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Center for Teaching Excellence


Large Lecture Class

History

The Center for Teaching Excellence has grown significantly since 2006, with increasing opportunities for those who teach at USC. 

In fiscal year 2016-2017, CTE events provided 8,759 countable in-person hours of professional development for faculty and graduate students. We sponsored or co-sponsored 98 seminars and workshops, the university’s New Faculty Orientation, and the annual Oktoberbest: A Symposium on Teaching conference. We offered a New Faculty Academy certificate program, and facilitated 18 additional faculty learning groups, consisting of 5 grant cohorts, 8 communities of practice, and 5 short courses.

The CTE facilitated programs for graduate students, including 6 TA Orientation workshops, the Preparing Future Faculty (PFF) certificate program, and the university course, GRAD 701-Teaching Assistant Development. These programs featured high-quality presentations and workshops on topics related to our goal areas, including evidence-based teaching practices, innovative pedagogies such as flipped and experiential learning, teaching with technology, online teaching, diversity and inclusion, global learning, integrative learning, and others.

CTE directors and senior staff also conducted 98 hours of individual faculty consultations.

2016 - 2017

During fiscal year 2016-2017:

  • CTE sponsored or co-sponsored 98 seminars and workshops, the university’s New Faculty Orientation, and the annual Oktoberbest: A Symposium on Teaching conference.

  • We offered a New Faculty Academy certificate program, and facilitated 18 additional faculty learning groups, consisting of 5 grant cohorts, 8communities of practice and 5 short courses.

  • The CTE facilitated programs for graduate students, including 6 TA Orientation workshops, the Preparing Future Faculty (PFF) certificate program, and the university course, GRAD 701-Teaching Assistant Development.  

  • CTE directors and senior staff also conducted 98 hours of individual faculty consultations.

All of these offerings were successful and well-received, and attendee evaluation ratings were consistently positive. Among our FY17 offerings were several new programs focused on innovative teaching approaches:

  • Our Flipped and Active Learning Initiative supported two flipped classroom grantee cohorts to complete the redesign of 7 courses, as well as a new team-based Course Transformation grant program that will transform a large Carolina Core Physics course that serves 300+ students per semester.

  • We launched a successful new Workshop for One program designed to provide individual mentoring to faculty seeking to apply evidence-based active learning strategies to their courses and conducted dozens of general flipped/active learning presentations.

  • We continued to co-sponsor FLIP (Focus on Learning, Innovation and Pedagogy), a faculty reading group and listserv (with 100 subscribers), who among other activities, conducted an active learning workshop for 63 science educators from the local community.

  • After piloting a limited series of offerings last year, we fully launched our Diversity and Inclusive Teaching Initiative. We collaborated with several campus offices to offer a series of 14 workshops, including 3 interactive theatre sessions led by CTE Faculty Fellows and a troupe of student actors from the Theatre Education program.

  • To raise the visibility of innovative, high-quality teaching at the university, we successfully completed the first cycle of our new university-wide award to recognize innovative teaching, the Garnet Apple. We collaborated with the Office of Communications to produce a booklet in conjunction with the announcement of the inaugural Garnet Apple awardees in August 2016. Entitled VIP: Vision, Innovation, Practice, this publication featured profiles of the winners of all the university’s most prestigious teaching awards and was distributed to USC faculty, administrators, and the Board of Trustees, as well as local and statewide elected officials and prospective university donors. We also oversaw the selection of the second awardee cohort, which will be announced in early Fall 2017.

Our instructional design team:

  • Helped faculty develop 516 distributed learning courses to date, including courses for the Academic Partnerships online graduate programs, Palmetto College, the Provost’s Distributed Learning Grantees, and the Provost’s Distributed Learning Quality Review.

  • CTE instructional designers also conducted 374 hours of individual course-design consultations, presented 42 technology-training workshops, presented at 13 conferences and professional meetings, and published 3 refereed journal articles.

We led and continued to enhance the university’s TA training program, including 6 full-day GTA Orientation workshops attended by 466 students and a teaching-assistant preparation course (GRAD 701) enrolling 365 students.

