|a. Best Practices (C. Wilcox): The Best Practices Committee met on Wednesday, November 11. Prof. Wilcox briefly reported on the Teaching Excellence Showcase. For the TES, the goal is to help CIDDE with next year’s event by reviewing the evaluation forms and possibly suggesting changes. Council members agreed that considering an alternative venue may resolve the attendance problem. Possible venues include the University Club. The Committee has had a chance to review the report for this year’s event and will discuss options for improving this event at the next meeting on November 30.
The second committee topic was the Faculty Diversity Seminar, an annual seminar held in early May. Prof. Wilcox reported that the Committee focused on the measurable effectiveness of the Diversity Seminar, with discussion ranging from attendance, application numbers, as well as the format of the current Seminar. Prof. Wilcox mentioned that the Committee is not ready to make any recommendations at this time, but CIDDE will be contacting several “best practices” universities to establish some benchmarking data to help the Committee come up with a plan for enhancing effectiveness.
Ms. Golden noted her initial meeting with the Diversity co-directors and reported that while they believe the current format to be useful, they will most likely be open to discussion on how to improve the Seminar and incorporate other ways of educating faculty on diversity.
Prof. Wilcox reported that an additional action item would be for CIDDE to draft some questions to address to the Faculty Diversity Seminar Advisory Board for feedback on the current Seminar and ideas they might have for improving this initiative. The co-directors may be invited to an upcoming Best Practices meeting.
b. Faculty Development (N. Day): The Faculty Development Committee met on November 10. At that meeting, the committee discussed the Faculty Focus Groups from the previous year and concluded that the Council and CIDDE had gained useful information and that there is no need to continue this initiative in the Spring. Instead, CIDDE, with the committee’s help, will focus on how to promote, market, and disseminate its workshops in order to provide service to more Pitt faculty. One idea is to create a package of workshops tailored specifically to the needs of schools and departments. As a pilot project, CIDDE will focus its efforts on identifying and working with one or two schools or departments in order to use these as a model for other interested schools and departments.
Prof. Day also shared some of the data CIDDE collected on attendance at the Summer Instructional Development Institute (SIDI), including overall attendance, who attends, tenured vs. non-tenure stream faculty. Linda Wykoff provided faculty tenure status information and helped to compile a spreadsheet showing attendance trends over the past three years.
Further discussion focused on the effectiveness of the current methods of evaluating teaching. Prof. Day questioned how useful OMET evaluations are in determining whether or not someone is actually a good teacher, and would like to examine how evaluations could be used to build teaching skills. Dr. Blair suggested touching base with Dr. Patricia Beeson, who he believed is forming an OMET advisory committee.