With the support of the Office of the Provost, each year the Center for Teaching Excellence
identifies key initiatives that draw on the most recent research in higher education
learning and teaching and then develops programming based on these initiatives that
will provide faculty with opportunities to enhance and innovate their courses.
Digital technologies have made it possible to expand the boundaries of the classroom
to include fully online courses, blended and flipped courses and more. Whether they
are just thinking of teaching online or whether they've taught online for many years
and want to push their courses to the next level, our Distributed Learning initiative
supports USC's commitment to providing quality distributed learning courses by offering
a range of opportunities and services for faculty.
Flipped Classroom Development
We know from the research that students in all fields learn best when they can combine
learning high-level content with opportunities for hands on learning. The Flipped
Learning model has gotten a lot of attention and our Flipped Learning initiative seeks
to support faculty who want to develop high quality flipped courses by offering workshops,
expert faculty who are experienced in this mode and grants that provide faculty with
the resources necessary to develop flipped courses. We have an Associate Faculty Director
of Innovative Teaching who is available for consultations to help faculty pull together
the resources and partners they need to develop this type of classroom innovation.
USC is a leader nationwide in helping students think about how their learning extends
beyond the classroom. The CTE's Integrative Learning initiative, in conjunction with
USC Connect, focuses especially on introducing faculty to opportunities to help students
make thoughtful connections between the courses they teach and outside the classroom
experiences such as service learning, internships, field work and student involvement. We
give faculty opportunities to learn about and interact with some of the offices and
programs on campus that provide high quality co-curricular programming for students. We
then support them in developing teaching strategies, courses and curriculum by offering
teaching innovation grant programs, a variety of workshops and also a cohort program
for instructors who are working with students to graduate with leadership distinction.
In recent years we've seen a robust movement in the development of research and literature
that looks at what is successful in teaching in higher education. Through our Pedagogy
initiative, the CTE distills the best of that research and of best teaching practices
that have been identified and then develop programs, events and workshops that give
faculty the building blocks they need in order to engage their students and design
good courses that foster student learning in the best possible way. This initiative
seeks to raise the bar in higher education pedagogy through engagement with the discourse
nationwide on what is best teaching practice. It is our effort to help keep faculty
at the forefront of the ever evolving understanding of how students learn and what
types of best practices good teachers should engage in.