On December 2, about a dozen faculty from across the university joined the Coulter Faculty Commons team for a SiTL appreciation lunch. In case you haven’t seen the acronym before, SiTL stands for the Summer Institute for Teaching and Learning, which is hosted every year the first or second week after finals end in May. Faculty attend this gathering to learn about new teaching methods, tackle changing technology, and get help with course design/redesign for the upcoming year.

It’s a good time to bring all your ideas questions from the semester into a lively community of growing scholars, teachers, and experts in learning, technology, and research. 

The SiTL experience includes a variety of sessions along with opportunities for networking or solo working on ideas you want to implement in your own teaching. Depending on your needs and interests, you can choose from a variety of short sessions, or join a more in-depth training that extends over several days of the event. Faculty feedback indicates a value for the option and variety, but also notes the benefit of a more focused track, which allows space in between sessions to reflect and apply what you’ve been learning.  

Last year the summer institute included a focused track on Team Based Learning (TBL), which was hosted by a cross-disciplinary team of faculty from physical therapy, nursing, nutrition, parks and rec, and social work. At the end of three days, faculty were excited and equipped to bring this model to their fall courses. 

More important than what happens at SiTL, though, is what happens afterward. The stories faculty told at the lunch meeting about student engagement and performance are the reason the CFC hosts this event for faculty every year. Some of the faculty who implemented Team Based Learning after this event are seeing the highest levels of student engagement in twenty years!  

Next month, we will share more details on Team Based Learning and how it has transformed the teaching experience for at least two faculty members at WCU. Meanwhile, if you’re curious about what’s in store for SiTL 2020, visit our event page from 2019 to get an idea of what will be on offer and then be sure you are subscribed to our newsletter for the latest updates and details. More information will be coming soon.