It's increasingly common for search committees to ask faculty applicants to provide evidence of both teaching development efforts and teaching effectiveness. During the ensuing interview process, candidates may be asked to discuss their teaching strategies and philosophy as well as their research skills and interests.
The Teaching Documentation Program (TDP), one of the professional development services offered by the Office of Postdoctoral Studies, helps postdocs teach better now and in the future, and prepares them for the job search process by helping them document their teaching development efforts.
Request a classroom visit with the online scheduling form. Classroom visits are conducted between the 4th and 8th week of each semester, and are scheduled on a first-come, first-served basis. To arrange an individual teaching consultation without scheduling a classroom visit, write us.
The Teaching Documentation Process
The TDP offers you an early opportunity to reflect on the link between teaching and student learning outcomes and to develop formalized documentation of your teaching development activities. The process occurs in five stages:
- TDP Request
You request a classroom visit from a teaching consultant by submitting an online form, and we take care of the rest.
- Initial Interview
It's most productive to begin with a short interview to help the consultant understand the level of your course and work with you to design a plan for documenting your teaching. You might send a copy of your syllabus or sample assignments to provide additional background.
- Student Feedback and Observation: Data Collection
On the date you specify, the consultant will visit your classroom. This usually involves observing you teach and asking your students to share their views on your relative teaching strengths and development needs. The instrument we use is Teaching Analysis by Students (TABS), a short questionnaire. The TABS report includes both student perspectives and a summative analysis. Video recording is also available, but only upon your request. All information collected is confidential and belongs to you.
- Individualized Consultation: Review and Analysis
You'll meet with the consultant to discuss your TABS results. Together you'll identify your strengths and development needs and three or four improvement goals. The consultant will help you design and implement strategies to meet the objectives you set.
- Evaluation and Documentation
At this stage, you evaluate the success of the process by composing a written reflection on the development process you engaged in. This might include recording changes in your attitude about teaching, interactions with your students, adjustments to your teaching techniques, your response to received student feedback, goals you set, successes (or failures)—whatever it is that you experienced. The consultant can also provide to you a formal letter of documentation for your academic portfolio upon request.