Teaching Scholars Program

The UW-Whitewater Teaching Scholars Program is a year-long program that provides a group of faculty and academic teaching staff from across campus a structured and collegial environment to explore ideas and issues relevant to excellence in teaching and student learning. Each year the program has a different theme. Past themes have included: assessment and course redesign, teaching first year students, diversity, and educating the whole person. Key program components include orientation week activities, twice monthly seminars (with readings) throughout both semesters, a peer partnership experience, and structure and assistance to complete a teaching improvement project.

Program Design

The Teaching Scholars Program has four principal components.

  1. Orientation
    Thursday, 8/24 from 12:30 – 4:30 pm and Wednesday, 8/30 from 12:00 pm – 4 pm. These meetings will involve attendance at several LEARN Center activities and several dedicated group meetings involving orientation to the program, introductions to each other, an exploration of liberal education, and other relevant topics.

  2. Teaching Scholars Seminars
    Participants will meet in a seminar twice per month from 3:30 – 5:00 pm on Wednesdays.
    Seminars will focus on the discussion of readings from the literature relevant to the program theme. Scholars should arrange with their department chairs to be certain they will not be scheduled for a class or other responsibilities during this time for the entire year. (Participants missing seminar meetings or other program components will have their stipends adjusted accordingly.)

  3. Peer Partnership/Consultation
    This is an opportunity to have a peer visit your class (or several classes) and consult with you around an issue of your choice. You will also likely be invited to visit and consult regarding a colleague’s class(es).

  4. Assignment & Assessment Redesign Project
    Following our discussion of the broader goals of liberal education and an opportunity to reflect on one’s priorities, participants will be encouraged to reconsider the types of classroom activities, assignments and assessments most appropriate to meet those goals. This will be followed by work to design activities, assignments, and assessments more consistent with one’s goals. Participants will be expected to present a summary of their redesign at a spring seminar (and maybe elsewhere) and to provide a short written summary of the project to the LEARN Center by the end of the program.

Program Objectives

While participants will likely find their own motives for engaging in the program, in general, the Teaching Scholars Program is designed to have participants:

  1. explore the literature relevant to liberal education and quality instruction;
  2. increase their use of relevent state-of-the-art teaching strategies;
  3. complete a course redesign project intended to enhance liberal learning;
  4. make a contribution toward a campus and system priority; and
  5. develop more collegial relationships among faculty from across campus.

Timeline:

Fall Semester:

  1. Seminars with discussion of readings
  2. Seminar & individual consultation meetings to develop project ideas
  3. Sharing “best practices” or “teaching problem”

Spring Semester:

  1. Seminars with readings and discussions continue
  2. Peer partnership
  3. Presentation of projects on campus (and/or elsewhere)
  4. Completion of summary paper

Participant Support

Through the generous support made available by the Office of the Chancellor, each participant in the 2017-18 program will receive a $2,500 stipend. Additionally, each participant will receive a $300 budget line. These funds can be used to defray costs of professional development (e.g., conference travel, books, software) or costs affiliated with completing the course redesign project.

Program Leader

Barbara Beaver is the Director of the LEARN Center, a Professor of Psychology, recipient of teaching awards (including the W.P. Roseman Award for Excellence in Teaching), and a member of the Council for the UW System Office for Professional & Instructional Development (OPID). Even more importantly, she always loves to talk about the art and science of teaching.

To Inquire/Apply

If you have questions, please contact the LEARN Center (Contact), or Barbara Beaver 472-5416; beaverb@uww.edu.


"The real benefit of the LEARN Center's Teaching Scholars Program is that it allows us to discuss teaching approaches in some detail. When one member of the group describes a unique approach, the other members can ask questions about how they might use it in their classrooms. Equally important is the opportunity to learn how not to do something."
--Assistant Professor, College of Letters and Sciences

"Given the demands on our time and differences in faculty schedules, the type of interaction and the focused discussion that takes place in the Teaching Scholars Program occur very rarely on an informal basis. I find that the program offers an excellent and very welcome opportunity to actually reflect on what it is that we do on a daily basis."
--Assistant Professor, College of Letters and Sciences


“Education serves democracy best when it prepares us for the kinds of questions we face now: questions about a wider world, about our own values, and about difficult choices we must make both as human beings and citizens.” AAC&U, 2002