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Faculty Success Programs, Workshops, and Activities

The Provost’s Office coordinates professional and research development opportunities often in the form of discussion sessions and workshops. Occassionally, faculty across campus lead various pedagogical activities and those resources can be found here.

General Information

The Provost’s Office coordinates professional and research development opportunities often in the form of discussion sessions and workshops.

Will vary depending upon the workshop, but generally open to all Drake faculty and staff with interests or needs in the relevant area.

The Provost’s Office hosts a number of sessions and workshops devoted to specific topics on teaching and learning. These workshops are announced at the beginning of each semester and are open to all Drake faculty and staff, though some workshops will only allow for limited numbers of participants.

More formal workshops are also available, sometimes with limited available seats from May through August. Announcements about these workshops and development opportunities are sent to faculty and/or staff for whom they are most relevant, which is often all faculty and staff. These workshops focus on topics responding to particular faculty and staff needs. Topics for these workshops have included using writing effectively in the classroom; writing instruction in the FYS program; and developing Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) projects.

Information about applying for and attending these workshops and about eligibility for supplemental stipendiary support for attendees is distributed via email shortly after spring break.

Learn More

Jimmy Senteza, Deputy Provost for Academic Affairs

Faculty Writing Project

This project is designed to help faculty across the University make writing a more meaningful part of their teaching. Participating faculty collaborate over a semester with the coordinator of writing instruction on the development of a writing assignment or writing project and strategies for responding to student writing. Participants meet as a group three times a semester to discuss issues and concerns pertinent to the use and instruction of writing in their courses.

Fall Semester:  Priority to faculty teaching FYS courses, but all faculty are eligible.
Spring Semester: Priority is given to faculty who participated in the Writing Across the Curriculum or Writing in FYS workshops, but all faculty are eligible.

Faculty receive a stipend for participating in the writing project.  After the initial meeting(s) with the coordinator of writing instruction to develop a writing assignment or project, participants receive half of the stipend; the balance is provided after completing the pilot.

Call for applications for each program goes out during the prior semester.

Megan Brown, Professor of English and Director of Writing,, 271-3895.

Teaching and Learning Consultations

The Center for Teaching Excellence offers confidential consultation and advice on an as-needed/as-requested basis to Drake faculty of instruction who think their pedagogy would benefit from conversations with experienced teachers or from course observation.

Consultations are focused, short-term interactions that offer advice on specific questions, issues, and questions that will help already successful instructors make meaningful improvements in their approach to teaching and learning.

Consultations on any of the following topics are available:

  • Facilitating engaged learning in the classroom
    • Are discussions flagging? Do only the same few students participate in collaborative exchange? Are you tired of relying on the same small-group activities to get students engaged in active learning? Do you hope to build a more mutually committed classroom community? Do you anticipate challenging conversations around sensitive or difficult topics?  Whatever the challenges you face in bringing students actively into the conversations in your classes, our Teaching and Learning Consultants are here to help.
  • Student motivation
    • Whether it’s a matter of encouraging careful completion of homework, in-class engagement with the material, or resilience and self-efficacy, Teaching and Learning Consultants can offer ideas about how to motivate students to take their learning seriously in your courses.
  • Course design and architecture
    • Teaching and Learning Consultants can help you articulate your big ideas for course topics and themes into specific goals and to craft course proposals, syllabi, policies, assignment sequences, and schedules of activities to help you and your students achieve those goals.
  • Designing and managing projects
    • If you’ve ever asked students in your class to take on large or complex problems—both within the boundaries of your course and beyond, as in community or global contexts—you know how messy project-management can be. Teaching and Learning Consultants are eager to advise you on managing projects, and equip students to manage their own work, efficiently and effectively.
  • Grading and assessment
    • From designing assignments and rubrics to articulating evaluation practices to evaluating and responding to student work, consultants can answer questions and offer perspectives on how to effectively and efficiently measure student performance in your courses.
  • Using educational technology effectively
    • What happens when a discussion forum begins to feel like busy-work? Should you think about “flipping” some components of your course? Are you trying to find ways to engage students through digital platforms or interfaces, but don’t know where to begin. Our Teaching and Learning Consultants can share their experiences and insights in using digital technology to advance student
  • Representing and reflecting on pedagogy
    • Are you composing a pedagogy statement or teaching philosophy? If so, our consultants can take a look at what you’ve written and offer their impressions of how well it succeeds in presenting a compelling picture of your teacherly identity.

Send your request for a consultation, including a brief description of the problem, issue, challenge, or opportunity you are seeking advice on, to You will receive a reply putting you in touch with a peer consultant well positioned to help you address your needs.

You and your consultant will work together to decide on the best way to approach your question together, whether that’s through document sharing, brainstorming sessions, a classroom observation, or something else.

Consultations are confidential and non-evaluative: They do not inform official performance reviews or reappointment, tenure, promotion, or award decisions. They are also purely advisory, meaning that the ultimate decision as to whether and to what extent to put consultants’ feedback into action is entirely a matter for faculty consultees to decide for themselves.


Program Pedagogy Development Consultations

In partnership with the Office of Institutional Research and Assessment and the Drake Curriculum Analysis Committee, the Center for Teaching Excellence offers up to five program-level pedagogy development consultations each semester. Credential-granting academic program directors or chairs are invited to contact the Center’s director, Jimmy Senteza, with “Program Consultation” in the subject line, to request consultation on matters pertaining to pedagogical and didactic challenges and opportunities.

Before requesting consultations, program faculty should have engaged in sustained, focused assessment whose findings support the request for consultation on a particular topic or should have consulted findings disseminated by the Drake Curriculum Analysis Committee. 

Faculty/Staff Development Opportunities