Undergraduate Academic Affairs

May 4, 2009

New center creatively combines resources, expertise to enhance UW teaching and learning

Undergraduate Academic Affairs

UAA News

The new UW Center for Teaching and Learning will launch in July 2009, combining for the first time, informal but related, teaching-oriented campus networks and two existing units, while pioneering an innovative new partnership with University Libraries.

Requiring no new budgetary resources, the Center for Teaching and Learning has been designed to provide the infrastructure needed to support and improve teaching for faculty, librarians, teaching assistants, and research assistants in all disciplines, at both undergraduate and graduate levels. The Center has resulted from a holistic reorganization of teaching units that previously reported to various schools and colleges throughout the UW. Most substantively, the new center merges the UW Teaching Academy and the Center for Instructional Development and Research.

Individual consulting, mentoring, diverse teaching-related projects and outreach, instructional materials design, orientations and workshops , among other services, will be offered by the Center.

The Center will be directed jointly by Undergraduate Academic Affairs, the Graduate School, and UW Libraries. The Center will be based physically in the ground level offices in Gerberding Hall now occupied by CIDR, building on CIDR’s central campus presence as a focal point for teaching and learning.

The new Center will create partnership opportunities that focus more directly on enhanced teaching and learning, specifically with UW Learning and Scholarly Technologies with the Office of Minority Affairs and Diversity, with the Center for Curriculum Transformation and the Diversity Research Institute with the Office of Educational Assessment, and with Classroom Support Services, among others.

In particular, the Center’s partnership with the University Libraries will create new synergies directly benefiting students. For example, training and resources focused on information ethics will become increasingly important as students at all levels grapple with an abundance of online information sources, as well as discover and create new information themselves.

UW Deans Gerald Baldasty (Graduate School), Ed Taylor (UAA) and Lizabeth (Betsy) Wilson (UW Libraries) will collaborate in helping to create the Center’s new operations. They are appointing a faculty/staff/student committee representing CIDR, the Teaching Academy, the Libraries, and other campus stakeholders to consult widely and help design the Center’s program and scope of work. Among the committee members are Dr. Lisa Coutu (Department of Communication, who will chair the committee), Dr. Mary Pat Wenderoth (Biology), Dr. Luis Fraga (Provost’s Office, OMA/D), Karalee Woody (Scholarly and Learning Technologies), Dr. Janice DeCosmo (UAA), Amanda Hornby (Odegaard Undergraduate Library), Jill McKinstry (Odegaard Undergraduate Library), Steve Hanson (Global Affairs), Dr. Betty Schmitz (Office of Minority Affairs/Diversity), David Allen (Women Studies), Cathy Beyer (Office of Educational Assessment), Lana Rae Lenz (CIDR), and several students (to be named).