Learning and Teaching Consultations

Learning and Teaching Consultations

General learning and teaching consultations provide an opportunity for you to discuss questions, issues, or topics related to learning and teaching with an experienced CEE Specialist. CEE Specialists partner with instructors, departments, and programs to help you achieve your teaching and learning goals. For example, we can help you design a new course (or consider redesign options), create a syllabus and student learning outcomes, develop assessments and rubrics, explore effective hybrid and online teaching practices, integrate inclusive teaching practices, or develop projects related to educational research and learning analytics. You can make a request for a consultation on this page. Once you have made your request, a CEE Specialist will follow up with you via email to schedule an in-person, phone, or web meeting (e.g., Skype, Zoom). All consultations are free and confidential.

Consultations for graduate students and Postdoctoral Scholars are conducted by the TAC Fellows and cover teaching and learning topics commonly encountered by Teaching Assistants (TAs) and Associate Instructors (AIs). All consultations are free and confidential. (Learning and Teaching Consultation PDF)

Request a Consultation 

Mid-Quarter Inquiries

Mid-Quarter Inquiries (MQIs) provide you with formative feedback that you can use to modify a course you are currently teaching remotely before the end of the term. MQIs are available to full- and part-time faculty, Teaching Assistants, graduate student Associate Instructors (AIs) and Postdoctoral Scholars.

We offer three different MQI services to best fit your teaching and learning needs: 1) the “standard” MQI, 2) the Equity, Engagement, and Inclusion (EEI) MQI, and 3) a Do-It-Yourself MQI. Instructors commonly find that MQIs can help enhance teaching methods, promote greater student participation, and improve instructor-student rapport. More information is available under “Learn more” and here.

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  • Mid-Quarter Inquiries

    Mid-Quarter Inquiries (MQIs) provide you with formative feedback that you can use to modify a course you are currently teaching remotely before the end of the term. MQIs are available to full- and part-time faculty, Teaching Assistants (TAs), graduate student Associate Instructors (AIs) and Postdoctoral Scholars.

    We offer three Remote MQI formats to best fit your teaching and learning needs: 

    1. The “standard ” Remote MQI

    2. The Remote Equity, Engagement, and Inclusion (EEI) MQI that expands on the standard MQI (above) and includes questions on equity, engagement, and inclusion (such as classroom climate),

    For the first two types of remote MQIs, CEE can provide you with a Qualtrics survey that will collect anonymous feedback from your students during a remote class or week. The remote MQI is assigned and/or facilitated by the instructor. Students provide feedback on two general prompts:

    1. What helps you learn in this class? 
    2. What limits your learning in this class?

    For TAs requesting an MQI, the two prompts are as follows:

    1. What does the TA do that helps you learn in this class?
    2. What does the TA do that limits your learning in this class?

    Remote EEI MQIs also include a few additional questions (for more on the EEI protocol go here.

    Instructors commonly find that MQIs can help enhance teaching methods, promote greater student participation, and improve instructor-student rapport. 

    3. A Do-it-Yourself (DIY) MQI that lets instructors choose what questions to ask students and carry out the MQI on their own using methods appropriate for their situation. For more on the DIY question protocol go here. 

    Please note: CEE has moved to an electronic MQI process as part of our effort to enhance our ability to provide access to this formative feedback process to a growing number of instructors in a timely manner. Please note the following changes to CEE’s MQI process: 

    ● CEE reserves the right to limit MQIs (except for the DIY MQIs) to one per instructor per academic year based on demand. 
    ● All MQIs are now electronic only. In the electronic MQI, students provide feedback in the classroom via their electronic devices. Instructors who request a standard or EEI MQI or want to implement the DIY MQI should permit students to use web-enabled devices during the in-class portion of the MQI process.

    Below you will find more information about the process for each of these services. These processes apply to the Standard MQI and the Equity, Engagement, Inclusion MQI.

    1. The Remote MQI Process: 

    1. Request the MQI on the CEE website here (authentication required). As part of the MQI process, you will receive a survey link to share with your students. When you fill out the request form, please specify the survey close date that you would like us to close the survey. At that point, we will process your survey results. MQIs for faculty are processed by CEE Education Specialists

    2. An Education Specialist will email you an MQI survey link that you can add to your Canvas course (or can email to your students when you are ready).

    To tailor the MQI to your course(s) and course characteristics, we suggest that you prompt students about specific questions when asking them to complete the MQI.

    Use (or modify) the following sample language when asking students to complete the MQI. Note: You may need to adapt it slightly based on the specific type of remote MQI that you request:

    As your instructor, I’m interested in your learning in this class. For that reason, I am asking for your feedback on what is helping you learn and what is not helping you learn in this class. I am also interested in the following aspects of this class, as you include your comments {ADD YOUR SPECIFIC QUESTIONS HERE}.Below, please find a link to a Mid-Quarter Inquiry, which is a short, anonymous, and voluntary survey that you can use to give me feedback about how class is going for you. There are two general questions, and it should take you 5-10 minutes to fill out.  I will be able to see all of your responses exactly as you wrote them; however, your responses are anonymous. Only myself and a staff member at UCD’s Center for Educational Effectiveness, which administers the survey, will be able to see your anonymous responses. Your participation in this survey by {ADD DAY/DATE} will help me to improve the class for you and your classmates. The survey link is below. Thank you for participating!

