On June 30, the Center for the Integration of Research, Teaching and Learning (CIRTL) will lead a workshop on the concept of Teaching-as-Research (TAR) as part of the official 2017 Summer Faculty Institute program. Officially in operation since January 2017, CIRTL’s local chapter (UD-CIRTL) offers professional development opportunities for graduate students and postdocs from across the University interested in developing their knowledge and skills as teachers in today’s college classroom.

 

The University of Delaware joined the CIRTL network in 2016, a NSF center for learning and teaching in higher education with a membership of over 40 research Universities worldwide. CIRTL uses graduate education as the leverage point to develop future faculty members committed to implementing and advancing effective teaching practices for diverse student audiences as part of successful professional careers. Since last September, UD-CIRTL—under the sponsorship of the Office of Graduate and Professional Education and direction of Drs. Deborah Allen (Biological Sciences) and Jackie Fajardo (Chemistry and Biochemistry)— has reached out to graduate students and postdocs from all disciplines to raise awareness of the various professional development opportunities that membership in the network offers to participants, including free access to dozens of online courses, workshops, and events as part of the CIRTL Network Commons (CNC). This semester, UD-CIRTL started to offer its own local programming as well including monthly learning community meetings in which participants met to discuss important pedagogical topics ranging from issues such as managing diversity, fostering critical thinking, and building collaborative learning environments in the classroom. UD-CIRTL also participated at the 2017 Winter Faculty Institute hosting lunch and reflection sessions that officially brought together the growing UD-CIRTL community for the first time.

 

As part of the official program of the upcoming Summer Faculty Institute, CIRTL will complete its first semester at the University of Delaware by leading a workshop on the concept of Teaching-as-Research (TAR). An important pillar of the CIRTL network mission, TAR is the deliberate, systematic, and reflective use of research methods by instructors across all disciplines to develop and implement teaching practices that advance the learning experiences and outcomes of both students and teachers. The design, implementation and analysis of a TAR project is a crucial step in the development process of the CIRTL network and the centerpiece for achieving the program’s “Practitioner” level of accomplishment—the second highest in the CIRTL network. Attendees of the workshop will learn about the requirements for successful TAR projects, locate relevant resources on the national website and the UD campus, and begin developing their own TAR project proposals. The workshop will also provide examples of TAR project designed and implemented by network members at other CIRTL institutions. After completion attendees should leave the workshop with ideas for possible projects to conduct in their own classroom or in collaboration with a faculty member. Over the course of the summer UD-CIRTL plans to run a TAR-specific working group to meet regularly and discuss the development and design of these projects. Ideally, participants will implement their project ideas over the course of the 2017-18 academic year and present their findings to the University community and the broader network audience at one of several yearly CIRTL conference meetings.

 

If you have any question about the CIRTL network, the local programming at the University of Delaware or the TAR workshop at the Summer Faculty Institute please email cirtl-info@udel.edu or check out the UD-CIRTL website at http://grad.udel.edu/cirtl.

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