Team-teaching (also often called “collaborative teaching”) is an opportunity to expose students to more perspectives and content knowledge than a single instructor may be able to provide. Co-teaching can also be a rewarding experience for faculty, who often learn more about the subject matter, different disciplinary approaches, and teaching in general as a result of developing and leading a course with a colleague.Collaborative teaching can take a variety of forms, ranging from inviting a colleague to give a one-time guest lecture, to dividing responsibilities according to content areas, to working together on every aspect of the course.
Collaborative teaching is a natural fit for interdisciplinary courses, in which two instructors represent different disciplinary perspectives. However, it could also be beneficial in any course which relies on a diversity of viewpoints, or in service-learning courses, in which faculty could partner with community leaders to extend the students’ learning beyond the classroom.
Team-taught courses require different preparation than courses taught by a single instructor. Even if two (or more) faculty divide the responsibilities for the course, each instructor should be prepared to explain the overarching framework of the course and to help students understand the connections between topics and assignments. In terms of course organization, each instructor should be able to explain the policies and expectations, as well as the rationale for team-teaching, to students.