Teaching, Learning, & Assessment

The Division of Academic Excellence and Development exists to support faculty in course planning, design, delivery, and assessment. We are currently located in 100 Coleman Center.

Instructional Modes Quick Reference Guide

Western’s instructors deliver courses in a number of instructional modes. This guide provides an overview of Western’s instructional modes.

Regardless of modality, effective teaching is grounded in best practice informed by studies in learning science, teaching methodology, and curriculum & assessment development.  The links below connect you to both research and tools that support promote powerful teaching and learning.

Assessment  Assessments are a critical piece of teaching and learning because they inform both the student and the teacher about what is happening (or not) in the classroom.  This page has resources on formative and summative assessment ideas.

Instructional Strategies  Western Technical College encourages instructors to use active learning as a framework for teaching. Discussions, role-plays, cooperative learning, and inquiry learning are forms of active learning.

Instructional Frameworks  Instructional frameworks are the conceptual frameworks that guide the development and implementation of an entire course.  Examples of instructional frameworks include flipping the classroom, service learning, and project-based learning.

The Classroom Community  Creating a sense of community within our classrooms offers another way of supporting students cognitively, socially, and emotionally.  Building a strong classroom community may help in Western’s ongoing efforts to retain students.

Students as Learners  Central to powerful teaching is understanding who our students are as learners.  Research in neuroscience and social science have informed educators’ perspectives on how to prime the brain for learning, the unique challenges some first-generation students might encounter, and a host of other findings important for instructors to consider.

Classroom Management   Classroom management encompasses everything an educator does to organize materials, space, time, and students to maximize learning opportunities.

Mindfulness  Mindfulness is a way of paying attention that helps educators and students alike to be more deliberate in teaching and learning.  Mindfulness benefits our practice in addition to our physical and mental well-being.

Reflective Practice  Reflective practice refers to a continuous learning process whereby educators study their practice in order to improve it.

Writing Across the Curriculum  The Writing Across the Curriculum (WAC) initiative is designed to encourage Western faculty members from across the college to integrate writing into their curriculum (as a learning activity and/or form of assessment) by increasing awareness of the value of writing and by empowering faculty to create assignments and evaluate writing in their classrooms.

What We Offer   In order to support your teaching and help you grow as a professional educator we offer teaching consultations, classroom observations, and facilitated course feedback.