Reflective Teaching Community | Webster University

Reflective Teaching Community

reflective teaching community

Are you looking for new ways to deliver your course content that move beyond the traditional lecture? Are you curious about exploring new techniques for determining if your students truly understand the course material? Perhaps you are just simply looking for a way to “shake things up” and increase student engagement? Do you wish there was a forum where you could share your teaching experiences and learn from others? Join your fellow Webster faculty members at the Reflective Teaching Community to discuss these issues and much more.

The Reflective Teaching Community (RTC) meets monthly to discuss topics in teaching and learning in a supportive environment of like-minded colleagues. We invite all full-time and part-time faculty and academic partners to join us as we share teaching perspectives and experiences across disciplines.

This year’s theme for RTC is "Knowing We Matter: Assessing Our Impact in the Classroom." As teachers dedicated to engaged learning, how do we know that our efforts make a difference? This year’s Reflective Teaching Community will focus on assessing how well we’re helping our students learn. Articles and discussions will feature several recurring topics, including creating opportunities for change in our teaching, understanding our students’ perceptions of teaching effectiveness, helping our students grow through meaningful assessment, and practical advice for increasing our own motivation to develop as teachers and scholars.

Meeting dates for 2018-19:

  • Friday, September 7, 2018
  • Friday, October 5, 2018
  • Friday, November 2, 2018
  • Friday, December 7, 2018
  • Friday, February 1, 2019
  • Friday, March 1, 2019
  • Friday, April 5, 2019

RTC Schedule 2018-19

Friday, September 7, 2018
Topic: Knowing We Matter As Teachers
Facilitator: Molly Stehn, Department of Professional Counseling

Topic Description: The past few years of RTC have focused on engaged learning techniques that support our students’ agency, motivation, and success. Our group remains highly dedicated to supporting student engagement, but how do we know whether our efforts are making a real difference in our students’ learning? This first session of the RTC will address how both students and teachers define teaching effectiveness as we begin our year-long exploration of assessing our impact.

Friday, October 5, 2018
Topic: How Do I Know Whether My Students Are Getting It?
Facilitator: Carla Colletti, Music Department

Topic Description: This session of RTC will be dedicated to sharing how we create opportunities to assess our students’ learning as we teach. What sorts of classroom assessment techniques do Webster instructors like to use, and what do we think works? How do we build skills such as self-reflection, resilience, and metacognition into such assessments? And how do we close the loop by using our students’ feedback to inform our teaching?

Friday, November 2, 2018
Topic: How to Prepare for Class without Overpreparing
Facilitator: Bruce Umbaugh, Department of Philosophy

Topic Description: When we focus on how much content we have to get through in a class session, we can end up putting the spotlight on ourselves, losing sight of our students. By refocusing our attention on student learning rather than content, we can cut down on the amount of time we spend prepping while also emphasizing active and collaborative learning. This session will address practical techniques that minimize prep, maximize learning, and allow us to quickly assess how well our students are understanding and applying material.

Friday, December 7, 2018
Topic: I Have No Time! Creating Change Amidst the Hustle
Facilitator: David Werfelmann, Music Department

Topic Description: With diverse demands on our attention and time, we often feel as if we don’t have the personal resources to invest in our growth as teachers; we’re simply doing the best we can for our students. This session will address manageable ways that we can support our own growth as teachers and scholars, recover from burnout, and continue to feel motivated to enhance our teaching.

Friday, February 1, 2019
Topic: Please Read My Comments!
Facilitator: Morgan Grotewiel, Department of Psychology

Topic Description: Most of us believe that instructor feedback is an essential component of our students’ learning. But experience tells us that our students may not read or absorb our feedback, or that they simply don’t know how to make the changes we’re suggesting. This session suggests that if we see assessment and feedback as a two-way street, we can help our students become more adept at using our feedback to enhance their learning.

Friday, March 1, 2019
Topic: Teaching with Empathy and Analyzing My Implicit Biases 
Facilitator: Muthoni Musangali, Department of Professional Counseling

Topic Description: As we assess our impact in the classroom, we also see the value in assessing how our implicit biases affect how we interact with students and how we conceive of their motivations. This session will focus on how self-reflection of our conscious and unconscious biases can lead us to greater empathy as teachers, helping to give us confidence that we can better serve all of our students.

Friday, April 5, 2019
Topic: Becoming a Scholarly Teacher

Facilitator: Victoria McMullen, Department of Teacher Education

Topic Description: How do we move from being reflective teachers to being scholarly teachers? By shifting our thinking and with a little planning, we can all begin to see ourselves as producers and disseminators of knowledge about pedagogy. In this final session of the RTC, we will bring together the various threads from throughout the year in order to discuss how assessment practices and the scholarship of teaching and learning (SoTL) can support our students’ success. In doing so, we’ll discover small, simple ways that we can take strides toward producing SoTL work.

All of our meetings are held on Fridays from 12 to 1 pm in the Faculty Development Center Suite (Emerson Library 420), and a pizza lunch is served. Join us!

To RSVP for any of the meetings, or for more information about engaged learning at Webster, please contact Liza Dister, Faculty Development Coordinator, at or (314) 246-7602.

Click here for RTC's Principles of Engaged Learning at Webster.

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FDC Contact Info
Phone: 314-246-8243
Toll-free: 1-866-963-8243

Emerson Library Suite 420
Office Hours: M-F
8:30 am - 4:30 pm CT