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   from the issue of October 12, 2006

UNL joins higher ed teaching assessment project

UNL's Peer Review of Teaching program has been selected to participate in a national program to improve undergraduate and graduate education.

The CASTL Institutional Leadership Program is a three-year partnership between the Carnegie Academy for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning and selected colleges, universities and higher education organizations. The 87 participating institutions or networks of institutions were selected for their ability to influence work in 12 areas - ranging from assessment and accountability to undergraduate research.

"Through this program, Carnegie acknowledges the important contributions of institutional leaders and advocates while encouraging the development of new forums and structures supporting scholarly investigation into teaching and learning," said Richard Gale, director of CASTL.

The university's participation is directed by the Peer Review of Teaching Project coordinators: Amy Burnett, professor of history; Paul Savory, associate professor of industrial and management systems engineering; and Amy Goodburn, associate professor of English and associate dean of the College of Arts and Sciences.

All selected institutions have developed and implemented innovative strategies to strengthen teaching and improve student learning on their own campuses. Through participation in the Carnegie program, they will be expected to collaborate with other institutions to further examine that work and expand activities in those same areas.

UNL's proposal is designed to disseminate its model for documenting, aggregating, and assessing student learning through the use of electronic course portfolios.

"UNL's Peer Review of Teaching Project has engaged over 200 faculty on this campus in the past eight years," said Goodburn. "We're excited to join this national program and share our insights with other institutions to support faculty in becoming scholarly teachers for improved student learning."

Professors Savory and Burnett will meet with other CASTL participants on Nov. 8, immediately preceding the International Society for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning annual conference in Washington, D.C. Benefits of participation include access to an online workspace, regular meetings, representation on the Carnegie Web site, and shared resources.

"This should be a wonderful opportunity for us to showcase the teaching accomplishments of UNL faculty and to learn more about how to support excellence in teaching from programs established at other schools," said Burnett.



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