Empowering Teaching Practice Program


Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota already has some of the best teachers in the Midwest. In many classes, students are involved in experiential learning, active learning, flipped classrooms, and technology-enhanced education. The Empowering Teaching Practice Program helps instructors take their teaching to the next level by fostering a community of people interested in developing a teaching practice, introducing and developing best practices in teaching and learning, and reflecting on how teaching connects to the good life.

The notion of a teaching practice might sound unfamiliar to some faculty, but we believe it is a goal worth reaching for. You can read more about the idea on this post.

At the core of the program are three important principles:

  • design thinking
  • inclusion
  • community

The program advocates moving to design thinking about learning experiences, rather than simply imparting information. It takes seriously the challenge of inclusion in the 21st century higher ed classroom, and it continually returns to the idea that we are not alone in developing a teaching practice.

The program also supports faculty who are looking to enhance their teaching practice with new technologies. 

The program is completely modular, and there is a module for everyone from the new instructor looking to develop a teaching practice to the senior professor looking to learn a new technique or solve a problem in his or her teaching practice. You could ask for resources, a peer observation of your class, or help getting past an obstacle in designing a new course. We will even administer a midterm evaluation in your class and pass along the feedback.

The program also tries to support scholarship of teaching and learning by faculty and staff at Saint Mary’s, and once someone has been through the program, they are invited to join the Peer Observation Corps in order to enlarge the reach of the program to anyone who wants expert feedback on his or her teaching.

For more information, or to arrange an observation or consultation, just fill out the form below.

ETP Core Services

Individual Consultations

  • Syllabus analysis and backwards design
  • Intake sit-down and goal setting
  • In-class observations
  • Rubric and report
  • Midterm Evaluation Opportunities
  • Teaching Improvement Plans

Modern Teaching Skills Curriculum

  • Classroom Management
  • Backwards design
  • Active learning activities
  • Incorporating Assessment
  • Inclusive and Culturally Responsive Teaching
  • Problem-based Learning
  • Teaching for Higher Order Thinking

Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Support

  • Educational research design support
  • Publication searches
  • Journal resources
  • Conference resources

Lasallian Development

  • Resources from Lasallian PLC
  • Saint Mary’s Lasallian Formation Opportunities

Learning Technology Support

  • Canvas training
  • Learning Management System experience design
  • Active Learning Classroom Environment support
  • Emerging Educational Technology Explorations

Peer Observation Corps

  • Train-the-trainer approach
  • Long term viability
  • Connections with individual departments

Empowering Teaching Practice Interest Form