NTU's Center for Teaching and Learning Development Absorbs Experiences From Famous American Universities in an Effort to Upgrade the Teaching Quality of NTU
In an effort to extensively absorb the operating experiences of Teaching Development Centers of foreign universities, a delegation from NTU paid a seven-day visit to three public research-type universities located in the central part of the United States. This delegation, led by NTU's Dean of Academic Affairs, and comprised of the director of the Center for Teaching and Learning Development, various section chiefs, and several research fellows, visited the campuses of the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, Indiana University at Bloomington, and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign..
The targets of the visit are divided into two levels. Level one is the administrators responsible for educational policies such as Vice President or Dean of Academic Affairs, and the purpose is to understand the strategies employed by various universities in upgrading teaching quality; the second level is the agencies responsible for upgrading teaching quality, and the purpose is to understand their actual operations.
All three universities which the delegation visited resemble NTU in that they are all publicly funded research universities. Speaking from their past experiences, relevant personnel at the three universities indicated that changing a campus culture was not something that could be achieved over a short period of time, and the degree of difficulty was even higher in a research university, where the pressure of research usually reaches a boiling point.
All top administrators of the three universities pointed out that the newly hired faculty members are the group of people most worthy of investment in terms of time and effort, because for one thing, their malleability is usually the highest, and for another, they have long teaching careers ahead of them. These administrators also gave positive comments to the New Faculty Training Camps initiated by NTU from last year, saying that the camp activity not only was indicative of the emphasis placed upon teaching by NTU, but also was instrumental in letting the new teachers understand NTU's overall vision and the students' expectations of the teachers. In addition, these administrators pointed out that in a first rate university, significant activities required voluntary and spontaneous participation on the part of facultymembers. Although changing campus culture takes considerable time, NTU has nevertheless taken the first important step, and it is believed that achieving the goal of pursuing excellence in teaching can be soon expected.