Teaching Programs

Teaching Scholars Course

This short course systematically discusses course design, including learning objectives, assessment and pedagogy. As the course moves through these three broad areas, the following topics are discussed: diversity, engaging students, using “clickers,” and time management for teachers. In this class we challenge each other to our personal best with peer review of learning objectives, syllabi, rubrics, and teaching philosophies, and an exchange of classroom observations. This course is offered in spring during even-numbered years.

• What participants say about Teaching Scholars

It revolutionized my teaching methods.

Every level and aspect of designing a class is covered and you will absolutely take something away from it.

If you want to simplify your teaching approach and see your students become more engaged and more successful in your classes, definitely sign up for this workshop!

If you want to know yourself better as a teacher, you should come.

[You will learn] to take control of the teacher/learner experience by putting the foundations of teaching and course expectations in place. You should gift this to yourself and your students.

Peer Coaching: Teachers Helping Teachers

Peer coaching is a process in which teachers work in teams to learn how to observe each other’s teaching and give specific, concrete suggestions for change. Teammates will exchange syllabi, visit each other’s classes, and interview each other’s students using a time-tested protocol. Later, teammates meet to share the students’ comments as well as their own observations and expertise. Peer Coaching is offered in spring during even-numbered years.

• What participants say about Peer Coaching

Because I knew my peers were coming to visit my class, I prepared a “good” lecture. Suddenly, I knew what it meant to prepare a “good” lecture—prepare as though an expert/friend is sitting there in the audience.

Paul Furth, Associate Professor, Electrical and Computer Engineering

Peer Coaching is an outstanding platform that helps me improve my teaching. I have taken it three times and I will be back again. The program should be taken by every faculty member of the university.

Keith Mandabach, Associate Professor, Hotel, Restaurant, and Tourism Management

Team–Based Learning

In this week-long workshop, participants learn how to transform their classes with team-based learning. Team-based learning is a teaching strategy in which students are assigned to permanent teams and students’ grades are based on their performance on individual and team tasks. Students are held accountable for completing reading assignments using short, multiple-choice quizzes that students complete as an individual and then as a team. A variety of in-class activities get students talking to their teammates about class material, resolving differences in their understanding, and applying their knowledge to authentic tasks. Teammates are held accountable for contributing positively to team performance via peer evaluations that become part of students’ final grades.

At the end of this intensive workshop, participants will be able to redesign the class of their choice using team-based learning. Specifically, participants will be able to explain the guiding principles and motivation behind team-based learning. They will also draft and receive feedback on:

  • course objectives specifying what students will be able to do at the end of the course
  • learning objectives for one unit
  • team-based learning assignments for one unit

• What participants say about Team-Based Learning

The course will challenge your ideas and teaching style, but ultimately and assuredly, you will complete the course a better teacher.

Be prepared to have your world ROCKED. If you think you are a great instructor giving lectures, your ego will be crushed initially, but like a Phoenix, you will rise from the ashes…

Classroom Observations: Do you want to earn higher student evaluations?

Did you know that instructors who don’t give midterm evals earn end-of-term ratings at the 50th percentile? In contrast, instructors who give midterm evals earn end-of-term ratings in the 58th percentile. Best of all, instructors who give midterm evals and discuss them with a consultant (like Tara or Jean, Teaching Academy; Michaela Burkardt, Physics; or David Smith, Chemistry & Biochemistry) earn end-of-term evals in the 74th percentile.

Student Evaluation Scores

Teaching Academy consultants visit your classroom, observe your teaching, interview your students, give you feedback, and provide resources to expand upon strengths and address weaknesses.

All observations are confidential and for formative feedback only. This means that these consultants cannot write letters for the “evidence from other professionals” section of Digital Measures. For that, you must ask a peer or join the Peer Review Network.

Enroll online by clicking the Events link and finding “Classroom Observations.”

Starting Strong: A Short Course for Graduate Assistants Who Teach a Class or Lab

In this short course, you meet regularly with a team of your peers and a more experienced facilitator; meet with a mentor of your choice (not a friend!), ask him or her the questions you and your team members have generated about teaching; and, share his or her answers with your team. The time commitment is about two hours per week throughout the term. This semester-long program is offered once a year in fall following the mandatory one-time workshop: Starting Strong: Ten Teaching Tips for GAs.

• What participants say about Starting Strong.

Team Mentoring for graduate assistants who teach allowed me to see that others were dealing with the same issues I am–I am not alone! It also gave me incentive to contact several different faculty members for advice, something I might not have been inclined to do otherwise!

Melissa Reyes, former Graduate Student, Sociology


Team Mentoring gave me the chance to to talk with Graduate Assistants from other programs and departments that were encountering similar issues, which was refreshing and comforting. The group discussions and suggestions from all members were very helpful.

Kelsie N. Foster, former Graduate Student,
Counseling and Educational Psychology

Teaching Conferences

Some scholarships may be available to the following teaching conferences and institutes each year, contingent upon funding.

New Mexico Higher Education Assessment and Retention Conference

The New Mexico Higher Education Assessment and Retention (NMHEAR) Conference provides an opportunity for faculty, staff and administrators to share ideas about assessment and retention initiatives that promote student success. The NMHEAR Conference is a single conference with tracks on both assessment and retention, as well as tracks of combined interest. Pre- and post-conference workshops are offered.

The Sun Conference on Teaching and Learning

The Sun Conference on Teaching and Learning is dedicated to building a community of university teachers whose commitment to instructional excellence transcends disciplinary, cultural, and national barriers. The conference focuses on practical, applied strategies, tools, and techniques. All university faculty, instructional staff, and teaching assistants are invited to share their innovative teaching practices, and to explore transformative college and university teaching methods.

Online Course Improvement Program (OCIP) Scholarships