The Teaching Triangles Program

One of the realities of life as a university instructor is that we rarely get a chance to learn from our colleagues by watching them teach. The Teaching Triangles program offers faculty the opportunity to work in groups of three (or more) and spend time in each others’ classrooms with the aim of reflecting upon and improving their own teaching.

The Teaching Triangles program differs in one significant way from a peer review/observation process or a mentoring program: the goal of each observation is not to critique the faculty member being observed, but for the two faculty members in attendance to reflect on what they have learned about teaching from observing their colleague. Over the course of a semester, each member of the triangle will be observed once and be an observer twice. These classroom visits will be preceded by an opening meeting with a CELT team member to discuss your group’s goals for the triangle and a follow-up debriefing once the observation process is complete.

Inevitably, you will each still get formative feedback from the others about your teaching. However, by focusing on what each of you have learned from your observations, the Teaching Triangle process provides a greater opportunity for self-reflection and positive feedback that will help you each identify their strengths and areas in which you’d like to grow. Equally important, the Teaching Triangle becomes a highly effective means of sharing and transferring good teaching practices between faculty members.

Participants will complete the Teaching Triangle program in a single semester and will be able to repeat the program as many times as they wish.

HOW TO PARTICIPATE:

 Register for the Teaching Triangles Program

There are two options from which you can choose when signing up for the teaching triangles program.

A)    If you would like to create your own triangle in conjunction with two other colleagues, please send an email to cives@tru.ca and include your name and department along with the names and departments of the two other colleagues with whom you will be participating. Only one person from the triangle needs to email on your group’s behalf.

B)    If you would like CELT to match you with other participating faculty members, please email cives@tru.ca. Include in your email your name, department, and a brief summary of what you hope to gain from the program.

 Set up a meeting between the members of your triangle and the CELT team member assigned to your triangle.

The objective of an introductory meeting is to discuss the teaching triangle process and to set both the goals and a meeting schedule for your triangle. You may find the template below helpful for keeping track of the schedule and the goals you’ve identified.

 Class observations

Each member of the triangle will attend at least one class (synchronous or asynchronous) taught by the other members of the triangle. While it is not absolutely required that both observers attend the same class, you should try to do so if your schedules permit. Following the observation, each member of the triangle will write a reflection on what they learned from observing and being observed. You may find the template below helpful for writing your reflections and takeaways.

 Group meeting/discussion with your CELT team member

Once all class visits are complete, the members of the triangle and your CELT contact will meet to discuss the process and what each member took away from the experience.

 Documenting/Written reflection

Participants will benefit from documenting their learning by writing a reflective piece of approximately that discusses what they took away and, if relevant, how that experience may affect their teaching in the future. This piece could be included the participants teaching dossier.

Please see the template below for helping you document your learning from this program.

Template

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