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Jan 28 - Apr 21, 2016
Every Thursday beginning January 28
Faculty Knowledge Essentials, Assessment

The College Classroom

The College Classroom is a 15-hour, seminar-style course which prepares graduate students and postdocs at the CIRTL Associate level for a positive teaching experience as a future faculty member by developing their expertise in evidence-based teaching practices that support student learning. By the end of the course, students will be able to:


  • Talk about and reference modern theories of teaching and learning including how people learn; fixed and growth mindsets; what it means (and takes) to be an expert; formative and summative assessment; teaching to a diverse student body; scholarly teaching (that is, teaching as research)
  • Prepare a lesson plan for a class in your field, and received feedback on it create formative and summative assessments
  • Implement active learning and student-centered instruction
  • Describe the processes behind the peer instruction pedagogy and how they connect with theory on how people learn
  • Write lecture-level learning outcomes for a course that are clear and accessible
  • Use online tools like Blackboard Collaborate, Google docs, Google spreadsheets and WordPress blogs


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

Course dates: January 28 - April 21. Possible additional meeting on April 28

Meeting times: Thursdays at 12:30-1:50PM ET/ 11:30AM-12:50PM CT/ 10:30-11:50AM MT/ 9:30-10:50AM PT

Open to: Advanced Graduate students, Postdocs. We would prefer that participants have had some experience teaching - anything from being teaching assistant leading discussion sections or labs to being instructor-of-record. Participants with no teaching experience will not be able to draw on those experiences and have trouble contributing to the discussions.

Suggested credits: 1 credit

Anticipated workload: 1.5 hours per week in class, plus another 1.5 hours per week doing assignments and readings

Format: Weekly synchronous sessions in Blackboard Collaborate. Additionally, each week, the course website will give detailed guidance about how to prepare for the next meeting and, if applicable, any post-class activities. All course resources will remain available online. The course meetings will run for 10 weeks. Then students will present "microteaching lesson plans" in groups of 2-3 in Weeks 11 (and 12, if necessary). We will schedule these presentations at mutually agreeable times and meet in Blackboard Collaborate.

Required technologies: Blackboard Collaborate, course WordPress blog. Please review our Course Logistics Page and Course Preparation Checklist for instructions on how to access Blackboard Collaborate. We will send enrolled students a link to the course WordPress page after registration closes.

Accessibility: We strive to be inclusive of anyone interested in participating in our activities, programs, and courses. If you have specific accessibility needs, please let us know in advance so that we may make the necessary accommodations