Teaching Special Interest Groups

Teaching Special Interest Groups (formerly known as Faculty Study Groups) pursue interdisciplinary inquiry into specific issues and questions about teaching and learning in higher education.

Teaching Special Interest Groups (TSIGs) are driven by their members' curiosity and commitment to lifelong learning. Through meaningful collective inquiry, TSIGs seek to foster a collegial environment that values pedagogical exploration and promotes collaborative learning. Ultimately, TSIGs contribute to teaching excellence at Virginia Tech by sharing their work with the university community in a format most appropriate for the audience (i.e., a workshop, a PDF guide, online resource website, conference presentation, scholarly article).

Three TSIGs are offered during the 2018-2019 academic year: the Collegiate Faculty TSIG, the Large Class TSIG, and the Experiential Learning in the Disciplines TSIG. Each TSIG is limited to eight participants, and the center will provide each group member with $300 of professional development funding. TSIG professional development funding is transferred to participants' departments, not to individuals.

Collegiate Faculty

The Collegiate Faculty TSIG provides the collegiate faculty new to Virginia Tech a community of practice. Organized in partnership with TLOS (the office for Technology-enhanced Learning and Online Strategies), this TSIG brings together an interdisciplinary group of collegiate faculty to support teaching, learning, SoTL, and the university experience. 

The agenda will be driven by faculty needs with a focus on helping collegiate faculty navigate curriculum, programs, governance, processes, and procedures to meet their goals. The faculty will work together to formulate goals for a project they would like to complete by the end of the academic year. Projects will likely span a range of tasks, but may include designing a new course, enhancing learning activities, designing curricula elements, and/or conducting an educational research study. In the spring semester, the group will meet once a month for project support and continued community building and will share its work with the teaching community at Virginia Tech in the format most appropriate for the audience (i.e., a workshop, a PDF guide, online resource website, Conference on Higher Education Pedagogy presentation, scholarly article).

Applications for the 2018-2019 Collegiate Faculty TSIG are due by 5pm on Wednesday, September 19, 2018. To apply, please complete the online application form

Large Class

The Large Class TSIG is an opportunity for large class instructors at Virginia Tech to create a network of colleagues focused on effective teaching in the large class environment. This TSIG brings together an interdisciplinary group of faculty members who are dedicated to creating meaningful learning experiences in large classes at Virginia Tech and contributing to best practices in large class instruction at the university and beyond.

The agenda will be driven by the group members’ needs with a focus on helping large class instructors address the challenges and opportunities of teaching large classes. The faculty will work together to formulate goals for a project they would like to complete by the end of the academic year. Projects will likely span a range of tasks, but may include creating resources for best practices in teaching large classes and/or designing high-impact learning experiences for students in large classes. In the spring semester, the group will meet once a month for project support and continued community building and will share its work with the teaching community at Virginia Tech in the format most appropriate for the audience (i.e., a workshop, a PDF guide, online resource website, Symposium on Teaching Large Classes presentation, scholarly article).

Applications for the 2018-2019 Large Class TSIG are due by 5pm on Wednesday, September 19, 2018. To apply, please complete the online application form

Experiential Learning in the Disciplines

Participants in the Experiential Learning in the Disciplines TSIG will focus on customizing and designing experiential learning opportunities (including service learning, undergraduate research skills, internships/job shadowing, and/or place-based experiences) to be embedded in courses and/or curricula. Faculty will apply educational research findings and best practices to the design of the experiences. Throughout this process, support staff from the Center will provide resources, facilitation, and coordination with campus partners.

Applications for the 2018-2019 Experiential Learning TSIG are due by 5pm on Wednesday, September 19, 2018. To apply, please complete the online application form.