Center for Instructional Development and Educational Research

Instructional Consulting

The Center for Instructional Development and Educational Research offers faculty members several individual instructional consulting services designed to foster excellence in teaching and learning. These services are highly individualized, molded to the faculty member's and students' characteristics, content attributes, instructional environment and course purpose. The faculty member and a member of the CIDER staff will work together to construct consulting goals and a path to achieving those goals. This path may entail a short consultation plan or a longer-term plan spanning an entire semester.

The individual instructional services offered by CIDER include classroom observations, classroom video recording, and one-on-one course consulting.

Classroom Observation

Classroom observations, performed by CIDER staff, are available for faculty members interested in obtaining feedback regarding their classroom management skills, instructional behaviors, students' responses to instruction or any other teaching or learning behavior.

Course Consulting

General course consulting is offered to faculty members to address a myriad of questions and issues. Course consulting typically involves one-on-one discussions between faculty members and a CIDER staff member to discuss questions or issues, determine a course of action, and to share instructional resources. The CIDER staff is available to answer questions related to, but not limited to:

  • planning a new course, from inception to final grades;
  • designing a syllabus, including goals, assessments, schedules and policies;
  • using instructional strategies, such as cooperative learning, lecturing, writing assignments and case studies;
  • interpreting student test results, including test item analysis and test redesign;
  • designing assessments, both formative and summative;
  • and just about any other pedagogical question an instructor might have!

Regardless of the type of individualized instructional consulting, faculty members will typically meet with a CIDER staff member to discuss the goals of the consultation and establish a plan to address the goals. Following the classroom observation, classroom video recording, or course consultation, the faculty member and the CIDER staff member will meet to discuss the results, revisit the goals, and establish a new set of goals, if necessary.

Confidentiality

Individualized instructional consulting is confidential; that is, CIDER will not share with outside entities (e.g., Department Heads, Tenure and Promotion Committees) the existence of or results from the consulting. The individual faculty member, however, is free to share the existence of and results from the consulting, as he or she deems necessary.

Reporting the Results of the Instructional Consultation

Faculty members will receive a formal letter indicating the conduct of the instructional consultation and a brief summary of the results of the consultation. Typically, the faculty member will receive this letter within a week of the conclusion of the consultation.

Scheduling an Instructional Consultation

To schedule an instructional consultation, please email Danielle Lusk, dlusk@vt.edu.