Center for Teaching Excellence
Frequently Asked Questions
- How can it benefit me?
If your mission at USMA is teaching cadets, the CTE can help you discover the best methods for teaching your discipline. College teaching today is far more than simply delivering information. The technological advances of the twentieth century have shown that today's learners need to know how to learn, to develop critical thinking skills, and to be adept at information literacy. At the same time, nationally, we are finding students arriving at college less able to function as independent learners than their counterparts a generation ago. Instructional methods that worked well in the past often are ineffective with today's learners. The CTE can help you meet the challenge of challenging your cadets.
- How does it work?
Participation in CTE events is voluntary. You will receive information about CTE offerings either through the CTE website or e-mail messages. Every faculty member is cordially invited to take advantage of these opportunities to share ideas with faculty members from other departments. The CTE also responds to individuals. Through a phone call or e-mail message, you can personally request a consultation with the CTE to help you with your teaching in any way (you may have a question you'd like to pose about classroom management or leading discussions, for example). We will also visit your class on request and provide an assessment of your teaching. ALL individual consultations are confidential.
- I have heard that time is a precious commodity at USMA. How will I find time for CTE events?
As far as possible, the CTE tries to schedule multiple sessions of its activities to accommodate faculty schedules, but the finite nature of time will always be an issue. That's why we make an effort to reach out to USMA faculty members through multiple means. We maintain an extensive public website, and we are continually developing both it and our internal Sharepoint® site to provide services as well as current information for faculty members that they can access at any time.
- I am used to being successful in what I do. Why would I need help with teaching?
The most successful teachers are those who are always learning. Sharing ideas with colleagues, developing new techniques, and learning about learning are a continual process for teachers. The CTE tries to make it easier for faculty members to share instructional experiences and ideas with colleagues throughout the Academy.
- Is there anything that the CTE does not do related to teaching?
The CTE does not get involved in rating instructors in any way. Our work is designed to be formative, not evaluative. All faculty consultations are confidential.
- Will any of this help me in my career as a military officer?
Yes! Senior officers have indicated that the skills and competencies of a good instructor are also those of a good field grade officer—i.e., the ability to assess the level of the learner, to design and implement a course of instruction and to assess learning. By developing these competencies at USMA, you will be better prepared for your future work in the Army.
- How do I contact the CTE?
E-mail is the fastest and easiest way. Click here to e-mail the CTE Director , Dr. Mark Evans. You can also phone him at x5502.