Teaching and Learning Center Proposal

Document Sample
Teaching and Learning Center Proposal Powered By Docstoc
					                                                 Academy of Distinguished
                                                                Teaching Scholars
Office Of The Provost                                                          Telephone: (352) 392-2404
235 Tigert Hall, PO. Box 113175                                                      Fax: (352) 392-8735
Gainesville, Florida 32611-3175

            Recommendation for a Campus-Wide

                   Teaching and Learning Center*

                        Presented to Provost Joseph Glover
            The Academy of Distinguished Teaching Scholars

                                     November 5, 2010

    A report prepared on behalf of the Academy by members of the Teaching and
    Learning Center Committee:

                             Prof. Marianne Schmink (Committee Chair)
                             Prof. Linda Behar-Horenstein
                             Prof. Douglas J. Levey
                             Prof. Sidney R. Homan Jr.
                             and Prof. W. Gregory Sawyer


    * Address all correspondence to Prof. Oscar D. Crisalle, Chair of The Academy of Distinguished
       Teaching Scholars. E-mail:, Phone number: (352) 392-5120.
Why a Campus-Wide Teaching and Learning Center
    A campus-wide Teaching and Learning Center would demonstrate that the University of Florida values
teaching, that it supports a concerted effort to ensure that every student receives a quality education, and that
the full potential of our community’s diverse approaches to teaching can only be realized through broad
collaboration. Methods of instruction and experiences of faculty vary among disciplines that often may seem
to have little in common. The campus-wide Center we envision allows us, at very least, to understand our
differences and similarities, to learn from each other, and to be exposed to new ideas that might not have
surfaced within an individual department, or even a college.

    The Center would draw on successful programs already existing at the University of Florida, our
colleagues’ experience with everything from workshops for new TAs to mentoring by senior faculty to
“refresher” seminars for mid-level faculty to distance education (see Appendices B, C, and D). These
currently isolated programs, albeit successful, would surely be enhanced by the wider focus and integrative
nature of the Center.

Contribution of the Academy of Distinguished Teaching
    The Academy of Distinguished Teaching Scholars will offer distinct contributions both in establishing
and in advising such a Center, since its members, drawn from disciplines across the campus, were chosen
because they have endeavored to integrate their teaching and research. Charged by the Provost with forging
even more productive links between these too often separate areas, the Academy proposes such a Center as
its first major project. It is significant that our peer institutions long ago established some of the most
successful campus-wide teaching centers (see Figure 1). Indeed, given the variety of disciplines represented,
and charged by the Provost “to evaluate current support on campus for teaching improvement and to make
recommendations for implementation of a university-wide center,” the Academy is itself a microcosm for the
Center proposed here. The Academy has studied the principles and effectiveness of campus-wide teaching
centers at comparable universities. We would now like to act upon such information.

Recommendation for a Campus-Wide Center for Teaching and Learning Excellence                              Page 1

Best Practices at Peer Institutions

    There is significant evidence of a correlation between the length of time such centers have been in
existence and faculty involvement, breadth of programs, administrative support (which includes everything
from funding to providing a director and
staff to a building for such a center), and—
perhaps most important—evidence
confirming that the quality of teaching has
improved. The latter is signaled by
teaching evaluations and in-depth
interviews with faculty and administrators,
not to mention changes in the perception of
the public, parents of students, even state
legislatures and other funding sources (see
Appendix A).

    Although attention to and involvement
in teaching excellence programs varies at
our university among individual
departments and colleges, by drawing on
their experience for a campus-wide center
we would strengthen and broaden their
commendable efforts by making them part
of a university-wide commitment to

    The fact is that when it comes to such a   Figure 1. Of the top 25 public universities, Florida
commitment we are behind our peer              is the only one that does not have a university-wide
institutions. The University of Texas at       teaching center. Missing ranks to left of institution
Austin, for example, has had such a center     names denote ties. *Note that such a center did exist
since 1974, and the mean age of such           at UF for a number of years.

centers nationally is seventeen years old.

Recommendation for a Campus-Wide Center for Teaching and Learning Excellence                          Page 2
What Such a Center Might Do
    According to a benchmark study by the University of Tennessee’s Teaching and Learning Center (see
Appendix E), the ten activities that characterize the programs at forty-six prominent universities are:

    1.    workshops and seminars (for all levels of faculty)
    2.    online resources and references
    3.    consultations
    4.    graduate teaching assistant development programs
    5.    teaching evaluation and assessment programs
    6.    instructional grants for teaching and pedagogical research
    7.     new faculty orientation programs
    8.    newsletters
    9.    teaching award programs
    10.   information technology workshops

    The complete list suggests an essential and no less vital range of services such a center could offer, from
videotaping classroom teaching to distance education to mentoring programs—even to using actors to
illustrate the pleasures and perils of classroom teaching.

Some Specific Proposals
1. We propose to start in a small way, in terms of a staff and campus location, yet seek to hire a full-time
    director (with expertise and a national reputation in relevant fields), along with a small paid staff
    adequate for an anticipated wide range of programs and services.

2. Core funding for the center should come from the Provost’s office, and be its own line item in the
    university budget, supplemented by contributions from departments and colleges as appropriate based on
    discussions among representatives of those units.

3. The center should seek support (in everything from philosophical commitment to participation) from the
    entire university—departments, colleges, faculty, students and student organizations —so that each
    department chairperson, for example, thinks of the center’s work as a vital part of the ongoing research
    and teaching enterprise of his or her department. Given that excellent centers and programs for teaching
    already exist in some units on campus, the proposed university-wide Center should support and work
    with them to expand and improve existing activities and services, making these available to a wider
    audience at UF, while also providing coordination, a broad vision, and complementary programs to
    support the needs of all those who teach at the University of Florida.

4. The University of Florida should commit to a vision of its center as part of a long-established and still
    growing movement– the perhaps overdue recognition by this nation’s system of higher education that
    teaching and research are mutually dependant.

