaching needs to improve, based on both summative and formative assessment.
- Teaching-related podcasts, weekly or bi-weekly, hosted by the Institute for Teaching and Learning to discuss teaching issues with invited faculty guests.
- Additional resources for large courses in order to promote small group and individual activities.