CIRTL Spring Opportunities, registration deadline 1/19/16

Kate Stuart
January 6, 2016

This month CIRTL is kicking off the Spring 2016 semester with a new set of online courses for the cross-Network community. We've extended our registration deadline to Tuesday, January 19, and classes begin the week of Monday, January 25. Visit our website at to read more and register for a course. Please note that our Teaching-As-Research course will now be on Monday afternoons, not Tuesdays.

Our CIRTLCast events are also starting back up after the winter break, with a series from Cornell University on student assessment. To join an event, just go to our events calendar pageand click the "JOIN THIS SESSION" link under the event date and time.

Spring 2016 Courses

The College Classroom - open for registration
Thursdays starting January 28 at 12:30PM ET/11:30AM CT/10:30AM MT/9:30AM PT

Build on your own TA experience with this seminar on evidence-based teaching. You'll learn how to create and refine evidence-based practices that support student learning in this course, which will cover everything from pedagogical theory to lesson plan designs.

Peter Newbury, Associate Director, Center for Engaged Teaching, UC San Diego
Thomas Holme, Professor, Chemistry, Iowa State University

Research Mentor Training - open for registration
Thursdays starting January 28 at 2PM ET/1PM CT/12PM MT/11AM PT

Learn new tools for being an effective, insightful mentor for STEM students in this seminar. You'll work with a community of peers to develop and improve your mentoring by learning about effective communication, intercultural awareness, and more.

Bennett Goldberg, Professor of Physics and Director of STEM Education Initiatives, Boston University
Colleen McLinn, Program Director, CU-CIRTL, Cornell University

Teaching-As-Research - open for registration
Mondays starting January 25 at 1PM ET/12PM CT/11AM MT/10AM PT

Every year, students at CIRTL universities pursue unique Teaching-As-Research (TAR) projects to help them become stronger STEM instructors through evidence-based practices. In this course, you will be able to lay the groundwork and develop a proposal for your own TAR project. This course will provide guidance to students at the start of that research process and take you through the development of a full TAR proposal ready for implementation. The course may draw on some material and activities from the spring CIRTL MOOC.

Nicholas Gross
, Adjunct faculty, School of Education, Boston University
Bhavna Sharma, Postdoctoral fellow, Department of Agronomy, Iowa State University

CIRTL MOOC: Advancing Learning through Evidence-Based STEM Teaching
See for more information. Our MOOC will open for registration in early 2016.

This course will provide graduate students and post-doctoral fellows in the STEM disciplines with an introduction to “teaching as research”—the deliberate, systematic, and reflective use of research methods to develop and implement teaching practices that advance the learning experiences and outcomes of both students and teachers. Participants will learn about effective teaching strategies and the research that supports them, and they will learn how to collect, analyze, and act upon their own evidence of student learning. In addition to the online course, many CIRTL universities will be hosting in-person, MOOC-centered learning communities; contact your local CIRTL office to learn more about on-campus activities.

Instructors from across the CIRTL Network

January 2016 Events

Facilitating Cooperative Work: How to Assess Active Learning Experiences
January 13: 1-2PM ET/12-1PM CT/11AM-12PM MT/10-11AM PT
The first of three events in our January CIRTLCast series on student assessment, hosted by Cornell University

During cooperative work, students work together on problems and develop both teamwork skills and subject matter competence. The role of the instructor is to evaluate the group dynamic and develop strategies to promote active learning for all team members. Are you challenging the brightest students without leaving behind under-prepared ones? How do you know that all students are participating? This CIRTLCast will discuss common challenges to facilitating and evaluating group work, and offer proven strategies for encouraging effective problem-solving as a team.

Rique Campa, Associate Dean of the Graduate School and Professor of Wildlife Ecology, Michigan State University

Formative Assessment as a Means of Gauging Student Understanding
January 20: 1-2PM ET/12-1PM CT/11AM-12PM MT/10-11AM PT
The second of three events in our January CIRTLCast series on student assessment, hosted by Cornell University

Once you have clear learning objectives for students, you can better measure what they know coming into your class, and observe where they are currently. The use of formative assessment as a diagnostic tool helps everyone, by giving students multiple opportunities to practice and self-assess their skills and knowledge in a developmental way before they are actually tested in a high-stakes setting.

Barbara Masi, Director of Education, Innovation & Assessment Initiatives; Arts, Sciences & Engineering, University of Rochester

Effectively Assessing (and Developing) Your Students' Problem-Solving Skills
January 27: 1-2PM ET/12-1PM CT/11AM-12PM MT/10-11AM PT
The last of three events in our January CIRTLCast series on student assessment, hosted by Cornell University

You know that you want your students to develop their problem solving skills, but you might be wondering what tools and strategies are available to assess these skills and provide students with feedback to improve their work? How can you encourage students to be more thoughtful about the process they use to solve problems rather than simply focusing on whether they have the correct solution? We’ll discuss cases and develop methods to effectively and efficiently assess students’ problem-solving skills.

Amy Godert, Associate Director of the Center for Teaching Excellence, Cornell University
Jared Danielson, Director of Curricular and Student Assessment and Associate Professor of Veterinary Pathology, Iowa State University

For more information about our courses, please

For event details, including instructions on how to attend one of our online events, please visit

All sessions currently take place in Blackboard Collaborate. To learn more about BBC, view technical requirements, and watch tutorial videos, please visit: