Consultation Services

Drake Institute staff are happy to work with graduate students to discuss any aspect of teaching, including enhancing classroom techniques, developing course materials and documenting teaching effectiveness.

Consultants work closely with Graduate Teaching Associates (GTAs) to take a scholarly approach to teaching, informed by research and based on the process of asking questions, gathering data and planning responses. In many cases, consultants will work with graduate students to choose among several possible methods for gathering, analyzing and responding to feedback. 

To schedule a confidential consultation with a Drake Institute teaching consultant, please contact


Mid-Term Feedback

If you are a GTA looking for an effective way to gather student feedback, you may want to consider doing a Small Group Instructional Diagnosis (SGID) with a Drake Institute consultant. Instead of waiting until the end of the semester, one of our staff can visit your classroom (virtually or in-person) and get direct feedback from your students part-way through the term. This allows you to make any changes or to improve the way you pursue teaching in the classroom before the semester ends.  


Feedback Surveys

Drake Institute consultants can help construct midterm or end-of-term course instruments that can be tailored to course objectives. Once we have constructed and administered an instrument, we can also help interpret responses to your custom-designed feedback instrument, or even the SEI.


Classroom Observations

If you are considering having an outside party observe you and your students, Drake Institute consultants are happy to discuss the observation process and how it might help to improve or provide feedback on your teaching.    


Support for Graduate Assistant Teaching Award Nominees

Drake Institute staff hold consultation sessions for graduate students nominated for the Graduate School’s Graduate Associate Teaching Award. These consultations focus on preparing application materials for the award, including the development of a teaching portfolio.


Teaching Statements and Portfolios

Drake Institute consultants are also available to assist in constructing or revising a Statement of Teaching Philosophy (also called a Teaching Statement or Teaching Philosophy Statement) or a teaching portfolio. Teaching portfolios are a useful way for faculty and TAs to not only document teaching, but to reflect on areas for growth. One or both of these documents may be required when applying to careers in academia. 

Typically, a consultant will first discuss the reasons for preparing a portfolio, areas of the teaching process to be examined, the kinds of information to be collected, and how these materials will be analyzed and presented.

Subsequent meetings can be held as needed to discuss presenting these components as philosophy of teaching and goals, teaching responsibilities, representative course artifacts, teaching evaluation instruments, and course development or teaching improvement efforts. Consultants also assist in the review and organization of teaching portfolio materials to represent evidence of teaching responsibilities and effectiveness.