Over the past 20 years the William and Mary faculty has made a concerted effort to rethink and renew the curriculum in such a way as to help students move from being passive consumers of knowledge to being active creators of knowledge. The University Teaching Project complements that effort by helping faculty expand their teaching methods to include techniques that are more in line with our goals for student learning.
Each Teaching Project spans one academic year and is open to all W&M faculty by application. Generally about 20-25 faculty participate, with each receiving a $1,000 stipend.
The program begins with a full-day retreat scheduled before fall classes begin. By the end of the retreat, participants are divided into smaller groups that meet throughout the year.
The program's organizing unit is the individual class portfolio, where each faculty member develops a new or revised course curriculum. Within their small groups, faculty work with their peers to test and refine new teaching content and delivery methods. Each month, one of the small groups presents a workshop for the Teaching Project as a whole, as well as for other interested faculty and graduate students.
While completed individual class portfolios are the tangible result, participants often note the additional value of the collegial working relationships they develop and the exchange of teaching techniques across disciplines.