The University of Missouri’s Teaching for Learning Center (T4LC) further empowers educators to achieve transformative learning environments characterized by inclusive excellence, evidence-based practices, and innovation. The T4LC serves all faculty members, graduate teaching assistants, and staff with instructional roles by fostering dialogue, action, and reflection for and with the academic community
About the Center
The University of Missouri (MU) established the Center in 2017 to elevate the prominence and performance of the teaching and learning communities on campus, and to position MU as a land grant research university that provides systematic and comprehensive support for teaching and learning. Governed by a faculty advisory board, and in close collaboration and coordination with all MU administrators, faculty, staff, students, and other stakeholders, the Center develops and provides educational programs for faculty and all instructors. The Center recognizes that faculty are central to its mission and supports faculty-driven initiatives to enhance teaching excellence. Programs and services are available to the entire university teaching community, including full-time and part-time faculty, teaching assistants, post-doctoral scholars, and anyone else involved in the instructional process at MU. The Center activities are data-driven and data-producing and thereby contribute to the scholarship of teaching and learning.
Goal 1: Enhance instruction by offering new programs that support faculty to implement evidence-based teaching practices, innovative pedagogy, and models for inclusive excellence.
- Research, collect, assemble, and share information on effective teaching innovations, techniques, and practices.
- Develop an inclusive excellence framework for teaching and learning that supports meaningful and accessible learning for all students.
- Enhance instructional skills that foster inclusive teaching practices that accommodate the needs of students with diverse abilities, backgrounds, strengths, and experiences.
- Act as a catalyst for innovation, creativity, and inclusive excellence by fostering ongoing exchanges and programming about teaching and learning.
- Conduct innovative and evidence-based professional education/enrichment opportunities.
- Convene learning communities, other forms of peer mentorship, and cross-disciplinary collaboration.
- Promote curriculum reform by offering curriculum redesign services, including assistance with development of course and program-level learning goals and planning for effective student and program assessment.
- Build on existing new faculty and graduate teaching assistant orientation programs,
- Plan and execute the Annual Celebration of Teaching and other programs and events, including new and follow-up sessions throughout the academic year to address specific questions, challenges, and needs.
- Serve as a university-wide resource/clearinghouse for information, scholarship, and services to assist instructors in enhancing educational practice.
Goal 2 Research: Enhancement of innovation, evaluation, and scholarship of teaching and learning
- Develop integrated activities for enhancing the quality and quantity of research and scholarship on teaching and learning.
- Support and encourage research into inclusive and innovative teaching practices.
- Identify potential sources of funding and provide assistance in writing proposals for postsecondary teaching, curriculum, and development grants.
- Enhance stakeholders’ scholarship about teaching and learning through activities addressing ethical issues, working with the IRB, creating research instruments, assessing previous research, identifying resources for data analysis, and identifying publishing outlets.
- Facilitate access to campus data to support research, curriculum analysis, and grant-writing efforts related to teaching and learning.
- Evaluate outcomes of Center programs and use the assessments to inform future programming decisions.
- Collaborate with departments and other academic units on curriculum assessment
- Maintain resource library.
- Provide advice and models for best practices in peer evaluation of teaching.
Goal 3 Resources: Development and enhancement of efficiencies and effectiveness of campus assets for teaching
- Collaborate with all academic support units to foster the use of effective and creative pedagogies.
- Work with the Campus Writing Program to facilitate the scholarship and publication of teaching and learning research.
- Partner with ET@MO to promote good instructional design and the effective use of cutting edge educational technologies in all course delivery modes.
- Work with the libraries to provide scholarly resources related to the work of the Center.
- Work with the Academic Support Center to support and promote efficient, effective, and innovative learning spaces.
- Collaborate with the Division of Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity to foster inclusive teaching practices and classrooms.
- Work with the Assessment Resource Center to facilitate and advocate the use of high quality disabilformative teaching evaluations.
- Work with the Disability Center to insure inclusiveness and accessibility in teaching design.
- Collaborate with Graduate School to design and implement programming to support graduate student instructors and to prepare future postsecondary teachers.
Goal 4 Recognition: Promotion and support of an institutional climate and policies that value and reward teaching excellence and innovation
- Maintain institutional membership and institutional visibility in appropriate professional organizations.
- Support MU attendance, participation, and presentation at relevant conferences.
- Participate in the Learning Spaces committee to support the design of future campus learning spaces.
- Enhance the centrality of teaching excellence by advocating its consideration in all relevant policy and decision-making contexts, including committees concerned with hiring, tenure, and promotion.
- Promote teaching awards at the campus, system, state, national, and international levels, including soliciting nominations, managing campus awards committees as appropriate, and assisting nominees with applications for off-campus awards.
- Collaborate with Faculty Council, Graduate Faculty Senate, and other faculty committees concerned with campus policies related to teaching and learning.
Goal 5 Engagement: Creation, evaluation, and sustainment of experiential, active, and situational forms of teaching, learning, and community involvement
- Identify, develop, and share ideas for assignments and activities based on real-life situations or that engage students in reflective, data-driven problem-solving.
- Identify, develop, and share ideas for both individual and collaborative efforts and for diverse forms of instruction delivery.
- Collaborate with Extension and Engagement to identify teaching and learning opportunities around Missouri.
- Collaborate with relevant offices on campus (e.g., International Center) to increase student awareness and participation in learning experiences from local to global.
Goal 6: Community: Increase participation in professional enrichment programming related to teaching and learning and curriculum development throughout MU
- Develop programming aimed at broadening participation of all faculty, and in particular those in disciplines that have previously not participated in professional development for teaching and learning.
- Use a data-driven approach to identify areas on campus that would likely benefit from professional education or curriculum analysis.
- Invite faculty to work with the Center on enhancing educational outcomes and revising curricula.