All students deserve an extraordinary education and faculty play a critical role in their success.
As part of NIU's support of innovative pedagogy, faculty members at NIU have the opportunity to participate in an Association of College and University Educators’ (ACUE) course on effective teaching.
Faculty members who participate will explore and implement research-based approaches to teaching designed to improve student engagement and persistence and promote deeper learning. Those who complete the entire 25-week course in effective teaching practices will earn the designation of "ACUE Distinguished Teaching Scholar" for NIU.
This initiative aligns with NIU’s mission, vision and values to provide students from diverse backgrounds a classroom experience that supports their success. The ACUE course incorporates culturally responsive teaching techniques and encourages those involved to engage in thought-provoking discussions and self-reflection around how to promote an inclusive class experience.
Beginning in Fall 2021, NIU is also offering ACUE's microcredential in Inclusive Teaching for Equitable Learning. This is a shorter, 8-week course that helps faculty develop a deeper understanding of implicit bias, microaggressions, stereotype threat, and imposter phenomenon.
Faculty play a critical role in students' success. The ACUE Effective Teaching Practices Program is giving NIU faculty tools to implement and support inclusive and innovative teaching.
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Build your teaching skills across these five core teaching competencies:
"One of the most important aspects of the course is that faculty have agreed to use the techniques they are learning in their current classes. This is an active course that covers all aspects of a pedagogically-sound course, from design to implementation to assessment. Faculty learn and develop a technique and then they put it into practice immediately.” - Provost Beth Ingram
"The cohort enables faculty to promote and implement the quality teaching and learning NIU is known for and represents an investment by the university in professional development. It’s a holistic course that takes the approach good teaching is inclusive teaching. Through the course, they will learn the types of practices that support student success for everyone.” - Stephanie Richter, director of faculty development and instructional support, CITL
"Faculty are sharing their insights and challenges and building connections. It is wonderful to see those relationships building. I believe they will be long-lasting relationships that will continue well beyond the course.” - Yvonne Johnson, multimodal teaching coordinator and ACUE course facilitator, CITL
"I have used the online weekly schedule to help students stay on track every week, built a stronger online community with syllabus activities, icebreakers and online question parking lots. These activities have significantly increased the online communication amongst students. Although I have been teaching online for 8 years, the ACUE course provided me with an arsenal of ideas to continuously improve my teaching which in turn would enhance the student learning experience.” - Shanthi Muthuswami, professor and ACUE teaching fellow, fall 2020 cohort, Engineering Technology
"We’re really pleased where we’re at today with the ACUE program and look forward to continuing the partnership with ACUE into the future. There is significant evidence that faculty who participate in extended faculty development (like the ACUE course) translate that learning into course materials and teaching approaches that lead to student learning gains." - Jason Rhode, executive director, CITL
ACUE. (2020). Inclusive and equitable teaching ACUE curriculum crosswalk.
ACUE. (n.d.). ACUE efficacy studies and reports.
ACUE. (2020). ACUE inclusive online teaching webinars.
ACUE Blog (2021, June 11). A 'clear signal' of institutional priorities at Northern Illinois University.
Gyurko, J. & Snow, M. (2020) Our “directive”: Quality teaching and learning. Change: The Magazine of Higher Learning, 52(5), 6-16. https://doi.org/10.1080/00091383.2020.1807873
NIU Board of Trustees. (2021, March 18). Association of College and University Educators (ACUE) partnership overview and progress update.
NIU Today. (2021, March 15). New faculty cohort continues to develop effective teaching practices.
NIU Today. (2020, September 21). New faculty cohort promotes effective teaching practices.
The cohort that begins in Spring 2021 will conclude at the end of September 2021.
Course consists of four blocks and each block includes six modules (each module focuses on specific aspects of the broader topic of the block).
The focus of the four blocks are:
The ACUE course is designed according to best practices in course design and delivery. There are weekly readings, technique talks that provide examples of instructional practices in action, assignments, due dates, and reflections. Basically, participants in the cohort learn about best practices for teaching and develop a way to use a technique in their course, and apply these practices in their courses. Reflections on how the activity went in the course are a part of most of the modules.
You can additionally find previews of course modules here.
The course consists of 25 online modules (on average, one completed per week) involving 2-3 hours of online content and engagement per week, as well as time spent on application of instructional practices in your classroom.
There will be a synchronous event/summary discussion at the end of each block. These will be recorded for those who are unable to attend.