Teaching Consultation

Consultants work with faculty and TAs to take a scholarly approach to teaching, informed by research and based on the process of asking questions, gathering data, and planning responses.

All individual consultations are voluntary. To schedule a consultation, call or email us.

Units

UCAT staff consult with representatives of committees, departments, schools, or colleges on teaching–related issues, such as planning a teaching initiative within the unit, revising curricula, evaluating a program, or providing support for graduate teaching associates. Consultants have helped faculty committees to lead several department meetings and faculty retreats on designing peer review of teaching policies and procedures to fit local needs. In addition, UCAT staff have assisted in the design of a departmental initiative on the scholarship of teaching and learning, and many curriculum revision, student feedback, and program assessment projects. We can help you to review and use the research literature on higher education as well as the experience of other Ohio State colleges and departments to support your unit’s teaching goals.

Individuals

Professional teaching consultants are available to discuss any aspect of teaching, such as designing courses, enhancing classroom techniques, developing course materials, and documenting teaching effectiveness. Consultants work with faculty and TAs to take a scholarly approach to teaching, informed by research and based on the process of asking questions, gathering data, and planning responses. In many cases, we will work together during an initial consultation to choose among several possible methods for gathering feedback. We will then meet afterwards to analyze that feedback and plan how to respond to it. Examples of ways we might gather feedback include the following:

To gather information directly from students in a format that permits interaction, UCAT consultants can use a technique called the Small Group Instructional Diagnosis (SGID). The process entails setting aside at least 20 minutes of class time to allow a consultant to gather written feedback and talk with students while the instructor is not present.

UCAT consultants can help construct midterm or end-of-course instruments that can be tailored to course objectives and specific information needs. UCAT has a variety of sample forms suggesting items and formats that can be adapted for the instructor’s use. Once an instrument has been constructed and administered, UCAT consultants can also assist with interpretation of responses to both custom-designed instruments and standard surveys such as the SEI.

The consultant will meet with the instructor beforehand to determine any specific questions that will be the focus of the observation.

For documenting teaching efforts, UCAT consultants can also assist in constructing a teaching portfolio or dossier. Teaching portfolios are a useful way for faculty and TAs to not only document teaching, but also reflect on areas for growth. Typically the consultant will first meet to discuss the instructor’s reasons for preparing a portfolio, the areas of the teaching process that will be examined, the kinds of information to be collected, and how these materials will be analyzed and presented. Subsequent meetings can be set up as needed to discuss presentation of such components as philosophy of teaching and goals, teaching responsibilities, representative course syllabi, teaching evaluation instruments, and course development or teaching improvement efforts. The consultant will assist in the review and organization of materials to be included in a teaching portfolio that represents solid evidence of the instructor’s teaching responsibilities and effectiveness.