CUTLA Consultation Services
Description of consultation services available for individuals and departments.
CUTLA supports faculty professional development by creating an environment where faculty can openly explore issues related to teaching and careers in academia with a reasonable expectation for privacy. However, confidentiality is limited by laws and professional and ethical standards that obligate the reporting of problematic behavior.
Consultation with Departments
The CUTLA Director will attend faculty meetings or retreats on request to discuss specific topics or issues related to instructional strategies, assessment practices, or other matters related to teaching and student learning. Past departmental consultations have included the following topics:
- Creating syllabi
- Developing rubrics for grading student work
- Developing team skills and managing group dynamics
- Orientation to Turnitin and prevention of plagiarism
- Writing measurable student learning outcomes for syllabi and curriculum change requests
- Development of assessment plans and rubrics for embedded assessment activities
Consultation with Individuals
The Center provides individual consultation with faculty on classroom presentation skill, preparation of course syllabi, construction of exams and rubrics for grading student work, development of methodology for scholarly work on teaching, and other matters related to teaching.
Classroom observation and consultation with a knowledgeable colleague are excellent mechanisms that enable faculty to identify aspects of their teaching that are effective as well as habits or strategies that might need modification. Karron Lewis and Joyce Lunde (2001, Face to Face: A Sourcebook of Individual Consultation Techniques for Faculty/Instructional Developers), argue that faculty who seek out formative feedback from a consultative classroom observation make more effective improvements in their teaching than do faculty who simply try to make sense of their formal student class evaluations.
Instructors may request a classroom observation followed by consultation about strengths and weaknesses in teaching strategies. These consultations are comprised of the following components:
- A pre-observation conference (face-to-face, by email, or telephone) to discuss the instructor's goals for the observation and to identify the specific type of feedback desired
- Classroom observation visit (time and date to be agreed on by the instructor and consultant during the initial conference)
- Post-observation feedback session to describe observations made during the classroom visit, identify strengths, and explore potential improvements in instructional strategies
Confidentiality of Individual Consultations
All individual consultations will be held in private. The decision to invite an outsider observer to your classroom requires a level of trust that must be preserved. Thus, faculty will have a reasonable expectation of privacy as to the content of the consulting observer's comments and suggestions (both positive and negative).
The request for a classroom observation and consultation demonstrates a strong interest in and dedication to providing students with the best possible educational experience. Thus, the Center will provide a letter documenting faculty participation in a classroom consultation, which individual faculty may choose to include in their documentation for annual evaluation, tenure and promotion, or teaching portfolios. Faculty who are referred to CUTLA by a Chair or Dean can expect that their attendance at CUTLA will be reported.