The Power of Dialogue: Faculty & Students in Partnership
Over the past three semesters, through the height of a pandemic that has upended teaching and learning at all levels, Ursinus’s Teaching & Learning Institute has facilitated an impressive 39 student-faculty partnerships in courses across the disciplines. As we enter the 12th year of the TLI Student Consultant program, this unique type of faculty-student relationship has never been more crucial. Faculty members from CIE, Biology, Environmental Studies, Politics, Health & Exercise Physiology, Spanish, Japanese, Gender and Women’s Studies, Religious Studies, History, Math, Media & Communications Studies and Business & Economics have worked with TLI Student Consultants to try out new pedagogical techniques and strategies, create a more inclusive and engaging classroom environment, brainstorm ideas for new types of assignments and in-class activities, improve classroom discussions and student participation, and work through unexpected challenges of all kinds.
Hired through a rigorous selection process, the TLI Student Consultants are passionate about teaching and learning at Ursinus. They closely observe classes throughout the semester, meeting weekly one-on-one to discuss their observation notes and to brainstorm ways that their faculty partner can most effectively instruct and support their students. Consultants gather midterm feedback from students and help professors analyze it to see what changes might be beneficial, or where explanations and clarifications might be helpful. Perhaps most importantly, Student Consultants help faculty directly connect to the students in their classes to construct a learning environment in which all students have the chance to genuinely thrive.
Faculty: Stay tuned for upcoming events that highlight the work that TLI consultants do. If you’d like to talk to a student consultant more about how the partnerships work, our Senior Consultants would love to hear from you. You can contact Katie Sanfield, Serena Rose Gaskin, or Jonny Gherman via e-mail to start a conversation.
Students: Interested in becoming a TLI Consultant? We hire in the Spring. Please send an e-mail to TLIDirectors@ursinus.edu to let us know and we’ll include you when we invite students to apply in March.
Abby Kluchin & Diane Skorina