For advanced graduate students and post-docs, CTE offered 17 teaching and professional development workshops designed especially for TAs and a Preparing Future Faculty certificate program with 167 participants (up 7.8% over FY16). 

2015 - 2016
During fiscal year 2015-2016:
  • CTE programs provided 9,522 countable hours of in-person professional development for faculty and graduate students. 
  • We sponsored or co-sponsored 111 seminars and workshops, the university’s New Faculty Orientation, and the annual Oktoberbest: A Symposium on Teaching Conference.
  • We launched a New Faculty Academy certificate program and facilitated 16 other faculty learning groups, including 6 grant cohorts, 6 communities of practice, and 4 short courses.  
  • In partnership with other units, we coordinated 8 teaching grant competitions.
  • CTE directors and senior staff conducted 213 hours of individual faculty consultations.
  • Average attendance at CTE events increased in FY16 for the fourth consecutive year (up 87.1% since FY12), participation in our communities of practice and cohort-based programs more than doubled, and attendee evaluation ratings were consistently positive.
Our instructional design team:
  • Helped faculty develop 432 distributed learning courses to date.
  • Conducted 306 hours of individual course-design consultations,
  • Presented 29 technology training workshops,
  • Presented at 15 conferences and professional meetings
  • Published 2 refereed journal articles.
We led and continued to enhance the university’s TA training program, including:
  • 4 full-day GTA Orientation workshops attended by 493 students
  • A teaching-assistant preparation course (GRAD 701) enrolling approximately 343 students.
  • For advanced graduate students and post-docs, CTE offered a 21 teaching and professional development workshops designed especially for TAs,
  • Preparing Future Faculty certificate program with 152 participants (up 7% over FY15),
  • more than a dozen co-sponsored professional development workshops.
2014 - 2015

CTE programs provided 8,597 countable hours of in-person professional development for faculty and graduate students during FY15 (an increase of 4.9% over FY14) and hosted 291 hours of university committee and group meetings concerned with teaching (an increase of 79.6% over FY14). We have assisted faculty in the development of more than 300 online and blended courses and partnered with more than 30 university units to deliver a variety of programs aimed at enhancing teaching and learning at USC.

FY15 programs included:

Programs to Support Effective Pedagogy and Innovative Teaching

CTE sponsored or co-sponsored 108 seminars and workshops, 3 vice provost’s power lunches, 5 grant cohorts, 4 communities of practice, 3 short course cohorts, 1 new faculty orientation, the annual Oktoberbest: A Symposium on Teaching conference, and 6 GTA training orientations, and we conducted 113 individual teaching consultations. New offerings in FY15 include the following:

  • Our Flipped and Active Learning Initiative, led by a newly created part-time Faculty Associate Director of Innovative Teaching position, included an active community of practice/listserv with more than 80 subscribers, a workshop series attended by 198 faculty, a seminar by a visiting scholar, and a grant program supporting 18 faculty members who are working to flip 13 courses that enroll a combined total of 4000+ students annually.
  • 3 new faculty short courses, each led by a CTE faculty fellow, engaged 10-12 faculty members in extended study, discussion, and individualized coaching related to a specific topic (online teaching, vocal delivery in the classroom, and writing in the disciplines).

Programs to Support High-Quality Distributed Learning

CTE significantly expanded its programming and services in this area during FY15:

  • Our instructional designers have assisted faculty in the development of more than 300 online and blended courses to date, including courses for the Academic Partnerships online graduate degree programs, Palmetto College, the Provost’s Distributed Learning Grants, and courses undergoing the Provost’s Distributed Learning Quality Review.
  • At the request of the Provost’s Office, CTE instructional designers worked with a faculty expert in the History Department to create an interactive online course and 6-hour self-paced module on the U.S Constitution and Founding Documents for undergraduate students.
  • We created a new, expanded Faculty Associate Director for Distributed Learning position to enhance our programming, resources, and individual consultation services for faculty teaching online and blended courses.
  • We conducted or co-sponsored 43 training workshops and webinars, conducted 567 hours of individual instructional design consultations, and created numerous resources to introduce faculty to best practices in online and blended teaching.

