MU planning teacher and learning center

Jun 23, 2014

columns at university of missouri
Credit File Photo / KBIA

  University of Missouri teachers could be getting some extra training in the next few years.

   The goal of a new teaching and learning center for Mizzou faculty is that it will improve faculty teaching practices and enhance their use of technology.

   Vice Provost of Undergraduate Studies Jim Spain is in charge of creating the new learning center. 

"This is one of the campus programs that we have as our strategic plan as being a priority," Spain said.

He says the list of what the center needs will hopefully be finished by the end of the year.  He plans to get that information from a survey of MU faculty that was conducted in 2012.

   One aspect of the program he knows of right now is the technology training that teachers could receive.  He believes it's one aspect that will make the center a success compared to the Program for Excellence in Teaching, which was discontinued in 2007 due to funding.

   Associate teaching professor of the Russian and Faculty Council Nicole Monnier also believes the enhanced training with technology will be beneficial.

   "Most of us have never taken online courses ourselves and we tend to teach the way we were taught," Monnier said, "So for older faculty who haven’t experienced online teaching themselves there's really not a whole lot of a starting point."

   Spain also hopes that the center can serve as a place for teachers to access multiple resources.

   "I think at the core of it, the center would be the one stop shop that faculty can go to," Spain said, "And even if the center doesn’t provide a program to address a particular need per say, that center would be responsible in getting the resources to the faculty."

   Monnier agrees, and says that integrating multiple places would be ideal for most faculty.

   "One of the things I think a teaching center would be great for on this campus is to have an umbrella under which to house some really great resources that we have now but are scattered and not integrated," Monnier said.

Spain says other universities have used similar programs and they've proven beneficial.

His hope is the program will start before the 2015-2016 school year.