West Texas A&M University

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Teaching Excellence Center:  Services

Services

The Teaching Excellence Center will provide a variety of services to help faculty enhance teaching and learning.

Workshops and Seminars

Department, college and university wide workshops will be offered by the TEC throughout the year.  Departments and colleges can make requests for workshops on specific topics and these can be delivered to the individual department or college. Informal seminars on topics related to classroom teaching techniques, quick assessments or other topics will occur throughout the year.  These will be posted on the Teaching Excellence Center website as well as sent in an e-newsletter to faculty.

 

Peer Review Programs

Peer review of teaching involves reviewing course syllabi, assignments and materials as well as peer observation of classroom teaching to help teachers in higher education enhance their teaching skills while also enhancing learning opportunities for their students. Several programs on the WT campus already take advantage of a peer review process.  The Teaching Excellence Center can help programs facilitate or improve an existing peer review process or assist in creating a peer review process for your department or program. 

Peer review programs can help faculty supplement the student course evaluations that are completed each semester.  A peer review would provide a different kind of feedback for faculty to use in reflection on teaching and learning. Peer review is essential in research and publishing and therefore should also be highly valued for teaching as well. For more information or help in setting up a peer review program in your area, please contact the Teaching Excellence Center at the following email address: tec@wtamu.edu.

 

Have you ever analyzed your end of course evaluations and wished you had known some of that information earlier in the semester?  Perhaps students were having trouble understanding the textbook or in making connections between the lecture and the text.  One way to find out what students are thinking is to ask through Informal Early Feedback (IEF).  This kind of feedback refers to collecting and using student evaluations of the instructor's teaching and their own learning during the semester so that the instructor can make adjustments to enhance student learning before the semester is over. In this process, students are asked questions about their learning, any difficulties they may be having, what they like most about the course, etc.  All responses are anonymous and the instructor can then interpret and use this information to inform their own teaching for the remainder of the semester.  The instructor and students have a brief discussion about the results and any adjustments made to the course based on these results.  Discussion can also include why some changes are not possible.

Informal Early Feedback can be administered by the instructor or a consultant from the Teaching Excellence Center can administer it, summarize the results and share those with the instructor.  Either way, IEF can give instructors some relevant information about how students are learning in a course before the end of the semester.  These can be used as supplemental information for promotion and tenure or post tenure review if desired but do not have to be shared in this way.

If you are interested in Informal Early Feedback, contact the Teaching Excellence Center at the following email address, tec@wtamu.edu and we will help you design questions or administer the IEF in any of your courses.

 

Consultations

The TEC will provide confidential instructional consultation services to any faculty member who wishes to discuss specific teaching ideas or concerns.  These consultations are intended for faculty to enhance their teaching in a particular area or areas and may include classroom observations, ideas for teaching resources in the specific area, or just to discuss teaching ideas in general.  These consultations are developed based on the objectives or goals of the faculty member and so may be short term or long term.  Topics for consultations may include developing course objectives and learning outcomes, designing and developing student projects, developing syllabi and creating engaging learning environments.

This process is collaborative between the TEC and the instructor and they work together to identify goals and develop strategies to meet these goals.  Consultations are confidential and information will not be shared with others.

 

New Faculty Orientation

The TEC and office of Academic Affairs sponsor a series of faculty development activities created specifically for the needs of new faculty.  This includes seasoned faculty new to the university and faculty new to teaching or in the early part of their academic career.  This series of activities begins with New Faculty Orientation in the fall semester.  This orientation introduces new faculty to the university in general, its mission, its students and helps integrate new faculty into the university community. 

Additionally, faculty development aimed at those new to WTAMU will continue each month with topics such as enhancing your teaching, preparing a teaching portfolio and the Annual Professional Summary, starting or continuing a research agenda, locating potential grants, advising students, technology support, and  promotion and tenure.