Programs to Support Integrative Learning

CTE collaborated with several units including USC Connect, The Office of Student Engagement, and the USC Leadership Initiative to help faculty develop productive connections between classroom and beyond-the-classroom experiences in their teaching. We hosted 2 course-development grant cohorts (Undergraduate Integrative Learning and Teaching Leadership) and a community of practice (for UNIV 401 Graduation with Leadership Distinction Instructors), as well as 7 workshops on this subject, in addition to numerous co-sponsored events.

Programs to Support Graduate Teaching Assistants’ Professional Development

CTE had another highly successful year of delivering the University’s teaching and professional development programs for graduate students:

  • We conducted the University’s GTA training program, including full-day GTA Orientation workshops that served 450 students and a teaching-assistant preparation course (GRAD 701) enrolling 332 students.
  • For advanced graduate teaching assistants, we offered an additional series of 11 professional development workshops and a Preparing Future Faculty program enrolling 124 graduate students (up 24% over FY14).
  • We also launched several exciting new programs in collaboration with the Graduate School—including a $mart $tart financial literacy workshop series and an expanded series of workshops for graduate students entering the job market.

University Collaborations

CTE partnered on programming with more than 30 university units, including the Provost’s Office, Center for Digital Humanities, College of Arts and Sciences, Teaching and Technology Services, University Libraries, Office of Student Engagement, TRIO, Graduate School, Leadership Initiative, Sustainable Carolina, Distributed Learning Support Services, Office of Assessment, USC Law Enforcement and Safety, and USC Connect, as well as with the academic units supplying the CTE’s Associate Directors and Faculty Fellows. We hosted meetings or events for several university committees related to teaching, including the Instructional Development Committee of the Faculty Senate and the Provost’s Distributed Learning Committee. CTE faculty and staff serve on 26 university committees and task forces contributing to distributed learning, integrative learning, and faculty development initiatives across the university.

2013 - 2014

During 2013-2014 CTE workshops and events provided 8,204 countable hours of professional development for faculty, instructors and graduate students, assisted faculty in the development of more than 170 online and blended courses and hosted 162 hours of university committee and group meetings concerned with teaching.

Through June 30, 2014, CTE sponsored or co-sponsored:

  • 92 seminars and workshops
  • 1 Vice-Provost's Power Lunch
  • 2 grant cohorts
  • 1 community of practice cohort
  • 1 faculty fellows cohort
  • 2 New Faculty Orientations
  • Oktoberbest
  • 4 GTA Orientations
  • the BEST Institute, and
  • conducted 57 individual consultations on teaching.

CTE significantly expanded its programming and services to support high-quality Distributed Learning. Our instructional designers assisted faculty in the development of more than 100 online and blended courses, including courses for the Academic Partnerships online graduate degree programs, Palmetto College, the Provost's Distributed Learning Grants, courses undergoing the Provost's Quality Review process, and others.

CTE worked with the Provost's Distributed Learning Committee to inaugurate a faculty-driven quality and accessibility review process involving 57 undergraduate courses that will eventually reach all distributed-learning courses at the university. The design team also conducted or co-sponsored 21 training workshops and created numerous resources to introduce faculty to best practices in online teaching; their cutting-edge initiative to help faculty incorporate ADA accessibility into their courses garnered several campus and statewide recognitions, as well as two invitations to present at national conferences.

To support integrative learning, CTE collaborated with several units including USC Connect and the USC Leadership Initiative to help faculty develop productive connections between classroom and beyond-the-classroom experiences in their teaching. We hosted 2 course-development grant cohorts (Undergraduate Integrative Learning and Teaching Leadership), a faculty fellows program (Sustainable Carolina Faculty Fellows), as well as 11 workshops on this subject.

CTE had a highly successful third year of delivering the University's teaching and professional development programs for graduate students. We held and continued to enhance the University's GTA training program, including full-day GTA Orientation workshops that served 478 students and a teaching-assistant preparation course (GRAD 701) enrolling 346 students. For advanced graduate teaching assistants seeking further professional development, we offered a series of 11 workshops on teaching especially designed for graduate students and a Preparing Future Faculty program enrolling 100 graduate students. We also inaugurated a partnership with the post-doctoral fellow organization on campus and launched several exciting new programs in collaboration with the Graduate School—including a $mart $tart financial literacy workshop series.

