September 16, 2021

Reflective Practitioner Program aims to recognize professional development

A team from the CALMIT lab built a mobile hyperspectral scanning system to teach students scanning since the basement darkroom in Hardin Hall does not allow for social distancing.  Craig Chandler, University Communication

A student works in a classroom with a mobile hyperspectral scanning system.

Months before the new semester, faculty can be found toiling away at lesson plans, updating syllabi, and asking some familiar questions — Is this content engaging? Is the content accessible? Will this project enhance the class?

To honor these dedicated instructors at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln who are constantly looking for new ways to improve how students learn, the Center for Transformative Teaching has created the Reflective Practitioner Program.

“The Reflective Practitioner Program seeks to encourage, recognize and reward professional development and community building in teaching and learning,” said Brian Wilson, instructional designer with the center.

Participants in the program will move their way through a bronze, silver and gold level by attending workshops, participating in teaching observations, and reflecting on teaching and learning activities.

“Silver and gold participants will also be eligible to apply for specific CTT teaching grants,” said Nick Monk, director of the Center for Transformative Teaching.

The program, which has been in development for two years, was started by Monk and came to fruition with the help of Wilson and Steven Cain, another instructional designer at CTT.

“We hope to create a community of practice in teaching and learning that is focused on student success, inclusion, evidence-based practices and innovation,” Monk said. “By creating a process of recognition that instructors can use to show as evidence of high-quality teaching, we will elevate the status of teaching and learning at Nebraska.”

The program underwent several major revisions based on feedback from instructors and administrators throughout the university before the program was finalized. Any member of the teaching community at Nebraska is eligible to apply.

“The program will be in pilot for academic year 2021-2022,” Wilson said. “Anyone interested in the program can visit the webpage and fill out the form to get program updates, including when registration is open for future academic years.”

Further questions about the program can be directed to Nick Monk at