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Deadline for opening classroom to colleagues extended to Jan. 25

Faculty to sit in on one another’s classes to foster best practices in teaching

  • Searle Center program allows faculty to open classrooms to colleagues Feb. 13-18
  • ‘Bringing teaching into same realm of innovation and inquiry as scholarship’
  • Deadline to sign up to attend colleagues’ classes is Feb. 8

EVANSTON - Faculty across Northwestern are encouraged to open their classrooms to fellow educators through a program aimed at promoting best practices and innovation in teaching through a wide-ranging exchange of ideas.  

Developed by the Searle Center for Advancing Learning and Teaching, the Faculty Open Classroom Initiative (FOCI) takes place from Feb. 13 to 18. The deadline to apply to host visitors in a classroom is Jan. 25; registration to sign up to attend colleagues’ classes will open Jan. 30 and close Feb. 8.

“Programs like FOCI are a great way to open up a partnership with faculty to create a new culture around teaching and learning,” Searle Center director Bennett Goldberg said.

The program is designed to extend the culture of collaboration on research to also include teaching.

“Our goal is to bring teaching into the same realm of innovation and inquiry as scholarship,” said Goldberg, who also holds joint appointments as assistant provost for learning and teaching and professor of physics and astronomy.

Any faculty member who applies to host open classroom discussions will be accepted. The number of visitors who can observe a given class will be determined by the instructor.

Originated at Yale University, the concept of opening classes has spread to several top universities. Goldberg previously launched a similar program at Boston University, where he served as director of STEM education initiatives before joining Northwestern’s Searle Center in August 2016.

Celebrating its 25th anniversary in fall 2017, the Searle Center is an established leader in developing innovative teaching practices and faculty support. Under Goldberg’s leadership, the Center aims to become more integrated into the University fabric, collaborating with all faculty and departments.

“Enhancing education by building excitement about teaching and learning among faculty and students is central to the Center’s ambitions,” Goldberg said.

Topics: Education, Provost

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