CTE partnered on events and programs with a wide range of units, including the Provost's Office, Center for Digital Humanities, College of Arts and Sciences, Teaching and Technology Services, University Libraries, Honors College, Office of Student Engagement, TRIO, Graduate School, Leadership Initiative, Sustainable Carolina, Distributed Learning Support Services, and USC Connect, as well as with the academic units supplying the CTE's Associate Directors. 

2012 - 2013

During the 2012-2013 fiscal year, the CTE sponsored or co-sponsored 64 events.

  • 51 seminars and workshops
  • 3 Vice-Provost's Power Lunches
  • 6 grant cohorts
  • 2 community-of-practice cohorts
  • New Faculty Orientations
  • Oktoberbest
  • GTA Orientations, and
  • the BEST Institute)

The CTE also conducted 27 individual faculty consultations focused on enhancing teaching effectiveness. Activities related to distributed learning, integrative learning and GTA training were expanded. Instructional Designers worked with 32 faculty members to convert 35 courses to online delivery, delivered 15 training workshops, and were active in outreach initiatives and university committees. We hosted an integrative-learning grant cohort and held 11 related workshops.

CTE also assumed responsibility for redesigning and delivering the University's GTA training program, inaugurating a successful new orientation, a new training course enrolling 305 students, a GTA listserve and a workshop series designed for graduate students.

Through these efforts, the CTE contributed to 7,673 countable hours of in-person professional development for faculty, instructors and graduate students so far this fiscal year.

CTE offered additional professional development material through its website, including a Teaching Guide that features tips on common teaching challenges and a Video Archive. We added several new resources, notably a guide to creating ADA-accessible course materials developed collaboratively with the Office of Student Disability Services. We also undertook a major redesign of the website, which has significantly improved user-friendliness and has simplified event registration.

CTE collaborated with other units on numerous events and programs. Partnerships exist with the Provost's Office, Teaching and Technology Services, University Libraries, the Office of Student Engagement, TRIO, the Graduate School, Carolina Leadership Initiative, Sustainable Carolina, and USC Connect, as well as with academic units supplying the CTE's Associate Directors.

 The success of our programs is evidenced by robust attendance at CTE events and strongly positive survey responses. Our constituencies' support is further illustrated by our Family Fund balance of $4,733.

2011 - 2012

The CTE's grew significantly in 2011-2012. Responsibilities for supporting Distributed Learning, Integrative Learning and USC Connect and Teaching/Instructional Assistant Training, were added. Two Instructional Designers were hired, and have worked one-on-one with over 50 faculty to convert courses to online delivery. A Program Manager was hired to develop and implement training programs and ongoing support of all teaching and instructional assistants at the University. The part-time Webmaster and part-time Faculty Director positions became full-time to support the CTE's expanding activities. Additional personnel included a Program Director, Program Coordinator, Program Assistant, and three faculty Associate Directors.

The result is that this year, the CTE sponsored and co-sponsored:

  • 69 seminars and workshops
  • 5 cohort programs
  • 5 grant cohort programs
  • 19 confidential consultations on pedagogy, and
  • Dozens of other professional development activities.
The CTE also organized and delivered 5 conferences and orientation events, including New Faculty Orientation and Oktoberbest - A Celebration of Teaching. In all, the CTE has contributed to over 5089 countable hours of in-person professional development to faculty, instructors and graduate students so this year. Additional professional development is provided through the CTE website. For example, the CTE's Video Archive was visited 9,657 times.

Much of what was accomplished was through partnerships with other units, including the Provost's Office, the CIO's Office, University Libraries, Teaching and Technology Services, the Office of Student Engagement, TRIO Opportunity Scholars Program, the Graduate School, Carolina Leadership Initiative, Office of Student Organizations, Office of Undergraduate Research, USC Connect, and other units.

2010 - 2011

This year, the Center for Teaching Excellence sponsored and co-sponsored:

  • 72 seminars and workshops
  • 8 cohort programs
  • 3 grant cohort programs
  • 24 confidential consultations, and
  • Dozens of other professional development activities.

