Date of this Version
The Clinic to Improve University Teaching, an initiative of the University of Massachusetts at Amherst with funding support by the Kellogg Foundation, produced a 16 mm. film in 1975. Although the original 16 mm. film seems to be lost, Michael Melnik (the first Director of the Clinic) saved one of the original 3/4” videocassettes made from the film. These videocassettes were mailed to many colleges and universities in the U.S. and internationally to inform administrators and others about the Clinic Process and hopefully inform the founding of similar programs at their own institutions. In 2011, the University of Massachusetts at Amherst converted the video to mpeg format, and Michael donated the original videotape to the POD Archives.
According to The Clinic’s Teaching Improvement Process: Working Material (1977), the Clinic was begun in 1972 when Dwight W. Allen, then Dean of the School of Education, saw merit in Michael A. Melnik’s dissertation on “The Development and Analysis of a Clinic to Improve University Teaching” (1972). Allen and Melnik won a five-year grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation in 1972 to develop Melnik’s clinic-based approach to improving teaching and make written materials and training available to other institutions of higher learning.
This video demonstrates the use of videotaped observations, the TABS system of student ratings of instruction, a post-observation meeting, and microteaching. Among the staff who are shown in the video are Dwight Allen, Michael Melnik, George Bryniawsky, Glenn Erickson, Bette Erickson, Paul Adams, Chris Dagget, Luann Wilkerson, Michael Jackson, Elizabeth (“Libby”) Klemmer, Mumtaz Nathani, and Bobbi Kaufmann
The Clinic Process is central to POD’s history. When POD was founded in 1976, it drew from several well-established models of faculty development. Chief among these was the University of Massachusetts at Amherst’s “Clinic to Improve University Teaching.” The Clinic Process used microteaching, confidential one-on-one consultations, consultant-led analysis of student evaluations, classroom observations, and videotaped classroom teaching examples. The process was disseminated through publications by the Clinic staff, by this videotape, by the Clinic staff’s participation in POD, and through publication of Bergquist & Phillips’ A Handbook for Faculty Development (1975), which could be found in most of the teaching centers of the 1970s. Through the success of POD, the Clinic Process became the key model for faculty development at thousands of teaching centers around the U.S. and informed the practice of teaching centers around the world.
Several of the graduate students who served as consultants at the Clinic later became Presidents of POD. These included LuAnn Wilkerson (Senior Associate Dean for Medical Education at the David Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California at Los Angeles) in 1984, Bette Lasere Erickson (Director of University of Rhode Island’s Instructional Development Program) in 1985-1986, and Mary Deane Sorcinelli (Associate Provost for Faculty Development and associate professor in the Department of Educational Policy and Research Administration, University of Massachusetts Amherst) in 2001.