Center for Instructional Development and Educational Research

Instructional Scholar Teaching Certificate


Overview

What's a Certificate Program?

Each certificate program represents an opportunity for faculty to engage in and develop substantive knowledge and skills associated with a topic related to scholarly learning-centered teaching. Participants will work with CIDER staff and instructional experts from across the university. As such, significant commitment on the part of the faculty member is necessary for successful completion of a certificate.

The Instructional Scholar Teaching Certificate program provides a learning community and support structure within which experienced faculty can develop enhanced teaching skills. Teacher who have at least 6 year of full-time teaching experience in higher education are encouraged to apply to be a participant in this certificate program. Activities, topics, and interactions have been developed and customized to meet the pedagogical needs of experienced teachers, and those who participate will develop relationships with other faculty from across disciplines and from around the university.

Description

The Virginia Tech Instructional Scholar Teaching Certificate program is designed to increase faculty members’ instructional effectiveness, instructional efficiency, and learner-centered pedagogy. This two-semester certificate is based on an “active learning/proactive teaching” approach to higher education instruction. Participants will develop advanced knowledge and skills in learner-centered instruction, including the scholarship of teaching and learning. Participants are welcome from all departments and colleges. Ultimately, this certificate is designed to be immediately useful and to challenge faculty to engage in scholarly teaching

The two-semester program emphasizes practical, theoretical, and empirical knowledge of scholarly teaching and learning, as well as the growth of curricular, strategic, and instructional skills through engagement in authentic instructional activities. This advanced knowledge and skill development concentrates on three areas, (a) fostering deep student learning (e.g., critical thinking, problem-based learning, reflection), (b) developing instructional strategies created or adapted to instructors and students’ needs, and (c) integrating assessment into course design to foster learning and provide information regarding student achievement. These topics, however, will be tailored to participant needs.


Application Submission: All applications must be submitted online.

Program Goals

The Instructional Scholar Teaching Certificate program is designed to provide Virginia Tech faculty members with the opportunity to develop their pedagogical knowledge and skills. Faculty will purposefully and proactively:

  • develop a solid understanding of teaching and learning based on empirical evidence. (SCHOLARSHIP)
  • apply advanced learning principles in the fostering of deep and integrated student learning. (LEARNING)
  • develop alternative assessments customized to teachers’ specific learning outcomes. (ASSESSMENT)
  • evaluate instruction based on empirical principles of effective learner-centered pedagogy. (EVALUATION)

Participation Benefits

Participants in the Instructional Scholar Teaching Certificate program can expect several benefits, including:

  • Development of advanced knowledge related to teaching, learning, motivation, assessment, instructional strategies, instructional technologies, instructional design, and classroom management.
  • Development of advanced teaching skills, including the development of instructional strategies customized to faculty members’ needs.
  • Development of assessment strategies, focusing on alternative authentic strategies customized to faculty members’ needs.
  • Development of skills in observing and mentoring other teachers.
  • Development of skills in reaching all students, including universal design and inclusive pedagogy.
  • Development of confidence in creating and implementing effective instruction.

In addition, participants will receive a certificate of successful completion, indicating their growth in knowledge and skills related to learner-centered pedagogy.


Participation Requirements

Participants in the Instructional Scholar Teaching Certificate program must meet each of the following requirements:

  • Participants must be full-time faculty.
  • Participants may be from any department or college.
  • Participants must be in at least their sixth year of teaching, at any institution.
  • Participants must be teaching during the fall semester of program participation.
  • Participants can miss no more than one program session and must engage in required class observations.
  • Participants must be interested in refining their teaching, reflecting on teaching and learning processes, and actively supporting other teachers at Virginia Tech.

Participation Costs

There is no cost for faculty to participate in the Instructional Scholar Teaching Certificate program.


Application Procedure

Applicants for the Instructional Scholar Teaching Certificate program must complete the online application process, which includes the following:

  1. Applicant's name, department, phone, email
  2. Department head/chair’s name, department, phone, email
  3. A description of your (a) teaching experience, (b) teaching approach, and (c) personal goals.
    1. Half-page description of your teaching experience (e.g., courses taught) and teacher training experience (e.g., workshops, courses, Preparing Future Faculty participation).
    2. Half-page description of your teaching approach (e.g., if someone came to watch you teach, what would they see?)
    3. Half-page explanation of your personal goals for participating in the Instructional Scholar Teaching Certificate program.
  4. Current CV in PDF format.

These descriptions and explanations will be cut-and-paste into a web-based form; thus, no graphics or tables should be submitted. The CV should be uploaded as a single PDF file.

Application Due Date: August 15, 2014
Participants Notified: August 22, 2014

Application Submission: All applications must be submitted online.


Certificate Agenda

The Instructional Scholar Teaching Certificate program will consist of one cohort of 15 faculty members. The cohort will meet on Wednesdays from 2:00-4:00 pm. In addition, each participant will engage in peer teaching observations, peer teaching evaluations, and micro-teaching practice.

Fall Agenda**

Wednesday Cohort
2 pm - 4 pm
Topic
September 24 Program Introduction
October 1 Teaching and the Design of Effective Instruction
October 22 Teaching and Advanced Learning Principles
November 5 Teaching and Complex Learning
November 19 Teaching and Peer Learning
December 3 Teaching and Authentic/Alternative Assessment

** The fall agenda will also include peer observations.


Spring Agenda**

Wednesday Cohort
2 pm - 4 pm
Topic
January 28 Peer Observation, Assessment, and Evaluation
February 11 Lessons to be Learned and Needed Resources
February 25 Conversations with Master Teachers
March 18 Instructional Issues and Concerns
April 1 Course Development and Management
April 15 Instructional Issues and Concerns

** The spring agenda will also include peer observations.


Program Graduation (all cohorts)

April 30, 2015, The Inn and Conference Center, 5:00-7:00 pm


Program Questions

Questions regarding the Instructional Scholar Teaching Certificate program should be directed to:
Peter Doolittle, Director
Center for Instructional Development and Educational Research
pdoo@vt.edu, 1-3954









Application Submission

All applications must be submitted online.




Program Questions

Questions regarding the certificate program should be addressed to Peter Doolittle, pdoo@vt.edu