The Coulter Faculty Commons exists to support a campus community centered on excellence
in teaching and learning. We provide a wide variety of services to support teaching
and learning, including consultations, assessments, workshops, publications, and more.
These services are available to Western Carolina University faculty, staff, and graduate
Teaching and Learning Services
All consultations and services are voluntary, confidential and are conducted with
high professional standards. Consultation topics include, but are not limited to,
course analysis, course observations, rubrics, syllabus and schedule construction,
Scholarship of Teaching and Learning projects, Universal Design for Learning (UDL), and hybrid course design. Consultations may also cover work-life balance and other
issues related to faculty support. To request any of these services, please contact
the Coulter Faculty Commons, or visit our offices in Hunter Library.
Assessment The two main types of assessment at WCU are Course Assessment and Program
Assessment. Course Assessment evaluates the effectiveness of instruction whereas Program
Assessment evaluates if a program serves its intended purpose. Making better use of
assessment data improves the value of any course or program in the following ways:
- Stronger course design
- Thorough analysis of assessment data
- Effective education about assessment tools
- Improved program clarification
- Better understanding of assessment processes
- Increased usability of assessment results
Academic Integrity Support
Honesty is an important part of the education process and needs to be maintained to
make college worth more than a degree alone. WCU created the Academic Integrity Policy to uphold this standard, focusing on four main offenses that threaten the quality
of student education:
Cheating - The use or attempted use of unauthorized materials, information, or study aides
in any academic exercise
Plagiarism - Representing the words or ideas of someone else in one’s own academic work without
Fabrication - Creating or falsifying information or citations
Facilitation - Helping or attempting to help the commission of a violation of the Academic Integrity
Learn More About our Academic Integrity Support
Small Group Analysis
Small Group Analysis is a method used to evaluate the effectiveness of teaching strategies
in order to help instructors improve their techniques and offer better educational
experiences. This exercise provides the instructor with constructive feedback from
students by keeping the suggestions anonymous and encouraging free communication by
eliminating the pressure of direct confrontation.
Five Simple Steps to Complete:
- Instructors submit requests to schedule a date and time with an impartial member of
the Faculty Commons.
- The Instructor and CFC staff member meet to determine the purpose of the SGA.
- A CFC staff member attends arranged class period and takes 30 minutes without the
instructor present to obtain student feedback.
- The Faculty Commons staff member formulates the summaries into a report explaining
the student feedback.
- The CFC staff member and the Instructor have a final consultation discussing the report
and possible next steps.
Advantages to benefit long-term improvement:
- The anonymous nature makes students more comfortable sharing their feedback.
- The student feedback tells instructors which elements of their teaching methods are
effective or could be more effective.
Trying to write your syllabus? Explore our tools and templates to help you fulfill
all the elements needed. Syllabus Resources
Other Publications and Resources