- CIRTL Café
- Course Guidebooks
- Diversity Resources
- TAR Projects
- CIRTL Forums
College Classroom Course
Designed especially for graduate students in STEM disciplines, the College Classroom course provides a forum in which to discuss learning, teaching, and assessment. Cognizant of issues of diversity and equity throughout, participants create a learning community within the class in which to engage in discovery and analysis of the interconnected components of teaching through the lens of teaching-as-research (TAR). After completing this course, participants will be active participants in the interdisciplinary learning community that develops within the course and outside of it, know how to create an inclusive classroom environment that engages all learners, and use TAR in future classrooms of their own.
Creating a Collaborative Learning Environment
Creating a Collaborative Learning Environment (CCLE) is one of the core program experiences of the Delta Program in Research, Teaching, and Learning. Participants meet regularly with us and their colleagues to learn about learning, reflect on teaching, and explore the campus. The emphasis on learning about learning remains central to the program - the assumption being that before one can appropriately develop themselves as a teacher, they must first understand the complexities of the diverse experiences and learning processes of their students. The framework we'll use to learn about learning comes from the concept teaching-as-research. By approaching teaching with an eye towards research, reflection, and inquiry, we can align ourselves with the skills we have developed as researchers, but apply it to our teaching. Doing so in a cross-disciplinary, diverse community environment allows us to expand our understandings of others, and learn about the experiences, options and opportunities of others.
Diversity in the College Classroom
Current graduate students and faculty are increasingly recognizing that, to create a more diverse population of scientists and engineers, we must consider how the way we teach differentially impacts the success of all our students. This course is designed for STEM and SBE graduate students who have an interest in becoming better college instructors, and in considering diversity issues in their future classroom practice.
"Diversity" is a term that is increasingly being used in university settings, particularly within colleges of science and engineering. Used to denote everything from the incorporation of multiple ways to assess undergraduate students in science and engineering classrooms, to the inclusion of multiple science and engineering disciplines, to the recruitment and retention of women and/or people of color, the term "diversity" is leveraged to achieve a variety of political and practical aims in today's academic world.
We will take a critical yet practical look at how we define "diversity" and for what purposes, and discuss the ways different definitions of diversity might influence what and how we teach our disciplinary topics. We will consider the idea that different definitions might affect not only how we teach, but also what we decide to include in our courses and why.
Effective Teaching with Technology
The Effective Teaching with Technology course is designed for graduate students, post-docs, and faculty who desire to develop new approaches to effective use of instructional technology in their teaching practice. The goals of this course are:
A) to provide participants with a foundation for choosing appropriate technological tools based on learning needs,
B) to give participants hands-on experience in the effective use of learning technologies such as interactive web applications, streaming video, "clickers", and course management tools, and
C) to promote the importance and scholarship of the evaluation of instructional technology efficacy.
This course is appropriate for anyone interested in improving student learning with technology, regardless of prior teaching or technological experience. Please be aware that this is NOT a training course on particular tools.
Expeditions in Learning
Using the concept of teaching-as-research, this program builds on the strengths of scientists and engineers as researchers and problem solvers. It follows an expeditions in learning model grounded in adult learning theory in which new questions about teaching and learning are developed, methods of exploring them are created, and individuals and groups are supported in their exploration to discover new answers.
The program is designed to foster a community of peers that will work together in groups of 7-9 in weekly meetings for one semester. Every other week, participants will head out on campus on an "expedition" to experience a learning activity or environment that will help to stretch their understanding of diverse approaches to learning and teaching. In the weeks between the expeditions, the small groups will come together to engage in a facilitated discussion of what they experienced the previous week, what they learned, and the implications it may have on their teaching. Occasionally, the discussions will be supplemented by a short reading. (Read examples of some expeditions here.)
Informal Education Course
Make no mistake about it. One of the most important skills you need to develop during your graduate days is the skill of communicating about your scientific work with a wide array of audiences. That facility will serve you across audiences, from your scientific peers to students to your neighbors and the general public.
Why is this so important? For one thing, you will encounter all these audiences-and more-in the course of your career. For another, evidence suggests that skillfully crafted messages influence not only the public but also your scientific colleagues. It is no accident that the top scientists in any given field are also among the field's best communicators. And finally, if you join the cadre of researchers who depend on public resources, you have a responsibility to share what you know with a public that is often keen to learn but will ask you to communicate in jargon-free, storytelling ways. This course seeks to familiarize you with concepts and processes important to communicating science successfully to a variety of audiences.
Instructional Materials Development Course
The instructional materials development course is designed for teams (2-3 individuals) of faculty/staff and graduate/postdoctoral students to develop instructional materials for existing Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) undergraduate courses. This existing course will provide the context and focus for the materials. Each team will identify an important learning objective that students have difficulty achieving in the existing course, then develop a hypothesis about the source of the problem, design instructional materials and ways to implement them that address the problem in an inclusive way, and design an assessment plan. At each step the process will be grounded in the foundational knowledge that exists in the disciplinary and educational literature.
The course format will be interactive and collaborative. The teams will benefit from the creativity, experience, and knowledge of others in the course. One aim is to promote a multifaceted team, based on the research model, in which complex questions are addressed together, individual strengths are respected and nurtured, and everyone works and learns cooperatively. Because of the collaborative nature of the course, all members of the teams are expected to commit two hours per week in class or in subgroups.
The Delta Internship Program gives participants practical experience to develop their skills and interests in teaching and learning, as they work in partnership with a faculty or instructional staff member either on the UW-Madison campus, or in another institutional setting. Interns and partners will define a problem to be addressed, work toward a solution, implement the solution, evaluate the solution and create a product that will be incorporated into their teaching portfolios.
The program has four goals:
- Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) graduate students and post-doctoral researchers implement teaching-as-research in various venues;
- participants further develop skills, interests and portfolios, especially in academic environments similar to which they aspire;
- intern and faculty or instructional staff partnership leads to continued involvement in the Delta learning community and use of teaching-as-research after the internship; and
- participants experience a diversity of student audiences and institutional settings.