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Center for Teaching Excellence

 
Action Research Project
An action research project is an exciting opportunity for faculty to pursue a project that directly contributes to excellence and innovation in teaching and learning. Examples include major program initiatives, course delivery or course content redesign, or the development of student success tools and strategies. The Center can provide funding for an action research project on a case-by-base basis, with the end result being an article and a presentation of research. If you are interested in conducting an action research project, please contact the Center at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more information.
 
Faculty Development Self-Assessment
To ensure that Center offerings meet your needs, please complete the Faculty Development Self-Assessment and return it electronically to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or through campus mail to Box 10. The information you provide will allow us to individualize professional development plans.
 
Faculty Learning Community
A faculty learning community is a group of six to eleven trans-disciplinary faculty who meet on a regular basis to explore issues of mutual interest. A faculty learning community includes frequent seminars and activities that provide learning, development, and community building with the goal of enhancing teaching and learning. Since 2009 the Center has funded five faculty learning communities:
  • CORE Revision Faculty Learning Community
  • First-Year Experience Faculty Learning Community
  • Online Teaching and Learning Faculty Learning Community
  • Service-Learning Faculty Learning Community
  • Tenure Handbook Faculty Learning Community
  • Division II Writing Group Faculty Learning Community
 
Please contact the Center at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you would like to suggest the creation of a new faculty learning community.
 
Faculty Resources
The following resources provide information on current AMC policies and procedures for faculty and students, course offerings, a plagiarism resource for online instructors, and links to the Colleges of Worcester Consortium and partnering institutions:
 
Midterm Course Assessment
The Center is available to work with faculty to conduct a midterm assessment in your classroom by adapting the GIFT—Group Instructional Feedback Technique—approach to our AMC courses. This confidential process involves speaking with students in groups in the absence of their instructor to receive feedback about students' perceptions of a course during the term—and in time to make adjustments if needed. A midterm course assessment differs from the end-of-course teaching evaluation in that it provides faculty with valuable information to adapt their course to best meet their students' learning needs.
 
Reasons for requesting a GIFT may include the following:
  • Students may be willing to speak openly to another instructor rather than their own instructor.
  • Valuable feedback may be obtained from students, which should help to assess and improve teaching by faculty who requested GIFT.
  • Faculty may not want to wait until receiving student feedback in the form of student evaluations.
 
A GIFT is conducted by a mentor from the Center who visits the class while the professor is out of the room. In groups of three to five, students respond to and discuss three questions (questions can be modified at the instructor's request):
  • What do you like most about this course and/or the instructor's teaching of it?
  • What do you like least about this course and/or the instructor's teaching of it?
  • What suggestions can you offer to make this course a better learning experience?
 
The student groups are given twenty minutes to discuss the questions while a recorder summarizes the groups' responses to ensure an accurate representation of the views of the entire group. The mentor collects all response sheets, thanks the class for their participation, and leaves the room. As soon as possible after the session, the mentor compiles the results into a report and meets with the instructor to discuss them.
To request a GIFT visit in your classroom, please contact the Center at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to coordinate a visit with an AMC mentor. Please include your course number and title, the day and time that your course is offered, and the location of your classroom. You may wish to simply coordinate a classroom visit with a trusted colleague using the GIFT format. All visits are confidential and designed to inform your teaching. Ideally, faculty should schedule a GIFT following the distribution of the first‐exam grades to students. This timing allows students to better assess their own efforts as well as those of their instructor.
 
Open Classroom Program
The Open Classroom Program promotes faculty discussion and reflection on teaching. Through this program faculty members have the opportunity to learn from each other and to build community. To include your class in the Open Classroom Program, please complete the application and return it electronically to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or through campus mail to Box 10. If you are interested in visiting a colleague's class, please contact the Center for more information.
 
Peer Consulting/Mentoring Program
The Peer Consulting/Mentoring Program is an opportunity for experienced faculty members to help new and adjunct faculty improve practice, learn about the college culture, and ultimately have a positive effect on student learning. The program seeks to provide support in teaching (classroom and electronic), research, service, and renewal, promotion, and tenure. Those who apply, and are selected, receive a stipend as an incentive for participation. If you are interested in becoming a peer consultant/mentor, or if you would like to request the services of a peer consultant/mentor, please complete the appropriate form and return it electronically to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or through campus mail to Box 10.
 
Professional Development Grants
In conjunction with the Faculty Development Committee, the Center provides grants to support academic goals and scholarly activities that facilitate innovative and effective teaching and learning strategies to foster student engagement. The Center provides reimbursements for major travel costs associated with scholarly presentations and conference attendance at regional, national, and international venues. Funds are available for full-time faculty members only. In return for receiving a grant, the applicant must agree to facilitate a presentation of his or her scholarship to the college community.