Documenting Engaged Teaching: A PLC

Description and Context

As faculty at the University of Delaware continue to develop their teaching in ways that promote greater student engagement, traditional tools of evaluation become less salient. Similarly, as the institution moves towards more robust and inclusive measures of evaluating faculty success in teaching, the need for faculty training and consensus on what constitutes compelling evidence increases. This effort is not meant to replace CTAL’s consultations on individual bases, but rather, to offer faculty a sustained engagement with peers such that they can carry these ideas and conversations back to their home departments.

This professional learning community (PLC) seeks to meet the aims both of the faculty and of the institution, by bringing together early and mid-career instructors to develop practices that support effective documentation of engaged teaching. Designed to be a complimentary effort to faculty-led revisions to the standards of teaching excellence, this PLC will produce artifacts that can be shared widely with our community. Participants from across varied departments and colleges will discuss how to make visible the often unseen work of student engagement on the part of faculty. Upon the conclusion of the PLC, participants will generate examples of teaching statements, annotated student artifacts, and other pieces of documentation frequently sought by faculty preparing for promotion and tenure.

Guiding Questions

This PLC brings instructors together across disciplines to tackle some of the most pressing questions that have emerged from the above context, such as:

  • How can instructors accurately capture the learning that happens during highly engaged class sessions? 
  • What evidence could instructors include in their teaching documentation that demonstrates engaged student learning?
  • What tools, methods, or approaches are most appropriate for documenting engaged teaching online?
  • How can faculty craft compelling narratives in their teaching statements to demonstrate their effective use of engaged teaching strategies?

Further Details

PLC proposed outcomes:
  • Creation of digital artifacts (e.g. how-to guides, annotated examples, rubrics, self-paced workshops) hosted on the CTAL website
    • OR: revision / supplements to existing resources on the CTAL site
  • A faculty-led workshop to serve as a follow–up to CTAL and VPFA’s “Documenting your Teaching” Spring roundtable
  • Workshop-in-a-box style PD materials for departments to utilize during regular faculty meetings or retreats
Participant characteristics

Early career faculty; those hired in the last 4 years especially

Topics to be discussed during PLC meetings:
  • Best practices in peer observation
  • Digital teaching platforms and tools and how to document their effective use
  • What engaged teaching looks like in participating faculty disciplines
  • What makes an effective teaching statement/philosophy
  • Collecting, using, and responding to student course feedback in one’s documentation
Compensation and Recognition

Participating faculty will receive $1000 upon successful completion of the PLC. The final funds will be disbursed to those participants who:

  • Attend 7 of the 8 scheduled sessions
  • Submit an artifact (e.g. a sample teaching philosophy, a tip-sheet…) to be included on the CTAL website for broad distribution.

Participants will also receive a formal letter of documentation that can be included in a dossier for the purposes of promotion, tenure, or reappointment.

Time commitments

The PLC will meet 8 times over the course of the Spring 2023 semester. These meetings will not take place during the first 3 or last 3 weeks of the semester. While a day and time will be mutually agreed upon by the selected participants, a sample meeting structure is:

  • Feb 22nd, March 1, March 8, March 15, March 22, April 5, April 12, April 19

Meetings will be between 60-90 minutes, and each participant will serve as a discussion leader for at least one meeting. Preparation for those meetings is expected to take 1-2 hours per week, with perhaps slightly more time as participants write or review documents.

Eligibility and Application

All full-time instructors in any role on any track are eligible to participate. Graduate students serving as adjuncts are not eligible.

If you are interested in applying for this PLC or have any questions, please contact Rose Muravchick at