Provost's Teaching Fellows

The Provost’s Teaching Fellows program is designed to strengthen faculty participation and governance in the Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL), enhance faculty collaboration across disciplinary and institutional boundaries, and support specific faculty-led projects to improve teaching and learning.  Learn More about the Provost's Teaching Fellow's Program or Meet the Fellows.

2015 Fellow Highlight

Teaching Fellow Sandy Leeds, Finance, shares his insights about teaching and learning at UT.

Learn More about the other 2015 fellows.

Teaching Fellow Initiative Update

Teaching Fellow Cathy Stacy, Statistics and Data Science, partnered with two of her colleagues – Michael Mahometa and Sally Amen – to bring their transformed introductory statistics class to high school audiences across the state as part of UT’s OnRamps Program. The mission of OnRamps is to increase the number and diversity of students engaging in learning experiences aligned with the expectations of leading research universities. Learn More about Cathy's work.

First Friday Conversations

Martha Hilley  I  Music

The First Friday Conversations for Fall 2015 is coming up on September 4.  Matt Russell, Learning Sciences, will lead a discussion about Innovative Technology & Effective Teaching.  Learn More about past First Friday Conversations.

Fellow Teaching Tip

Mike Mackert  |  Advertising and Public Relations

The first day of class can often be a little on the dry side. There are some basics I always have to get through: an overview of the syllabus, doing student introductions to learn more about what they hope to get out of the class, etc. I always want to have something fun on the first day, so now I also include a great icebreaker activity that makes an important point about creativity.

Step 1: I ask each student to take out a blank sheet of paper and a pen or pencil.

Step 2: I tell them that they are going to have one minute to draw a portrait of the person next to them. Everyone looks a bit nervous.

Step 3: GO!

Step 4: For a minute there is a lot of furious drawing, nervous laughter, and (generally) a few muttered curses.

Step 5: When I call time and ask the students to show their neighbor the portrait, the room tends to explode in a combination of laughter and apologies.

Step 6: I make the point that if I asked a 4-year old to do the same thing, they would work very hard for a minute and then be very proud of their work. No apologies. The lesson is that we shouldn’t apologize for doing the best we can, or throwing out a rough idea, or trying something crazy. Experimentation and creativity is crucial, and we must be unapologetic when pursuing new ideas.

It works wonderfully every time, and it always sets a great tone for the semester

Learn More about past Teaching Tips

News Articles

August 06, 2015 // Inside Higher Ed
Plagiarism detection software... is often criticized for labeling clumsy student writing as plagiarism. Now a set of new tests suggests the software... go to article »
August 04, 2015 // The New Yorker
The article highlights Gawande’s willingness to engage in self-assessment and reflection. In the opening paragraph, he talks about hitting a plateau... go to article »
July 27, 2015 // Rice University - Center for Teaching Excellence
What I am most interested in writing about today: the troubling and severe disconnect between what I have been reading in the research literature and... go to article »
June 26, 2015 // Provost's Teaching Fellows
The Task Force on the New Faculty Orientation that developed from the Campus Conversations initiative last year has been working diligently with CTL... go to article »