Keith Brown

Keith Brown

Department of Finance
Teaching Fellow

Throughout my career as a faculty member at University of Texas, I have spent a considerable amount time thinking about what constitutes good teaching. I have long felt that one of the true ironies of education at this level is that while professors are invariably well trained in their academic disciplines, we are often poorly equipped from a pedagogical standpoint to handle the challenges of the classroom. In an effort to bridge my own gap in that area, some time ago I reached out to Faculty Innovation Center to learn more about the craft of teaching and to help improve my overall effectiveness.  

Largely because of that relationship, I was invited to participate in the Provost Teaching Fellows program, which has helped to formalize my understanding of what constitutes good teaching as well as how that goal is best measured and evaluated. In fact, a direct result of this connection has been my PTF initiative on the development of a formal Peer Observation protocol for the Department of Finance. Working closely with my colleagues, we have established a set of standardized forms to be used for peer teaching assessments as well as a departmental policy for administering and governing the observation process.  

Further, we continue to work to create a departmental statement on teaching effectiveness that will serve as benchmark for future evaluations. One of the most exciting aspects of my participation in the PTF program has been the ability to work with others from across the campus who share the same interest in the peer observation process. Together, we have formed a learning community around this topic as we strive to increase our effectiveness in the classroom and produce better learning outcomes for our students. We are currently working on materials for the web that will be accessible to all faculty members as they grapple with the same questions we have faced in Finance.

For more on Dr. Brown's work, please visit his homepage or email him at keith.brown@mccombs.utexas.edu.

Dr. Brown is part of the Provost Teaching Fellows program. Find out more about this Faculty Initiative here.