DATS@DU and Teaching Excellence Task Force Updates

Sep 5, 2022

By: Leslie Cramblet Alvarez, Director of the Office of Teaching and Learning


Join us on October 14th to celebrate and learn about the 2022 DAT proposals for change!


Since March 2022, the inaugural cohort of Departmental Actions Teams (DATs@DU) has been hard at work reimagining the teaching evaluation processes in their departments. Following a model articulated by CU Boulder, three DAT facilitatorsDrs. Barbekka Hurtt and Jared Del Rosso, both Faculty Fellows of Teaching and Learning; and Director of University Teaching, Virginia Pittssupported these working groups to achieve two goals:

  1. Create sustainable change around a broad-scale issue related to teaching evaluation in the department or program by shifting structures and culture
  2. Help DAT participants become change agents by developing their facilitation and leadership skills

DATs and facilitators attended the Spring Provost Conference Series events along with the campus community, staying after for “Super DAT” sessions in which they workshopped, learned from one another, and engaged with external experts. As individual DATs, they met monthly to consider their own practices, review models for evaluating teaching, and consider new approaches that work within their departmental context.

In June, the inaugural DATs@DU cohort had a 1.5 day retreat to dig into the three established deliverables of this 10-month experience:

  1. Create or adapt tools to assess teaching quality that include the faculty voice, student voice, and peer voice
  2. Create a proposal that articulates processes for how these tools will be implemented
  3. Implement teaching evaluation tools and processes in the department/program

Supported by the Office of Teaching and Learning, the DAT program is a three-year project among the Teaching and Faculty Satisfaction initiatives funded by R1 Our Way. The application for Cohort 2 of DATs@DU will open this fall. New DATs will begin their work in winter 2023.

DATS Cohort 1 Group Photo

DAT Summer Workshop Cohort 1

Cohort 1 of DATs@DU
University Writing Program, led by Executive Director and Associate Professor Sheila Carter-Tod, University Academic Programs

  • Angela Sowa
  • Juli Parrish
  • Rob Gilmor
  • Sarah Hart Micke
  • Brad Benz
  • Richard Colby
  • Joe Ponce

First-Year Language Program, Center for World Languages and Cultures, led by Teaching Assistant Professor Emily Sposeto, College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences

  • Kate Rice
  • Maha Foster
  • Polina Maksimovich
  • Virginie Cassidy

Teaching and Learning Sciences, led by Clinical Professor Norma Hafenstein, Morgridge College of Education

  • Rashida Banerjee
  • Devadrita Talapatra
  • Rachel Lim
  • Kayla McCreadie

While DATs@DU are digging into department- and program-level changes, the Teaching Excellence Task Force (TETF) is grappling with policy and structural changes to reduce bias in teaching evaluation. In AY2122, the Task Force was led by Drs. Jared Del Rosso (Sociology) and Leslie Cramblet Alvarez (OTL). The group is finalizing a report for Faculty Senate and will resume meetings this fall, zeroing in on reviewing and revising existing metrics like student evaluations of teaching.

Teaching Excellence Task Force, 20212022

  • Jared Del Rosso (Faculty Chair), continuing member
  • Leslie Cramblet Alvarez (co-Chair), continuing member
  • Paula Adamo, Spanish Language, Literary, and Cultural Studies, new member
  • Jillian Blueford, MCE, continuing member
  • Richard Colby, Writing Program, new member
  • Michelle Kruse-Crocker, University College, continuing member
  • Claude d’Estree, Korbel, continuing member
  • Barbekka Hurtt, Biological Sciences, continuing member

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