What do we Need to Know?

Last Fall the Center for the Advancement of Teaching and Learning welcomed a new director. Professor Jennifer Lanter hit the ground running and quickly commissioned a faculty survey to assess the perception of the Center and to identify future areas of growth. The survey received a very healthy turnout with over 40 faculty responding from a broad range of academic units. Stemming from the survey the Center decided to focus on two strands of development for the 2013-2014 academic year – the evaluation of those programs with low faculty recognition and the creation of a collaborative blog.

Analysis of the survey quickly showed the under-utilization of a number of the Center’s programs and grants. Even some of those that had significant investment attached showed low-recognition among faculty and low rates of submissions. Working with the Instructional Development Council in an advisory capacity, the Center extensively restructured their Grant and Award program to meet current faculty and institutional needs. Additionally, all current grants state who is welcome to apply and how successful applicants will be chosen in response to specific feedback from participants.

When reviewing the topics that faculty would like to see covered by CATL, it was initially an overwhelming task. The requests were varied, specialized and numerous. Coupled with the difficulty of finding the ‘sweet spot’ timing for face-to-face workshops, the Center was initially unsure on how to proceed. However, following some research on the practice of other Center’s nationally, it was decided that the Center would sponsor a collaborative blog that would offer faculty online, regular professional development created by experts from across campus. With over 2000 visitors over the past three months, we’re hopeful that this blog is meeting some of our faculty’s diverse needs. (On that note, if you have a topic that you would like to see covered here, or would like to contribute, please email us at

Over the summer, we’ll be working with the survey results to identify more goals for next year (so if you have any suggestions, please let us know). But as the academic year comes to an end, the Center feels excited that we are meeting your needs in a more effective way than ever before.


If you’re interested in learning more about how we applied the Faculty Survey results, check out this poster presented by Lanter at the Spring OPID Conference.

Joanne DolanJoanne Dolan
Instructional Design Coordinator, CATL

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