For Deans and Department Heads

 Advancing Teaching – Consultations

General consultation services are available to all UConn faculty at all campuses at no charge. All services rendered in consultations are confidential and shared only with the client. ITL consultants provide supportive and formative feedback and do not provide information or evaluation for tenure, promotion or hiring decisions. Clients however may use the reports as they see fit.

Consultations can span a range of topics and formats, depending on the interests of the faculty. Some of the areas that can be addressed in consultations are:

  • classroom related issues or concerns
  • student evaluations
  • instructional methods: active learning techniques, group work, interactive lectures, etc.
  • instructional design of courses or redesign of existing courses
  • resources on specific teaching topics: teaching freshmen, classroom management, civility, teaching large classes, midterm feedback on teaching
  • presentation skills
  • observations or videotaping and feedback
  • application of educational technologies to achieve learning and course objectives

Student Evaluations

Many faculty dread reading those end-of-semester student evaluations (even when they are good!), yet these scores are frequently used in making evaluations and decisions for tenure, merit and reappointment. Find out how to turn student comments into classroom action, how to improve your ratings without “selling out”, and how to analyze what those numbers really mean. Please contact Suzanne LaFleur to arrange a consultation.

Coaching for Presentation Skills

Coaching for presentation skills is available as a one-on-one service to provide faculty with an opportunity to work on their delivery for classroom or conference presentations. Feedback and plans for improvement will focus on both verbal and non-verbal behaviors such as the use of voice modulation, physical presence, use of space, body language, intonation and effective use of pro-social speech. To schedule a consultation, please contact Suzanne LaFleur.

Classroom Observation

For those instructors who would like to be observed and given feedback, consultations can be arranged for a one-time observation or for ongoing work with feedback and successive observations. All observations involve a pre-observation and post observation meeting with the consultant. Faculty will receive a confidential written report for each observation. Please contact Suzanne LaFleur to arrange a consultation.

Application of Educational Technologies

Educational technologies include design, development, and management of class sites in UConn’s online course management system, CPS (clickers), ePortfolio, creating video clips or audio files, scanning slides, scanning documents to PDF or an editable format, creating PowerPoint presentations, and using other software such as, but not limited to, Photoshop, Dreamweaver, Adobe Acrobat, Respondus, Captivate, iMovie, Audacity, and some open source applications. Contact Janet Jordan to schedule a consultation.

Mid-Semester Formative Evaluations

To better understand how students are assessing your class and to gain feedback about how to improve for the rest of the semester, we suggest that faculty consider gathering formative assessment feedback. The goal of formative assessment is to monitor student learning and provide you with ongoing feedback that you can use to improve your teaching. Formative assessment can help you to recognize when your students are struggling and enable you to address problems in the middle of the semester.

Unlike end-of-semester student evaluations of teaching, mid-semester surveys are optional and completely confidential.  They can be administered in class, on HuskyCT through the Survey tool, or through an emailed Qualtrics survey.  Visit the ITL website’s Mid-Semester Formative Evaluations page to review the survey instruments available on Qualtrics.  You can use these formative assessments privately, or you may decide to share them with your department head, along with the resulting course modifications, and include the same in your teaching portfolio.

Results of these surveys can provide you with valuable opportunities for reflection and course improvement, and studies show that when students know that you intend to use the results to improve your course immediately, their response rates are typically high and carefully thought-out.

For those instructors who would like to be observed and given feedback, consultations can be arranged for a one-time observation or for ongoing work with feedback and successive observations. All observations involve a pre-observation and post observation meeting with the consultant. Faculty will receive a confidential written report for each observation.  Contact Suzanne LaFleur for help administering mid-semester evaluations.

Faculty Development Consultations

What are faculty consultations?  Faculty development specialists at UConn’s Institute for Teaching and Learning provide feedback to faculty members seeking advice and support for their teaching.

Who can request a consultation?  General consultation services are available to all UConn faculty members and at all campuses.  There is no charge for the services.  Although consultations offer a great way to resolve difficult teaching issues, ITL’s services are not limited to problem resolution; in fact, some of UConn’s most successful teachers have been known to take advantage of consultation services to expand their repertoire and try new teaching techniques.  To request a consultation, simply send an email to ITL@uconn.edu.

What does a typical consultation entail?  Consultations may entail anything from a single meeting to a series of meetings spanning an entire semester, depending upon the needs and interests of the faculty member.  Some of the topics and formats that can be addressed in consultations include the following:

  • Classroom related issues or concerns
  • Student evaluations
  • Instructional methods: active learning techniques, flipped classrooms, group work, discussions, interactive lectures, etc.
  • Instructional design of courses or redesign of existing courses
  • Resources on specific teaching topics: teaching freshmen, classroom management, civility, teaching large classes, midterm feedback on teaching, etc.
  • Presentation skills
  • Observations or videotaping and feedback
  • Hybridizing and applying educational technologies to achieve learning and course objectives

Teaching Enhancement Plans

Teaching Enhancement Plans (TEPs) are the result of a relatively formal consultation process in which faculty members meet with faculty development specialists to review and modify their teaching techniques and strategies—from planning the course right through grading student work.  This process may take a few hours or an entire semester.  The process is entirely confidential, as is the resulting report, though participating faculty members often choose to include the report in their teaching portfolios or even in their application for promotion or tenure.  If you are interested in learning more about TEPs, send an email to ITL@uconn.edu.

All services rendered in consultations are confidential and shared only with the client. ITL does not provide information or evaluation for tenure, promotion, or hiring decisions; clients, however, may use consultation reports as they see fit.

For more information, contact the Institute for Teaching and Learning at itl@uconn.edu.