Policies and Practices

The Center for Teaching and Learning at UNC Asheville subscribes to the Ethical Guidelines of the POD Network, the national organization for educational developers devoted to improving teaching and learning in higher education. Based on these standards, specific practices and policies to which we adhere are described below.

Participation in individual consultations with CTL staff members is confidential.

Due to the personal and vulnerable nature of one-on-one consultations, we do not disclose information about the nature of the consultation or the content discussed. Some practical examples of this commitment include:

  • If student feedback on instruction reports (SFIs) are discussed, we do not share them with anyone. If printed copies of these materials are generated, we safely discard them after consultations are complete.
  • If we develop reports or other materials for faculty as part of a consultation, we consider these the confidential property of the faculty member. We do not maintain copies of such materials in the CTL.
  • When we send participation appreciation letters to full-time faculty who have been involved in the CTL during the academic year, we include consultations in the list of activities in which the faculty member participated. However we do not describe the subject matter of the consultation. Further, this letter is addressed only to the faculty member.
  • Internally, CTL staff may discuss particular consultations in the effort to provide the best possible support to faculty (e.g., a faculty fellow may ask for assistance in generating a small group analysis report; a staff member may ask someone with greater expertise in the area of the consultation for advice or feedback). Such conversations would not take place with individuals not associated with the CTL.

The CTL’s feedback about teaching is strictly formative.

The CTL strives to be a “safe place” in which instructors can freely discuss and work on their teaching. We endeavor to be receptive to different styles and approaches to teaching and learning, listen deeply and supportively to instructors’ challenges and concerns, and provide evidence-based information regarding effective teaching strategies and course design.

We do not summatively evaluate teaching, critique course content, or define standards of effective teaching at UNC Asheville. Our feedback about teaching is formative; for example, we assist faculty in identifying strategies that are and are not facilitating student learning. We do not share our assessments, regardless of their content, with any outside entities (e.g., chairs and program directors, deans, or teaching award/tenure and promotion committees).

Participation in CTL activities is voluntary.

Involvement with the CTL, whether through participation in workshops, learning circles, or learning communities, or by engagement in consultations, should be initiated by individual faculty members. Chairs and program directors are welcome to encourage faculty to participate in the CTL (and we hope they do!), but we discourage mandatory CTL involvement. As with any development opportunity, individuals benefit most when they exercise free choice and personal motivation in the decision to seek services.

Should an administrator wish to refer a specific faculty member to the CTL, please consult with the CTL director regarding helpful strategies for making the request. Because of our commitment to confidentiality (see above), we can verify that a faculty member followed through on the referral only if they give us consent to do so; we do not assess or otherwise report on the outcome of their involvement.