About the Teaching and Learning Center
The UTSA Teaching and Learning Center (TLC) is a proactive, professional, and visionary organization that inspires, supports, and recognizes good teaching practices, effective assessment, and student engagement.
The mission of the UTSA Teaching and Learning Center (TLC) is to provide the resources and the support to enhance and to recognize excellent and innovative teaching by both faculty and graduate students. Ultimately, our goal is to promote active and engaged learning by UTSA students to improve student learning outcomes and retention and persistence in keeping with overall university goals.
Despite different disciplines, research agendas, and departmental or administrative concerns, the practice of teaching is essential to the mission of an institution serving underrepresented students, the community of San Antonio, and the state of Texas. This commitment mutually inspires, commits and unites us. We believe that teaching and scholarship complement one another; yet, teaching remains at the heart of our professional lives and ultimately defines all aspects of the UTSA mission, including its outreach efforts.
Teaching is both a science and an art. It can be developed and refined if the university recognizes and rewards its central importance, motivating all faculty members and teaching assistants to develop this part of their professional lives. As a member of the UTSA community, the TLC is committed to supporting and recognizing all efforts by faculty and teaching assistants to grow professionally in this essential area. Additionally, we actively seek to collaborate with various UTSA units to develop innovative and effective teaching and learning strategies. Our mission is also to ensure that these innovations are shared within our university community and beyond in the greater academic environment.
Keeping in mind the vision of the Teaching and Learning Center (TLC), the following themes will run through all faculty development efforts:
Promoting strategic teaching among faculty at the University.
Strategic teaching can be defined as instruction that is deliberately and intentionally designed to achieve a particular effect or goal. Although students can (and do) learn through serendipitous experiences in the classroom, they learn more and more of what we want them to learn when we have carefully considered the learning outcomes we desire and then have deliberately planned our instruction so that these learning outcomes are reached. Strategic teaching and assessment will increase student achievement on our campuses.
Teaching to facilitate the strategic learning of students at the University.
Strategic learning can be defined as learning that is deliberate and conscious. Students who are strategic learners are mindful of themselves as learners and of what it takes to be effective and efficient during the learning process. As professors and teaching assistants, we can expedite our students' learning by making sure that they know how to learn and are intentional in their learning. Ensuring that our students are strategic learners will serve them while they are at the University as well as throughout the rest of their lives.
Documenting the teaching effectiveness of faculty and teaching assistants at the University.
Faculty members are aware of the multitude of ways to document scholarly effectiveness. We are not as aware of how to document our teaching effectiveness or of how to use this documentation to improve in this realm. This theme will provide faculty with awareness, knowledge, and tools to demonstrate instructional effectiveness. Documenting our teaching effectiveness will lead to increased instructional improvement, support promotion/tenure decisions, and convince the community that we are excellent teachers.
Using technology to increase teaching and learning effectiveness.
Technology offers a tool that faculty can use to increase the efficacy of our instruction as measured by the increased learning of our students. The TLC will partner with other university units to address the role that technology can play in that betterment.
Meet the Director - Barbara Millis