I have been a TAP Consultant since my second semester here at JMU, and, in recognition of the quality of the feedback I’m able to provide to my colleagues, have been invited back to participate in this program every year. Since becoming a TAP consultant I have been invited to perform TAPs in approximately 45 classes in many departments throughout the university.
In addition to being recognized for my contribution to teaching excellence at JMU, being a TAP consultant is also a valuable service for a number of reasons:
- By observing others’ courses and talking with them about their pedagogical strategies I gain a diversity of perspectives and ideas about what does and does not work within the classroom.
- I’m able to form connections with faculty in various departments across the university, some of which have evolved into research collaborations.
- I facilitate a process that directly results in the improvement of teaching and learning at JMU, thereby contributing to our Mission statement.
- I am able to be an advocate for continuous improvement in teaching ability and pedagogical knowledge among my colleagues.
- I’m able to contribute to the ongoing research at the CFI into the most effective methods for running a TAP. I contributed to the evolution of our “traditional” TAP into what has come to be known as the Learner-Centered TAP, so-called because it encourages learners to take more responsibility for their own learning in the courses that they take.
Participating as a TAP consultant is one of my favorite service activities at JMU. It’s very difficult to quantify the value that I’ve gained from working in this program, particularly the relationships I’ve been able to form with members of the CFI staff and other other TAP consultants. I’ve actually encouraged other faculty members to become TAP consultants, and they have done so.