Recommendation for a Campus-Wide Center for Teaching and Learning Excellence                                Page 3
       Appendix A. Teaching and Learning Centers at Selected Peer
 Location           Organizational structure      Services                Recommendations

University of        Has a teaching center     Provides 3-day              Have IT talk to Eval folks in AT and
Illinois at          that provides services    workshop for new TA         suggest that teaching center do university
Champaign-           university-wide. Has      (sometimes uses super       evaluations.
Urbana               been existence for 43     TA to train) at the
                     years.                    beginning of Fall and       Bring IT/AT and evaluation functions
                                               Spring semesters            under same roof.
                     Has a center director.
John Ory,                                      Each TA is videotaped       Made suggestion that evaluation become
Director                                       for 8 minutes. The video    seen as more than an item for T & P but
                                               is play-backed and other    that it can help faculty use this data as
ory@illinois.ed                                                            means to improve teaching and seek the
                                               TAs comment/critique.
u                                                                          services of the center.
                                               Provides customized
217-333-3370                                                               Get donors or alumni contributions to a
                                               faculty development for
                                               colleges and also offers    named center.
                                               ongoing workshops that
                                                                           Stated that many teaching centers in the
                                               usually garner about 25
                                                                           US are named.
                                                                           They have about 20 staff and a budget of
                                               Offers courses for new
                                                                           $1 million. It’s almost all hard money.
                                               faculty and those
                                               graduate students who       They are run out of the Provost’s office,
                                               plan to become              which he thinks is critical to the mission of
                                               professors.                 the center – “not a subdivision of College
                                                                           of Ed”

                                                                           Blended courses (online/distance) are the
                                                                           future. Go there.

University of        Has component groups      Is a member of the          Seek information for CITRL.
Wisconsin-           (boutique centers) that   Wisconsin science
Madison              seek to fulfill the       program. This group         Write an NSF grant to fund center.
                     mission of a              pairs senior and junior
                     university-wide           faculty for the purposes
                     teaching center           of mentoring.
Aaron Brower,
                                               Collaboration between
Faculty who
                                               science and social
now works in
                                               science faculty whose
provost’s office.    Delta Program             mission is to train TAs
                     (funded by NSF and        who intend to become
                     part of a consortium      faculty.
                     named Center for
608-262-5246         Instruction, Teaching,    TAs are on research
                     Research and Learning     fellowships but

Recommendation for a Campus-Wide Center for Teaching and Learning Excellence                                      Page 4
               (CITRL).                  nonetheless take a series
                                         of courses in teaching.
               This center is funded     Then they are given a
               in part by the graduate   teaching project to
               school and the            complete with their
               provost’s office.         mentor. Students are
                                         trained to use their
               Has been in existence
                                         research series in their
               for 6 years.
                                         thinking and preparation
               Teaching academy- a       for teaching.
               group of senior faculty
                                         Does not provide
               went to the faculty
                                         coverage for university-
               senate with a proposal
                                         wide teaching
               to service faculty’s
               instructional needs.
               Has been in operation
               since 1990. Members
               have to be voted in by
               the senate and must
               contribute to the
               teaching (faculty
               development) mission.
               Academy members
               offer workshops.
               Workshops are both
               invited or marketed.
               This group offers
               colloquia, and talks.

               Chemistry learning
               center (in existence
               for 10-12 years) for

               Biology learning
               center (in existence
               for 10-15 years).

               Writing center -
               provides writing
               across the curriculum,
               writing for intensive
               courses for
               undergraduate and
               trains future TAs to
               teach undergraduates

               Has a division of IT
               where AT is housed.

               Web page gives the

Recommendation for a Campus-Wide Center for Teaching and Learning Excellence   Page 5
                    viewer that idea that
                    they have a single
                    cohesive teaching
                    center when in fact
                    they do not.

                    Website was created
                    with the idea that they
                    wanted to reflect
                    common goals among
                    their teaching and
                    learning communities.

University of       3 major components to     Provides training for       12 staff
North Carolina      this center:              Graduate Student TAs –
– Chapel Hill       1) Teaching resources     Orientation and             An advisory board of about 25 professors
                                              workshops                   and administrators from all over campus.
Center for          2) support and
Faculty             guidance for designing    Part of the Future          Budget is ~$1 million in hard money from
Excellence          and funding research      Faculty Fellowship          Provost’s office. Plus lots of collaboration
                    (a DSR/Sobha              Program (preparing          with other units (e.g., 0.5 FTE faculty
Todd Zakrajsek,     Jaishankar type of        graduate students for the   director, whose appt is split with a
Executive           role)                     professoriate)              department; ditto for IT guys)
Phone: 919-         3) professional           Many workshops and           “Essential” to be hard funded from the
966-4838            development for           seminars for teaching       Provost’s office, otherwise, won’t be taken
Email:              faculty – how to grow     effectiveness; aimed at     seriously and will be at the mercy of                                                             funding whims.
                    into a campus             faculty and graduate
                    leadership role.          students. There are 1 or
                                              2 events per week.
                                              One-on-one video taping
u/index.html        Each center has a large   and advice to faculty and
                    menu of services.         grad students.

                                              Campus-wide IT support
                                              services associated with
                                              teaching (not other
                                              stuff). This includes
                                              distance learning and e-

                                              Special program for
                                              training and advice to
                                              professors who want to
                                              take on campus
                                              leadership roles.

                                              One-stop shopping
                                              (resources and advice)
                                              for Assistant Professors.

