Carnegie Mellon University

Eberly Center

Teaching Excellence & Educational Innovation

We Support Graduate Students in Their Teaching

These services and resources are available to all graduate students at Carnegie Mellon.
Using these services and resources is free and does not require any prior or current teaching experience.

Learn About Our Future Faculty Program

Receive confidential feedback on your teaching and what transpires in your classroom.

Participate in Seminars and Workshops

Explore our current semester offerings.

Talk One-on-one About Teaching

Voluntary & Confidential

Get Feedback on Your Teaching

Classroom Observation, Early Course Feedback: Focus Group, Microteaching Workshop

Learn About Our Future Faculty Program

What is the Future Faculty Program?

The Future Faculty Program helps graduate students develop and document their teaching skills in preparation for a faculty career. Participants in this program learn the principles of effective course design and pedagogy through our seminars, receive feedback on their teaching through teaching feedback consultations, and apply what they have learned in completing a course & syllabus design project and a statement of teaching philosophy project.

What will I gain from completing the program?

In addition to the intellectual benefits of completing the program, graduate students who complete the program receive a transcript of their Eberly Center activities (e.g., seminars attended, projects completed). This can be used to strengthen a teaching portfolio or job application.

If you do not complete the program requirements, you can still download a transcript of your Eberly Center activities.

What are the requirements for completing the program?

The four requirements are:

  1. Seminars. You must attend at least four core seminars and at least eight seminars overall. These interactive seminars cover a wide range of topics on teaching and learning. Attending an Eberly Center seminar for your department or program may substitute for a portion of these seminars.
  2. Teaching Feedback Consultations. You must complete two teaching feedback consultations. At least one must be an observation, i.e., you can fulfill the requirement through any of the following:
    1. One observation and one ECF-FG (ideal)
    2. Two observations
    3. One observation and one microteaching workshop + follow-up video review
  3. A course design project. You must create or substantially revise a syllabus for a course that you expect to teach at some point in your academic career. This may be a course for which you have served (or will serve) as the TA or instructor. An Eberly Center consultant will provide guidance and feedback as you plan the course and produce a syllabus that reflects the principles of effective course design. You must include a 1-2 page written reflection/annotation that describes your pedagogical choices in developing the syllabus and how you'd use it in context of your class.
  4. A statement of teaching philosophy project. You must write a 1-2 page statement of teaching philosophy. This document, which is commonly required as part of academic job applications, will involve you iteratively working with a consultant to produce a statement that fulfills the criteria outlined in a rubric.

How long does it take to complete the requirements?

Completing the Future Faculty Program requires time and effort across several semesters. The amount of time it takes to complete the program depends on individual circumstances—for example, the availability of teaching opportunities that are appropriate for observations as well as time commitments that do not conflict with our seminars.

There is no specific order in which you must complete the requirements, but most graduate students find it helpful to attend a few seminars before beginning either of the projects.

How do I enroll in the program?

You can enroll in the Future Faculty Program by meeting with an Eberly colleague and creating a plan for how you can complete the program requirements. You can choose to enroll in the program at any time, and any of your prior Eberly Center activities can be used to satisfy the program requirements.

You can still use the Eberly Center’s services and resources even if you are not enrolled in the Future Faculty Program.


 

Participate in Seminars and Workshops

During the fall, spring, and summer semesters, we offer a series of seminars and workshops. Our seminars cover a variety of topics related to teaching, learning, and professional development as an educator. These seminars are interactive and synthesize teaching strategies and the research studies that support them. Our workshops give participants the opportunity to practice and receive immediate feedback on specific aspects of teaching.

Attending these seminars and workshops is free and does not require any prior or current teaching experience. However, space in these seminars and workshops is limited so you must register in advance.

Upon request, the Eberly Center can also present more tailored seminars and workshops for graduate students in an individual department or program. If you are interested in arranging this type of session, please contact the Coordinator of Graduate Programs.


 

Talk One-on-one About Teaching

Graduate students are encouraged to meet one-on-one with a consultant to ask questions, discuss ideas, and get feedback on any aspect of teaching. Some of graduate students’ most common motivations for a one-on-one consultation include:

  • Preparing to TA or teach a course for the first time
  • Trying a new assignment, activity, or technology
  • Responding to a difficult or challenging teaching situation
  • Creating or revising a syllabus
  • Responding to early course evaluations and end-of-semester evaluations
  • Getting feedback on a teaching statement or teaching portfolio

Contact the Eberly Center if you would like to talk one-on-one with a consultant about any aspect of teaching.


 

Get Feedback on Your Teaching

Inviting someone to observe you as you teach and give you feedback afterward is one of the most effective ways to develop and gain insight into your teaching. The Eberly Center offers three types of opportunities for graduate students to receive feedback on their teaching: classroom observations, early course feedback: focus groups (ECF-FGs), and microteaching workshops.

Classroom Observation

When you request a classroom observation, an Eberly colleague observes your class – whether it is a lecture, discussion, lab, studio, recitation, or some other format. An observation is voluntary and confidential.

Early Course Feedback: Focus Groups

While your course is in progress, a focus group is an efficient way to gather rich information from your students on how your course supports their learning.

When you request a focus group for your course, an Eberly colleague holds an informal interview session with your students during class when you are not present. The Eberly colleague asks your students about their experiences and perceptions of learning in your course. He/she solicits alternative perspectives and assess consensus for each discussion point raised.

Focus groups are voluntary and confidential and student responses are anonymous.

Microteaching Workshop

During the fall, spring, and summer semesters, we offer several microteaching workshops that give graduate students the opportunity to receive immediate peer feedback on their teaching. Each participant presents a five-minute ("micro") lesson on a concept or term from his or her discipline and receives friendly, constructive feedback from the other participants and the two Eberly consultants who lead the workshop. The lessons are videotaped, and participants are encouraged to meet one-on-one with one of the Eberly consultants to watch and discuss the video of their own lessons. Graduate students must register for a microteaching workshop in advance.

Early Course Feedback: Student Surveys

What is it?

While your course is in progress, a survey is an efficient way to gather rich information from your students on how your course supports their learning.

An Eberly colleague can help you at any step in this process—for example, adapting survey questions to meet your needs, choosing the right time to administer the survey, analyzing and interpreting the results, and debriefing with students.

The process is voluntary and confidential and student responses are anonymous.

Why do it?

An early course evaluation allows you to get feedback from students so you can decide on possible adjustments while your course is still in progress.

A survey is a relatively quick and easy way to elicit this feedback.

When to do it?

Schedule your early course evaluation 3-5 weeks into a full-semester course or 2-3 weeks into a mini course so that students have had enough experience with the course and you still have time to make adjustments.

Give students 10-15 minutes to complete the evaluation during class.


 

Early Course Feedback: Focus Groups

What is it?

While your course is in progress, a focus group is an efficient way to gather rich information from your students on how your course supports their learning.

When you request a focus group for your course, an Eberly colleague holds an informal interview session with your students during class when you are not present. The Eberly colleague asks your students about their experiences and perceptions of learning in your course. He/she solicits alternative perspectives and assess consensus for each discussion point raised.

Focus groups are voluntary and confidential and student responses are anonymous.

Why do it?

A focus group can be useful for gathering information about a particular issue or as a general "check in" on how your course is going.

The feedback you receive is frank, revealing, and constructive, so you can make targeted adjustments while your course is still in progress.

When to do it?

You can request a focus group at any point in the semester. However, we recommend 3-5 weeks into a full semester course and 2-3 weeks into a mini course, so that students have enough experience with the course and you still have time to make adjustments.

Contact us at least one week in advance so we can ensure an Eberly colleague is available.