CTE recognizes 2011-12 Peer Feedback Program participants

Center for Teaching Excellence

CTE recognizes 2011-12 Peer Feedback Program participants

SMU’s Center for Teaching Excellence (CTE) recognizes 12 faculty members for serving in its Peer Feedback Program during 2011-12.

The CTE established the program in Fall 2010 as part of its mission to enhance teaching effectiveness across campus. The program matches a faculty member asking for an outside teaching assessment with a member of the Altshuler Academy of Distinguished Teachers – all of whom are recipients of the CTE’s Altshuler Distinguished Teaching Professor Award.

Working together, the two faculty members develop a comprehensive review of all aspects of the requesting faculty member’s teaching. The result is a confidential assessment for the requesting faculty member only.

Since its inception, the CTE has received about 40 requests from new and experienced teachers alike, says Beth Thornburg, CTE director.

The following Academy members provided Peer Feedback reviews during the past year:

  • Marc Christensen, Electrical Engineering
  • Melissa Dowling, History
  • Randall Griffin, Art History
  • Rita Kirk, Communication Studies
  • Joe Kobylka, Political Science
  • Alyce McKenzie, Preaching and Worship
  • Larry Ruben, Biological Sciences
  • Dennis Simon, Political Science
  • Don VandeWalle, Management and Organizations
  • Greg Warden, Art History
  • Bonnie Wheeler, Medieval Studies
  • Patty Wisian-Neilson, Chemistry

More about the Peer Feedback Program from SMU’s Center for Teaching Excellence
Request peer feedback from the CTE

January 31, 2013|For the Record, News|

Center for Teaching Excellence unveils new site, new programs

SMU CTE website artSMU’s Center for Teaching Excellence has entered its 20th year with a new director, new website, and new programs to help faculty members connect across campus.

The New Faculty Teaching Excellence Program, or NFTE (pronounced “Nifty”), is a year-long workshop series for new faculty members in their first 3 years of full-time teaching. The CTE plans to offer 3 or 4 NFTE programs per term, says Law Professor Beth Thornburg, who became CTE director in June.

The NFTE Program will also provide a support system for these new teachers, Thornburg says. “NFTE participants will network with their fellow faculty ‘class members’ across every school and field of study,” she says. “It will be a great way to help build community and enhance our interdisciplinary culture.” The next NFTE event, “How Can I Promote Active Learning?,” will take place Wednesday, Sept. 26.

Another new initiative, Faculty Learning Communities (FLCs), creates peer-led groups of 8 to 12 faculty members who take on one-year collaborations “structured to provide encouragement, support, and reflection” and to help faculty members make connections across campus. Each FLC focuses on a question, topic or set of problems with the goal of deepening faculty members’ knowledge through their interaction with each other.

“They’re called communities, not committees, and we did that on purpose,” Thornburg says. The FLCs are designed to create an environment that promotes innovation and ultimately helps to improve teaching and learning across campus, she adds.

The Center also boasts a redesigned website that makes it easier to find resources, register for events, and connect with other faculty members. A “What’s New” section on the top page will allow faculty members to share news, links and other useful information, says Barbara Whitehead, CTE assistant director, who helped steer the new design.

The CTE has its roots in a 1992 Faculty Senate committee’s work to create the University’s first Teaching Effectiveness Symposium, held before the beginning of fall classes in 1993. The enthusiasm of the response led to the 1994 appointment of SMU’s Commission on Teaching and Learning, which continued the Symposium and added several additional faculty development programs. The Center for Teaching Excellence was created in 1997 to provide structure and support for the Commission’s efforts.

> Visit SMU’s Center for Teaching Excellence online

September 18, 2012|News|

Three named 2012-14 Altshuler Distinguished Teaching Professors

SMU 2012-14 Altshuler Distinguished Teaching Professors James Sullivan and Carrie La Ferle with University trustee Ruth Altshuler - fellow recipient Tom Mayo is not pictured

SMU 2012-14 Altshuler Distinguished Teaching Professors James Sullivan, Art, and Carrie La Ferle, Advertising, celebrate with University Trustee Ruth Altshuler during the May 2012 board meeting. Not pictured: Tom Mayo, Law.

