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Northwestern University

Team Teaching Policy

Our longstanding policy has been that the first time a course is team-taught by two faculty members, both faculty will receive one full teaching credit for the course.  This remains the default policy.

However, in recognition of the value of interdisciplinarity, including in our pedagogy, the Dean’s Office will entertain exceptional requests from faculty who would like to team-teach a course, and who believe it is appropriate  receive “full teaching credit” for doing so, in accordance with the principles outlined below.  (Here, “full teaching credit” means one full teaching credit for each of the faculty members who is doing the team teaching.)  

To submit a request for full teaching credit for a team-taught course, each faculty member who plans to teach the course must submit an application in writing to his or her chair in the academic year prior to the anticipated course.  The letter, which should identify all of the other faculty who are part of the team-teaching effort, must address the (intellectual, pedagogical, or logistical) justification for the need for the team-teaching format for the course.  Once approved by the department chair, the application must be submitted to and reviewed by the Associate Dean for Faculty. 

Approval of full teaching credit requires that

(1) the proposed course does not infringe on any department’s ability to staff the courses it needs to offer,

(2) each faculty member who is asking for full teaching credit will attend and participate in each session of the course, and

(3) the (anticipated) enrollment for the course is at least n times greater than the minimum enrollment number for courses at that level [where n = the # of proposed faculty teachers and n > 2 will almost never be permitted].  (If actual enrollments do not satisfy this condition prior to the start of term, the course will be canceled.)  

No proposal which fails to satisfy (1)-(3) will be approved. 

For those proposals which do satisfy (1)-(3), approval will be based on the overall justification for the team-taught format.  Special consideration will be given to courses that

  1. are taught by faculty from different departments, and so have a substantial interdisciplinary aspect,
  2. have (anticipated) enrollments far greater than the minimal enrollment described in (3) above, and
  3. have special pedagogical, intellectual, or logistical reasons for requiring a team-taught format.  

The Dean’s Office will restrict the number of faculty who are authorized to team-teach a course in any given academic year, as a function of the size of the faculty’s home department; this is intended to reduce the stress on any department’s teaching resources.

Those faculty who would like to continue to team teach a course but who are content to receive a half-credit each after the first time do not need to apply to do so. 

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