Yale-NUS Centre for Teaching and Learning

In July 2015, I was named the inaugural Director of the Yale-NUS College Centre for Teaching and Learning. This Centre provided an important mission for Yale-NUS – helping faculty optimize their courses, creating programs and space for deep and thoughtful discussions about teaching, bringing in visiting scholars of pedagogy to share the best practices of undergraduate education with our Yale-NUS College community, and providing extensive resources on research-informed pedagogy that is rooted in new discoveries in cognitive science, psychology, and neuroscience.

Our Centre was also where we shared successes in our classes – from the innovative Yale-NUS Common curriculum to magic moments in our elective courses. The Centre was also a platform for sharing these stories with the outside world. It was able to help organize conferences and workshops to enable the Yale-NUS faculty to disseminate some of the innovations in their classrooms with higher education institutions worldwide.

Creating our Yale-NUS Centre for Teaching and Learning was an exciting project that had a lasting impact on the Yale-NUS teaching culture. It also helped faculty learn more from each other and share what they learned with a wider audience. To read more about the Centre and to access the latest programming and resources, please consult our Centre website: http://teaching.yale-nus.edu.sg.

Below is an overview of the Centre and a description of some of the goals of our Centre in our first year.

Yale-NUS College Centre for Teaching and Learning

The Yale-NUS College Centre for Teaching and Learning (CTL) seeks to foster excellence in teaching, technology application, and course design within the Yale-NUS College community and promote discussions and collaborations amongst the faculty in these areas. The Centre is available to you for consultation about your courses, new curriculum development, and teaching approaches, as well as to showcase innovative and exciting developments in teaching and learning. The Centre’s mission is to help build a community of practice in excellent teaching that is open, friendly, and in collaboration with other faculty support resources at the College, including the Teaching Learning and Assessment committee, the Educational Resource and Technology team, the Library, the Writing Centre and the Centre for International and Professional Experience (CIPE). The Centre will offer instructional consultations, new faculty orientations, workshops, and events and host renowned educators from other Universities.

Below is a listing of some of the issue areas the Centre intends to address, and we look forward to working with all of you in the coming years to make the Centre most useful for faculty in your work as a teacher. Please send us ideas and suggestions at Teaching@yale-nus.edu.sg

Topics and Questions the Centre will address with faculty

  • How does one best design and assess interdisciplinary courses?
  • How can active learning be incorporated into larger lectures?
  • How can experiential and international work be better integrated into undergraduate classes?
  • How can teams of instructors be trained to work well together?
  • What is the best way to develop faculty for excellent teaching?
  • How can one create an institutional culture of teaching excellence?
  • How do we assess and communicate what we have learned within our common curriculum to future instructors and to the world outside of Yale-NUS College?
  • How does teaching and learning differ within the Asian context from North America?
  • How can we integrate technology into our classrooms to create truly global classrooms?
  • How can we more effectively assess student learning outcomes and attitudes?
  • How effective is liberal arts and interdisciplinary curriculum for advancing student learning?

Efforts of the Centre in the coming Academic Year 2015-16

In the coming year the Centre will begin a series of programs to encourage a lively, social and stimulating set of conversations about teaching at Yale-NUS College. These programs will be developed through collaborations with Yale-NUS faculty and the Teaching, Learning and Assessment (TLA) committee.

  1. New Faculty workshop for incoming and other faculty in August of 2015
  2. Regular consultations and biweekly meetings with junior faculty and others by appointment.
  3. Regular events within the semester to discuss teaching techniques at Yale-NUS College; developed in consultation with the TLA committee.
  4. Set of workshops for Teaching and Learning at Yale-NUS for December 2015 will include Leading Discussions, Active Learning, and Technology in the Classroom.
  5. A visiting scholar of pedagogy will visit Yale-NUS for an extended period in early 2016, to develop connections across Yale-NUS and NUS.
  6. New web site and Teaching and Learning to showcase the best scholarship in Teaching and Learning, with an eye toward materials that can quickly and efficiently help faculty implement research-validated pedagogy in their courses.
  7. Development of new forms of assessment at Yale-NUS College, including formative and summative surveys that accurately capture student learning outcomes and attitudes toward subjects.
  8. A Conference and Workshop at Yale University on undergraduate education in June 2016 will gather thought leaders in undergraduate education and teams of leaders from top institutions in North America and beyond.
  9. A third Liberal Arts in India conference in 2016 will bring together teams of faculty from Singapore, North America and India to work collaboratively on new courses and plan for global classroom sessions.
  10. Guides for best practices in Discussion Leading, Active Learning, Assessment, and Team Teaching will be assembled collaboratively with the Yale-NUS College faculty and the Teaching, Learning and Assessment Committee.
  11. Plan will be developed for an Asian Teaching and Learning and Undergraduate innovation conference for March 2017, hosted by Yale-NUS College.
  12. Global courses will be offered, starting with an Environmental Science course simultaneously taught at Yale and Yale-NUS College.

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