At Northcentral University, we reject the “sage on stage” model of teaching – where a professor stands in the front of the room and lectures. It was never very effective in the traditional classroom, and is disastrous in an online course. Instead, we use a model, unique to NCU, called Teaching Through Engagement (TTE), © where the goal is for our students, faculty, and team members to be actively “engaged” in the University community. It is the model of faculty-student interaction that NCU uses to foster learning in our online environment.
How do we define engagement?
With engagement being the core concept behind our TTE© pedagogy – NCU defines engagement as an authentic interaction that uses technology to facilitate genuine, systematic, and substantive dialogue before, during and after the creation and/or application of scholarship.
Engagement is more than just grading and giving feedback, however. The goal of our faculty is to help students become experts in their fields – as professionals, practitioners, and scholars. As such, it requires robust interaction between faculty and student throughout the learning process, which helps grow students from novices to experts.
More about TTE pedagogy at NCU
As the guiding pedagogy for faculty at NCU, TTE© involves understanding a student, both personally and professionally, and tailoring our interactions to meet them where they are and guide them to graduation. It speaks to the importance of being authentic in our interactions with students from the first moment of the course, to the final review of the feedback. It is genuinely teaching in an engaged and holistic way, providing for a reciprocal feedback loop between faculty-to-student, student-to-student and student-to-faculty.
Our 100% doctoral credentialed faculty engage with students in a unique one-to-one model. This requires faculty who are not only discipline experts, but also facilitators, mentors and guides. When it works as designed, a student will graduate after being mentored by seven to ten unique mentors, each with their own views of the discipline, research and the profession.
TTE© is a philosophy that uses an understanding of best practices in teaching, sensitivity to diversity, a quest for inclusion, and the harnessing of technologies to provide a first-class graduate learning experience for our students. We believe that we can work toward a more inclusive educational experience when we take the time to understand our students’ contexts and unique needs through building relationships with them. The gift of this perspective is that in broadening our understanding of the needs of our students, we welcome in a group of scholars who can and will improve the human condition.