Recommendation for a Campus-Wide Center for Teaching and Learning Excellence                                     Page 6
University of      Divisions include:       Newsletter, Blog,
Texas at Austin                             Distance Ed, archives

Division of                                 Tech support
Instructional      Teaching and
Innovation and     Learning Resources:      Grad student Instructor
Assessment                                  program: annual
(DIIA)             Seminars & training;     colloquium, workshops,
                                            individual consulting
Judy C.            Consulting services;
Ashcroft, Dean                              On-going course
of Continuing      Assessment &
                                            assessment tool
and Innovative     evaluation
Education                                   “Promising practices”
jashcroft@austi                             Instructional technology       Research:
                                            awards program

Large staff
(over 40) plus

University of      Founded in 1962, the     Teaching Strategies and
Michigan           first in the country.    Disciplinary Resources
                                            (links for each
Center for         Programs for faculty;    department or unit)
Research on        graduate student
Learning and       instructors and post-    Evaluation of teaching:
Teaching           docs; and deans,         midterm student
(CRLT), 1071
                   departments, and         feedback (small group
Commons, 100       chairs.                  discussions, CRLT
Washtenaw                                   consultant).
Ave., Ann          Eight different grants
Arbor, MI          and awards for           Theatre program
48109-2218         teaching improvement     featuring sketches of
                   and innovation – over    teaching situations
Staff of 24        $300,000 awarded in
people plus a      2008-9                   Orientations,
12-member                                   consultations, mentoring
Advisory Board


Recommendation for a Campus-Wide Center for Teaching and Learning Excellence   Page 7
            Appendix B. Resources at UF and Colleges Consulted

   1. College of Agriculture and Life Sciences

The most established teaching center at UF is the Teaching Resource Center (TRC), created in 1994
in the department of Agricultural Extension Education. The TRC has a Director who is a faculty
member in the department, 15% of whose time is allocated to the Center, and has $16,000/year
operating budget, which pays a graduate assistant. The Center provides an Annual Teaching
Enhancement Symposium since 2001, and a 10-week Teacher’s College since 2007, as well as other
seminars, workshops, and one-on-one consultations with faculty. A recent needs assessment
revealed as priorities: faculty development; scholarship on teaching and learning, and graduate
student training.

The Center has the strong support of the CALS Dean for Academic Programs, whose training is in
pedagogy. He proposes that the TRC be broadened to become a university-wide teaching resource
center, with a significant expansion of staff, space, and programs.

        2. College of Business

The Office of Teaching Excellence and Assessment is headed by a full-time Director with a Ph.D.
in information science and learning technology, along with three other staff persons (instructional
designer; online support; videographer) and student assistants. The office works with accreditation
groups to support faculty groups in developing assessment measures and timelines for their specific
programs, as well as to carry out pre- and post-hoc embedded assessments and evaluations using
student samples, and progress measures. They have also provided significant support to online
teaching. The office is now expanding its services in faculty support for teaching, including online,
face-to-face, and blended courses. They also support peer teaching evaluation.

The Center collaborates with other teaching units on campus and is interested in linking with a
university-wide center, which should continue to support existing centers. The Dean stressed that
business faculty will not go for services to a teaching center in another college. There could be
value-added for the Center in training of junior faculty, lecturers, post-docs, and Ph.D. students, and
in learning new ideas and practices.

   3.   College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

There is no office, staff or budget specifically devoted to teaching in the College, but the Dean
strongly supports teaching excellence, a university-wide teaching center with support from the
Provost, and leadership by the college deans. Participation by colleges would be on a voluntary
basis, with some mechanism for payment by the college for services provided to faculty. He also
stressed the need for a comprehensive peer evaluation program in which every class in the college
would be assessed by peer evaluators released from other assignments to be on call for this purpose.
For this purpose he suggested the possibility of providing $1-200,000/year for faculty release time.
Recommendation for a Campus-Wide Center for Teaching and Learning Excellence                   Page 8
   4. College of Education

This college has no formal program for faculty development nor faculty or staff assigned
specifically to these roles. The college does provide assistance in grant writing, and about agency
requirements for grant submission to IES, NSF and NIH, and by offering occasional classes on
research methods. Although she did not offer monetary resources, the Dean supports the notion of a
university-based teaching center and suggests that she would allocate the south parking lot of the
COE to build a structure to house such a center, and host university-wide seminars. The college’s
work with technology in schools and distance education could serve as a resource to others across
the university.

   5.   College of Engineering

The College offers videotaped workshops for faculty and graduate students, covering different
aspects of teaching. They also plan to carry out a review of teaching evaluation approaches, and to
develop a pool of trained evaluators from outside a given instructor’s department and possibly
outside the college (but in related fields). A mid-term tenure review would include a
comprehensive teaching assessment based on a review of syllabus and teaching portfolia,
observation, and student assessments. There is significant research in engineering education to
encourage achievement of excellence in teaching, and these results need to be implemented and
demonstrated. The Dean recognizes the need for a university-wide teaching improvement center, in
efforts to change the student evaluation instruments currently in use, and to develop more
comprehensive techniques for assessment and instructional improvement. Such a center could
support the training of evaluators for the various colleges. Mechanisms could be explored to
support access to “a la carte” services, perhaps through an RCM “tax” on students in each college
for whom the services would provide benefits (such as improving the learning environment for
undergraduates, and mentoring for graduate students).

Recommendation for a Campus-Wide Center for Teaching and Learning Excellence                Page 9
  Appendix C. 2009 Health Science Faculty Development Needs
This needs assessment survey was conducted in 2009 by The Health Science Faculty
Development Group. Using a Likert-type scale (5= mastery/could teach others; 4=
Medium/Mastery; 3= Medium; Good but could still improve, 2= Low/Medium, and 1= Low;
I need more development), health science faculty were asked to rate their level of
skill/knowledge in particular instructional areas. They were also asked to rate the
availability of professional development opportunities in the same areas (5= excellent; 4=
very good; 3= good; 2= poor; and 1 = fair). For detailed results of the full survey, contact
Dr. Randy Graff ( Results from the 425 faculty who responded to the survey
provide insight into the priority needs that could be served by a UF teaching and learning

Results showed that the health science faculty’s greatest needs were in the following areas:
(a) teaching effectively, (b) constructive feedback, (c) emerging technology, (d) teaching
methods, (e) effective assessments (f) enhancing clinic, classroom, and small group
teaching, (g) designing courses and (h) developing a educational portfolio. The average
mean scores and standard deviations of the top ten lowest items indicating the availability of
professional development opportunities are shown in the table below.

