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TAR Express: A Teaching-as-Research Very Short Course

November 1, 2023 @ 11:00 am - 12:30 pm CDT

Explore how you can create, test out, and assess a new approach to your teaching in this short course designed to walk participants through the basics of CIRTL’s “Teaching-as-Research” concept. Through Teaching-as-Research (TAR), future faculty can apply their scientific research knowledge to ask and answer a question about teaching and learning. In this three-part short course, participants will learn about and workshop different components of a TAR project, and in between sessions they will have the opportunity to receive one-on-one coaching from course instructors. By the end of this course, participants will be able to:

  • Identify a viable research question for a TAR project
  • Identify appropriate sources of evidence and a plan for data collection and analysis for your TAR project
  • Identify a platform or outlet for presentation or publication of your TAR project

This course is part of CIRTL’s fall programming on teaching-as-research.


Laura Cruz, Pennsylvania State University
Chas Brua, Pennsylvania State University

Course Schedule

This 3-part short course has synchronous sessions on Wednesday, September 13, September 20, and November 1 at 1-2:30PM AT / 12-1:30PM ET / 11AM-12:30PM CT / 10-11:30AM MT / 9-10:30AM PT. Participants will use the time between the September 20 and November 1 sessions to schedule one-on-one coaching sessions with the course instructors.


This short course is designed first and foremost for graduate students and postdoctoral researchers in STEM/SBE disciplines, but generally relevant to anyone looking to use CIRTL’s teaching-as-research framework to develop their teaching skills through reflective, iterative, evidence-based practice.

Registration and Enrollment

This course is limited to 12 participants. Registration is open Monday, August 14 and closes Sunday, August 27. Registrants must fill out a brief application, which instructors will review to determine eligibility for this course (some foundational knowledge of teaching and learning and specific ideas for a teaching-as-research question are preferred). Once registration closes, all registrants will be notified of their enrollment status.


If you have a disability, please let us know your learning needs. Contact Kate Diamond (, who is supporting this course, to let us know how we can help you have a successful experience. In addition to meeting individualized needs, we will also take measures throughout the course to support accessibility for all our students:

  • Using alt-text on images in reading materials
  • Sending regular reminders with upcoming assignments to all students
  • Sending regular reminders with missing assignments to students who have late work
  • Sharing materials for synchronous sessions with students via Google Drive (slides, breakout group activity instructions, etc.)
  • Enabling live captioning in synchronous sessions
  • Incorporating multiple modes of interaction into synchronous sessions
  • Sharing recordings from synchronous sessions
  • Allowing students to make up absences and submit work late with no penalty

Learning Outcomes

All CIRTL Network programming is designed to help participants achieve familiarity with our Core Ideas. This course is designed around the following learning outcomes.

Practitioner: Teaching-as-Research

  • Describe how to access the literature and existing knowledge about teaching and learning issues, in a discipline or more broadly.
  • Develop and execute a Teaching-as-Research plan for a limited teaching and learning project.