To achieve the best in teaching can often be a challenging learning experience. Pamela Baker leads a center that provides UC faculty with the tools and support to build on their own success in teaching as well as on the success of their students.
There’s a place on campus that has a classroom unlike any other. It’s a classroom just for teachers. In this room, even the most experienced UC faculty become students as they explore the latest methods of teaching in the 21st century, as well as learn to prepare their courses, departments and students for semester conversion.
“We provide professional-development opportunities for faculty who want to improve their teaching,” says Pamela Baker, director of the Center for Enhancement of Teaching & Learning (CET&L). “I think a lot of that success revolves around discussion and sharing ideas with other faculty, and the CET&L provides those opportunities in one central location on campus,” Baker says.
“What’s more,” adds Baker, “this year, the CET&L is squarely focused on encouraging our faculty to capitalize on the challenge of semester conversion by 2012. We argue that this change presents more than a few extra weeks’ worth of added course content. Instead, it offers us wonderful opportunities to further enhance teaching and deepen student learning.”
Baker goes on to say that the CET&L is currently in the process of assessing what faculty need in order to best make semester conversion meaningful. She says the CET&L will begin offering programs to address those needs as early as spring quarter.
In addition to its classroom, the CET&L, located in Room 480 of Langsam Library, also has computer labs for hands-on learning, a small conference room and then a larger, more informal space aimed at creating a casual setting that encourages informal exchanges and sharing of ideas, Baker says.
“Over the past few months, we’ve also created a library annex,” says Baker. “Now, if faculty come to the center for a workshop and they’re interested in a particular book on teaching and learning, they can just grab it off our shelf.” The center also holds a small faculty work station so that faculty can check their e-mail or voice-mail while spending time at the center.
Baker adds that the CET&L provides workshops and programs for faculty in multiple locations, noting that many faculty who teach on the Uptown Campus turned up at a podcasting workshop at Clermont College, because it was closer to where they lived.
She says that the center also works closely with University of Cincinnati Libraries – which holds a wealth of resources and workshops for faculty – as well as the Faculty Technology Resources Center (FTRC), which assists faculty in using technology in the classroom.
It’s been a busy year for Baker, who was appointed first as interim director of the CET&L last January. She first began working at UC in 2002, previously working as an adjunct history instructor, as well as associate director for UC’s First-Year Experience (FYE) program.
While earning her master’s degree and her PhD in history at the University of Illinois - Chicago, Baker worked for the Council for the Excellence in Teaching and Learning, where she worked closely with graduate students in preparing them to become future faculty.
Baker, of Finneytown, also works as an adjunct professor of history for the McMicken College of Arts & Sciences. Her husband, Lee Baker, is an associate professor at Raymond Walters College.
CET&L Workshop Schedule
Office hours for the CET&L are from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday through Friday.
CET&L Phone: 513-556-3053