World class educators like Joe Mahoney, professor of
business administration and Caterpillar Chair in Business, as well as newly
minted faculty members all realize that learning is a lifelong process for them
as well as their students and they are committed to being better teachers.
“Effective teaching is a lifelong pursuit and we can always
do more,” is the sentiment that drives Cheelan Bo-Linn, Head of Instructional
Development in the Center for Teaching Excellence (CTE), and her colleagues in
the College of Business. “Together we explore the changing needs of the
business disciplines, aspiring business professionals and future educators. We
run workshops, regular programs, and host advanced seminars that delve into the
cutting edge of what we know about the learning process.”
Just this year the BA department created a seminar for
doctoral students with help from CTE. Bill Qualls, head of the department, saw
the need for business-specific training of their highly-prized students and
worked with Mahoney to organize the new training program. Students meet once
per month for ten months, immersing themselves in exercises that develop a
complete range of teaching materials and skills that give them an edge on the
Any business graduate student needing guidance can work with
other CTE programs. The Certificate in Foundations of Teaching provides basic
classroom skills, while those with more experience can work on a Graduate
Teaching Certificate. Beyond that, graduate students and faculty may earn a
Teacher Scholar Certificate, a Certificate in Technology-Enhanced Teaching, or
a Citizen Scholar Certificate (service-learning).
For more than a decade, faculty have developed their
teaching excellence through programs originally developed by a joint effort
between CTE, the Provost’s Office and the College of Business. The Academy for
the Advancement of Learning organizes four teaching programs.
New Business faculty can take an intensive one day workshop,
Success in Teaching Excellence Program and all faculty can participate in the
Reflective Teacher Workshop Series as well as themed lunches called the
Teaching and Learning Workshop Series.
Faculty Conversations is an informal support activity
designed to bring participants together to interact and participate in a series
focused on a current book selection each year. Past selections have included,
The Art of Changing the Brain: Enriching the Practice of Teaching by Exploring
the Biology of Learning by James Zull, The Courage to Teach: Exploring the
Inner Landscape of a Teacher’s Life by Parker Palmer, and 5 Minds for the
Future by Howard Gardner.
“Such examinations and active self-assessment is intended to
become a regular part of teaching that encourages good judgment and helps
teachers take ownership of their teaching,” says Bo-Linn.
The many offerings expand self-reflection about teaching
effectiveness serving to move these educators to see education as a regular
scholarly pursuit; a perspective that some faculty believe is key.
“Once teaching is brought to the same level of engagement as
other scholarship, faculty excel, becoming better in the classroom,” says Nick
Petruzzi, associate professor of business administration and Gutman Teaching
Excellence Fellow and academic director of MBA programs.
"As someone who has actively participated across the
breadth of these programs, I can attest to their sustained value: They
continually draw participants from across departments and from across ranks;
they foster collegiality and a collaborative learning community; and they yield
tangible benefits in the form of improved teaching effectiveness."
For more than 40 years CTE has worked with College of
Business educators, growing to meet changing needs and new opportunities. As a
result, faculty and graduate students have many well-structured programs
designed to keep learning in the College of Business excellent.
For more on the Center for Teaching Excellence, visit: http://business.illinois.edu/academy/.