Building KU's Teaching and Learning Community


African & African-American Studies

The Arabic language program in the Department of African and African-American Studies (AAAS) will use the Benchmarks rubric to employ mechanisms of high fidelity of implementation of effective foreign language teaching. The department emphasizes proficiency-based instruction with communicative and task-based language teaching strategies. Currently the department utilizes classroom observations and student evaluations conducted at the end of the semester as the primary means of evaluating instructional practices. However, they feel that the practices do not provide sufficient evaluation of teaching effectiveness, as they are not holistic and are without a means of tracking growth over time. Consequently, they plan to use the rubric as a tool for holistic evaluation of teaching effectiveness so that instructors have opportunities to learn from the feedback.

The team plans to pilot the implementation of the rubric in the Arabic language program and then expand use to the rest of the language programs within African and Diasporic Languages. The Benchmarks framework will be used to assess the teaching of language lecturers and graduate teaching assistants’ in the department. The framework will also be used to mentor new language lecturers, graduate teaching assistants and Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching Assistants to assure that they adhere to the practice of high quality teaching and meet the departmental expectations.

CTE turns 25

The Center for Teaching Excellence is celebrating its 25th birthday this academic year. Watch for special events and workshops.