Building Community for Enhanced Teaching and Learning

Open Classrooms

The TLC invites faculty to welcome other faculty into their classrooms for informal inspiration, idea-swapping, and mutual mentoring. Opening our classrooms provides a way for us to share teaching methods and techniques with each other, initiate new collaborations, discuss challenges and solutions, and learn about innovative pedagogies, inside and outside our home departments and disciplines. 

Please take time to visit the Open Classrooms of your colleagues Camille L. Goins (Educational Leadership & Specialties), Peter Grimes (English, Theatre & Foreign Languages), Jane Haladay (American Indian Studies), Scott Hicks (English, Theatre & Foreign Languages), Leslie Locklear (School of Education), Tiffany Locklear (Teacher Education), Marianna Rader (Psychology), and Dana Unger (Counseling). We welcome you into our classrooms for the purpose of sharing ideas and approaches in teaching and learning.

  • You may visit Camille's class, Analyzing Educational Issues (EDNL 5710 on Sept. 3 and 17; Oct. 1, 15, and 29; and Nov. 12 and 19 from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. in 223 Education Bldg.). In this course, Camille uses a mix of lectures, discussions, critical debates, Socratic dialogue, media presentations, and peer reviews of presentations on current educational issues, as well as sharing of ideas and critical discussions of current educational literature, issues, and laws that impact educational systems. Utilizing technology and the course text, Taking Sides: Clashing Views on Educational Issue, students engage in peer debates. The course helps students to enhance themselves in Executive Leadership competency areas such as communication, dialogue/inquiry, sensitivity, and emotional intelligence. Students are encouraged to make convincing arguments that allow the audience to act on the issue presented. Additionally, students are asked to critically analyze and reflect on each issue that is presented. The central question on which students reflect pertains to the impact of controversial issues on public education at the school, district, state, and national levels and its implications for administrative practice. Before you drop in, contact
  • You may visit Peter's class, Writing Fiction II  (ENG 3750 on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 3:30 to 4:45 p.m. in 122 Dial Bldg.). The second course in the fiction writing sequence, this class focuses on exploring an element of fictional craft in depth. This semester, Peter and his students are focusing on characterization. A secondary theme this semester is the role characters' jobs play in characterization. The course makes use of large- and small-group discussion, writing exercises, and full-class workshop of student stories. Before you drop in, please contact
  • You may visit Jane's class, Introduction to American Indian Studies (AIS 1010 on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9:30 to 10:45 a.m. in 103 Weinstein Health Sciences Bldg.). In this class, Jane highlights the diversity and contemporary presence of Native/American Indian/Indigenous peoples through student-centered discussions and diverse materials themed around Indigenous community health, broadly conceived.
  • You may visit Scott's class, Composition I (Honors, Service-Learning) (ENG 1050 on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 9:05 to 9:55 a.m. in 202 Education Bldg.) to observe in-class reading and writing activities and service-learning. Before you drop in, please contact
  • You may visit Scott's class, African American Literature (Service-Learning) (ENG 2100 on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 10:10 to 11 a.m. in 103A Business Administration Bldg.) to observe discussion and service-learning. Before you drop in, please contact
  • You may visit Scott's First-year Seminar (Honors, Service-Learning) (UNV 1000 on Wednesdays from 11:15 a.m. to 12:05 p.m. in 222 Education Bldg.) to observe reflective discussion and service-learning. Before you drop in, please contact
  • You may visit Leslie's class, Multicultural and Social Justice Counseling (CNS 5800 on Sept. 9, 16, and 30; Oct. 14 and 28; and Nov. 18 and 25) from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. in 101 Weinstein Health Sciences Bldg.). In this course, Leslie seeks to implement an open dialogue classroom that fosters collaborations and a safe space for learning about implicit biases, racism, and other cultures through traditional talking circle and discussion based practices. Before you drop in, contact
  • You may visit Tiffany's class, Teaching Practices and Curriculum in Elementary Education (ELE 2040 on Wednesdays from 2 to 4:45 p.m. in 310 Education Bldg.). This course is an exploration of traditional and contemporary perspectives on teaching and learning and how they apply to individual differences through the analysis of contemporary educational issues from teachers’ perspectives and the exploration of personal needs and goals in relation to teaching. What's more, this course emphasizes the understanding of diversity and communication with students from different cultural backgrounds, abilities, and values. Geneva Gay suggests that the infusion of culturally responsive pedagogy is just the paradigm shift that is needed in our nation’s schools. To respond to the paradigm shift, the course aims to provide engaging classes that combine short lectures followed by facilitated dialogue and activities. Tiffany hopes that faculty who visit the course will learn new ways of teaching and learning that transforms teaching practices. (Note: On Sept. 11, 18, and 25 and Nov. 6, this class will meet online.) Before you drop in, please contact
  • You may visit Tiffany's class, Teaching Math in the Elementary School II (ELE 4110 on Mondays from 5 to 8 p.m. in 202 Education Bldg.). This course is designed to provide an in-depth study of mathematics and pedagogies that support developmentally appropriate mathematics instruction in grades 3 to 6. Geneva Gay suggests that the infusion of culturally responsive pedagogy is just the paradigm shift that is needed in our nation’s schools. To respond to this paradigm, all math classes are engaging consisting of facilitated dialogue, problem solving, team building, maniupulative kits, exploration, and other techniques and strategies. Tiffany hopes that faculty who observe this class will learn news ways of teaching and learning mathematics content. (Note: On Oct. 14, Nov. 4, and Nov. 25, this class will meet online.) Before you drop in, please contact
  • You may visit Marianna's class, Introduction to Psychology (PSY 1010 on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 12:20 to 1:10 p.m. in 107 Weinstein Health Sciences Bldg.; Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 2:30 to 3:20 p.m. in 103 Weinstein Health Sciences Bldg.; Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9:30 to 10:45 a.m. in 234 Sampson Bldg.; and Tuesdays and Thursdays from 12:30 to 1:45 p.m. in 107 Weinstein Health Sciences Bldg.). Marianna has been teaching at the community college level for 17 years, and she uses mini-lectures, video, hands-on games, Internet games, class critical thinking questions, and group activities as part of a modified "flipped classroom" approach. Before you drop in, please contact
  • You may visit Dana's class, Theories of Counseling (CNS 5400 on Aug. 15 and 29, Sept. 12 and 26, Oct. 24, and Nov. 7 from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m.). This class introduces students to a variety of counseling theories they will be able to use as part of their practice. This semester, Dana strives to integrate culturally responsive counseling into all theories.
    Due to the confidential nature of this class, observers may attend for the first hour of the class only.

