Resources for Achieving Teaching Excellence
UMUC is known for its caring and committed faculty. However, faculty members face many challenges as they strive to meet the needs of a diverse, world-wide student body. Students come to UMUC from many backgrounds with a broad range of experiences. First generation college students learn side-by-side with military enlistees and seasoned corporate executives. UMUC students are goal-oriented and eager to learn. However, anxieties about college-level work, required subject matter and skills such as higher-level writing and mathematics proficiency, and different learning styles can create challenges in both the online and face-to-face classroom.
How can faculty cope effectively with such diversity in the classroom? Many faculty members have met this challenge through the creative combination of sound pedagogy and innovative technological resources. In addition, a collegial atmosphere of sharing with others at UMUC promotes the pursuit of excellence.
The Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL) has many resources for faculty that provide inspiration to help you keep your teaching approach fresh and current. These resources include:
- workshops related to pedagogy and technology
- faculty forum discussions on current topics
- professional development grants
- teaching examples from exemplary faculty who share how they implement best practices
CTL offers a variety of professional development workshops. Faculty may wish to refer to the CTL Workshop Lineup, which provides workshop objectives and descriptions, and the Workshop Selection Guide when considering their workshop choices.
UMUC Faculty Forum Discussion Series
CTL works closely with the Faculty Advisory Committee to sponsor the Faculty Forum Discussion Series. Through these online discussions, faculty have the opportunity to stay informed about topics relevant to teaching at UMUC. Examples of Faculty Forum discussion topics include Teaching Math and Science at UMUC, WebTycho Next Generation, Faculty Evaluation System Update, Library Services Update, and Resource Allocation at UMUC. This series offers faculty a unique opportunity to dialogue with their colleagues and UMUC leaders about topics of current interest.
Professional Development Grants
Faculty have continuing professional development opportunities through CTL's Professional Development Grant Program. These grants help faculty stay informed about current issues and research in their respective disciplines. Many faculty members have found these conference opportunities valuable sources of ideas for effective classroom practice.
Implementing Best Practices
Finally, the CTL Web site offers many examples of how exemplary faculty implement best practices at UMUC. While it is good to learn about best practices, at times faculty may have questions about how these actually work in the classroom. Using the CTL Web site, faculty can access examples of how their colleagues have achieved successful results in the classroom. Examples of projects from CTL's Summer Institute highlight faculty use of low threshold technologies that enhance faculty-student interactions and promote community. Finally, through the CTL Faculty Excellence Interview Series exemplary faculty share their experiences and teaching tips with colleagues about what works well for teaching a diverse student body.
A Rich Teaching and Learning Environment
While the diversity of UMUC’s student body can be challenging, it also contributes to a rich and rewarding teaching and learning environment. CTL resources are available for faculty at every point in their teaching careers across all disciplines and levels of experience. Utilizing the CTL resources that are available to you can help you to successfully create effective learning experiences for all of your students.