The CTL offers consultations by appointment for all faculty members on course design, syllabus construction, assignment design, the integration of technology into instruction, assessment, grant applications, and matters pertaining to academic integrity. To set up a meeting with CTL staff, please send an email to Allison Lehr-Samuels.
Consultations with the CTL are a great way to reflect on courses before they are run to make sure they fit within the learning goals of a specific program or department. For courses that have been run previously, simply talking through what worked well and what could have worked better can refine and strengthen courses for subsequent semesters. The CTL brings to these consultations knowledge of the kinds of instruction happening across and beyond campus, and can make connections between faculty and assignments that can bolster what’s happening in the classroom.
Syllabi must convey to students what they should expect from a professor and what the professor expects from them. They should give a sense of what material will be covered and how, and show how the course fits into broader programs at the College. The strongest syllabi clearly lay out what the course will look like, and also nurture in students a sense of interest and excitement about the class. The CTL will work with faculty members to ensure that syllabi are as clear as they can be.
Assignments given to students should be clearly worded and crafted in such a way as to enable effective responses to the course material under consideration. Unclear or vague writing prompts can confuse students, leading to unfocused responses and increasing the likelihood of plagiarism. The CTL is happy to work with faculty members in a one-on-one or a group setting to assess the clarity of assignments and to explore how low stakes assignments might be linked together to build towards higher stakes curricular goals.
Integration of Technology
There are a wide range of ways to integrate digital technology into the classroom. If used properly, digital tools can broaden potential modes of information delivery, intensify engagement among students, and open up selected classroom processes to broader audiences. The CTL believes that technology integration in the face-to-face classroom can inform and positively influence what’s done in hybrid and online courses, and vice versa. The CTL will consult with staff and faculty to discuss the integration of technology at every level of instruction, ranging from the single assignment to the entire course and even beyond, to the program or curriculum level.
The CTL is committed to helping faculty members and academic departments design assessments that are precise and lead to knowledge that is then folded back into instructional design. The CTL is also interested in how assessments can be iterated across programs and departments to deepen the College’s understanding of what’s working well on campus and what can work better. The CTL is happy to work with different units, including the Office of Institutional Research and the Director of Assessment, to insure that assessment on campus has the greatest possible curricular impact.
The CTL is happy to partner with other units and support grant applications for projects related to instruction on campus. We can provide guidance and background information about the College in the grant-writing process, can assist with the structure of proposals, and can offer letters of support when approriate.
The CTL is available to consult with faculty members around issues of academic integrity, with a specific focus on the design assignments that foster strong academic integrity as part of a campus-wide initiative against plagiarism and cheating.