University of Minnesota
Office of Human Resources
http://www.umn.edu/ohr
612-625-2016

Individual & Classroom Consultations

“I was initially apprehensive, thinking that I would be criticized or negatively evaluated by an 'outsider.' Instead I was supported and provided with suggestions in a non-judgmental way.”

- Recent client, CTL

Request a consultation by completing this form

Individual consultations about teaching and learning are available at no charge toall faculty, instructors, and TAs. Sessions are based on the specific issues or innovation you would like to discuss. Often topics are related to course design, student engagement, and assessment practices.

Language consultants can also provide assistance in the spoken English (U.S.) and resources on cross-cultural considerations in teaching.

Formats for consults include one-to-one interaction, small group meetings in your office or at the Center for Teaching and Learning, or distance meetings via Skpe. Classroom observations, videotaping, or gathering of student feedback may also be requested.


Why Request a Consultation?

Because you:

  • would like to get a professional consultant's perspective on your teaching, discuss alternative approaches and new ideas, expand your repertoire of teaching strategies.
  • want to discuss issues relating to a class or classes you are currently teaching and feel that you would be unable to do so with departmental colleagues who might be involved with hiring, promotion or tenure-related activities.
  • have multicultural teaching and learning questions and concerns you'd like to discuss.

What Are My Options for Consultations?

  • Classroom visit: a consultant visits your class to help address a teaching/learning concern in a supportive, confidential environment. Pre- and post-visit meetings with the consultant enable you to set the context, establish goals, and debrief through a non-judgmental conversation.
  • Departmental consultation: a consultant collaborates with departmental administrators to assess and/or assist with the support needs of faculty and/or TAs.
  • Individual consultations: consultants are available to discuss and assist in many aspects of instruction including planning a course, creating a syllabus, planning a single activity, assessing student learning, and/or addressing a multicultural question in the classroom.
  • Early or end-of-term student feedback consultation: a consultant works with you to create or select an appropriate feedback form and/or to discuss responses to the ratings you have received.
  • Student Feedback through Consensus (SFC): A consultant comes into your classroom early to obtain consensus student feedback on the course.

What Evidence Shows that Consultations Make a Difference?

Two studies suggest that feedback, especially when gathered at midterm or through the Student Feedback through Consensus process, can:

  1. improve year-end course evaluations (pdf), and
  2. improve communication between the teacher and student (pdf), resulting in a friendlier teaching and learning environment.
Request a consultation by completing this form