The Teaching Documentation Program (TDP) offers graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and part-time faculty at Wayne State University (WSU) an opportunity to enhance their teaching skills. It demonstrates evidence of professional development that promote effective teaching and learning practices in higher education. The program is open to doctoral-level graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and part-time faculty who anticipate going into a faculty role. The TDP not only helps prepare individuals to teach better now and in the future, it also offers formalized documentation of an individual's teaching development efforts and provides WSU graduates a competitive advantage in future career goals.
The goals of the program are to:
- Enhance skills, knowledge, and values related to effective teaching
- Promote reflection on teaching at WSU
- Provide support on the job market. This helps demonstrate a successful faculty member
- Model a process, including transferrable skills and practices, which will be a part of faculty life
Successful participants will complete requirements in topics related to teaching and learning. These include theory, assessment, discipline-specific teaching related materials, and addressing diversity in higher education. Some content will be broad, interdisciplinary, and applicable to all aspects of teaching. Other content is discipline-specific and demonstrates a commitment to teaching in a particular field of study. The TDP is intended to be self-paced and flexible, so participants can complete it over the course of their time at Wayne State. Upon finishing the program, participants will have a developed materials for a teaching portfolio, including a philosophy of teaching statement and documented evidence of teaching development.
Teaching Documentation Program Topics
Introduction to theory
A theoretical basis is an important foundation on which to build teaching. This includes an understanding of learning theories as well as reflection on teaching. You will be required to participate in a discipline-based or interdisciplinary one-credit seminar or complete 14 hours of an equivalent, structured discussion on the theory of teaching and develop a philosophy of teaching statement that focuses on your own approaches to teaching.
Knowing how to assess student learning is crucial for effective teaching. This aspect of the TDP helps participants understand the centrality of assessment by focusing on both formative and summative assessments. You will receive and discuss individualized feedback about your teaching strengths and areas for growth. This can be accomplished through student feedback, peer or faculty feedback, or a consultation with an OTL staff member.
Discipline-specific teaching related materials
In order to prepare for a faculty role, teaching practice in fields of study is essential. This requirement of the TDP allows participants to develop teaching skills in a specific content area. You will identify discipline-based teaching resources and develop and/or collect materials that reflect your individual teaching goals.
Addressing diversity in higher education
University campuses attract students with a variety of personal experiences, values, and worldviews that arise from differences of culture and circumstance. The goal of this section is to reflect on the increasing diversity of the higher education landscape and to provide a platform to articulate your readiness for teaching diverse students. You will review the role of diversity in higher education and reflect on how you would approach and adjust your teaching for a diverse student body. This requirement will help you write a Contributions to Diversity Statement to include in your teaching portfolio.
Because many workshops are offered annually, the program may take a year or more to complete. It is participants' responsibility to keep track of their progress and provide the Office for Teaching and Learning with the appropriate documentation of completed activities.
The OTL has created a TDP handbook that outlines all of the program's requirements. After the requirements have been met, participants will receive a letter from the Office for Teaching and Learning. However, this will not be reported on university transcripts. Most importantly, participants will have acquired knowledge, skills, and values that foster excellence in teaching and learning.
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