UNCG Campus Weekly

Campus Weekly is published each Wednesday when classes are in session. In the summer, it is published biweekly.

David Teachout leads University Teaching & Learning Commons

Photo of Dr. David TeachoutDr. David Teachout has had a passion for teaching and learning since he was a music education major at West Virginia University. “I’ve always been curious about how people learn best,” he says.

When Teachout taught middle school band for 10 years in Oklahoma, he was constantly in search of the most effective ways to help his beginning band students learn to play their instruments. As this curiosity became directed at uncovering the best ways to prepare future music teachers, he left middle school teaching to pursue his doctorate, and then joined the faculty at Penn State University. From there, he became the department head for music education and music therapy at the University of Minnesota, before coming to UNCG in 2004 to be department head for music education. He is a leader in the field of music teacher development.

In August 2015, Teachout became director of the UNCG’s University Teaching and Learning Commons (UTLC), giving his passion for teaching and learning a campus-wide focus. “The UTLC is in an extraordinary position to promote innovative and truly cutting-edge approaches to teaching across the campus that can affect student learning in profoundly positive ways,” he explains. “The fall semester has been a time for my team and I to re-examine the UTLC’s structure in the effort to provide faculty with the best possible support for developing and expanding their approaches to teaching and facilitating learning.”

The offices of the UTLC include:

  • Residential Colleges Office (RCO), headed by Dr. Jennifer Stephens (Jennifer.stephens@uncg.edu)
  • Teaching Innovations Office (TIO), headed by Ms. Laura Pipe (lmpipe@uncg.edu)
  • Undergraduate Research, Scholarship, and Creativity Office (URSCO), headed by Dr. Lee Phillips (plphilli@uncg.edu)

The TIO provides a variety of programs and services (workshops, certificates, special interest groups, teaching consultations, online resources, etc.), aimed specifically at enhancing faculty effectiveness in the classroom.  The RCO and the URSCO also promote faculty development, but they do so through specialized interactions with select groups of students in ways that benefit faculty and foster intentional learning in the students they serve.

The RCO oversees the three residential colleges (RCs) at UNCG (Ashby RC, Grogan RC and Strong RC). Each of the RCs is populated by first- and second-year students who live together in a residence hall and take a common core of general education courses around a particular theme such as multi-literacy (Ashby), professionalism (Grogan), or sustainability (Strong).  Faculty have opportunities to develop course re-designs that include innovative teaching approaches and pilot them with highly motivated students who are immersed in these unique RC environments that integrate academic pursuits with residential life.

The URSCO provides undergraduate students with opportunities and resources to pursue research projects under the guidance of faculty mentors. Faculty mentors are provided a range of training programs on mentoring students to pursue research projects. They are also provided resources for integrating research throughout their courses and in the degree programs they teach.

A new web portal is in development and should be operational by March 2016.Until then, please visit the current website (utlc.uncg.edu) to learn more about the UTLC.

See related story about their upcoming coffeehouses, workshops and brownbag luncheons in coming weeks.

Learn about the commons at utlc.uncg.edu.