The Process of Progress: A Teaching and Learning Center Examines the Adaptation of Active Learning Across the Disciplines


The authors examine four instructors’ participation in a one-year teaching fellowship and consider the resulting growth in their teaching. The disciplines represented are accounting, English, computer science, and marriage and family therapy. Faculty development consultants working with these instructors discussed the incorporation of active-learning pedagogies and sought to document possible change with feedback gathered from small-group instructional diagnoses (SGIDs), formal university student evaluations, and instructor interviews. Upon consideration, the authors recognize that taking into account an instructor’s discipline, background experience, personal context, and willingness to engage in self-reflection plays a significant role in faculty development and Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL) practice, and that faculty developers must appreciate the developmental process and celebrate even small changes in teaching. Further, the authors realize that active-learning methodology falls along a continuum of simple to complex, and activities at either end of that spectrum can be effective.