About Us


OTEI envisions a focus on creating teaching excellence that positively influences student outcomes. OTEI aims to provide individual instructors, departments, and colleges with training and resources needed to implement successful teaching methods and create new courses and strategies through engaged, collaborative learning communities.


OTEI will provide leadership for the Clemson teaching community on teaching excellence and evidence-based teaching practices, foster community between teachers and learners, help instructors select the most effective teaching approaches for a diverse student body, support instructors in effectively addressing student learning outcomes, and support the community in offering valid and reliable assessments of teaching and learning.


Dr. Taimi Olsen is the Executive Director of OTEI, having joined Clemson University in 2017.  She has a doctorate in American Literature from UNC-Chapel Hill (1997) and is the former director of the University of Tennessee, Knoxville’s Teaching and Learning Center.  Her career spans over 30 years, encompassing developing and teaching general education and major courses in her discipline, leading a department and a school, and publishing on E. E. Cummings.  She is an affiliate faculty member of Clemson's Department of English.  Now working in educational development for nearly 15 years, she has published and presented on co-creation, learning spaces, peer teaching review, and other topics. With OTEI, she is leading educational development for faculty, working with individuals, departments and colleges, and supporting university initiatives.

OTEI reports to the Office of the Provost, to Dr. John Griffin, Senior Associate Provost.


OTEI was founded in 1998 by Dr. Linda Nilson, who retired in 2016.  She is the author of Teaching at Its Best: a Research-based Resource for College Instructors.

Our Staff


Taimi Olsen, Ph.D.
Executive Director

Shannon Stefl, Ph.D.
Assistant Director
Graduate student teaching support

Karen Franklin, Ph.D.
Assistant Director for Digital Pedagogy
International Virtual Exchange



Graduate research assistant: Sarah Otterbeck

PhD candidate, Department of Engineering and Science Education

Office Manager Janet Arnold


Undergraduate Intern: Christopher Burnette who is a rising junior in graphic design.  You will see his work in 2022 as we share on social media.

Summer 2020 intern, Jack Hawkins

A Clemson rising Junior and an English Major, he supported our staff work, bringing a student perspective. 
How to do Zoom, a video from the student viewpoint
(Clemson faculty can access and embed in Canvas, from Ensemble); Authored article and working with CU editors, on OTEI's summer support for faculty instruction.


OTEI collaborates with a broad range of support areas on campus, including these key partners:
  • The Watt Family Innovation Center generously hosts the OTEI office and events.
  • Undergraduate Studies is a key partner in many teaching-related initiatives and OTEI supports General Education programs in particular.
  • Clemson Online provides faculty with support for teaching online courses, supports CANVAS, and teaching technology, along with CCIT.
  • Clemson Libraries supports teaching faculty with research expertise, assists with materials, and with open educational resources, among other services.
  • The Graduate School, through it’s Grad 360 program, supports graduate students and for graduate teachers and TAs includes teaching as one of it’s “Tiger 9” competencies.