If you are willing to open your classroom to your faculty colleagues, please contact TLC director Scott Hicks at (910) 775-4032 or, noting (1) the course(s) to which you welcome observers and (2) whether they are face to face or online. Classes open for visitors will be posted to the TLC website. Would-be visitors to face to face classrooms will be expected to confirm their visit to your class at least two days in advance; visitors to online classrooms will be granted observer privileges.


The TLC offers individual and group consultation on strategies to enhance teaching and learning. For more information, contact TLC director Scott Hicks at (910) 775-4032 or

Midsemester Class Check-ins

Student evaluations of instruction are helpful in understanding how students perceived a class—but because they take place at the end of the semester and are shared with faculty after final exams, they come too late to identify problems or miscommunications that otherwise could be easily corrected for the good of the class. A Midsemester Class Check-in conducted by a TLC consultant elicits students’ perceptions of your class before midterm and engages students in taking responsibility for the continued success of the class, all while maintaining student anonymity and faculty confidentiality.

Whether your class is face to face, hybrid, or online, check-in has two components: data-gathering and consultation.


For a face to face class, a TLC consultant visits your class for about 25 minutes, either at the start or before the end of your class. You leave the room, and the TLC consultant leads students in assessment and reflection:

  • Students are randomly assigned to small groups of three to five.
  • Each group works together to complete a brief questionnaire:
    • Together, students identify the primary learning objective of this course.
    • Next, students determine which aspects of the course are most helpful to their learning and discuss how these aspects of the course are helping them learn.
    • Finally, students brainstorm and discuss any adjustments to the course that they think would help them learn more effectively, reflecting on why they think these changes would help.
  • The consultant then leads the full class in a discussion of their responses, asking clarifying questions, identifying areas of consensus and disagreement among the students, eliciting further feedback as students consider each other’s input, and determining ways that students can take responsibility for the continued success of the class.
  • After her or his visit, the consultant compiles the feedback into a report, assuring student anonymity.

For an online class, a TLC consultant will email all class members a Qualtrics survey link active for 24 hours. The survey will solicit students’ understandings of class expectations, perceptions regarding how the class is helping them learn, advice for you as the class’s instructor, and reflections on how they can better contribute to the success of the class.


The second component, consultation, occurs at a confidential meeting between you and the TLC consultant. During your time together, your consultant will share with you the report resulting from her or his findings. Together, you will interpret student comments, identify successes and areas for improvement, and plan a course of action that makes use, as you see fit, of students’ feedback.