    For an effective MQI process, please remember to give your students a clear due date for responding to the survey. It also helps to remind your students periodically to fill out the survey before the due date.

    3. If you specified a close date when you requested the MQI survey, we will process the report and send it to you 2-4 business days of that close date.

    4. Your Education Specialist will email you the MQI digital report. They will also schedule a follow-up consultation on Zoom to meet with you and discuss the results of the survey and identify teaching practices that support or limit your students’ learning. We encourage all faculty to take advantage of these consultations and discuss their MQI findings with CEE.

    MQIs for Teaching Assistants, graduate student Associate Instructors, and Postdoctoral Scholars are conducted by the TAC Fellows and follow the same process described above. 

    What happens during the follow-up, Zoom consultation? The CEE Specialist will send you a complete, digital report via email, along with some reflection questions, before the MQI follow-up consultation. The report and the reflection questions will help you prepare for the Zoom meeting. During the follow-up consultation, the CEE Specialist will discuss with you the student feedback and assist you in prioritizing any changes you would like to implement. Consultation topics range from general suggestions about how to increase student engagement to more targeted suggestions about how to incorporate specific, evidence-based teaching practices into your remote teaching. Instructors can use the comments to guide decisions about the course and their teaching both in the near and long term. Noting the consultation and describing your student feedback can also be a useful item to include in your teaching portfolio or professional dossier.

    2.  Remote Equity, Engagement, and Inclusion (EEI) MQI Process:

    This EEI MQI follows the same procedure as the traditional MQI (please see above) for both faculty and graduate instructors. In addition to asking students questions on the Standard MQI, the EEI protocol also asks students to rate their perceptions about the following equity, engagement, and inclusion statements:

    - I am motivated to do well in this class
    - I feel engaged in this class
    - I feel encouraged by the instructor to participate in this class
    - I feel I belong in this class
    - I feel respected by the instructor

    If you are interested in the EEI MQI, please make sure that you select the Remote EEI MQI option when you request the service.

    As of Spring 2019, the EEI MQI is only available for Faculty members. 

    3.  Remote Do-it-Yourself MQI Process: 

    Should you wish to do your own MQI for your remote course, refer to our lists of sample MQI statements. You can download this list of questions and add them to a Canvas, Google, or Qualtrics survey for your class. Feel free to administer these questions to your students and, afterwards, request a general consultation with a CEE Specialist to discuss the results. 

    Note: Instructors who elect to offer their own version of the MQI should supply results to the CEE Specialist they will meet with prior to the consultation, if possible.

    Sample Do-It-Yourself MQI Statements for Remote Teaching:
    We provide below a short list of sample statements that you may want to use for your remote class(es).

    Remote DIY MQI: 
    1. The remote class is well organized and easy to navigate (e.g., content is easy to find, Zoom lectures, Zoom activities, Canvas site.) 
    2. The instructor uses Zoom effectively to teach and support my learning.
    3. The remote class content is clear and understandable (i.e., not too hard and not too easy.)
    4. The instructor presents clear expectations for homework and assignments. 
    5. The remote class incorporates active learning (as Zoom pair/group work and activities, Canvas pair/group work) in ways that help me learn better. 
    6. The remote class incorporates worksheets, activity guides, notes, or other materials that support my learning. 
    7. The quantity and quality of the remote assignments supports my learning.
    8. The remote class incorporates many, short videos that support my learning. 
    9. Remote discussion sections/virtual labs support my learning. 
    10. The remote class incorporates practice exercises, practice problems, practice midterms, and/or other practice assignments that support my learning. 
    11. The instructor provides helpful and timely feedback on assignments. 
    12. The instructor promotes my well-being (mental health awareness, good habits). 

Classroom Observation

Classroom observations can help you see your classroom from a new perspective and give you ideas about how to enhance learning for your students. A CEE Specialist will observe your teaching and collect observational data about aspects of your teaching that will be most useful in helping you increase your teaching effectiveness. Common aspects include the use of classroom activities, the use of time and space, and methods for facilitating learning for all students.  In a follow-up consultation, you and the CEE Specialist will discuss new techniques and strategies you may want to use in the classroom going forward, framed within the unique context of your teaching. Observations for faculty are conducted by CEE Specialists, and observations for graduate students and Postdoctoral Scholars are conducted by the TAC Fellows. (Classroom Observation PDF)

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  • When should I schedule a classroom observation?
    Schedule your classroom observation near the beginning of the term to ensure that a CEE Specialist can attend your preferred class session. After you submit your request, a CEE Specialist will contact you to schedule a pre-classroom observation meeting and will then schedule your classroom observation and follow-up consultation dates.

