Structuring Centers for Teaching and Learning

Organizational Structure, Staffing Levels, and Service Offerings

Topics: Staffing, Organizational Structures, Faculty Affairs, Academic Affairs, Leadership and Professional Development

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This research project investigates the organizational and reporting structures of teaching and learning centers at high research universities. The brief outlines staffing levels, budgetary allocations, service and activity offerings, and best practices for marketing programs to faculty members. This report also offers recommendations for aligning innovative teaching and learning as a strategic priority and evaluating the effectiveness of center activities and programs.

  • Key observations from our research:

    1. Teaching and learning centers operate as centralized offices under the provost’s vertical to encourage effective teaching practices across the institution and ensure alignment with long-term strategic goals.

    2. Most teaching and learning centers employ between six and 11 full-time employees including a faculty director, between two and six faculty developers or instructional consultants, and administrative support staff.

    3. Broaden service offerings beyond traditional faculty development to incorporate technological training, e-Learning course design, research support, and leadership development to faculty members.

    4. Incentivize participation in center activities by providing free lunches at events and workshops, designing competitive grants programs for innovative course redesign, and honoring members of faculty fellows programs.

    5. Teaching and learning staff evaluate center effectiveness by tracking participation rates and developing targeted goals and outcomes for improving pedagogical practices across all disciplinary areas.