The University of Missouri is in the beginning stages of planning a new center to help faculty improve their teaching practices and use of technology.
The discussion is so new that the proposed center doesn’t have a name but it is a top priority of Jim Spain, vice provost of undergraduate studies, The Columbia Daily Tribune reported.
The 2020 Strategic Plan for the campus includes a proposal for the teaching and learning excellence center.
Spain said he wants to have a list of proposed functions for the center ready by the end of the year. He expects the center would cost the university between $400,000 and $500,000 annually.
Chancellor R. Bowen Loftin asked him for a plan for the center, which would incorporate lessons from a similar effort, called the Program for Excellence in Teaching, which ended because of lack of consistency and money, Spain said.
Spain said he will ask faculty, department leaders and deans to provide input on faculty’s most important needs before presenting a final list of key functions for the center to university administrators.
Nicole Monnier, associate teaching professor of Russian and Faculty Council academic affairs committee chair, said the new center is also a faculty priority. Besides training for teaching practices, she said she hopes it will be a center for other teaching programs at the university, such as Educational Technologies at MU and monthly brown bag lunch events.
“I think this could be a great resource for new faculty coming in,” Monnier said. “It would also be helpful for senior teachers. We tend to teach how we were taught, and the classroom is so different today from when most of us went to school.”