Center for Teaching Excellence and Learning kicks off year

Shayndel Jones

Center for Teaching Excellence and Learning held two open houses Aug. 25 at 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. in Morgan Hall. C-TEL has moved to room 204 with new renovations.

The goal for C-TEL is to promote excellence and innovation in teaching in order to enhance student learning.

This organization hosts several events during the year, such as regular workshops, webinars and consultations about teaching and learning to faculty, instructors, adjuncts, staff and peer educators. They host teaching circles named Teaching Matters Learning Communities. They also sponsor events and speakers, grants, networking and certificates of teaching and learning. C-TEL has many plans for the upcoming academic year.

“This event is for faculty and staff to come see where we are, celebrate the beginning of the semester and also to learn more about our programs we have planned this year,” said Melanie Burdick, director of C-TEL. “Every year we have a beginning of the year celebration. This year we decided to have it in our new office.”

The workshops are a few hours with face-to-face presentations, discussions and activities that are created to help faculty and staff learn more about teaching and learning. This year, they hosted Desire 2 Learn training Aug. 23, as well as an internal grant workshop Aug. 30 from 3 p.m. They will also teach strategies for responding to student writing Sept. 6 3:30 to 4:30 p.m.

“I have been excited about the events ever since we started C-TEL,” said Marian Jamison, member of C-TEL. “This is one of the best things our university has done to strengthen our mission.”

They have several webinars planned for the upcoming year. They are hosting several webinars to help instructors with teaching during the next two months, including Sept. 7, Sept. 28, and Oct. 5 from 3:30 to 4:15 p.m.

According to Burdick, this organization is mainly for faculty but students will benefit from it, because C-TEL will help faculty focus on improving their teaching.

“In the long run, all of the students will benefit from this,” Burdick said.

C-TEL holds regular consultations about teaching and learning to all faculty, instructors and staff. The sessions are based on the specific issues or innovations individuals want to discuss.

The Teaching Circles are short-term book clubs. Participants meet several times during a one-month period to discuss insights or challenges that happen from work. Their times for Teaching Circles include team based learning on Sept. 12, 19 and 26 from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m., as well as a putting data to work session hosted on Sept. 13, 20 and 27 from 3:15 to 4:15 p.m.

The Teaching Matters Learning Community is a group of faculty and staff who learn about teaching together. They are either a semester or year-long experience in which instructors are led through a structured process that allow them to learn about specific teaching strategies and create innovations in their teaching practice. They are holding Active Learning Strategies sessions every other Friday beginning Sept. 9 and going until Nov. 4. Each event is from 1 to 2:30 p.m. They are also hosting Video Production for Teaching beginning every other Friday Sept. 23 to Nov. 18. These will be from 3:15 to 4:30 p.m.

Each year C-TEL designs and sponsors events that address university-wide issues and seek to generate discussion among faculty and staff about teaching and learning.

“We have done similar events like this in the past. This year we are trying to focus more on diversity, how to bring more diversity into our curriculum and how to deal with diversity in the student body,“ Burdick said. “We are also focusing on more adjuncts and contingent faculty and offering programs that are more convenient and interesting to them.”