Center for the Integration of Research, Teaching and Learning


CIRTL logo

Established in 2003 with the support of the National Science Foundation, the Center for the Integration of Research, Teaching and Learning seeks to improve teaching skills and increase the diversity of future university faculty in STEM fields.

Learn more about CIRTL's core ideas and learning outcomes

Programming

CIRTL programming is implemented through a number of platforms, including courses, workshops, CIRTLcasts, MOOCs, journal clubs and more.

Below are some opportunities currently available for you to get involved. To participate, you must sign up to participate in the CIRTL Network Commons

SPRING 2020 Opportunities

Every semester, CIRTL offers a variety of online courses and programming that leverage the expertise and diversity of faculty from across the CIRTL network. Visit the CIRTL website for descriptions, schedules, suggested credits (where applicable) and registration instructions.

One or Two-Session Workshops

Have you ever considered a teaching career at a community college? This career can have a high impact on students beginning their higher education journey and often includes a strong community-focused work environment. The panel of faculty will discuss their experiences working in community colleges. The discussion will include equity and diversity at community colleges, panelists career trajectories, what they appreciate most about working at community colleges, and common misconceptions about the career. Bring your questions and prepare to explore this wonderful career path.

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Draft a peer-reviewed statement that reflects your teaching beliefs and experiences in this interactive, two-part online workshop. Participants will work to draft and edit a teaching statement, which is often required for US academic job applications. We will discuss elements of teaching statements, evidence of effective teaching tailored for different academic jobs, and strategies to get started or polish existing teaching statements. Participants from all disciplines will become better equipped and prepared to communicate their teaching practice through this workshop's collaborative, peer-review process.

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In this interactive session, participants will have an opportunity to examine their current work-life balance and to develop a plan to be more resilient and to sustain the support systems that will enable them to establish their desired work-life balance. At the end of this workshop, participants will be able to: 1. Define what work-life balance means generally and personally; 2. Identify the characteristics of resilient people; 3. Identify resources to develop and sustain support networks and processes for well-being; and 4. Map individual work/life priorities and develop strategies for integrating and completing them successfully.

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Findings from a recent study indicate that graduate students in the natural sciences benefit significantly from the mentoring activities of more senior students and postdoctoral fellows (Feldon et al, 2019). Such findings suggest that it is vital that all individuals (faculty, researchers, postdoctoral fellows, and graduate students) develop effective mentoring skills. In this session, participants will explore and discuss what mentoring is as well as review and apply several tools that enable an individual to employ an equity-minded approach to the mentoring enterprise.

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Community colleges are truly diverse settings, attracting individuals from all different walks of life with a common interest in advancing their education. If you are interested in exploring a career at a community college, then understanding the diversity of their student populations is crucial. This panel consisting of faculty and administrators from various community colleges will share insights on student diversity. We will also explore the types of inclusive teaching strategies that best support community college students and help to create more equitable classrooms.

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Hear graduate students and postdocs from across the CIRTL Network share the results of their Teaching-as-Research (TAR) projects in this online presentation session. TAR projects investigate questions about teaching and learning, including assessing the effectiveness of specific learning activities and tools, examining the learning process about a specific topic, or characterizing the student experience in the classroom. We will post presenters and their presentation titles closer to the event.

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Employers are increasingly asking candidates to supply a diversity statement as part of their application. This session covers the essential elements of composing this important document. Starting with individual reflection on topics of inclusion, diversity, and equity, participants will draw upon personal and professional experiences to begin writing their story. We will discuss how inclusive teaching practices can be incorporated into the diversity statement. Participants will learn strategies for highlighting initiatives they have lead or participated in that focus on underrepresented students, working towards equity, and/or enhancing diversity. Examples may include professional development, creation of an inclusive learning community, student retention or outreach work, organizations and non-profits, and activities related to mentoring, research, committees, and teaching. For advanced students and postdocs, time will be spent showing examples of diversity statements and discussing how to incorporate the diversity statement into interview answers. It is never too early to begin working on a diversity statement, so special insight will be provided to new graduate students, regarding goal setting and identifying ways to engage with diversity efforts at their home institution.

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Courses

Learn how to develop a workshop for online audiences, and get the chance to pilot your workshop for the CIRTL Network, in this intensive 9-week practicum. This course draws on teaching and learning research as well as The CIRTL Network's experience providing online programming to teach participants how they can use the online environment to provide students with a unique experience that in-person workshops cannot replicate. This community will work intensively together over nine weeks to learn and practice synchronous online teaching through structured observations, practice sessions, and peer review and feedback. The capstone proposal for an online workshop will be reviewed by CIRTL and qualifying events will run on the Network in a future semester. 

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Advancing Learning through Evidence-Based STEM Teaching is an open, online course (MOOC) designed to provide graduate students, postdoctoral scholars, and other aspiring faculty in STEM disciplines with an overview of effective college teaching strategies and the research that supports them. This course is also suitable for other interested university staff, faculty, and administrators. The goal of the eight-week course is to equip the next generation of faculty to be effective teachers, thus improving the learning experience for the thousands of students they will teach. The course draws on the expertise of a variety of STEM faculty, educational researchers, and staff from university teaching centers, many of them affiliated with the CIRTL Network. Participants will learn how to engage students in active learning in classrooms using strategies such as peer instruction and problem-based learning, develop methods to help their students think more like experts in their fields using inquiry-based labs and similar activities, turn their classrooms into learning communities through cooperative learning and using the diverse perspectives of their students, and use approaches like flipped classrooms that make it possible to build active and collaborative learning into their classes. Formats include video content and transcripts, readings, discussion forums, quizzes, and peer-graded assignments where you will plan teaching and learning activities relevant to your discipline.

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