           Summary of Survey Results: Health Science Faculty Teaching Needs
        Need                                                  Mean          Deviation
        Developing an educational portfolio                   1.19             1.06
        Designing courses                                     1.28             1.03
        Enhancing my clinical teaching                        1.34             1.22
        Enhancing my classroom teaching                       1.44             1.15
        Enhancing small group teaching                        1.46             1.15
        Selecting appropriate teaching methods                1.47             1.13
        Using effective assessments                           1.47             1.13
        Using emerging technology in the classroom            1.48             1.17
        Providing constructive feedback to learners           1.56             1.19
        Teaching effectively                                  1.75             1.25

Recommendation for a Campus-Wide Center for Teaching and Learning Excellence                Page 10
  Appendix D. 2009 Survey of UF Science and Engineering Graduate
      This is an abridged report. Text especially relevant to establishment of a teaching center is in bold font.

I-cubed is an NSF-funded program of the Graduate School and International Center that aims to
integrate graduate training programs across campus in innovative and sustainable ways. As part of
that process, I-cubed conducted a survey of all NSF-supported graduate students at UF in 2009.
The survey was sent to 203 students; 73 completed the survey.
Perceptions of Faculty Careers

Students were asked for their perceptions of what a successful professor must do in general and at
this university. Table 1 shows the percent of students who agreed with the identified roles of
faculty and their agreement with their perception of the universities emphasis on the different roles.
Clearly, students had a different perception of what they believe a successful professor does in
contrast to their perception of the university’s expectations for a successful professor. The
students placed greater emphasis than the university on quality teaching and mentoring. In
contrast, they felt the university placed a stronger emphasis than the students on publishing, grants,
and having lots of graduate students.

                                  Table 1: Successful Faculty Perceptions*
  Successful Professor:             Student Perception     Student Perception of this University
  Publishes a lot                          80.3                             98.6
  Conducts advanced research                100                             97.2
  Provides quality teaching                95.8                             49.3
  Has lots of graduate students            11.3                             57.8
  Provides mentoring                       97.2                             42.3
*Data show the percent of students strongly agreeing or agreeing with the item

Preparation and Support for Teaching

Table 2 shows the needs of the teaching assistants for extra training. The majority of the students
did not feel prepared to enter the classroom; did not feel that they had adequate supervision
when teaching; were not prepared for a career with teaching; were not satisfied with their
teaching experience; and needed additional training in ethics.

                                               Table 2: Teaching*
Adequately trained before entering the class for the first time                 27.5
Appropriately supervised to help improve teaching skills                        27.5
Adequate preparation for an academic/teaching career                            33.3
Satisfied with my teaching experience                                           44.9
Had received training in ethics before entering class                           33.3
*Data show the percent of students strongly agreeing or agreeing with the item.

Recommendation for a Campus-Wide Center for Teaching and Learning Excellence                                  Page 11
      Appendix E. 2008 University of Tennessee Benchmark Study
The ensuing 19 pages contain the document entitled “Report of 2008 Benchmark Study on U.S. Teaching
and Learning Centers”, conducted by The Tennessee Teaching and Learning Center of the University of
Tennessee. The document is used here with permission.

Recommendation for a Campus-Wide Center for Teaching and Learning Excellence                 Page 12
                                                                                          Benchmark Study   1

            Report of 2008 Benchmark Study on U.S. Teaching and Learning Centers

                                             Conducted by:
                          The Tennessee Teaching and Learning Center (TENN TLC)


The University of Tennessee has initiated the new TENNESSEE TEACHING AND LEARNING CENTER. The
purpose of this benchmark study was to develop a greater descriptive understanding and comparison of
teaching and learning centers within the U.S. and specifically, peer and aspirational institutions. It was
believed that having such knowledge would help provide input and direction for a new fledgling center.
Teaching and learning centers are referred to under many labels that include TLCs, Centers for Teaching
Excellence (CTEs), Faculty Development Centers, and many others. For the purpose of this report, we
will use TLCs or the word “center” to represent all of these different labels.

The methodology for the study reflected a two stage data collection. Stage one, labeled WEB, included
data collection from the websites of 46 universities listed in Table 1 below. Data collection began in
June of 2008 and was completed in October of 2008. Stage two, labeled DIR, considered a subset of 20
schools with which in-depth interviews were conducted by phone with center directors. Data collection
began in October of 2008 and was completed in November of 2008. These schools are listed in Table
2.The respective data set employed (WEB or DIR) will be noted for each result presented in this report.

It is important to note several caveats and limitations of this study. First, as we found out from the DIR
study, websites are often not kept up to date, so the information from the WEB study reports the
presentation of information on the website at the time of the study. It was clear in that changes in
personnel, addition of activities, programs, and the like were not always accurate. While we included
the WEB data for the University of Florida which combines teaching and learning with technology
innovation (had been in operation for 10 years), an interview with the center’s director revealed that
the teaching and learning portion was disbanded as a result of budget cuts. Finally, a significant portion
of the data from one school was omitted because it proved to be an extreme outlier. This school’s
center has been operating for 32 years, has a significant endowment, a very large number of staff
members, and an annual budget of $7.5 million.

