Faculty Consultation Services

Dr. Nancy Polk, Interim Director of Teaching Effectiveness, is  available to assist you in private, one-on-one consultations with requested workshops and with resources to support your skills and ideas.

Consultations

All consultations about teaching are formative, voluntary, and collegial and not part of the formal faculty evaluation process. Dr. Polk will not tell you how to teach, but she will ask questions, provide information, suggest resources and explore possibilities so that you can meet your teaching and learning goals.

A personal consultation may be as simple as a focused conversation about the tone and content of a syllabus, team teaching with a colleague, developing and teaching with student learning outcomes, high impact practices, the effective use of group work, and low stakes assessments, or it may be more exploratory with classroom observations, discussion of end-of-semester student ratings, and teaching documentation.

Dr. Polk also welcomes the opportunity to consult or collaborate with deans, committee chairs and any others who are involved with teaching enhancement and evaluation, curriculum planning and review, faculty development and related policies.

Classroom Teaching Observations

Classroom teaching observations are particularly useful if you are trying something new in your classes, if you are facing some difficult classroom dynamics, or if you want feedback about how students are responding to different aspects of the course. These observations are generally preceded by a brief meeting to discuss your objectives for the observation session and any concerns that may help focus the observation.

After the observation, you would meet with Dr. Polk for a non-evaluative discussion of the class. The focus is on identifying which classroom practices appear to be supporting your goals and brainstorming additional strategies for meeting those particular objectives.

You may request an observation at any time during the semester. With more advance notice, there is a better chance for scheduling your observation on your preferred day. If demand is high for this service it may become necessary to schedule some observations for next semester.

Midterm Student Feedback

The Midterm Assessment Process (MAP) is an opportunity for you to get student feedback on a course while the course is in progress. This process analyzes how a class is going by generating detailed, qualitative feedback from students. MAPs are conducted from a few weeks into the semester until about a month before the semester ends. Dr. Polk would visit your class for about twenty minutes, usually at the end of the class session. You leave the room, and the anonymous assessment begins.

Usually students are asked to get in small groups of two to three students, depending on the number of students in the class, and respond to several questions such as: "What aspects of this course and/or the instruction would you identify as most helpful to your learning?" "How are these aspects helping you to learn in this course?" and "What modifications to this course do you believe would help you to learn more effectively?"

As quickly as possible this data will be organized and available to you for discussion in a private consultation. Instructors who have used the method find the resulting information to be unusually rich and readily translatable into productive course changes. You benefit through this opportunity to identify and address concerns, thus enhancing the learning experience you provide. Students benefit from an improved experience as well as from realizing their responsibilities for articulating their needs in a meaningful way.

The fact that you allocate class time for this purpose reinforces your genuine interest in students' experiences. A MAP is a powerful and respectful process that promises anonymity for students and confidentiality for you. (These assessments are not required by UNCSA and should not be used for evaluating job performance or making personnel decisions.)

To schedule any of the above consultations, contact Dr. Polk at 336-726-6968 or email polkn@uncsa.edu. Early requests, especially for classroom observations and MAPs, will facilitate convenient scheduling.

Request faculty services