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Center for Teaching Excellence

21st Century Learner

The landscape of higher education is rapidly transforming. In order to stay relevant, competitive, and to meet 21st Century student expectations there is a tremendous need for faculty to consistently develop within the profession. There is a great demand for faculty who have the skills to teach in online, virtual, hybrid, blended and Hyflex modalities (see the HyFlex Modality tab to the left for more information about this modality), and for faculty who can skillfully incorporate technology into Face-to-Face (F2F) classrooms. MATC and the Center for Teaching Excellence are committed to helping our faculty adapt to these contemporary approaches to teaching and learning.

Faculty are expected to prepare their courses and manage their teaching and non-teaching responsibilities in accordance with the 21st Century Classroom Guiding Principles:

  • Set expectations for teaching that are equitable for all faculty.
  • Support student success in learning by using technology to effectively communicate, provide feedback, and manage learning content.
  • Maintain a level of professionalism that is consistent with best practices of teaching in the 21st Century.

Developed by a team of faculty and administrators from diverse programs, the 21st Century Classroom provides faculty with a scaffolded process by levels that they can use to learn and demonstrate their 21st Century teaching skills. As a reminder, all faculty are required to demonstrate Level 1 skills in order to maintain a teaching assignment.

21st Century Levels at MATC

Level 1: 21st Century Classroom Skills

Level 2: Inclusive Instruction & Communication

Level 3: Student-Centered Course Design

Level 4: Quality Matters Applied

For a complete description of Level 1 skills, including valuable reference resources, faculty should refer to the Level 1 Individualized Professional Development Plan. The required skills include:

  • use of Microsoft Office Suite or Google Suite, file management, sending and receiving emails with attachments, using Internet browsers 
  • saving files as .pdfs
  • posting syllabi and faculty information in Blackboard (Bb),
  • creating Announcements in Bb,
  • entering grades in the Bb Grade Center,
  • providing substantive feedback to students,
  • being available and responsive to student communication,
  • utilizing video conferencing software,
  • creating a diverse, equitable and inclusive learning environment, 
  • connecting students to MATC resources.

For a complete description of Level 2 skills, including valuable reference resources, faculty should refer to the Level 2 Individualized Professional Development Plan. Please note that Levels 1 and 2 were updated and combined in the Self-Assessment 2.0 that was released 3-2-2021.  Required skills include:

  • creating course content in Bb folders or modules,
  • using the Bb Grade Center,
  • using collaborative digital tools,
  • providing video captioning and making content accessible to all students,
  • exporting and archiving the course in Bb,
  • creating course material that represents MATC’s commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion,
  • personalizing your course,
  • utilizing Career Essentials rubrics (for post-secondary courses)

Process involves the following steps:

  1. Faculty completes Self-Assessment 2.0
  2. The Online Learning Department verifies faculty answers based on these criteria.
  3. If clarifications or adjustments to the Blackboard shell are required, they forward their comments to the CTE, and a faculty development coach contacts faculty so they can make adjustments/ clarify Bb design and achieve Level 2

Using either the Level 3 Online Course Design Guide, or Face-to-Face (F2F) Course Design Guide faculty complete a three-step process:

  1. Reflect upon your own course(s) and look for opportunities to more closely align universal design principles.

  2. Apply the information provided in the Level 3 Course Design Guide to one of your current courses, and then complete the Self-Review

  3. Request a Peer Review by completing this Peer Review Request form and send it in an email request to Two peers will review each course submission. This process could take up to 8 weeks. 

Note: You can read the above Level 3 Guide and prepare your course for a Self-Review and then a Peer-Review to attain Level 3. However, below you will see a Level 3 Cohort Workshop you can attend. This will have more instructor interaction, which you may prefer at this higher level.

Using the Level 4 Online Course Delivery Guide, or Face-to-Face (F2F) Course Delivery Guide (guides are being developed and should be available to faculty during Spring 2022 semester), faculty complete a two-step process where they:

  1. Reflect upon their own course(s) based on best practices in teaching and learning and the appropriate Level 4 Course Design Guide (Online or F2F), looking for opportunities to implement inclusive teaching practices, student engagement techniques, service-learning, project-based learning, and other instructional techniques to apply to all of their courses as appropriate.

  2. Register for and complete the Quality Matters (QM) courses Applying the Quality Matters Rubric (APPQMR) and Higher Ed Peer Reviewer (PRC). These courses will help faculty learn the underlying principles behind the QM Rubric and the critical elements of the QM quality assurance process.

The Center for Teaching Excellence has limited grant funding available to support faculty who are ready to take this step. Those who are interested should reach out to requesting a specific section they would like to sign up for.

Note: Instructors who will provide peer reviews of F2F courses will receive MATC supplemental guidance in how to conduct a QM equivalent F2F peer review.

21st Century Level 3 Cohort Workshop

21st Century Level 3 Cohort Workshop 

The 21st Century Level 3 Cohort Workshop is a series of two, 90-minute workshops (Parts A & B) in which Faculty will learn about the Level 3 Guide reflective of Quality Matters standards. This means it is not required to attain Level 3 (see Level 3 information above), but is an interactive workshop to examine best practices Faculty can implement in their courses at this advanced level. This series will be held virtually and hosted by CTE Faculty Development Coaches and an Instructional Designer. Participants have pre-work and then workshop sessions consist of participants interactively discussing Level 3 standards to ultimately apply to their own course(s) (no matter the modality). This will prepare participants to submit a course for MATC Peer-Review, which is the final requirement to earn the 21st Century Level 3 Student-Centered Course Design badge. Some topics participants will learn and apply are: 

  • How to make your course student-centered.

  • How to align course competencies and learning objectives with assessments, learning activities and materials.

  • Foundations of Universal Design for Learning and how to make your course accessible to learners.

Workshop pre-work, attendance in both of the virtual workshops, along with submission of a course for peer-review qualifies participants for 10 FQAS hours. Prerequisites: Have achieved Level 1 status and Level 2 is recommended. To sign up or if you have any questions, please contact John Futterer at 

21st Century Level 3 Cohort Workshops



Cohort Workshop-Part A (must also attend Part B)  March 4 (Virtual) 11am-12:30 pm
Cohort Workshop-Part B (must have also attended Part A) March 11 (Virtual) 11am-12:30 pm

21st Century Classroom

Two Departments - One Mission

In the new structure of MATC, two departments support MATC Faculty across the Learn Pillar: the Online Learning Department and the Center for Teaching Excellence (CTE). Due to the launching of the CTE in the midst of a pandemic, and the need for switching many of our courses to an online format, it is understandable why there is common confusion about the roles and responsibilities of each of these departments.

If you have general questions about the process, please contact the Center for Teaching Excellence at With questions related to the 21st Century Classroom Blackboard shells reviews please contact the Online Learning Department Team at 

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