Thursday, May 11, 2017

Teaching Support Structures at UC Davis

Contributed By: Gabriel LaHue

We took a slight detour from our quarter theme this week, and rather than looking at what teaching opportunities exist outside of UC Davis, we focused on structures to support teaching here on campus and the Center for Educational Effectiveness (CEE) in particular. Education Specialist Dr. Patricia Turner gave us an overview of CEE and the Associate Director of the CEE, Dr. Kem Saichaie, followed up by speaking in greater detail about specific CEE initiatives and where the CEE is headed. Broadly speaking, CEE covers three main areas: Learning and Teaching Support, Educational Analytics, and Instructional Research and Development. This latter area conducts research to improve teaching and learning, and the focus of educational analytics is on-campus data analysis to support instructional effectiveness. The first focal area of the CEE, Learning and Teaching Support, is the specialty of both Patricia and Kem and that is what we spent the most time discussing.

The Learning and Teaching Support focal area includes twelve programs designed to improve learning and teaching in UC Davis classrooms. Our very own Graduate Teaching Community, the Teaching Assistant Consultant Program, the Seminar on College Teaching, and TA Orientation are geared toward helping TAs and graduate students in general become more effective teachers, with varying levels of commitment required on the part of the graduate students. Faculty workshops, faculty consultations, Mid-quarter Inquiries (MQIs), classroom observations, and faculty learning communities are focused on aiding faculty in their quest to become better teachers. Lastly, the CEE also helps with online course development, sponsors grant programs, and conducts workshops for departments.

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