On May 24, 2016, Provost and Senior Vice President David Harris officially launched Teaching and Learning Engagements at Tufts (TALEs). As described in Tufts’ T10 Strategic Plan, TALEs reinforces the University’s commitment to teaching and learning as a strategic priority by connecting and enhancing many existing resources and activities across the University that support excellence in teaching. In so doing, TALEs will illuminate opportunities for the development of new programs to create impactful engagements with effective teaching throughout our campus.
T10 Strategic Plan, Theme 2, Initiative 1: “Provide faculty with the resources necessary to create a greater number and range of transformational classroom experiences. Through its faculty, Tufts is committed to providing students with evidence-based teaching and learning opportunities. Central to this commitment is promoting research about teaching and learning, and ensuring that faculty members have a range of stimulating opportunities to engage the latest research on teaching and learning, to experiment with new techniques, and to network with colleagues who are grappling with similar challenges. Most Tufts faculty already find ways to keep their teaching current through seminars and workshops offered by the Center for Enhancement of Learning and Teaching (CELT), the Educational Technology Services (ETS), and many other Tufts-based and external opportunities. Given the rapid changes in technology, teaching and learning research, and student demographics, Tufts will develop a new program, Teaching and Learning Engagements (TALEs), which will focus on the effective use of technological innovations, lessons from recent research on pedagogy, and best practices for fostering an inclusive learning environment. Rather than a single seminar or training, TALEs will build on existing CELT, ESTS, and other resources to offer a broad array of engagement opportunities from which faculty will be encouraged to regularly select those that will best meet their individual needs. This initiative will ensure that the time and resources students, parents, and governments invest in Tufts result in transformational educational experiences.”
With support from Central Administration, the Center for Enhancement of Learning and Teaching (CELT), the Educational Technology Services (ETS), Tufts schools, units, and departments, the University-wide Committee on Teaching and Faculty Development (UCTFD) and the Information Technology Governance Subcommittee on Teaching and Learning, TALEs aims to achieve the following objectives:
- Offer Tufts faculty a wide variety of venues, activities, and programs that support them in preparing for the changing student body and professional needs.
- Create a welcoming inclusive learning environment for all students
- Provide evidence from educational research to promote effective and efficient approaches to teaching and learning
- Facilitate faculty’s use of the newest technologies to enhance student engagement and learning.
TALEs will be guided by the following principles:
- Collegial and collaborative environments that are both discipline-specific and interdisciplinary
- Longitudinal, substantive experiences with follow-up support
- Opportunities for mentoring and coaching from both experts and peers
- An incremental change model: failure is seen as a successful step to development without penalty
- Proven, evidence-based methods and activities
- Meaningful connections to department, college and university goals
- Incentives, rewards and recognition for participants
- Accountability and assessment of activities
- Solutions to issues faculty and students care about
- Prominence of teaching as a university priority
More information about TALEs initiatives, opportunities, and affiliates can be found online:
- Created in response to the conception of TALEs in the T10 Strategic Plan, Teaching @ Tufts is a website of UCTFD. It offers a broad selection of faculty resources that promote excellence in teaching, curated specifically for Tufts faculty by CELT and ETS. Resources include links to information about best practices, faculty development programs, and teaching reflections from Tufts faculty members.
- Tufts University’s Center for the Enhancement of Learning and Teaching a division of the Office of the Provost, is a central resource for schools on all three Tufts campuses. CELT reports to the Office of the Provost and UCTFD, whose role is to assist the Provost in affirming excellent teaching as a priority at Tufts. CELT strives to promote teaching innovation and support teaching-related initiatives, while collaborating and coordinating faculty development initiatives between campuses. The Center’s three main goals are to:
- Create communities of practice to engage faculty in on-going professional development
- Provide a wide variety of learning opportunities in traditional and emerging models of teaching, learning and assessment
- Promote teaching scholarship through evidence based practice.
- Tufts Technology Services (TTS) Educational Technology Services is a university-wide service group at Tufts University. The ETS teams offer faculty development programs year-round; consult directly with Tufts faculty to support teaching, learning, and scholarly collaboration with technology; design, develop, and integrate academic technology applications; and provision new systems to enable teaching, learning, scholarly collaboration, and co-curricular endeavors across diverse contexts at Tufts University.