                                Table 1 – WEB Sample (in alphabetical order)
                        School Name                                         Center URL
            Auburn University           
            Clemson University          
            Indiana University (Bloomington)
            Iowa State University       
            Florida State University    
            Louisiana State University  
            Michigan State University   
            Mississippi State University
                                                                                           Benchmark Study    2

       North Carolina State University    
       Ohio State University              
       Pennsylvania State University      
       Purdue University                  
       Rutgers University                 
       Stanford University                
       Texas A&M University               
       University of California, Berkeley 
       University of California, Irvine   
       University of California, Los Angeles
       University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
       University of Alabama              
       University of Arizona              
       University of Arkansas             
       University of Colorado, Boulder    
       University of Florida              
       University of Georgia              
       University of Illinois             
       University of Iowa                 
       University of Kansas               
       University of Kentucky             
       University of Maryland, College Park
       University of Michigan             
       University of Minnesota            
       University of Mississippi          
       University of Missouri, Kansas City
       University of Missouri (main)      
       University of Nebraska, Omaha      
       University of Oregon               
       University of Pittsburgh           
       University of South Carolina       
       University of Texas, Austin        
       University of Virginia             
       University of Washington           
       University of Wisconsin            
       Vanderbilt University              
       Virginia Polytechnic University    
       Western Carolina University        

                                Table 2 – DIR Sample (in alphabetical order)
               School Name                          School Code                  School URL
Auburn University                            AUB              
Clemson University                           CLEM             
Florida State University                     FSU              
Indiana University                           UIN              
Iowa State University                        ISU              
Mississippi State University                 MSU              
Rutgers University                           RUT              
                                                                                            Benchmark Study   3

      Ohio State University                       OSU           
      University of Arizona                       UAZ           
      University of California, Berkeley          UCB           
      University of Los Angeles California        UCLA          
      University of Florida                       UFL           
      University of Maryland                      UMD           
      University of Minnesota                     UMN           
      University of Mississippi                   UMS           
      University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill   UNC           
      University of South Carolina                USC           
      University of Texas, Austin                 UTA           
      University of Virginia                      UVA           
      Vanderbilt University                       VAN           

The topics of interest for this study include 1) center description/history, 2) present activities, 3) physical
facilities, 4) personnel, 5) budget, 6) marketing, 7) profession development, 8) external funding, and 9)
other focused topics (e.g., evolution of centers, new innovations, constraints experienced).

                                            Overall Descriptions of Centers

The oldest center in the DIR study is the University of Texas at Austin (UTA) which opened its doors in
1974. The youngest center is the University of Mississippi (UMS), which opened in the summer of 2007.
The mean age of centers in the DIR study is 17 years old. Please refer to Table 3 for the ages of each
school in the DIR study.
                                  Table 3 – Center Age (in alpha order)
                                    School Name                     Age of Center (years)
                                        AUB                                  5
                                       CLEM                                  10
                                        FSU                                  8
                                        ISU                                  15
                                        MSU                                  3
                                        OSU                                  23
                                        RUT                                  16
                                        UAZ                                  20
                                        UCB                                   30
                                        UCLA                                  32
                                        UFL                                   25
                                        UIN                                   10
                                        UMD                                   18
                                        UMN                                   17
                                        UMS                                   1.5
                                        UNC                                   24
                                        USC                                   2
                                        UTA                                   34
                                        UVA                                   18
                                        VAN                                   22
                                                                                         Benchmark Study   4

The mean size of institutions in terms of student population for the DIR study is 34,600. The range
varied significantly. The Ohio State University was the largest with a student population of 53,000.
Vanderbilt University was the smallest center with a student population of 12,000. The student
populations of the institutions in the DIR study are listed below in Table 4.

                          Table 4 - 2007 Estimated Enrollments (in alpha order)
               School Name                Age of Center            Estimated Enrollment 2007
           AUBURN                               5                           24,000
           CLEMSON                             10                           18,000
           FLORID STATE                         8                           33,000
           INDIANA UNIV.                       10                           39,000
           IOWA STATE                          15                           27,000
           MICHIGAN STATES                      3                           46,000
           THE OHIO STATE                      23                           53,000
           RUTGERS                             16                           36,000
           UNIV. OF ARIZONA                    20                           37,000
           UC- BERKELEY                        30                           34,000
           UC LA                               32                           35,000
           U. OF FLORIDA                       25                           52,000
           U. OF MARYLAND                      18                           36,000
           U. OF MINNESOTA                     17                           51,000
           U. OF MISSISSIPPI                   1.5                          15,000
           U. OF NORTH CAROLINA                24                           28,000
           U OF SOUTH CAROLINA                  2                           41,000
           U OF TEXAS – AUSTIN                 34                           50,000
           U OF VIRGINIA                       18                           25,000
           VANDERBILT                          22                           12,000

Some centers combine teaching and learning with technology innovation; however in many instances it
was difficult to determine the nature and extent of the relationship. Seven percent of the centers in the
WEB study manage the WebCT/Blackboard process for their institutions and have instructional media
services, which suggest that these centers are directly responsible for both functions. Thirty-six percent
of the centers in the WEB study offer IT workshops.

                                                 Activity Focus

This study reveals a large number of varied activities that directly involve TLCs. The DIR study list
appears in Table 5.

                    Table 5 – DIR List of Activities and Number of TLCs Participating
                                    Programs                       Number of Schools Participating
               Workshops/Seminars                                                 19
               Online Resources/References                                        16
               Consultations                                                      14
               Graduate Teaching Assistant Development
               Programs                                                            11
               Evaluation/Assessment Programs                                      10
               Instructional Grants                                                 9
               New Faculty Orientation                                              9
                                                                                      Benchmark Study   5

              Newsletters                                                         9
              Teaching Award Programs                                             9
              Informational Technology Workshops                                  8
              Fellowships                                                         7
              Preparing Future Faculty                                            7
              Student Response Systems                                            7
              Classroom Observations                                              6
              Listservs                                                           6
              Conferences                                                         5
              Course Development/Management                                       5
              Feedback                                                            5
              Podcasts                                                            5
              Forums/Colloquiums                                                  4
              Mentoring Programs                                                  4
              WebCT                                                               3
              Faculty Boot Camp                                                   2
              Lecture/Speaker Series                                              2
              First Year Experience Courses                                       1
              Instructional Media Service                                         1
              Peer Review                                                         1
              Faculty Intervention                                                1
              Videoconferencing                                                   1
              Videotaping                                                         4
              Virtual Classroom Visits                                            1

Nearly all teaching and learning centers are involved in the planning and delivery of workshops.
Workshops are defined here as short programs (a day or less) that are focused on a theme. Table 6
reflects a subsample of 10 TLCs picked at random from the DIR study and the titles that were found on
their websites being presently offered. Please note that some workshops are offered live and in-person,
while some are provided online. Also note that some workshops do not appear on the present list of
workshops but may be archived. Only presently offered workshops noted on this subsample of websites
are reposted in Table 6.