The purpose of this service to assist you in meeting students’ needs for deepened, enhanced, ongoing learning. The anonymity of the process makes students more comfortable sharing their feedback; the students’ feedback tells you which elements of your teaching methods are effective or could be more effective. What’s more, soliciting midsemester student feedback is valuable in helping you improve and refine your teaching because it allows you to hear your students’ successes and concerns while there is still time in the semester to make appropriate changes. Finally, all components of this process—data gathering, reporting, and consultation—remain completely confidential, for your use as you see fit.

For more information or to request a Midsemester Class Check-in for your class(es), please contact TLC director Scott Hicks at (910) 775-4032 or Check-ins will be scheduled on a first-come, first-served basis as consultants are available.

Shared Interest Groups

A Shared Interest Group is a learning-and-doing community of faculty, staff, and students focused on a question, theme, or approach in teaching and learning that matters to its members. SIGs are established on the basis of demonstrated interest, in consultation with the TLC, to (1) identity the issue, problem, or approach on which it wishes to focus and (2) determine group expectations and outcomes. Upon establishment of the group, members of the SIG commit themselves to the success of the group until the completion of the expectations and outcomes determined at its charter. As funding allows, the TLC will support SIGs with refreshments, resources, stipends, and/or travel funds. Once the group has achieved its expectations and outcomes, it will share its accomplishments with the University community.

SIGs may undertake the following activities:

  • Reviewing and discussing current scholarship relevant to the SIG’s focus,
  • Sharing and reflecting on classroom experiences and successes,
  • Team-teaching or visiting SIG members’ classrooms,
  • Creating or redesigning classes or curricula by incorporating high-impact teaching practices,
  • Establishing and sharing best practices,
  • Exploring policies or programs to improve teaching and learning,
  • Traveling to conferences or professional development institutes,
  • Conducting and publishing research,
  • Leading workshops or webinars that promote professional and/or scholarly development, and/or
  • Undertaking other activities as desired.

During AY2019-2020, SIGs will address these topics:

All interested faculty, staff, and students are invited to join; to do so, please contact the convener(s) of the group(s) in which you are interested. To learn more about SIGs or launch a new one, please contact (910) 775-4032 or

Certificate in Accessibility and Inclusion in Teaching and Learning

The Accessibility Resource Center and TLC are pleased to announce the launch of a Certificate in Accessibility and Inclusion in Teaching and Learning in support of the University's commitment as a matter of mission to inclusion and excellence in teaching and learning: “The University … serves a diverse student body and encourages inclusion and appreciation for the values of all people … [and] exists to promote excellence in teaching and learning, at the master’s and undergraduate levels, in an environment of free inquiry, interdisciplinary collaboration, and rigorous intellectual standards.” Thus, this series aims to develop the skills and competencies of UNCP faculty in the areas of accessible course design and inclusive teaching, practices that operationalize and/or enhance inclusive and excellent teaching and learning.

All faculty, employed fulltime or part-time and in good standing at UNCP, are eligible to participate. Individuals interested in participation must inform the directors of ARC and TLC of their desire to participate, and eligible individuals shall be admitted to the program upon approval by the directors.

Upon admission, participants must complete successfully the certificate core (Fundamental Concepts) and a specialization of their choosing. The certificate core consists of two activities:

  • Accessibility in the Classroom (NCSU/UNC system Online Course)
  • Captioning: How We Do It and Why We Do It (On-campus Workshop)
  • The ADA: Non-discrimination of People with Disabilities (SkillSoft Online Compliance Module)

Participants may select their specialization from the following tracks:

  • Accommodations in Practice
  • Accessible and Inclusive Teaching and Learning for Students with Hearing Impairments
  • Universal Design for Accessible and Inclusive Teaching and Learning

Each specialization consists of two or three workshops, and successful completion of the specialization requires completion of all workshops. For a schedule of workshops, please see the TLC's calendar of events.

Upon successful completion of all requirements (or substitutions approved by the ARC and TLC directors), participants shall be certified in Accessibility and Inclusion in Teaching and Learning. Participants thus certified shall be recognized at the annual Faculty Awards Dinner and may be eligible for a stipend. Certification shall be valid for three years and is renewable thereafter.

For more information or to join the series, please contact ARC Director Nicolette Campos at (910) 521-6695 or and TLC director Scott Hicks at (910) 775-4032 or

Book of the Month Club

The Book of the Month Club is a faculty, staff, and student learning circle of no more than 15 participants who meet to discuss, in person and online, a selected book, article, or dataset chosen by the TLC consistent with its mission. Facilitators, like participants, are learners; a guiding principle of the learning circle is that no one is, or need be, an expert. All members are encouraged to share, listen, and reflect, connecting with colleagues from all areas of campus. Together, participants will identify, explore, develop, and apply effective and impactful pedagogies and teaching techniques and collaborate with peers to advance and cultivate enhanced pedagogies and teaching techniques.

