Cultivating Effective and Innovative Pedagogies

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. 

ARTS 2050: Social Justice, Narrative, and Film with Robert Epps and Naomi Lifschitz-Grant (TR 11 a.m. to 12:15 p.m., 115 Locklear Hall): A special-topics, interdisciplinary class supported by a Grant for Excellence in Teaching & Learning culminating in a student-produced film festival, professors Epps and Lifschitz-Grant welcome faculty visitors for the purpose of gathering feedback for this pilot project.

ENG 1060: Composition II Honors (SL) with Scott Hicks (MWF 9:05 to 9:55 a.m., 211 Education Bldg.): This course couples a course-based undergraduate research experience (CURE) and service-learning to develop students' skills of academic research and writing in their major, with class meetings devoted to discussion, in-class writing activities, and research presentations.

ENG 2100: African American Literature (SL) with Scott Hicks (MWF 10:10 to 11 a.m., 222 Education Bldg.): Inspired by Jane Tompkins's "Speak, Memory: A New Way to Read -- and to Teach -- Literature," this class emphasizes skills of close reading and features discussion, in-class writing activities, and service-learning, set in the School of Education's newest active-learning classroom, Rm. 222.

GGY 2460-001: Weather and Climate with Dennis Edgell (TR 9:30 to 10:45 a.m., 3248 Oxendine Science Center): This course introduces students to basic concepts in meteorology, and Prof. Edgell is interested in gauging students' interest in interdisciplinary connections to the field, such as meteorology and myth. 

GGY 3720-001: North America (Hybrid) with Dennis Edgell (3246 Oxendine Science Center): Professor Edgell welcomes faculty visitors on Feb. 12 and 19, when students will demonstrate their creation of blogs, and on April 23 and 25, when students will showcase completed research projects. On these dates, the class will meet from 12:30 to 1:45 p.m., and individuals interested in observing the class's online activities can email Prof. Edgell for permission to join his class Canvas site.

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 AY2018-2019, SIGs will address issues of cultural competence and responsiveness in teaching and learning, diversity and inclusion in General Education, food sovereignty, redesigning introductory biology classes, and writing and publishing in the humanities. All interested faculty, staff, and students are invited to join; to do so, contact the convener(s) of the group(s) in which you are interested:

To learn more about SIGs, join one of these groups, or launch a new one, please contact the conveners or TLC director Scott Hicks at (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 three workshops, and successful completion of the specialization requires completion of all workshops.

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 inaugural cohort, 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 TLC will purchase books or supply readings for participants, and the club will meet once a month throughout the academic year in person and online.

Readings selected for AY2018-2019 are as follow:

  • September: Ken Bain, What the Best College Teachers Do (2004), Sept. 7 and 28, 2:30 to 3:30 p.m., 212 Mary Livermore Library
  • October: Katie Rose Guest Pryal, Life of the Mind Interrupted: Essays on Mental Health and Disability in Higher Education (2017), Oct. 19, 2:30 to 3:30 p.m., 208 Chavis University Center
  • November: Jim Collins, How the Mighty Fall (and Why Some Companies Never Give in) (2009), Nov. 16, 2:30 to 3:30 p.m., 246 Livermore Library
  • January: Yana Weinstein and Megan Sumeracki with Oliver Caviglioli, Understanding How We Learn: A Visual Guide (2018), Jan. 18, 2:30 to 3:30 p.m., 208 Chavis University Center
  • February: bell hooks, Teaching Critical Thinking: Practical Wisdom (2009), Feb. 15, 2:30 to 3:30 p.m., 208 Chavis University Center
  • March, in partnership with the 15th Annual Southeast Indian Studies Conference: Sandy Grande, Red Pedagogy: Native American Social and Political Thought (2015), March 22, 2:30 to 3:30 p.m., 238 Old Main Bldg.
  • April, in conjunction with the Celebration of Teaching & Learning: José Antonio Bowen, Teaching Naked: How Moving Technology out of Your Classroom Will Improve Student Learning (2012), April 12, 2:30 to 3:30 p.m., 251 Chavis University Center

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