The CTE also organized and delivered ten conferences style events, including New Faculty Orientation and the BEST Institute in Fall 2010 and Spring 2011. CTE staff also contributed significantly to the Graduate Schools' TA Training sessions and the Senior Vice Provost's Power Lunch series. The CTE managed three faculty cohorts, including a grant program on improving teaching in larger classes with technology, and a technology loan program on iPads in teaching. In all, the CTE has contributed to over 5,583 countable hours of in-person professional development to faculty, instructors and graduate students this fiscal year.

Online resource development of the website included expanding our Teaching Guide with tips and resources for common teaching challenges, and additions to our Video Archive of past colloquia and seminars. The Video Archive was visited over 5,696 times during this year.

CTE staffing consisted of a Program Manager, a Program Coordinator, a Web Developer, and a temporary non-classified employee. Faculty associated with the CTE include the Faculty Director assigned to the CTE on a ¾-time basis and one Associate Directors, assigned on a ¾-time basis. 

2009 - 2010

In the 2009-2010 fiscal year, the Center for Teaching Excellence sponsored and cosponsored:

  • 73 seminars and workshops
  • 3 communities of practice
  • An accent reduction course
  • A technology loan program
  • A grant program, and
  • Dozens of other professional development activities.

The CTE played a major role in organizing and delivering New Faculty Orientation in Fall 2009 and Spring 2010. CTE staff also contributed significantly to the Graduate Schools' TA training session and UTS's faculty, instructors, and graduate students.

Online resource development includes a redesigned Teaching Guide that features tips and resources on common teaching challenges, and an updated Video Archive that was visited over 4,724 times from July to May.

The CTE workforce included a full-time Program Assistant, a full-time Program Coordinator, a temporary non-classified employee and a part-time Web Developer. Faculty associated with the CTE include the Faculty Director assigned to the CTE on a ¾-time basis and two Associate Directors, each assigned on a ¼-time basis. 

2008 - 2009

In the 2008-2009 fiscal year, the Center for Teaching Excellence sponsored and co-sponsored:

  • 27 colloquia, seminars and workshops
  • 13 events for new faculty
  • 10 events for teaching with technology
  • 8 events for graduate students
  • 5 cohort programs
  • 3 teaching grant and technology loan programs, and
  • Other professional development events

These workshop and events contributed to over 2,830 hours of in-person professional development to faculty, instructors and graduate students.

The CTE workforce included a full-time Program Assistant, a full-time Program Coordinator, a temporary non-classified employee and a ¾-time Web Developer. Faculty associated with the CTE include the Faculty Director assigned to the CTE on a ¾-time basis and two Associate Directors, each assigned on a three quarter time basis. 

2007 - 2008

 In the 2007-2008 fiscal year, the Center for Teaching Excellence sponsored and co-sponsored:

  • 15 colloquia, seminars and workshops
  • 11 events for new faculty
  • 5 cohort programs
  • 6 teaching grant and technology loan programs, and
  • Dozens of other professional development events

These workshop and events contributed to over 2,633 hours of in-person professional development to faculty, instructors and graduate students.

The CTE workforce at that time included one full-time Program Assistant, a part-time Program Coordinator, a temporary non-classified employee and a graduate assistant. Faculty associated with the CTE include the Faculty Director assigned to the CTE on a ¾-time basis and three Associate Directors, each assigned on a ¾-time basis.

2006 - 2007

The Center for Teaching Excellence was launched in January 2006. The following summer, four USC faculty members conducted research and planning activities to guide the Center's development. Their work included interviews with faculty, chairs, deans and graduate students from multiple departments and colleges in order to ensure that programs and activities for the CTE reflect faculty interest and need. The most common responses to questions concerning resources that are needed to be an effective teacher were time, mentoring, technology, and opportunities for networking and discussion of teaching and learning theories.

In September of 2006, the Center's offices officially opened for business in the Thomas Cooper Library building. Space included three offices and a community room. At that time the workforce included one full-time Program Coordinator, one part-time Program Coordinator, a Faculty Director assigned to the CTE on a ½ time basis, and a graduate assistant. CTE seminars and cohort programs led to about 600 hours of in-person professional development for CTE clients. From the beginning we have expanded our programs and services by starting small and growing smart to ensure we meet the real teaching needs of our constituencies.