L&S Policy Guidance: Team Teaching or co-teaching in L&S
This document offers guidance about team-teaching in the College of Letters & Science, including factors to be considered by departments and programs that are considering and approving requests for teaching assignments involving team-teaching and collaboration.
Definition: In this document, we use “team teaching” to refer to the instructional arrangement of a course where two (or more) instructors are responsible for the teaching responsibilities and the arrangement accounts for part of their teaching loads.
Policy: Team teaching arrangements and its accounting with regards to the instructors’ teaching load are to be reviewed and approved by the Academic Divisional Dean and Associate Dean for Teaching and Learning Administration.
Background: L&S departments and programs are expected to deliver their curriculum and meet enrollment demands. Each L&S department has a teaching load for its faculty and instructional staff that is reported to and discussed with L&S Administration annually, and which is reviewed as part of the regular Short-Term Staffing allocation. It is common practice that one instructor has the full responsibility for the instruction of one course section and that counts as full credit for one of the courses in their teaching load. When a section of a course is team taught, the department has to decide how the teaching credits are accounted for and have it reviewed and approved by L&S Administration.
Implementation: Departments proposing a team taught arrangement for a course are asked to submit a request via email to Associate Dean for Teaching & Learning Administration that includes the following information:
- Course syllabus
- Description of the team teaching arrangement between the instructors and the rationale for it
- Description of accounting of the instructors’ teaching load with the co-teaching arrangement
After an approved team-taught course has been taught at least once, and the department/program has determined how the course fits into its overall instructional profile in terms of course array and workload, further approval of the team-teaching aspect of the course is not required.
Team teaching works well when two (or more) instructors fully collaborate to enrich student learning. Collaborators design the course together and are active and collaborate throughout the course. Course design involves full collaboration to develop the syllabus and materials, instructional strategies, assignments, assessment procedures, and policies for the course.
The following factors should be considered by the department/program, and should be addressed in the request to team teach a course:
- The benefits of team teaching should be “baked in.” That is, the syllabus should reflect how this instructional design enriches student learning in the course.
- The proposed course should not infringe on any department or program’s ability to staff other courses it needs to offer.
- Team-taught courses should not have a negative effect on the department/program’s contribution to instruction. In other words, these courses are expected to enroll at least as many students as would have enrolled in separate courses that otherwise would have been taught.
- Course Design. Departments and programs should consider designing purpose-built team-taught courses,
- Teaching Metrics. Enrollments are allocated to departments using the standard “Credits Follow Instructor” rules. That is, when multiple instructors are assigned to a course, credits are allocated equally among those instructors, according to the set of rules that apply to that individual’s payroll allocation.