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Teaching and Learning Center a Building Presence on Campus

Date: Feb. 18, 2002
By: Dawn Fuller
Phone: (513) 556-1823
Photo by Colleen Kelley
Archive: General News

The spirit of the Center for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning (CET&L) has been going strong for years. Now, that spirit is evolving into a physical presence on campus.

Renovation for the center is underway on the fourth floor of Zimmer Hall, across the hall from the new Faculty Technology Resources Center (FTRC), which will be relocating to Room 410, Zimmer from Two Edwards Center. So far, the research, ideas, resources and events related to the teaching and learning center have been promoted through a web site only. Wayne Hall, Vice Provost for Faculty Development, says the CET&L is now moving beyond the virtual scope with support from the offices of the Senior Vice President and Provost for Baccalaureate and Graduate Education, the Vice President for Information Technology, the Vice President for Research and Dean for Advanced Studies, and the Faculty Senate. The renovation is scheduled for completion sometime in May.

Wayne Hall at the construction in Zimmer

"Ideally the center will be a one-stop for faculty for their pedagogy needs," says Hall. "For instance, a faculty member who is interested in adding a service learning component to her course would be able to get resources here.

"We'll be right across the hallway from the Faculty Technology Resources Center," Hall says. "The idea is to have these centers be very closely connected, so if a faculty member is working on a pedagogy issue that requires technology, we could connect those two aspects of the faculty member's area of interest right away."

Hall adds that the office for Pamela Person, the new director of UC's Learning Communities program, will be connected to the CET&L, and it will share space with UCit's Electronic Classroom Support Services, managed by Jane Combs.

"We're working very closely together," says Molly Gordon, director of UCit Educational Services. "This co-location provides seamless service - one-stop shopping for faculty. The CET&L under Wayne has the pedagogy expertise, and the FTRC has the technology expertise. We'll work well together."

Hall adds that UC faculty steered the creation of the center. Richard Karp, professor of biological sciences, chaired the Faculty Senate planning committee that explored support at other institutions. "A faculty of 2,000 people may not be aware of all that's available. They hear about things anecdotally or by accident, or they don't know they exist.

"From the faculty viewpoint, this is a common resource area everyone will know about and they'll be able to come to for help, which will lead to better outcomes for student success," says Karp, who adds the CET&L will also be key for developing new faculty and graduate teaching assistants.

"The teaching and learning center will open at a critical juncture as the university explores and develops new approaches to teaching such as service learning and problem-based learning," says Anthony L. Perzigian, Senior Vice President and Provost for Baccalaureate and Graduate Education. "The center will be a 'full-service' operation, supporting full-time and part-time faculty, along with graduate assistants. At a time when student retention and recruitment are receiving heightened attention, it's essential that we provide a high-quality learning environment for students. Investment in faculty development should be among our highest priorities, and students will be the ultimate beneficiaries."

Hall says Sangeetha Mahadevan, a master's degree candidate in the College of Engineering, will work as one of the staff persons at the CET&L. She has been working on the CET&L's web site with Education Professor Jeff Gordon since September. Hall says it's hoped the CET&L will eventually be able to gain the resources to hire a faculty member to serve as part-time director of the center.

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