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Team Teaching

CAUT Policy Statement


“Team teaching” includes any teaching situation in which more than one individual is responsible for the design, delivery and/or assessment of a course, seminar, workshop, presentation, or other teaching activity. Any courses so taught are here referred to as team-taught courses.

Team-taught courses include those where sequential sections are taught by different instructors; and those where multiple instructors engage the same class at the same time.

General Principles

All regular and contract academic staff, whether regular or contract, have the same academic freedom and workload rights, no matter where and how they teach. Academic staff involved in team teaching have academic freedom over all aspects of the course and methods.

Academic staff should not be required to team-teach. There should be no penalty or reprisal against those who refuse to participate in team teaching.

Regular Academic Staff participating in team-taught courses should receive fair credit for, and evaluation of their efforts, and credit for team teaching in their assignment of duties. Contract Academic Staff should receive compensation for additional responsibilities and workload. The evaluation mechanisms used to assess team-taught courses and/or instructors must be sensitive to the complexities of coordinating work within a team-taught course.

Team-taught Course Preparation

Team-taught courses should be cooperatively planned to ensure a reasonable degree of equivalence among course sections with respect to content; structure; design; course resources; instructor workload; pedagogical approach; assessment methodology; marking schemes and standards; faculty and student workload; the number and style of any assignments, exercises or presentations, as appropriate to the level and disciplinary area of the course.

Intellectual property rights related to course content arising from team-teaching initiatives shall remain the property of the content creators.

All instructors should be involved in all stages of team-taught course planning, regardless of contract status. The course coordinator should exercise no executive authority in planning team-taught courses.

The team-taught course’s planned nature, structure, delivery and assessments methods should be set out clearly in a course syllabus, manual or outline.

Problem Resolution

Resolution of conflicting claims over course design, delivery, or assessment should avoid bias with regard to power imbalances among team members and, in particular, protect vulnerable academic staff from unreasonable pressures. The resolution process should focus on the pedagogical integrity of the teaching effort.

Where conflicts arise over the planning or implementation of any aspect of a team-taught course, including workload inequities and/or credit that cannot be resolved by informal discussion among team-taught course members, any member may request a review of any aspect of the course and/or its delivery and/or its assessment practices. Members should consult with their academic staff association about the process for complaints to the Chair, Head, Dean, or other administrator. All dispute resolution decisions may be subject to grievance.

Approved by the CAUT Council, November 2018.