Mentored Discussions of Teaching (MDT) is designed to engage STEM and SBE graduate students and postdoctoral fellows in discussions with faculty about teaching and learning.
STEM and SBE (social, behavioral sciences and economics) PhD students and postdocs are invited to observe faculty teaching undergraduate or early graduate courses and meet with faculty to discuss their perspectives and methods. Participants also engage in group discussions on selected readings that address key topics in teaching. The time commitment is limited to facilitate participation. MDT is completed in one NU quarter. It is intended to be a first step in learning about teaching, but has also been valuable for students who have completed the Teaching Certificate Program.
Objectives for Mentored Discussions of Teaching:
- Observe Northwestern faculty teaching undergraduate or early graduate courses.
- Discuss approaches to teaching used by faculty in these courses.
- Discuss the relevance of evidence-based practices to participants’ own teaching.
- Reflect on participants’ intended teaching practices, informed by their observations and discussions with faculty and their peers.
Expectations of Participants (Three group meetings; two meetings with mentors; classroom observations. Each group meeting is offered at two or three times to accommodate participants’ schedules.)
Attend orientation (Meeting 1) to meet peers and faculty, discuss the program components, and learn about CIRTL.
Meet with your faculty mentor twice (before observations to discuss the course and the teaching approaches, and after observations to discuss teaching and learning in the discipline).
Observe several sessions of your mentor’s course and take notes to inform subsequent discussions.
Attend a seminar (Meeting 2) to discuss the readings with other participants.
Attend final program meeting (Meeting 3) to discuss your experience in the program.
Write a short reflection and complete a program survey.
Expectations of Faculty Mentors
Attend orientation (Meeting 1) to meet participants and discuss the program components.
Connect your mentee(s) to your Canvas site, share your course syllabus, and arrange to meet with your mentees at least twice (before observations to discuss the course and the teaching approaches, and after observations to discuss teaching and learning in the discipline). You may prefer to meet with mentees more often – for instance, after each observation.
(optional) Attend a seminar (Meeting 2) to discuss the readings with participants.
(optional) Allow other MDT participants to drop in to your class.
(optional) Attend final program meeting (Meeting 3) to discuss your experience in the program.
Complete a short survey.
MDT is offered two quarters per year. To apply, please complete the brief survey indicating your field of study and when you are available to observe a few sessions of one class. Shortly before the quarter starts, we will contact you and provide a match to a faculty member and class to observe. Please also note that we will expect you to attend one session for each of the group meetings:
Tuesday, March 29, 12-1PM (Searle Center Library)
Friday, April 1, 4-5PM (Searle Center Library)
Monday, April 25, 4-5:30PM (Searle Center Library)
Thursday, April 28, 9-10:30AM (Searle Center Library)
Monday, May 23, 4-5:30PM (Searle Center Library)
Thursday, May 26, 9-10:30AM (Searle Center Library)
* For all meetings, we will offer a late Thursday afternoon Chicago campus session if there is sufficient interest from Chicago-based students and postdocs.