Search committees are increasingly asking candidates to provide evidence of both teaching development efforts and teaching effectiveness as part of the academic job application. In the ensuing interview process, candidates often are asked to discuss not only their research skills and interests, but their teaching strategies and philosophy as well.
The Teaching Documentation Program (TDP) — one of the graduate student professional development services offered through the Office of Graduate Studies — helps graduate students teach better, now and in the future, and prepares them for the job search process by helping them focus on and document their teaching development efforts.
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:
- Initial Interview
Schedule a meeting or email the TDP consultant to clarify the purpose of the consultation, discuss the process, and determine any follow up that might be needed. The purpose of this initial meeting is to help the consultant understand the content and cognitive level of your course and work with you to design a personalized plan for documenting your teaching. You might bring a copy of your syllabus or sample assignments to provide additional background.
- Student Feedback and Observation: Data Collection
After the initial interview, the consultant will collect data about your teaching. Methods may include observing you teach and/or administering the Teaching Analysis by Students (TABS), a questionnaire for students that addresses your relative teaching strengths and development needs. The TABS report includes both student perspectives and a summative analysis. All information collected is confidential and belongs to you.
- Individualized Consultation: Data Review and Analysis
You'll meet with the consultant to review the collected data. Collaboratively, you'll identify your strengths and development needs.
- Planning and Implementing Changes
During this follow-up stage, you and the consultant will identify three or four improvement goals. The consultant can help you design and implement strategies to meet these objectives.
- Evaluation and Documentation
At this stage, you and the consultant will evaluate the success of the process. The consultant will prepare a formal letter of documentation that inventories and describes your teaching development efforts; provide you with a copy of the letter for your academic portfolio; and return all confidential materials generated in the TDP process.