The club meets once a month throughout the academic year in person and via WebEx; meetings begin at 2:30 p.m. and take place in 212 Livermore Library. The TLC purchases books or supplies readings for participants.

Readings selected for AY2019-2020 are as follow:

  • Sept. 20: Lisa M. Nunn, 33 Simple Strategies for Faculty: A Week-by-Week Resource for Teaching First-Year and First-Generation Students (Rutgers UP, 2018)
  • Oct. 11: Cynthia Brame, Science Teaching Essentials: Short Guides to Good Practice (Elsevier, 2019)
  • Nov. 15 (David Ward, guest facilitator): Cathy Davidson, The New Education: How to Revolutionize the University to Prepare Students for a World in Flux (Basic Books, 2017)
  • Jan. 17: Paul Hanstedt, Creating Wicked Students: Designing Courses for a Complex World (Stylus, 2019)
  • Feb. 21: bell hooks, Teaching Community: A Pedagogy of Hope (Routledge, 2003)
  • March 20 (in conjunction with the Southeast Indian Studies Conference): Jon Reyhner, ed., Teaching Indigenous Students: Honoring Place, Community, and Culture (U of Oklahoma P, 2015)
  • April 17 (in conjunction with the Celebration of Teaching & Learning): Tara Westover, Educated: A Memoir (Random House, 2018)

The TLC welcomes your suggestions for future selections. For more information or to join a club, please contact TLC director Scott Hicks at (910) 775-4032 or

Grants for Syllabus Transformation

The University of North Carolina, Pembroke, is founded on excellence in teaching and learning as a matter of mission: “UNC Pembroke exists to promote excellence in teaching and learning, at the master’s and undergraduate levels, in an environment of free inquiry, interdisciplinary collaboration, and rigorous intellectual standards.” The University seeks to develop and support exceptional faculty, faculty who “show command of their subject, [are] creative and imaginative, [are] enthusiastic, promote critical thinking, stimulate their students to improved performance, engage in and use research, and [are] outstanding communicators.” In so doing, the University seeks to prepare graduates for “rewarding careers, postgraduate study, leadership roles, … fulfilling lives, … engagement in global society, and responsible stewards[hip] of the world."


The awarding of Grants for Syllabus Transformation aims to enhance and/or enrich pedagogy and instruction at UNCP through improvement in class construction and syllabus design.


All faculty, employed fulltime or part-time and in good standing at UNCP and scheduled to teach during the upcoming academic year, are eligible to apply.

Submission Procedures

In order to be considered for a Grant for Syllabus Transformation, eligible faculty must submit an application, consisting of an application form, a narrative explaining the applicant’s desired goals in transforming her or his syllabus, a copy of the syllabus currently used in the class, and a a c.v.

Applications are available via Qualtrics <> and are due Sept. 1 and March 1. Incomplete applications shall not be considered.

Preparation of Proposals

Proposals shall take the following format and consist of the following parts:

  1. Applicant information, including a copy of the syllabus proposed for transformation and selection of the University partner with whom the applicant wishes to partner in completing syllabus transformation
  2. A narrative that describes the following:
    • the class for which the applicant seeks to revise and transform a syllabus,
    • the goals of the applicant in transforming the syllabus, and
    • the expected and/or desired outcomes of the transformed syllabus in effecting excellence in teaching and learning.
  3. Curriculum vitae
Review, Evaluation, and Selection of Proposals

The Director of the Teaching & Learning Center, in consultation with appropriate University partners, will review and evaluate all eligible proposals according to the following criteria:

  1. The extent to which the proposal will enrich and/or enhance teaching and learning at UNCP and
  2. The value of the scholarly work to contribute to the applicant’s growth as a teacher-scholar.

The TLC Director shall select the proposals to be funded, and applicants shall be notified of the Director’s decision within five days of the deadline for application. The number of proposals funded will be determined by the availability of funds.

Grant Activities

Individuals awarded a Grant for Syllabus Transformation shall receive a stipend of $350, in compensation for consulting with a University partner and submitting a transformed syllabus. University partners supporting this effort will receive $100 in funding for resources to support each syllabus transformation they support.

Reporting Requirement

Individuals awarded a Grant for Syllabus Transformation shall (1) participate in the TLC’s Mid-semester Class Check-in and Open Classroom programs, (2) participate in a syllabus transformation workshop, and (3) allow their revised syllabi to be make publicly available to the University community via the TLC’s website and social media.