    What happens during the observation?
    A CEE Specialist with expertise in teaching will observe your class session for 20 to 30 minutes. The CEE Specialist will gather data about your teaching and can pay particular attention to aspects of teaching effectiveness that you are interested in receiving feedback on, for example, the types of activities students are most engaged in, and the distribution of participation among students. To put your students at ease, we advise that you explain to your class that the CEE Specialist is there to gather information about your teaching and is primarily observing you, not them.

    What happens during the classroom observation follow-up consultation?
    You and the CEE Specialist will meet to review and discuss the observation data, typically 7 business days after the classroom visit. By reviewing the observation data, you and the CEE  consultant will be able to plan strategies that will lead to improved learning for your students in the specific context of your class.

Video Recording (Graduate students and Postdoctoral Scholars only)

A video recording consultation can help you analyze your teaching and reflect on your students’ learning experience. For example, analysis of a video recording can provide insights into how you communicate with students, how you use space on the board and in the classroom, and how you help students engage with material. Meet with an experienced CEE consultant to deconstruct a recording of a class session as data into effective teaching, rather than viewing it as a performance, making process much less intimidating, and more useful, for instructors. Video consultations are currently only available to graduate students and postdoctoral scholars. Our TAC Fellows’ collegial and helpful consultation style make the process easy and useful.

 If you are requesting a video consultation as part of a departmental or program requirement, please ask the supervising instructor, instructor of record, or program coordinator/director to contact CEE directly to coordinate (cee@ucdavis.edu) with “Video Consultation for [insert course, department or program]” in the subject line. (Video Consultation PDF)

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  • How do I prepare for my video consultation? Do I need to have my own camera?
    Prepare for your consultation by recording a full class session using a device of your choosing. You do not need to use a camera as most smart phones allow you to record, and some classrooms also run classroom capture technology. Please inform students in the class that you will be recording the session for your own professional development and encouraging those who do not wish to be filmed to sit outside of the camera’s view. We then ask that you review your recording and select a ten to fifteen minute clip that you wish to review with your consultant. Bring a copy of said video clip to your consultation. If you do not have access to a recording device, or cannot record your class by yourself for any other reason, please contact CEE for assistance.

    How do I schedule a video consultation?
    Use this form to request a video consultation.

    What happens during the video consultation?
    A consultant will meet with you to review and discuss your recording. The consultant will help you interpret the “data” provided, and together you will discuss new techniques and strategies you may want to use in the classroom going forward.

Statement of Teaching Philosophy (Graduate students and Postdoctoral Scholars only)

Articulating your statement of teaching philosophy is useful to guide your teaching practice, to communicate how you teach, and to prepare for the academic job market. Graduate students and Postdoctoral Scholars can work with a TAC Fellow to develop or refine their written Statement of Teaching Philosophy as a key part of career development. (Statement of Teaching Philosophy PDF)

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  • What happens after I schedule a teaching philosophy consultation?
    A TA Consultant will contact you to schedule a meeting to discuss your teaching philosophy statement and will ask you to share your draft statement. Instructors often find it is most helpful to meet with a consultant once they have a complete draft, although the consultants are available to meet with you at earlier stages in the process as well. You will typically be able to meet with a consultant within 5 to 7 days of when you submit your request.

    Are there any workshops or resources to help get me started?
    CEE and the Internship and Career Center (ICC) offer workshops several times a year on preparing statements of teaching philosophy and teaching portfolios, among other topics. View upcoming workshops through the ICC and CEE. Recordings and materials from past workshops are also available. For more information, the University of Michigan has compiled excellent resources and advice on the teaching philosophy statement. Graduate students and postdocs who participate in the Seminar on College Teaching also develop a statement of teaching philosophy as part of the course.

    Where can I get help with the quality of my writing, but not the content?
    The Graduate Writing Fellows offer free writing consultations with all graduate students. Schedule a consultation for help organizing your ideas, improving your grammar and syntax, and overall strengthening of your writing skills.

    Where can I get help with preparing other academic job materials?
    The Internship and Career Center offers workshops, consultations, and resources related to the academic job search. Visit their website to learn about career options, research statements, CVs, cover letters, and more.

Presentation Skills (Graduate Students and Postdoctoral Scholars only)

Presentation skills consultations provide graduate students and postdocs with tools and feedback to improve the organization and delivery of presentations. A TAC Fellow will observe a 20-minute recording of your presenting in class or in a practice session as part of your consultation to help you ensure clarity and overall organization of ideas, enhance audience understanding, reduce anxiety about giving presentations, and promote student/audience engagement. Presentation skills consultations can help you enhance your in-class presentations, conference presentations, etc.  (Presentation Skills PDF). Partial funding to support these consultations is provided by the GradPathways Institute at UC Davis.