Consulting on Grants/Contracts, Research on Teaching
When a grant or contract pertains to teaching or requires a teaching component, faculty and administrators may request consultations on teaching-related and curriculum issues, existing literature, certain research methodologies, and strategies for assessing/evaluating the treatment/program.
Through this method, faculty and graduate teaching assistants (GTAs) learn how their students view their teaching strengths, weaknesses and effectiveness during a semester, while there is still time to make adjustments and improvements. A class interview solicits specific, useful assessments and recommendations for improvement more effectively than do the formal, end-of-semester student evaluations.
This service takes about 20 minutes of class time at the beginning or the end of the period. After the instructor leaves the room, the OTEI director or a trained consultant starts off in smaller classes by initiating a discussion and in large classes by breaking the students into small groups to fill out a brief, open-ended questionnaire, followed by a discussion. Student anonymity is assured. The director or consultant later meets privately with the instructor to share and interpret the results.
Some departments encourage their instructors to observe each other's classes for the dual purposes of providing advisory feedback and seeing different approaches to teaching similar material. However, at those times when faculty and GTAs want the feedback of an outside expert, the OTEI director or a trained consultant will observe and take notes on an instructor's lecture style, discussion skills, questioning techniques, class rapport, use of technology and other performance dimensions.
Classroom Videotape Review
Since it allows us "to see ourselves as other see us," a classroom videotaping is effective in helping faculty and GTAs assess their presentation style, public speaking skills, use of visual aids and social interaction with their class. It can be especially useful for instructors to view it privately with the OTEI director or a trained consultant, as these sessions often help them identify overlooked teaching strengths and devise novel ways to enhance their presentation. The Communications Center will record classes on the instructor's request.
Individual Teaching Consultations
OTEI invites all members of the Clemson teaching community to schedule private consultations on any and all aspects of university teaching. We are happy to help faculty and TAs design courses, develop syllabi, devise new ways to teach material, integrate technology into a course, assess student learning, elicit student feedback, conduct classroom research, interpret student evaluations and assemble teaching portfolios. We can also furnish information on upcoming teaching conferences and outside workshops.
Advice on Teaching with Technology
In conjuction with Teaching Technologies, OTEI offers consultations and workshops on pedagogically sound ways to use technology in the classroom. Faculty options include clickers (personal response systems), SCALE-UP classrooms, tablet PCs, and instructional applications of mobile technology, such as podcasting. The use of laptops in the classroom is a particularly popular technology because Clemson requires all its undergraduate students to have their own laptops. OTEI can provide advice for designing and implementing productive, laptop-based class activities and eliminating improper student uses of laptops during class. Many technologically experienced faculty welcome their colleagues into their classroom to observe these technologies in action. Some of the most successful innovations are showcased at the end of every semester at the Teaching with Technology Symposium.