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Overview    |    CIRTL    |    Consultations    |    Contemplative Pedagogy    |    Lilly Teaching Fellowships    |    MAPs    |    Open Classroom Days    |    Student Centered Teaching & Learning    |    TA Support    |    Teaching Resources

Student Centered Teaching & Learning Overview

Student-centered teaching & learning (SCTL) is an evidence-based orientation to college teaching generally characterized by three behaviors:

  • Focusing on student learning rather than teaching, particularly learning of lasting value authentically assessed;
  • Developing students’ agency to be full partners in their own learning;
  • Integrating inclusive teaching strategies that make learning accessible across the spectrum of enrolled students, often drawing on unique experiences, perspectives, skills, motivations, and the like to enhance learning for all students.

SCTL not a singular teaching method but is inclusive of a variety of practices and techniques across all disciplines.

TEFD Online Library

TEFD has been developing a multimedia library of resources to help faculty adopt student-centered teaching practices. These resources are available for now in Moodle until the new TEFD website launches at the end of the summer. Click here to request enrollment in the Moodle site.

Student Centered Teaching & Learning Fellowship

The SCTL Fellowship is a two-semester community of practice centered on SCTL course redesign. A new cohort will get started each semester targeting courses to be offered the following semester. The next call for applications—open to all active UMass Amherst faculty—will go out in December 2016 for the fellowship starting in January 2017 and continuing through the Fall 2017 semester. The first semester is a structured course redesign process; the second semester focuses on implementation issues. In both the planning and implementation semesters, similarly engaged faculty with diverse perspectives and experiences will provide feedback and support. Direct any questions to Glenn Caffery.

Other SCTL support

TEFD offers a variety of services that support faculty development in SCTL. For many faculty, adopting SCTL practices involves new ideas and practices: flipped, active, and collaborative learning strategies, for example. We see that successful SCTL learning environments carefully align course objectives with assessment and the learning plan and make these interrelationships clear to students. We can help you do that well.

The Midterm Assessment Process is an opportunity to get formative student feedback on many of these subtle yet critically important integration issues—midway through the semester when there is time to make changes. Syllabus Consultations offer pre-course feedback on your course design and the ways in which you frame the learning process for your students.

Consultations on active learning, inclusive practices and diversity, activity design, or any other aspect of SCTL are also available. Classroom observations may also give you useful feedback. We can help you choose the best pedagogical or technological tools to serve your particular students, situational factors, learning goals, and personal preferences.

Events including workshops, brown bag talks, panel discussion, and presentations from external speakers are scheduled throughout the year. Fall programming will be announced in September.

Beyond TEFD, there are many other services related to SCTL provided by the Libraries, UMass IT’s Instructional Media Lab and Classroom Technology Services’ Computer Classrooms or A/V Technical Support Services groups, Learning Resource Center, Office of Civic Engagement and Service-Learning, Digital Media Lab, Disability Services, among others. Please feel free to contact Glenn Caffery for an orientation or specific recommendation to any of these services.

Team-Based Learning (TBL) Classrooms

The University has invested in seven team-based learning classrooms ranging in size from 54 – 99 student seats. Since the first classrooms were opened in 2011, scores of faculty from all schools and colleges have been innovating and refining their practices that take advantage of these new classrooms. Any questions, specific or general, regarding the TBL classrooms can be directed to Glenn Caffery.

Orientation to TBL Classrooms

If you would like to visit a TBL classroom, feel free to contact Glenn Caffery for a one-on-one orientation.

Immediate TBL Classroom Support: For immediate needs (e.g., hardware/software malfunction), please contact:

  • Goodell 608: 413-545-5768
  • DuBois 25: 413-577-1294
  • Integrative Learning Center (ILC N111, S110, S120, S220, S311): 413-545-8992

Past Fellowship Participants

  • Student-Centered Teaching and Learning Fellowship (SCTL 2015-16)
  • Fellowships for Innovative Teaching (FIT 2014-15)
  • Team-Based Learning Fellowships (TBL 2011-12, 2012-13)

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