                        Table 6 –Presently Offered Workshops (DIR subsample)
                Appreciating Student Diversity
                Assessing Daily Learning
                Bringing out the Best in Your Students
                Civic Engagement on Campus
                Classroom Management
                Communication Tools and Strategies
                Community-Based Learning
                Constructing and Grading Effective Assignments
                Contract Grading
                Cooperative Learning
                Creating a Grading Rubric
                Creating a Graduate Teaching Fellows Program in Your Department
                Creating Assessments
                Creating Effective PowerPoint Presentations
                                                                                    Benchmark Study   6

Cultural, Instructional, and Language Issues
Dealing with Disruptive Students
Dealing with Distressed Students
Designing Quizzes, Assignments, and Tests
Developing Cases for Active Learning in the Classroom
Effective Writing
Engaging Students in Classroom Learning
Experiential Learning
Faculty Forum: Should We Grade on a Curve
Faculty Panel of Leading Study Abroad Program
Fair and Efficient Grading
Fostering Critical Thinking
Gender and Authority in Your Teaching
Getting Off to a Quick, Good Start
Getting Published: Strategies for Successfully Navigating the Publication Process
Global Education Learning
Going on the Academic Job Market
Grading Speeches Fairly and Consistently
Grant Writing
Grants Workshop
Guiding Students through Data Collection
Humor and Teaching
Identifying and Responding to Student Misconceptions
Improving Student Perceptions of Your Course
Improving Test Questions
Inclusive Science: Teaching So Everyone Can Learn
Incorporating Service Learning into Your Courses
Keys to Successful Advising
Leadership Skill Development
Leading Effective Discussions
Learning Styles
Making Research and Writing Meaningful
Managing Course Content
Managing Students and Grades
Maximizing Student Learning and Participation in Discussions
Motivating Undergraduates
Overcoming Natural Aversion in the Classroom
Planning and Redesigning Your Next Course
Power Point Workshop
Preparing for Academic Interviews
Preparing Students to Serve Underserved and Minority Populations
Presentation Skills for International Faculty and T.A.s
Presenting with Confidence
Responding to Student Writing
Responding Wisely to Student Incivilities
Second Life
Seven Principles for Effective Undergraduate Instruction
Sexual Harassment
Strategies for Public Speaking
Supporting Transfer Student Success in Your Class
Surviving Your First Three Weeks as New Faculty
Sustainability in Higher Education
Syllabus Design
Systematic Test Construction
                                                                                         Benchmark Study   7

                Teaching and Learning in the 21st Century
                Teaching At-Risk Students
                Teaching Large Classes
                Teaching Non-Majors
                Teaching Tips
                Teaching with Apple Technology
                Teaching with Technology
                Testing and Grading
                Top Ten Challenges for International Education
                Using Clickers
                Using Concept Maps and Graphic Organizers
                Using Informal Early Feedback to Improve Your Teaching
                What is SoTL?
                Working with Clickers
                Working with Objects and Multimedia Tools
                Writing a Teaching Philosophy
                Writing to Learn and Learning to Write
                YouTube and TeacherTube

A number of teaching and learning centers offer programs or courses which are defined as offerings that
span two or more days, not necessarily consecutive. A list of these DIR program/course types appear in
Table 7.

                              Table 7 – DIR List of Programs (in alpha order)
                     Assessment Techniques Program
                     CTE Celebration of Teaching Program
                     Faculty Retreat
                     Graduate Student Teaching Certificate Program
                     Graduate Student Teaching Event for Professional Development
                     GTA Coordinators Program
                     GTA Program
                     Inquiries in Engineering Education Seminar
                     International Teaching Assistant Program
                     Junior Faculty Program
                     Lilly Fellows Program
                     Mentoring Teaching Assistant Program
                     New Faculty Convocation
                     New Faculty Orientation
                     New Faculty Scholars
                     Preparing Future Faculty (PFF)
                     Program for Instructional Excellence
                     Pronunciation for International Faculty Program
                     Reflective Learning Program
                     Scholarship of Engagement Seminar
                     TA to TA: Learning from Experience Program
                     Teaching Certificate Program
                     UGTA - Undergraduate Teaching Assistants
                     UTASL - Undergraduate Service Learning Teaching Assistant Program
                     Working Group Cohort of Faculty to Improve Teaching
                                                                                     Benchmark Study      8

An important program is the planning and implementation of New Faculty Orientation. Forty-five
percent of TLCs are directly or indirectly involved in New Faculty Orientation.

Likewise, a significant number of TLCs are directly involved in graduate student training. It appears that
over half the centers in the WEB study are directly involved is significant teaching preparation of
graduate students. This occurs in numerous formats to include topical workshops, courses, workshops
for international graduate students, and consultation and intervention when needed.

Seventy percent of the DIR study and 51 percent of the WEB study participants state that they offer one-
on-one consultation with faculty. Many in the DIR study state that they employ video recording of
faculty. Some suggested they provide these services, but do not promote it on their website due to
confidentiality concerns.

Student evaluation
Some teaching and learning centers are directly or indirectly involved in the process of student
evaluation of faculty. Fifteen of the twenty centers in the DIR study reflected involvement in creating or
having input into the measurement tool. Most also receive the aggregate data from their university’s
institutional research group.

