|Moving Toward an Enhanced Model of Instructional Development: Programs and Services to Support Teaching and Learning at UBC
Objectives: Our mission is to foster quality teaching and learning across the University. In doing so, we take a leadership role in addressing professional development needs for current and future practitioners of teaching in higher education. In all of our activities, we create a supportive learning environment in which to explore teaching practice and reflect upon a range of contemporary instructional issues.
A number of basic objectives flow from this statement:
To achieve these objectives, we propose an Enhanced Model of Instructional Development, combining our proven programs with an enhanced consultative approach designed to develop new programs that are tailored to the needs of Departments and Faculties.
Rationale: In recent years, the Centre for Teaching and Academic Grpwth's (TAG) has provided workshops, seminars and institutes that have attracted relatively large numbers from the UBC teaching community. With funding from our current TLEF grant, TAG has conducted 25 Instructional Skills and Presentation Skills Workshops, 43 seminars as part of our spring, fall, and Reading Break series, and 55 sessions in the TAG Institute. Over 700 people per year attend these and other TAG sessions, and many programs have waiting lists. This also includes our Teaching Certificate program, new faculty support programs, newsletter, web site, peer coaching, and teaching partnerships program. In other words, we continue to fulfil the promise we have made in past TLEF applications to provide valuable support for teaching and learning in a variety of formats. These are vital to UBC's support of teaching because they introduce fairly large numbers of people to a range of androgogy, most notably learning-centred approaches. Through our University-wide offerings such as these, TAG has established a credible and visible profile as UBC's hub of instructional development activity.
Our momentum in these areas shows no sign of abating. It represents one important element of what TAG is and should be. In this application, you will also find a proposal for an enhanced consultative element. This element is aimed at Faculty- and Department-level support. This element starts with a consultation process that is designed to identify a unit's instructional development needs. From there, programs are tailored to these needs. This isn't an entirely new approach for TAG. In past years, the TLEF has funded what we have called outreach initiatives. We have provided on-site consultation for four Faculties, two Schools, and a host of individuals. We have also conducted graduate student orientations and Department meeting visits.
It is time now for TAG to grow beyond this initial outreach program in at least two important ways. First, we must help with more needs assessments that encompass teaching strategies as well as curriculum, as we have done with four Faculties. Second, we must help foster more autonomous programs that are facilitated by people within the units we serve.
The benefits of the expanded consultative approach are numerous. First, programs are designed to best meet a Faculty or Department's needs. Second, as the approach evolves, the responsibility for instructional development is spread across campus in conjunction with the active involvement of TAG, whose staff is as experienced as any on campus in the area of program design, promotion, scheduling, and workshop facilitation. Using this approach, TAG would establish long-term working relationships with units to help them monitor and further develop programs that began through the initial consultation.
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Gary Poole, Director, Centre for Teaching and Academic Growth