About Formative Dialogues
Policies and Procedures
The LLU Formative Dialogues on Teaching Program provides formative dialogues on teaching with LLU faculty, both in formal instructional roles and in clinical settings. These dialogues will always be voluntary and undertaken only at the request of the faculty member requesting the dialogue. The dialogues will be undertaken exclusively for formative purposes and never for summative purposes. The program is entirely informal and will involve no paperwork.
All formative dialogues will remain completely confidential. The Program Colleague will not discuss or reveal anything regarding the dialogue to any person other than the requesting faculty member. The only factors of record regarding the dialogues that will be maintained by the Program will be the number of dialogues that have taken place per academic year, categorized as per school. No names will be recorded or maintained.
"I avoided having a Formative Dialogue for several months because I didn't think I had the time. When I finally got around to it, I realized that I had been procrastinating for no good reason. The whole process took about an extra hour and a half - and the time was extremely well-invested." Faculty member
To assure the faculty member or teaching associate of the complete confidentiality of the dialogue, the Colleague participating in the dialogue will present a signed Statement of Confidentiality to the requesting faculty member or teaching associate. The Colleague who has provided a formative dialogue on teaching will report this to the Program Director, disclosing only the fact that a dialogue has been undertaken and the school of the requesting faculty member or teaching associate.
The method by which the Colleague will be chosen to provide a dialogue will be as follows: The requesting faculty member or teaching associate will be provided with a list of all Program Colleagues by the Program Director, containing contact information. The requesting faculty member or teaching associate will then make contact with a Colleague of her/his choosing. If the initial contact is successful for both the faculty member or teaching associate and the Colleague, the pair will make arrangements to proceed. If not, the requesting faculty member or teaching associate will be free to make contact with another Colleague(s) for the same purpose until a successful pairing is achieved.
Before a classroom visit by a Colleague, there will be a pre-visit(s) between the Colleague and the requesting faculty member or teaching associate. Also, before the dialogue occurs, the Colleague should request relevant background information from the requesting faculty member or teaching associate which may include such items as syllabus, sample of exams, class handouts, student and/or peer evaluations or other background materials that will make the dialogue more meaningful. Providing background information, however, will be strictly voluntary with the requesting faculty member or teaching associate. Within a week of the observation, the Colleague and the requesting faculty member will spend time together discussing the teaching observation.
To become certified as a Colleague of the Formative Dialogues on Teaching Program, a person must be a current LLU faculty member, must attend a Workshop on Formative Dialogues on Teaching, and regularly attend ongoing meetings of Project Colleagues. Certification workshops are held every winter quarter.
What Faculty Are Saying / Testimonials (Video)
Testimonials Regarding Formative Dialogues (Video)
LLU and IUP faculty who underwent a Formative Dialogue had the following to say about the program:
"It was really helpful -- _________ was very non-threatening -- she could have been very critical, but, instead, she encouraged me and helped me build on my strengths."
"I wasn't sure I wanted to go through with a dialogue once I stared the process, but I am glad I did."
"I really liked having _________________ come to my classroom. In fact, I tried to get him to come back again."
"Thanks for putting this program together. I have two dialogues this year with two different people and found them both extremely helpful."
"There were a few glitches, but we finally made it, and it was really great. As a result, I have made a number of improvements in my teaching. My students are already noticing and commenting. I especially appreciated the observation that I might be too negative in the way I was coming across. Hearing that from an impartial observer made me realize that it wasn't just the students who saw things that way. It's hard to change some things, but I think my Formative Dialogue helped me find some ways to improve."
"This program needs to be much more widely advertised. How can we get the word out about such a good thing?"
"How do you thank a faculty person for taking the time to really care and make a difference?"
"I avoided having a Faculty Dialogue for several months because I didn't think I had the time. When I finally got around to it, I realized that I had been procrastinating for no good reason. The whole process took about an extra hour and a half - and the time was extremely well-invested."