Retention of students in the freshman and sophomore years is a critical issue for many of the nation’s
campuses. Eleven of the centers in the DIR sample reported they are involved in the retention process
in some way with only one TLC serving as the overseer. Eleven TLCs report that they are involved in a
first year educational experience. Six TLCs are directly involved in training the first-year experience


The physical facilities varied significantly across the centers. Only three TLCs out of 20 in the DIR study
have a stand-alone building. The mean number of offices in the DIR study was 6.16. Sixty percent have
a conference room facility and 40 percent have a controlled classroom. Twenty percent have space for
a library. Figures 1a and 1b report number of rooms by age of the center and size of the school.
                                                                                                           Benchmark Study   9

                         Figure 1a – Mean Number of Rooms by Age of Center (DIR sample)


                 Mean Number of Rooms





                                                    1-8 yrs      9-16 yrs        17-24 yrs    25 & up
                                                                      Age of Center

                                Figure 1b – Number of Rooms by School Enrollment (DIR Sample)

                     Mean Nunber of Rooms

                                                 Under 20,000 20,000-30,000 30,000-40,000    Over 40,000
                                                                    Size of Institution


The personnel structure of TLCs varies significantly in terms of types of positions and numbers of staff.
While 91 percent of TLCs employed in the WEB study operate with faculty directors, personnel vary
significantly in the remaining ranks of staff. In the WEB study, 70 percent, and in the DIR study 50
percent, report employing at least one associate or assistant director. The mean number of full time
staff positions in the DIR study is 4.47. The mean number of part time staff in the DIR study is 2.37.
                                                                                                                                      Benchmark Study   10

Figures 2a through 2d reflect the full and part time staff by age of center and size of school. According
to the WEB study, less than 20 percent of TLCs employ either a full or part time curriculum specialist or
instructional designer (also listed under other labels in the data set). Table 8 below provides a full list of
staffing titles from the WEB study.

           Figure 2a – Mean Number of Full Time Staff by Age Range of Center (DIR sample)

                                              Number of Full Time Positions

                                                                                   1-8 yrs    9-16 yrs          17-24 yrs   25 & up
                                                                                                   Age of Center

           Figure 2b – Mean Number of Part Time Staff by Age Range of Center (DIR sample)

              Number of Part Time Positions

                                                                                  1-8 yrs    9-16 yrs           17-24 yrs   25 & up
                                                                                                        Age of Center
                                                                                                                        Benchmark Study   11

           Figure 2c – Mean Number of Full Time Staff by Size Range of School (DIR sample)

                     Number of Full Time Positions
                                                           Under 20,000    20,000 -        30,000 -      Over 40,000
                                                                            30,000          40,000
                                                                              Size of Institution

           Figure 2d – Mean Number of Part Time Staff by Size Range of School (DIR sample)
                   Number of Part Time Positions

                                                            Under 20,000    20,000 -        30,000 -      Over 40,000
                                                                             30,000          40,000
                                                                               Size of Institution

                                                                Table 8 - WEB List of Staffing Titles (in alpha order)
Administrative Assistant                                                                  Financial Manager
Assistant Director                                                                        Graduate Assistant
Assistant to the Director                                                                 Graduate Student Teaching Fellow
Associate Director                                                                        Grants Coordinator
Associate Director of Evaluation & Assessment                                             Human Resources Analyst
Associate Director of IT                                                                  Human Resources Coordinator
Associate Director of Research & Planning                                                 Instructional Consultant
Associate Programmer Analyst                                                              Instructional Program Manager
Associate Vice Provost                                                                    Instructional Resource Consultant
                                                                                             Benchmark Study   12

 Associate VP of Academic Affairs                              Instructional Technology Resources Assistant
 Business Manager                                              Office Assistant
 Director                                                      Program Coordinator
 Director Instructional Improvement                            Purchasing Specialist
 Director of Administrative Resources                          Research Associate
 Director of Computer Literacy Training                        Teaching Associate
 Director of Faculty Development and Development               Teaching Coordinator
 Director of Faculty Development Program                       Teaching Resource Lab Manager
 Director of Teaching Assistant Development Program            Testing Scanning Services Manager
 Education Technology Specialist                               Undergraduate Assistant
 Faculty Fellow                                                Web & Database Manager

Virtually all centers use student help, mostly employing graduate assistants. In the DIR study, 65
percent of schools report funding graduate students. Figures 3a and 3b provide the number of graduate
students employed by age of center and size of school. 15 percent of TLCs in the DIR employed
undergraduate students, typically from the work-study pool.

           Figure 3a – Number of Graduate Students Employed by Age of Center (DIR sample)

                   Number of GAs

                                         1-8 yrs   9-16 yrs     17-24 yrs         25 & up

                                                       Age of Center
                                                                                              Benchmark Study   13

        Figure 3b – Number of Graduate Students Employed by Size of Institution (DIR sample)

                 Number of GAs   1.2
                                       Under 20,000   20,000 -       30,000 -   Over 40,000
                                                       30,000         40,000
                                                        Size of Institution


Budgets also vary significantly by Center. The minimum annual budget for a Center in the DIR study was
$118,000 for a small operation at one school. The maximum annual budget includes centers at two
schools that are based on revenues from $10 million endowments with additional annual university
funding. Removing one school as an outlier in annual budget, the next highest is a center that operates
on $1.8 million annually.

The mean annual budget from the DIR study is $557,611. Figures 4a & 4b illustrate the mean budget
figure by age of center and size of institution. The mean percent of the budget allocated to personnel is
75 percent with a range of 50 percent to 90 percent. Thirty-five percent of TLCs in the DIR study were
permitted to roll over their budgets.

A few schools reported having endowments and several stated they are involved in or have in the past
received grants.
                                                                                                              Benchmark Study   14

                                                   Figure 4a – Mean Annual Budget by Age (DIR sample)


        Mean Annual Budget





                                                    1-5yrs      6-10yrs       11-15yrs          16-20yrs   21&up
                                                                     Age of Center

                                                Figure 4b – Mean Budget by School Size Range (DIR sample)

               Mean Annual Budget

                                                     <20,000        20K - 30K            30K - 40K         >40,000

                                                                          Size of Institution

                                                               Professional Development

There are two major conference-holding associations that TLC directors and managers regularly attend.
Seventy-five percent of schools in the DIR study report attending the annual Professional and
Organizational Development (POD) Conference. Forty-five percent of TLCs attend one or more
conferences sponsored by the Lilly Foundation. Table 9 lists all the conferences noted in the DIR study
and the number of schools that attend.
                                                                                                  Benchmark Study      15

