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Scenes from the Instructional Development Program

Instructional Development Program


Individual Consultation


Is there an aspect of your teaching which you would like to develop? Or an assignment or activity that you would like to brainstorm?

Individual Consultation is the cornerstone of the Instructional Development Program. We work with instructors seeking both general consultation on how they might strengthen their instruction and specific consultation on particular issues or questions. All consultation activities are strictly confidential, an arrangement protected by Faculty Senate resolution and supported by the Office of the Provost.

For instructors seeking consultation on how to improve instruction, we offer a systematic process designed to look closely at a particular course or courses, to identify what seems to be working well and what might merit attention, and to experiment with strategies for increasing student learning. Consultation activities vary from person to person, of course, but we typically begin by:

  • reviewing course materials (syllabus, texts, assignments, and exams),

  • observing (and videotaping if the instructor wishes) at least one class meeting,

  • collecting and analyzing student feedback.

In follow-up meetings, the consultant and instructor work together to review and interpret information collected, brainstorm things to try, develop action plans, and design ways to assess experimental efforts.

We also welcome opportunities to consult with instructors about specific questions or issues they identify. Faculty frequently contact us with questions such as:

  • I'm thinking about trying a new assignment. Can I run the idea by you?

  • I've discovered an incident of cheating. Can we talk before I take action?

  • I'm teaching an introductory course for the first time in a long time. I'd like some advice about what I can expect from first-year students.

  • I'm going to teach an on-line course. Any advice?

Instructors may find general suggestions about several such issues in the "Resources" section, but often it is helpful to talk about these matters in the context of a specific course. Please feel free to contact us.


Course Planning Workshops

AUG 26 - 30, 2013