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Definition of Teaching Excellence

The University of Utah defines teaching excellence across five thematic areas. These areas with descriptions provide a common framework for course-based instructional activities.

1. Foster Development

    1. Foster student development in discipline-specific language and approaches
    2. Model and develop mindful, ethical, inclusive, and responsible behavior in instructional environments
    3. Recognize power differentials between professor, instructors, graduate students, and students
    4. Foster students’ ability to assess learning and adjust their learning strategies
    5. Develop habits of professional responsibility

2. Promote Deep Engagement

    1. Create learning objectives and experiences that are challenging yet attainable
    2. Use rigorous content that is informed by theory, research, evidence, and context
    3. Provide materials, cases, or applications that include diverse experiences, perspectives, or populations

3. Incorporate Promising Teaching Practices

    1. Create an environment conducive to intellectual risk-taking
    2. Utilize relevant strategies and tools to provide students access to course materials, grades, and other feedback
    3. Apply multiple techniques and strategies to reach all students in an inclusive, accessible, and culturally responsive way
    4. Manage teaching and learning effectively: plan activities, manages time and student participation
    5. Use active learning strategies to promote the development of content mastery
    6. Foster the translation of learning and problem-solving skills to different and changing contexts
    7. Follow university policies and procedures regarding instructional practices and maintain course policies that are applied uniformly and fairly

4. Utilize Assessment Practices

    1. Use assessments at timely intervals throughout the course
    2. Provide specific, regular, and timely feedback tied to performance criteria
    3. Use transparent assessment processes with clear standards tied to learning objectives
    4. Demonstrate the effectiveness of instruction through measures of student mastery of learning objectives

5. Pursue Ongoing Instructional Improvement

    1. Utilize feedback from a variety of sources to inform teaching practices
    2. Reflect on practices, experiences and integrate new knowledge
    3. Seek out pedagogical approaches to improve teaching practices
Last Updated: 4/10/24