Baylor University’s Academy for Teaching and Learning (ATL) has a two-fold mission: globally, to support and inspire a flourishing community of learning; locally, to promote the integration of teaching, scholarship, collegiality, and service in a Christian environment. This pursuit of wholeness reflects the University’s pursuit of personal and academic integrity: the integrated person in the integrated community.
The ATL is a resource center that supports development in the areas of teaching and collegiality by:
▪ facilitating teacher development through University Teaching Grants (UTG)
▪ fostering dialogue about pedagogy through Seminars for Excellence in Teaching (SET) and New Media Seminars (NMS)
▪ modeling positive pedagogical practices in the Summer Faculty Institute (SFI) and New Media Seminars (NMS)
▪ providing individual teaching assessments with video capture, written evaluations, and constructive feedback
▪ advancing the scholarship of teaching and learning by collating and disseminating teaching and learning resources
The ATL is a research center that supports development in the areas of teaching and scholarship by
▪ analyzing trends in higher education in ATL publications, including a proposed monthly newsletter, The Spark
▪ generating scholarship about teaching and learning for peer-reviewed journals
▪ interpreting cognitive issues relevant to teaching and learning in print materials and presentations
▪ codifying best pedagogical practices, including ways to use open educational resources to meet learning goals
▪ producing custom-designed educational materials for teachers and academic units, such as Course Trailers
HISTORY OF THE ATL
The ATL began in a major strategic proposal involving faculty, staff and students from all across the BU community. Many colleges and universities have long had centers to support teaching excellence. Baylor’s vision drew on those predecessors but went even farther. From its name to its nature, the ATL was designed to be a “school-within-a-school,” a program that focused on the most precious resources in any learning community: shared inquiry and transformative conversations
The ATL was founded in 2008 with the arrival of former director, Dr. Gardner Campbell. During his three years at the ATL, he worked to catalyze and support those goals. Many of the programs at the ATL were started during his time, but the ATL continues to grow and develop with these programs and other initiatives.
There’s a “virtuous cycle” deep within the heart of the university and its work. From shared inquiry and transformative conversations emerge much-needed innovation, vital projects, fresh ideas and deeper connections. Those results then drive further shared inquiry, and catalyze even more intensely transformative conversations. Likewise, the Academy for Teaching and Learning works with partners all across the Baylor community to support and inspire a flourishing community of learning.