Work of the CTL

What We Do

The GLCA-GLAA Consortium for Teaching and Learning intends to provide its members with timely resources and services in support of effective, evidence-based pedagogy as we engage with the fundamental challenges of teaching and learning in the 21st century. The CTL will coordinate its work with already-established teaching and learning centers on individual campuses while providing needed support, experience and guidance to member institutions without an established center.  The CTL will also provide opportunities for home-campus faculty to present and exchange ideas with faculty of other institutions in consortial events hosted on both digital and face-to-face venues.

The goals of the GLCA-GLAA Consortium for Teaching and Learning are to:

  • Provide faculty and instructional staff with access to experienced and knowledgeable teaching consultants across colleges of the GLCA and the extended network of GLAA institutions, both in a timely (“what do I do now?”) manner and over the long-term;
  • Host periodic meetings of faculty groups that focus on salient topics of pedagogy and learning;
  • Produce a range of resources to inform liberal arts teaching and learning within and across disciplines;
  • Expand the community of interest and foster engaged thinking and dialogue on matters of teaching and learning across GLCA and GLAA colleges; and
  • Lend a vital and thoughtful voice to national and international discussions on the importance of liberal education and the future of higher education.

The CTL will provide a range of resources and activities that respond to the project’s goals, including:

Timely Support for Teaching: Thinking about the Next Class

  • “Help Desk” Services: Provide corsortial members with access to experienced and knowledgeable teaching consultants across the GLCA colleges.
  • Compilation of Teaching-Learning Resources. The Center will create an easily searchable database of published information available from GLCA and GLAA member institutions as well as from other sources (e.g., links to other teaching and learning centers, disciplinary teaching resources), many of which can provide immediate suggestions for teaching questions.
  • Local consults: The CTL will provide the names of individuals on each campus who have agreed to be teaching and learning consultants and who could offer locally informed advice.
  • Teaching-Minute Podcasts: Very short recorded advice on teaching matters similar to the “Academic Minute” hosted at Inside Higher Education or the WAMC program hosted by Dr. Lynn Pasquerella, President of Mount Holyoke College, but featuring issues likely to arise in liberal arts classrooms.

Mid-Range Planning: Thinking about the Semester

  • Essays for Action are major statements of 1,500 to 2,000 words, each addressing a topic of teaching and learning that is known to be of interest or concern to faculty of our GLCA-GLAA member colleges.
  • Article of the Week: short, reflective pieces of 500-1200 words, written by Teagle Pedagogy Fellows and other interested faculty members, discussing aspects of liberal arts pedagogy and learning, distributed weekly via e-mails to individual campuses and posted on the Center’s web site.
  • A continually updated collection of Research Annotations for inclusion on the CTL’s web site, written by Pedagogy Fellows and other interested faculty members associated with the CTL. These short (200-500 word) annotations are intended to help faculty navigate the vast ocean of publications on teaching and learning. The Annotations site will be searchable by subject area and tagged words and will consist of short summaries of their content written by colleagues.
  • Consortial faculty will host periodic Webinar Discussions addressing topics of broad interest regarding pedagogy, teaching and learning, and issues pertinent to trends in higher education. These will be recorded for later viewing for those who cannot participate in real time.
  • Virtual “Brown-Bag Lunches,” periodic low-key discussions, will typically link two to five campuses by video conferencing for presentation/discussion of particular pedagogies or teaching opportunities and challenges.
  • Campus Facilitation/Presentation Visits will take place following the model of GLCA’s earlier Teagle-funded program of Campus Colloquies, in which two visiting Teagle Pedagogy Fellows facilitate a discussion of challenges facing a given college in the realm of teaching and learning — such as fostering interdisciplinary teaching, the use of portfolios in the assessment of learning, developing faculty observation protocols, fostering effective classroom discussions, etc.
  • Named individuals at each campus will provide Individual Consultations to Faculty, responding to individual inquiries received about teaching, classroom management, or other aspects of teaching and learning from faculty members of our colleges.

Long-Range Planning: Thinking about a Career

  • Pedagogy Research Projects. The CTL can provide modest support for individual, proposal-based, peer-reviewed faculty research projects that compare learning results from an alternative pedagogy (which applies principles from cognitive research on how learning occurs) to a more common or familiar approach in a particular course or unit. (The amount of support and total number of projects that can be supported will depend on year-by-year funding support.)
  • Encouraging the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning. By basing the CTL’s approach in evidence-based practice, the center will seek to encourage faculty and staff to devote research efforts to the research in the field of teaching and learning.
  • Hosted Mentoring Discussions featuring faculty at all stages of their careers, designed to provide formative mentoring advice for colleagues.
  • A Voice in the Debate: Engaging the national and international discussion on the value of liberal arts education.
  • Plan, coordinate, and facilitate presentations at national and international conferences.
  • Help strategize adding a consortial voice in the “public square” on issues of importance to higher education in general and liberal education in particular via op-eds, presentations, and a list of individuals at specific campuses who can address various higher ed issues for the media.
  • Provide a model for consortial teaching and learning centers as an effective way for colleges and universities to marshal resources, build capacity, and increase their visibility.
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