The purpose of the Open Door Program is to provide opportunities for all faculty to observe good teaching practice.
In our inspections of our teaching faculty, we often make recommendations that may be difficult for new faculty. For example, we may tell the member that they need to better engage the students through a discussion or activity. While we might even suggest how to do this, it can be hard to visualize. One way to assist these community members is to offer them opportunities to view some of our best teachers. These opportunities will allow faculty to view how some award winning teachers create an engaging environment, how class is organized, how examples are integrated into lectures, how good labs are conducted, the variety of practices that lead to strong learning, etc.
Faculty who are known for their strong teaching practice (e.g. award winners) are 'opening their doors' of their classroom to allow fellow faculty to come in to observe them teaching. The teaching faculty who volunteer to open their doors have provided a list of days and times that they are willing to have guests in their classroom. These days and times will be made available to any faculty member upon contact with the LTO and any faculty member who wishes to visit may attend the class. Visiting faculty will be instructed to email the teaching faculty prior to coming to the class, as a way of limiting the number of visitors. Visitors will be observers only, may not ask questions or speak during the class; however, we recommend that they arrive a few minutes early to the class to meet the teaching faculty.
This program offers faculty an opportunity to learn of the variety of techniques used by some of Ryerson's best instructors. Potentially this could aid them in adopting some of these techniques. We expect that this program could be used as one vehicle to improve teaching through observational learning.