                               Table 9 – List of Conferences Attended (DIR sample)
                    Name of Conference                                    Conference Website                Number of
Professional and Organizational Development Network in                        15
Higher Education (POD)
Lilly International and National Conference on College and                      8
University Teaching
Improving University Teaching International Conference (IUT)                     7
SOTL Commons – Conference for the Scholarship of Teaching             5
and Learning
International Conference on Teaching and Learning (ICTL)                       4
American Educational Research Association Conference                               3
EduCause Conference                                                        3
New Learning Technology Conference, Society for Applied              3
Learning Technology
International Society for the Scholarship of Teaching and                 2
Association of American Colleges and Universities (AACU)                              2
Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages             2
Conference (TESOL)                                             2009
Southern Regional Faculty and Instructional Development                                2
First Year Experience Conference, National Resource Center                            1
Society for College and University Planning (SCUP)                                 1
American Association for Higher Education and Accreditation                             1
Conference (AAHEA)
Association for Educational Communications and Technology                  1
Conference (AECT)
National Conference on Student Assessment                      1
Blackboard Developers Conference                                  1
International Organization for Standardization Conference                  1
ED- Media Conference, AACE                                            1
Online Teacher Professional Development Conference              1


The DIR study revealed numerous ways in which TLCs communicate/market themselves to their
stakeholder groups. Table 10 below provides a list of types of communication/marketing activities and
the percent of schools involved.
                                                              Benchmark Study   16

   Table 10 – Communication/Marketing Activities (DIR sample)
1. Advisory committee
2. Annual Calendar
3. Articles in alumni magazine
4. Article in school newspaper
5. Blog
6. Brochures
7. Campus mail
8. Conversations with Deans and Department Heads
9. Co-sponsorship of annual teaching banquet
10. Co-sponsored or sponsor small faculty teaching innovation grants
11. Co-sponsored or sponsored of workshops
12. Co-sponsored or sponsored meals w/speaker, panel or discussion
13. Curriculum Development Grants
14. Email attachments
15. Faculty fellows program exposure
16. Faculty learning community exposure
17. Focus groups
18. Flyers
19. Free promotional items with name
20. Mailings
21. New faculty orientation
22. Newsletter
23. News releases
24. Online registration for workshops
25. Postcards
26. Presentation to college faculties
27. Publicity releases from Provost/Chancellor
28. Strategic planning document
29. Teacher Awards
30. Tips on teaching
31. Volunteer Listservs
32. Website and joint listings
                                                                                    Benchmark Study      17

                                          Special focused topics

Evolution of Centers

It is interesting to draw conclusions from this study involving the evolution of TLCs. What happens to
centers as they age? Several conclusions are drawn here.
          The longer a TLC is in operation the more it is trusted by higher level administration.
          Given this increased trust, centers are often asked (forced) to take on more responsibility with
          The added responsibility may or may not have funding behind it.
          Those centers that depend on a small staff are providing minimal services or are focused on a
          specific activity (e.g., improvement of individual faculty members)

Challenges and Constraints

The DIR study reveals numerous challenges and constraints. Table 11 provides a listing of these with the
percent of schools reporting a like experience.

                               Table 11 - Listing of Constraints (DIR sample)
                     Constraint                           Number of Center Directors Voicing Constraint
Lack of funding                                                               10
Staffing                                                                       7
Getting faculty involved                                                       5
Time                                                                           5
More space needed                                                              5
Keeping faculty up to speed with technology                                    3
Assessment of current programs                                                 3
Asked to do things outside the mission                                         3
Ability to play an important role on campus                                    3
Change in administration                                                       2
Understanding needs of faculty                                                 2
Lack of support from administration                                            2
Changing the institution’s culture                                             1
Lost positions                                                                 1
Used to get faculty fired                                                      1
Team building with staff                                                       1
Working with IT                                                                1
Receiving a grant                                                              1
Grant writing time                                                             1
Grant writing support                                                          1
                                                                                    Benchmark Study      18

Managing budget to keep personnel                                               1
Conflict with departments                                                       1
Needed to be a full time director                                               1
Revision of student/teaching evaluation time                                    1
Transitioning center’s vision/mission                                           1
Managing growth                                                                 1

Insights for New Centers

The DIR study respondents provide several tips for new centers. These include
        Balance the number of tasks to be taken on over time
        Attempt to be successful with key activities first.
        Establish constructive relationships with Deans and Department Heads
        Keep all one-on-one consultation confidential with no exceptions.
        Secure funding from administration – get buy in
        Promote Center to the faculty – get buy in


This benchmarking study was very eye-opening. One impressive finding from the study was the
significant creativity that emerges from faculty development centers. These results reflect a significant
number of creative activities (n=31 titles), workshops (88 titles), and programs/courses (n=25 titles) that
forward the teaching faculty’s knowledge of teaching and learning. In addition, thirty-one various
marketing/communication techniques were reported to promote communication with teaching faculty
as well as other important stakeholders.

Two important related factors emerged that were viewed as challenges/constraints for at least a third of
those directors interviewed: an inadequate budget and needed personnel. During these very difficult
economic times for higher education, over the next 2-3 years it will be interesting to note the extent to
which teaching and learning centers are vulnerable, and how funding issues might result in a decrease in
quality and quantity of program delivery.

Of particular interest to fledgling new centers are 1) issues related to specific appropriate and
potentially successful initial activities that a new TLC should consider implementing, 2) sustainable
funding, 3) handling growth in demand, 4) finding funding for increased labor to handle demand, 5) cost
sharing with other units, 6) awareness of constraints, and 7) the need for support from both
administrators and faculty.
                                                                                 Benchmark Study      19

It is also apparent from the significant number of U.S. faculty development centers that such units are
desperately needed on university campuses. This, in part, can be attributed to the significant
deficiencies in providing adequate teaching preparation to graduate students and new faculty. It will be
critically important going forward for academia to provide strong and lasting faculty development
opportunities to our future contributing faculty scholars.

Shared By: