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Teaching and Learning Goal

Foster intellectually challenging teaching practices that actively engage students’ critical and creative faculties while emphasizing the University’s commitment to the liberal arts and professional programs.


Strategy A: Enhance Support for Strengthening Teaching.

I.A1:    Augment existing and develop new strategies that enhance creativity, critical thinking, and intellectual curiosity, including but not limited to:

  • Project-based courses and co-curricular activities across the curriculum.
  • Course and assignment design that encourages collaboration among students, both in and out of class.
  • Creativity, innovation, and inquiry-based learning approaches that foster deep student curricular and co-curricular engagement within and across disciplines.
  • Formal and informal collaborative learning opportunities for faculty, staff and students.
  • Enhanced faculty collaborations across disciplines, departments, programs and divisions.
  • Foster and support team-teaching opportunities for faculty.

I.A2:    As a complement to current requirements for promotion and tenure,  recognize and support scholarship aimed at developing pedagogies and teaching materials. 

I.A3:    Foster an environment that allows us to effectively respond to changing modes of instruction and pedagogy.

Outcome: Identify and explore appropriate “new media” for campus environment.

Outcome: Provide incentives for faculty and students who use technology to enhance learning and avenues for them to share their learning experiences with others on campus.

Outcome: Offer faculty-development workshops that give faculty a chance to experiment with using new media to enhance existing courses.

Outcome: Provide a faculty development program that models cross-disciplinary teaching strategies and projects.

Outcome: Provide internal grant opportunities to fund cross-disciplinary course development and research projects.

Outcome: Provide incentives and time to allow faculty to investigate new methods and technologies of teaching.

Outcome: Collaborate with and seek insight from peer and aspirant liberal arts colleges and national disciplinary associations to identify best practices and emerging pedagogies.

Outcome: Foster and provide incentives for faculty to develop course enhancements through technology where appropriate or to deepen their knowledge of existing online learning collaborative platforms. 

I.A4:    Make substantial use of assessment to improve student learning within each academic unit, General Education category and flag, and co-curricular student learning centered programs.                     

I.A5:    Enhance programs such as teaching circles and information-literacy activities to encourage collaborative faculty work. Foster cooperation by expanding support for professional travel focused on teaching and pedagogy goals, especially to venues where best practices are shared and innovative practices are discussed.

Strategy B: Strengthen Student-Learning Opportunities. Foster innovative and intellectually challenging teaching practices that actively engage students’ critical and creative faculties and that address their diverse needs, backgrounds, and ambitions. Strengthen and integrate academic advising, tutoring, and other academic support structures to enhance student learning inside and outside of the classroom.

I.B1:     Create a structure for regular review and revision of the General Education Program. 

I.B2:     Strengthen and integrate high-impact educational practices.

             Study Abroad

Outcome: Expand international exchange programs with an emphasis on providing internships as part of the study-abroad experience.  Funding opportunities will be explored to ensure that socio-economic status is not a deterrent to off-campus study.


Outcome: Develop variable-credit internships so students may undertake a variety of internship experiences or a series of progressively more sophisticated internships within a single discipline.

            Service Learning

Outcome: Build upon the success of the Action Research Center and other service initiatives to expand academically rooted service-learning initiatives.

            Independent Research

Outcome: Explore the expansion of independent scholarly or artistic experiences for students, along with appropriate support for the advising faculty members. When appropriate, one of these will be part of a capstone experience within the major program.

I.B3:     Consider adding speaking skills to the curriculum as a complement to our work in writing.  Strengthen co-curricular experiences that enhance public speaking skills for students.  

I.B4:     Enhance learning opportunities through a more robust peer-tutoring program, which will provide meaningful work-study and enhance student retention.

Outcome: Develop University guidelines for peer tutoring to help students more easily access the help they need.

Outcome: Expand support for writing and discipline-specific tutoring.

Outcome: Continue to develop information-literacy tutoring and integration across the curriculum.

Outcome: Explore offering a tutoring course for credit.

Outcome: Support tutor training for diverse learners.

I.B5:     Recognize that advising provides students with a mentoring experience with faculty regarding not only the selection of meaningful courses and navigating the curriculum, but also identifying and pursuing their passions including a thoughtful complement of co-curricular and career experiences. 

Outcome: Examine the link between Gateway and first-year advising.

Outcome: Create and implement a meaningful review of the advising system.

Outcome: Integrate best practices for advising, which may include emphasis on a mentoring model and a more even distribution of advisees among the faculty.

Outcome: Place greater emphasis on finding and developing strong and dedicated advisors for our students.

Outcome: Create incentives to encourage and reward strong advisors.

Outcome: Develop and implement a regular evaluation process of advisors.

Outcome: Identify support for diverse learners including those with Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) accommodations.

I.B6      Establish student development programs to prepare students for post-baccalaureate fellowships.

Outcome:Create initiatives to identify students early in their undergraduate experience who may be good candidates for post-baccalaureate fellowships or service programs. Develop an advisory system to help these students position themselves to be competitive for these programs.

Strategy C: Supporting Scholarly and Artistic Achievement.  Recognize the interdependence of teaching and research and the multiplicity of relationships between them; strengthen and expand the existing support structures for scholarship and artistic production; develop new initiatives to promote a rigorous scholarly and creative environment; and foster productive cooperation between teaching and research in and outside of the classroom.

I.C1:     Strengthen and expand existing structures by maintaining the real monetary value of the faculty development programs, including travel and grants. 

I.C2:     Increase the support of the Post-Tenure Review program so more senior faculty can benefit. 

I.C3:     Expand research and artistic exchange and residency opportunities for faculty.  

I.C4:     Expand opportunities for student-faculty collaborations. 

I.C5:     Develop new initiatives by promoting external fund-raising through targeted endowment-building (e.g., the endowment for summer fellowships) and multi-year grants (e.g. the Mellon Foundation grants for Writing across the Disciplines, Information Literacy and Re-centering the Humanities). 

I.C6:     Expand opportunities for faculty collaboration. 

I.C7:     Provide funding for student participation in scholarly conferences.

Strategy D: Expand and Improve the Writing Program, Information Literacy, and Data Literacy. Continue to improve the University Writing Program, with particular attention to the integration of information literacy and a reform of the Gateway Colloquia.

I.D1:    Evaluate and reform the Gateway Colloquia.

Outcome: Identify shared outcomes for Gateway.

Outcome: Establish consistent oversight and review.

Outcome: Examine moving the Gateways into departments and programs.

Outcome: Consider offering all Gateways for first-year students in the fall semester.

I.D2:    Explore enhancing the profile and identity of IWU’s writing program nationally by pursuing the Certificate of Excellence for the Writing Program from the College Composition and Communication Conference. 

I.D3:    Continue to integrate information literacy into writing-in-the-disciplines outcomes for each department and program. 

I.D4:    Strengthen the writing-intensive requirement within each major. 

I.D5:    Enhance curricular offerings that develop data and information literacies. 

I.D6:    Develop writing and information-literacy bridge programs for at-risk students.

Strategy E:  Strategic Curricular Planning (SCP) should be carried out in an open, transparent, collegial, on-going, collaborative, and equitable way. The process will be guided by the extent to which the curricular component in question will affect the following core goals:  maintain or add congruency with IWU’s Mission and Vision; keep IWU current, distinctive or even unique; align with or enhance the current curriculum with corresponding resource allocations; and enhance student learning and educational outcomes.

A.E1:   To strengthen student learning and achieve these core goals, SCP will:

  • develop permanent processes to link resources and curriculum;
  • find mission-driven, systematic ways to offer an optimal number of courses, which may lead to reductions or additions in some places;
  • strengthen communication and collaboration within and among academic units and constituencies; 
  • provide opportunities to discuss and prioritize cross-campus curricular plans and make additions to or reductions from the curriculum based on current and projected resources;
  • work with faculty to identify curricular priorities for deciding what programs do or do not get a tenure-line, full-time visitor, or adjunct position.