Sheridan Teagle Grant
The Sheridan Center, in collaboration with Dartmouth's Center for the Advancement of Learning, was awarded a two-year grant from the Teagle Foundation for faculty development initiatives in departments and academic programs. Teagle made this award as part of their "Engaging Evidence" initiative.
The goals of the Sheridan-Teagle project were to:
- provide support for faculty to develop courses that engage students in critical thinking and application, and design assessments that are aligned with: 1) course learning goals; and 2) learning outcomes for concentrations.
- provide support for departments to review their curriculum in relation to departmental goals for student learning outcomes.
- help faculty and departments create opportunities for deep learning and the development of disciplinary expertise in students as they progress through the concentration.
- support faculty and departments in creating sustainable models for curriculum development.
Principles & Practice in Reflective Mentorship
This program promoted professional training in mentorship practices to prepare graduate students to become effective future faculty mentors at colleges and universities around the world. Graduate student mentors receive training in positive mentorship principles and practices. Through monthly faculty-led discussions, graduate students will cultivate a broader understanding of the academy, contextualize the role of training, advising and mentorship within it, and explore how they can continue to develop their networks (both as a mentor and a mentee) throughout their careers. Additionally, they gain practical experience as mentors in an academic setting.
Massive Open Online Courses
The Sheridan Center has been leading the development of massive open online courses (MOOCs) at Brown, in collaboration with the Library, the Instructional Technology Group, and Continuing Education. To date, three courses have been created and offered, for free, via Coursera:
- "The Fiction of Relationship" (Prof. Arnold Weinstein, Comparative Literature)
- "Coding the Matrix: Linear Algebra through Computer Science Applications" (Prof. Philip Klein, Computer Science)
- "Archaeology's Dirty Little Secrets" (Prof. Susan Alcock, Joukowsky Institute for Archaeology and the Ancient World).
These three Coursera courses have introduced global audiences to the excellent teaching of Brown faculty and to the unique pedagogical approaches taken by many Brown courses. In the process, they have drawn participants of all ages and backgrounds into lively conversations with Brown faculty, graduate students, and undergraduates. The Sheridan Center's involvement with these courses is creating new opportunities to transform on-campus learning experiences through the integration of digital and online components into courses at Brown.
Departmental Peer Observations of Teaching
In 2013, the Sheridan Center developed Peer Teaching Observation Workshops for department chairs and faculty. This formative process centers on the Center’s approach to peer observation, with an emphasis on the use of collegial peer observation to encourage reflective teaching practices. The workshop models the three components of a teaching observation: establishing a productive dialogue prior to the observation; a comprehensive approach to observation; and a collegial post-observation discussion. The training engages departmental colleagues in a dialogue around teaching and provides faculty with effective language for formative feedback.