Teaching Support and Observations

Teaching Support:

The CTL works with faculty and graduate students who want to increase the effectiveness of their teaching and create challenging and engaging learning environments. Our goals are to:

  • Encourage faculty to explore new pedagogy
  • Develop institutional practices and policies that foster a culture of inclusion, openness, and collaboration
  • Expand and emphasize student-centered learning environments
  • Broaden the evaluation of teaching and the assessment of learning

Individualized Teaching Consultations

The CTL’s instructional designers and faculty associates can consult with faculty, reflecting on teaching practice and providing feedback for improvement and growth. These consultations are confidential and voluntary, and can focus on issues such as presentation skills, facilitating discussions, course syllabi development, designing effective assignments, and testing and grading practices.

Teaching Observations

The CTL offers a service to faculty and graduate teaching assistants who are interested in receiving confidential feedback on their classroom teaching.

Classroom dynamics can be complex—our hope is that an outside set of eyes and ears can help inform your practice and support decision making about presentation style and class structure. Ultimately the intent of this service is to provide a structure for reflection on teaching practices.

Informal, Intentional, and Individual

This service is “instructor-driven”—you define the focus for the observation and the specific areas for which you are seeking feedback. Specifically, we can provide feedback to help:

  • Deconstruct the dynamics occurring in the classroom (particularly useful in large enrollment courses)
  • Uncover any patterns of questioning (How often are students asked to participate or respond to a question? How long do I wait for a response? Does the types of questions I’m asking invite a response? )
  • Hone presentation skills (Does the format of the presentation enhance or detract from the content? Are there other ways content can be presented?)
  • Re-think how class time is spent to encourage student engagement

How the Service Works

Currently, this service is available to all faculty and graduate teaching assistants teaching in remote teaching modality, mixed, and online. CTL staff will conduct the observation remotely via MS Teams and provide feedback on Blackboard course organization. Please note, to respect student privacy will only observe live sessions when students know we are present.

Here are the steps involved:

  1. Request a consultation by filling out the intake form found here
  2. Attend a pre-observation meeting to discuss goals of observation/consult
  3. Attend a post-observation meeting to discuss feedback and reflect on practice

Optional: By request, the class session can be recorded (audio or video) for personal reflection.

The total time commitment (not including the time you are teaching the class session) is about 2.5 hours.

Additionally, if you would like information directly from students about their experience in your course, other services are available. Formative course/teaching surveys can be delivered anonymously via Blackboard. CTL staff can tailor a survey to help ascertain how engaged students are in their own learning.

How to Request this Service

Interested faculty and graduate student TA’s should send an email with this information:

  • Name
  • UVM Email address
  • Telephone number(s)
  • At least three possible times that you’d be available for the initial meeting
  • Use the subject line “Teaching Observation Request”

Send the email to the Center for Teaching & Learning at ctl@uvm.edu (Email) and we will contact you to set up an initial appointment.

How to Request Support

Send email to ctl@uvm.edu (email link).