CIRTL Learning Outcomes

Often we are asked, “If I met a STEM faculty member, how would I know if they had taken part in CIRTL?” at some point in their development. Of course, formally this is an evaluation question. But the question is usually asked in a more informal spirit, and so we begin with informal answers.

The CIRTL participant would see teaching as a dynamic and ongoing process aimed at understanding and improving student learning. They would not take a more static view of “this is how good teaching is done”. Indeed, there would be little difference in the way the CIRTL participant talks about teaching and learning compared to the way s/he talks about disciplinary research.

  • When asked about teaching, the CIRTL participant’s answer would include discussion of learning goals for the students, the nature of learning, and effective teaching strategies that can support specific learning goals. A CIRTL participant would likely not start the conversation with pedagogy.
  • The CIRTL participant would focus the discussion on what students learned, and be able to discuss with some depth processes and issues related to finding out what students have learned.
  • The CIRTL participant would be aware that there is an accessible literature related to teaching and learning, and be able to point to some literature resources.
  • The CIRTL participant would be able to discuss some findings in the literature, including research about high-impact teaching.
  • The CIRTL participant would have an introductory knowledge of learning theory. 
  • The CIRTL participant would be able to discuss the meaning of a learning community in terms of functional relationships and goals. S/he would understand that a learning community is more than group learning or a group of like-minded people.
  • S/he would have a broad understanding of the meaning of diversity. The CIRTL participant would discuss inequities in terms of their impact on learning.
  • The CIRTL participant would be able to discuss at least one way that a teacher might leverage the diversity of the students to enhance the learning of all.
  • The CIRTL participant would be able to discuss the role of the scholarship of teaching and learning within the larger nature of a faculty’s work life.
  • The CIRTL participant would see themselves and their teaching process as part of larger communities, including their classrooms, their colleagues, their departments, their institutions, and the nation.  


CIRTL Fellows, Practitioners and Scholars

We envision three types of CIRTL program outcomes: CIRTL Fellow, CIRTL Practitioner, and CIRTL Scholar.  These three CIRTL outcomes recognize first the role of the CIRTL pillars in effective teaching and learning, then scholarly teaching that uses the CIRTL pillars to demonstrably improve learning of students, and finally scholarship that advances teaching and learning, and makes the results public. CIRTL program outcomes conceived in this way permit anyone to enter the CIRTL Network learning community from a wide variety of disciplines, needs, and past experiences, and to achieve success as a teacher at a wide variety of engagement.