Three of SMU’s best teachers have been named 2012-14 Altshuler Distinguished Teaching Professors, as announced by the University’s Center for Teaching Excellence. This year’s honorees are Carrie La Ferle, Advertising, Meadows School of the Arts; Tom Mayo, Law, Dedman School of Law; and James Sullivan, Art, Meadows School of the Arts.

The new members of SMU’s Academy of Distinguished Teachers will join returning members Marc Christensen, Electrical Engineering, Lyle School of Engineering; Alyce McKenzie, Homiletics, Perkins School of Theology; and David Son, Chemistry, Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences. Fellow 2011 honoree Greg Warden, Art History, Meadows School of the Arts, will become president of Franklin College in Lugano, Switzerland, on July 1.

Each year since 2001, the Altshuler Distinguished Teaching Professor Awards recognize four SMU faculty members for their commitment to and achievements in fostering student learning. “These are faculty whose concerns for higher education go beyond classroom boundaries and often the boundaries of their own discipline,” according to the CTE website. “They represent the highest achievement in reaching the goals of higher education.” The professorships are named for SMU Trustee Ruth Altshuler.

Each recipient receives a $10,000 award and membership in SMU’s Academy of Distinguished Teachers for the two years of their appointment as Altshuler Professors. Members participate actively with other members of the Academy to address issues in classroom teaching.

More about this year’s honored professors under the link.

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May 18, 2012|For the Record, News|

CTE recognizes 2010-11 Peer Feedback faculty participants

SMU’s Center for Teaching Excellence (CTE) recognizes 18 faculty members for serving in its Peer Feedback Program during 2010-11.

The CTE established the program in Fall 2010 “as part of our mission to enhance teaching effectiveness across campus,” says CTE Director Ron Wetherington.

The program matches a faculty member asking for an outside teaching assessment with a member of the Altshuler Academy of Distinguished Teachers – all of whom are recipients of the CTE’s Altshuler Distinguished Teaching Professor Award. Working together, the two faculty members develop a comprehensive review of all aspects of the requesting faculty member’s teaching. The result is a confidential assessment for the requesting faculty member only.

Since its inception, the CTE has received more than 20 requests from new and experienced teachers alike, Wetherington says.

The following Academy members provided Peer Feedback reviews during the past year:

  • Bill Beauchamp, World Languages
  • Marc Christensen, Electrical Engineering
  • Olga Colbert, World Languages
  • Melissa Dowling, History
  • Randall Griffin, Art History
  • Milt Gosney, Electrical Engineering
  • Ian Harris, Statistical Science
  • Robert Howell, Philosophy
  • Jeff Kennington, Engineering Management, Information and Systems
  • Alyce McKenzie, Preaching and Worship
  • Thomas Osang, Economics
  • Ellen Pryor, Law
  • Dennis Simon, Political Science
  • David Son, Chemistry
  • John Ubelaker, Biology
  • Don VandeWalle, Management and Organizations
  • Mary Vernon, Art
  • Wayne Woodward, Statistical Science

> More about the Peer Feedback Program from SMU’s Center for Teaching Excellence
> Request peer feedback from the CTE

January 26, 2012|For the Record, News|

Dedman Law’s Beth Thornburg named next CTE director

Elizabeth Thornburg, SMU professor of lawElizabeth Thornburg, professor in SMU’s Dedman School of Law, will serve as director of the University’s Center for Teaching Excellence effective June 1, 2012. During Spring Term 2012, she will begin work with current CTE Director Ron Wetherington to become familiar with the Center’s activities, according to an e-mail announcement from Provost Paul Ludden dated Nov. 17, 2011.

Wetherington, professor of anthropology in Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, will return to full-time teaching.

“Professor Thornburg takes over a Center that for years has been ably managed by Professor Wetherington, and we thank him for his many years of service and leadership in promoting teaching excellence at SMU,” Ludden wrote. “Professor Wetherington has earned our thanks and applause, especially from those who have begun their teaching careers at SMU.”

Thornburg teaches and writes in the area of civil procedure and alternative dispute resolution. Her scholarship focuses on the procedural fairness of the litigation process, especially at the pleadings, discovery and jury charge stages. She has taught in the Law School since 1988 and served as its associate dean for academic affairs from 1996-98. She has received the Law School’s Don M. Smart Teaching Award and has served on the Provost’s Commission on Teaching & Learning. She also participated in a Common Law Countries Project on Teaching Civil Procedure.

November 17, 2011|News|
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