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 Tuesday, January 25, 2005 IssueFaculty/Staff E-Newsletter


CU-Boulder Leads in Teaching Innovation
By Vanessa Lozano, junior, School of Journalism and Mass Communication

Distinguished Professor Carl Wieman recently presented a symposium on goal-oriented teaching through interactive learning to CU-Boulder faculty. Wieman was selected as 2004 U.S. Professor of the Year by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and the Council for Advancement and Support of Education. His presentation on strategies for creating an optimal learning experience directly related to the goals and purpose of the Faculty Teaching Excellence Program (FTEP) at the University of Colorado at Boulder, which provides faculty with seminars and practical consultations to understand the processes of learning and teaching.

"FTEP has a menu of services, from individual consultation to faculty learning communities and symposia," said Mary Ann Shea, director of FTEP. "The program is devoted to inquiry in the wisdom of pedagogical practice and the broader intellectual issues of learning and its assessment in the classroom."

FTEP offers many services that allow faculty members to receive feedback on their teaching methods. For example, during the Classroom Learning Interview Process, or CLIP, FTEP faculty associates facilitate a discussion among students in order to receive constructive feedback on the course and the professor. Classroom videotaping and surveys also are available for teaching feedback.

Faculty associates also assist in the classroom use of infrared transmitters, or clickers, which encourage interactive learning and provide assessment of learning.

Many publications are available on the FTEP Web site. The series on Diversity in Teaching and Learning includes essays written by CU-Boulder faculty members on how they approach diversity in the classroom. Furthermore, a series entitled Memo to the Faculty consists of reprints of articles from refereed journals. Some topics in this series include how do design a good syllabus, how to assess learning and being comfortable and confident in the classroom.

Similarly, the Graduate Teacher Program at CU-Boulder provides workshops for graduate teaching assistants and instructors on pedagogy, assessment and evaluation of courses, and multicultural and gender issues in course design.

"A faculty member recently thanked me for providing support for graduate teaching assistants," said Laura Border, director of the Graduate Teacher Program. "All of her TAs had received A+ ratings from their students on the FCQs. That is what the GTP is about, providing close and personal support to assure that graduate students do a superb job with undergraduates while pursuing their dreams to become future faculty."

The Graduate Teacher Program provides certification for graduate students who fill requirements such as attending workshops, creating a teaching portfolio and participating in video consultations.

Teaching innovation was also highlighted during the Teachers of Color Summit, a conference for teachers of color and allies. The summit, sponsored by the School of Education and local school districts, allowed teachers to share experiences and create alliances and networks. These connections allow educators to work together to transform the learning place into a community where all students and teachers have a voice and are respected.

For more information on these programs please visit,, or

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