Teaching Roundtables

Each semester, the Rice Center for Teaching will select up to twelve faculty members to participate in the Teaching Roundtable program. Organized into self-governed and complementary groups of four, their only responsibilities will be to meet for discussion at least six times during the semester and to organize a round-robin schedule of class visits.

The intent of this program is promote the exchange of ideas about effective teaching in a social and explicitly non-evaluative setting. This is not about critiquing classroom performance. Rather, the roundtable groups are meant to discuss and develop pedagogy, and to observe and learn from different styles of teaching. Ideally, participation in the program will foster a spirit of collaboration and collegiality among faculty members that lasts beyond the funding period.

Eligibility. All faculty not on leave are eligible to participate. It is possible to participate more than once, but not in the same semester and not with the same set of colleagues. Preference will be given to those who have never before participated. Groups of size more or less than four can apply but require strong rationale and are normally considered only after groups of four have been approved.

Application Procedure. Beginning the 2024-25 academic year, self-formed groups of four faculty colleagues should submit their names, a list of the courses they will teach, and a short, one paragraph description of the rationale for the group composition to the staff of The Rice Center using this form.

Guidelines. Groups of four can be formed within or between departments, programs, or divisions. The groups can also be formed within or between faculty ranks. However, senior faculty members should not apply to join roundtable groups with junior colleagues who they will be in a position to evaluate for reappointment or tenure. We do not expect groups to form around shared expertise; however, the constitution of each group should be conducive to informed dialogue about pedagogy.

Deadline. The application deadlines are June 30 for participation during the fall semester and January 15 for participation during the spring semester. Applications will be accepted after these dates if the program is not full.

Reporting. Each group is asked to submit a short report describing the process and schedule of their discussions and class visits, and reflecting on the value of the experience. Please submit reports to the staff of the Rice Center within one month of the end of the semester.

Incentive. Roundtable participants will receive a $500 research grant or salary supplement, plus six reimbursed lunches to be taken at the Faculty Club or a similarly priced restaurant. Please note that while it is possible to participate in this program more than once, the incentive payment is limited to three times. Also note that the incentive is not available to the same group of four (or substantially the same group) more than once.

Additional support. The Rice Center can provide minimal funding for resources for your group, such as buying books or other supplies. The Rice Center can also provide a camera and microphone if your group would like to record a class session.