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. CETL consultants provide supportive and formative feedback; though they do not provide information or evaluation for tenure, promotion or hiring decisions, clients may use the consultation 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

Take advantage of CETL’s consultation and coaching services to enhance your course. Here are just a few of the ways our services can benefit your teaching:

Language Consultations for International Faculty and Postdocs—Faculty development specialists at UConn’s Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning provide feedback to faculty members seeking advice and support for their teaching.  CETL has consultants who specialize in dealing with the unique linguistic and cultural challenges faced by instructors and researchers whose first language is not English or who lived most of their lives outside the USA. Language consultations are currently available on the Storrs campus. There is no charge for the services. As with general consultation services, CETL’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.

Consultations may range from a single meeting to a series of meetings spanning an entire semester, depending upon the needs and interests of the faculty member or postdoc.  Consultants are able to help in a variety of areas including:

  • Evaluating  pronunciation and listening
  • Working on all aspects of pronunciation, including individual sounds, stress, and intonation
  • Setting up realistic pronunciation goals and a plan to achieve them
  • Surveying cross-cultural differences that might be affecting classroom effectiveness
  • Investigating students’ evaluations to determine what parcel of neutral or negative feedback might be due to pronunciation or cultural issues
  • Developing classroom practices and attitudes that conform to American undergraduate students’ expectations
  • Observing or videotaping classes for feedback
  • Offering guidance on written materials, classroom resources and presentations

To request a language consultation, contact Cynthia DeRoma.

Using Student Evaluations to Improve a Course—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.

Incorporating Effective 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, space, body language, intonation and effective pro-social speech. To schedule a consultation, please contact Suzanne LaFleur.

Learning from 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.

Applying Educational Technologies—Educational technologies include designing, developing, and managing class sites in UConn’s online course management system (HuskyCT), using clickers (CPS), designing ePortfolios, 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 Karen Skudlarek to schedule a consultation.