Introduction from Director
Welcome to the Center for Teaching Excellence website. The CTE has come a long way since its inception in 2001. We started with one program—the CTE small grants program, and two staff members. Over the last five years we have been able to hire additional people and add more programs to our resource base. Please take a moment and visit our CTE Staff Page to see who we are and how we might be able to assist you in your teaching and learning. Our new website has been designed to provide you with easy access to information about our programs and resources.
More recently, we have been experiencing some exciting changes at both VCU and the CTE. As many of you know, we have incorporated some of the instructional functions of the former Academic Technology unit. The CTE now plays a more significant role in providing leadership, program development and training in the effective integration of technology to support teaching and learning. In addition to providing all training in the instructional use of Blackboard, we offer a wide range of workshops, programs and summer institutes that focus on using instructional technologies in meaningful ways. The CTE staff can provide skilled consultation on the instructional use of technology, and I encourage you to call on them to meet this need.
The CTE will also be playing a key supporting role in the implementation of VCU’s new Strategic Plan: VCU 2020: Vision for Excellence. In particular, Theme II charges us to “Achieve national recognition as a learning-centered research university that embraces a world-class student experience.” Toward this end, the CTE will be offering a number of faculty development opportunities that are designed to improve student learning both inside the classroom and out. The CTE will continue to support facuty research on teaching and learning through our small grants program and through our annual newsletter which will showcase some of the more innovative projects that contribute to the scholarship of teaching and learning. We will be directly involved in exploring the appropriate application of various learning-centered teaching practices, as well as supporting the learning opportunities that are available to all of the VCU community such as learning communities, lunch and learn events, and open forums where we can discuss and share our visions for VCU’s future.
Although my role continues to evolve within the Center and within other programs at VCU, I will continue to give general direction to the CTE. This year, as was the case last year, our overriding emphasis will be to create community and dialogue as we determine what a learning centered research university should be. This is part the VCU 2020 strategic plan and is a grand experiment for a university the size of VCU. Placing student learning at the center of the university is both a logical and ethical imperative. I look forward to working with all of you as we explore what this means for our daily work.
Vice Provost for Instruction
Director, Center for Teaching Excellence