Town hall meetings offer questions and answers about Ohio State Teaching Support Program
The Ohio State University is spreading the word on a new program to help improve teaching across the institution.
The University Institute for Teaching and Learning is hosting a series of town hall meetings to answer questions about the new Teaching Support Program. The first meeting was Monday in Thompson Library and, simultaneously, in an online chatroom.
Kay Wolf, vice provost for academic policy and faculty resources, and Kay Halasek, director of the University Institute for Teaching and Learning, discussed the program and answered questions for about an hour.
Halasek said the inspiration for the program is the university’s strategic goal to offer exceptional and innovative teaching and learning. Program leaders believe the Teaching Support Program is unique in the nation for implementing a research-based survey instrument on effective teaching practices across an entire university.
The program includes three phases. Part one is the Teaching Practices Inventory, a survey asking faculty members to analyze their own goals, assignments, and other criteria to understand their own teaching practices and to see how they evolve.
“The inventory gives you a sense of where you are in your practice,” Halasek said.
The second part, Teaching@Ohio State, is a series of online modules focused on key elements of effective teaching. A UITL Reading List adds additional support to the online learning – and, in keeping with the increase in digital teaching tools, many of the recommended books are available in print and e-book versions.
“We want to make this as open and inclusive as possible,” she said.
It sounds like a great program. It sounds like it’s worthwhile to engage with it. The incentives, I think, probably encourage a lot of people to do it.
Finally, a five-year pilot instructional redesign program asks faculty members to rethink how they teach courses and use the redesign to evaluate the impact and effectiveness of their teaching.
Each part of the program features a monetary incentive to boost the pay of the faculty who participate. Faculty can earn base-salary increases of between $400 and $1,200 after completion of each part of the program.
The voluntary program is available to tenure-track faculty, clinical faculty and lecturers.
So far, the project is off to a successful start – in the last three weeks, about 1,000 faculty members had completed the Teaching Practices Inventory.
Ola Ahlqvist, geography professor and director of the Office of Service-Learning, attended the town hall. He said it is critical to encourage faculty to learn about impactful teaching practices.
“It sounds like a great program. It sounds like it’s worthwhile to engage with it. The incentives, I think, probably encourage a lot of people to do it,” he said.
One more town hall is scheduled for next week on Tuesday, Oct. 30, from 8 to 9 a.m. Go to the UITL website for more information: https://uitl.osu.edu/teaching-support-program-town-halls