University Teaching Center offers support for faculty

October 30, 2015 | UToday
By Samantha Watson

Though the University Teaching Center has only been around for two years, it’s had a big impact on UT faculty.

Last year, attendance numbers exceeded 500 for the various sessions and opportunities available through the center.

“We were really pleased with that for our first full year of operation,” said Dr. Connie Shriner, vice provost for assessment and faculty development.

Going forward, the University Teaching Center is taking this momentum to continue current programs as well as introduce new ones. Right now, the center located in University Hall Room 5120 offers resources for faculty to help them in a variety of ways.

“I think the existence of the University Teaching Center is evidence of the support of the Provost’s Office for teaching and for teachers,” Shriner said. “The office wants to provide resources for faculty.”

Throughout the year, the center hosts both webinars and seminars that are open to all faculty members. These include TECHTALKS, which are small seminars based on integrating technology into the classroom to create interactive environments for students.

They also discuss how technology can sometimes get in the way of teaching, so it should be used wisely.

“Technology is not the means to an end, it’s not the end goal,” said Vincent Rocha, director of the University Teaching Center. “It’s a tool used to help with the learning objectives they have for their classes.”

The center also subscribes to Monday Morning Mentor, a 20-minute program that gets sent out once a week and discusses topics like teaching, assessment, classroom management and more.

Another resource for faculty is the center’s Student Observer Program. Faculty members can apply to have a student sit in on their class and evaluate their teaching, the atmosphere of the classroom and more. Each student is trained and is not originally part of the professor’s class.

Faculty also can use the center to produce videos for their classroom to help supplement their teaching materials. The center offers a green screen, equipment and expertise to produce high-quality videos for faculty.

There are countless other resources available for faculty through the University Teaching Center. For more information, visit

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