Often we’re 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. Formally this is an evaluation question, but we’ll begin with informal answers that match the spirit of the question.
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 they talk 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 have an introductory knowledge of learning theory.
- The CIRTL participant would be able to discuss:
- findings in the literature, including research about high-impact teaching
- the meaning of a learning community in terms of functional relationships and goals; they would understand that a learning community is more than group learning or a group of like-minded people
- at least one way that a teacher might leverage the diversity of the students to enhance the learning of all.
- the role of the scholarship of teaching and learning within the larger nature of a faculty’s work life.
- They 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 see themselves and their teaching process as part of larger communities, including their classrooms, their colleagues, their departments, their institutions, and the nation.
CIRTL Associates, Practitioners and Scholars
We envision three types of CIRTL program outcomes: CIRTL Associate, CIRTL Practitioner, and CIRTL Scholar. These three CIRTL outcomes recognize first the role of the CIRTL core ideas in effective teaching and learning, then scholarly teaching that uses the CIRTL ideas 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. Explore our learning outcomes by level below or our Learning Outcomes Handout (PDF) for more details.:
- Describe how to access the literature and existing knowledge about teaching and learning issues, in a discipline or more broadly.
- Define and recognize the value of the Teaching-as-Research process, and how it can be used for ongoing enhancement of learning.
- Describe a “full-inquiry” cycle.
- Describe how the integration of Evidence-Based Teaching, Learning Communities and Learning-through-Diversity within Teaching-as-Research can be integrated to implement and advance effective teaching practices for diverse learners.
- Describe and recognize the value of realistic well-defined, achievable, measurable and student-centered learning goals.
- Describe several known high-impact, evidence-based effective instructional practices and materials and recognize their alignment with particular types of learning goals.
- Describe several assessment techniques and recognize their alignment with particular types of learning goals.
- Describe and recognize the value of learning communities, and how they impact student learning.
- Describe several techniques for creating a LC within a learning environment, including strategies that promote positive interdependence between learners so as to accomplish learning goals.
- Describe several techniques and issues of establishing LCs comprising a diverse group of learners.
- Recognize the value of and participate in local professionally-focused learning communities associated with teaching and learning.
Learning through Diversity
- Describe the scope of diversity in learning environments, of both students and instructor.*
- Describe the impact of diversity on student learning, in particular how diversity can enhance learning, and how inequities can negatively impact learning if not addressed.
- Describe how an instructor’s beliefs and biases can influence student learning.
- Describe and recognize the value of drawing on diversity in the development of teaching plans (including content, teaching practices and assessments) to foster learning.
- Describe several learning-through-diversity (LtD) techniques and strategies.
* Including but not limited to backgrounds, race, gender, ability, socioeconomic status, ethnicity, gender preference, and cognitive skills.
- Develop and execute a Teaching-as-Research plan for a limited teaching and learning project*
- Find and critically consider the literature and existing knowledge associated with the teaching and learning project.
- Create realistic well-defined, achievable, measurable and student-centered learning goals for the teaching and learning project.
- Find or develop assessment (measurement) tool(s) that are aligned with the learning goals of the teaching and learning project.
- Develop a teaching plan (a hypothesis) to accomplish learning goals.
- Implement the teaching plan and collect some data regarding achievement of learning goals.
- Analyze the data and draw evidence-based conclusions about the impact on student learning.
- Complete a full-inquiry cycle for the teaching and learning project by using findings to suggest improvements to the above actions
- Show the integration of Evidence-Based Teaching, Learning Communities and Learning-through-Diversity to accomplish learning goals.
* Often this will be a first TAR effort, and need not be extensive or intended for public presentation. Optimally the project will be a coherent, complete experience of the full-inquiry cycle, but opportunities and situations vary from campus-to-campus and student-to-student.
Practitioners engage with all outcomes in one area and some learning outcomes in all areas below. Often this is accomplished in the course of doing their TAR project.
- Access the literature and existing knowledge to develop a deeper understanding of existing evidence-based knowledge concerning high-impact, evidence-based teaching practices.
- Integrate one or more evidence-based teaching strategies into a teaching plan so as to accomplish learning goals.
- Implement one or more evidence-based teaching strategies for students in a learning experience.
- Access the literature and existing knowledge to develop a deeper understanding of the knowledge concerning LCs and their impact on student learning.
- Integrate one or more LC strategies into a teaching plan so as to accomplish learning goals and learning-through-diversity.
- Implement one or more LC strategies for students in a learning experience.
- Contribute to local professionally-focused learning communities associated with teaching and learning.
Learning through Diversity
- Access the literature and existing knowledge to develop a deeper understanding of diversity and its impact on accomplishing learning goals.
- Examine and describe own beliefs and biases, including how they may influence their students’ learning.
- Determine the diverse backgrounds among a group of students, and consider the opportunities and challenges of the findings on each student’s learning.
- Create a teaching plan that incorporates content and teaching practices responsive to the students’ backgrounds.
- Integrate one or more LtD techniques and strategies in a teaching plan so as to use students’ diversity to enhance the learning of all.
- Implement one or more LtD strategies in a teaching experience.