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)

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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, 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 here.

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  • Download the MQI Info Sheet
    Image: MQI Flyer


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.