CIRTL Summer 2015 Course Opportunities

The Center for the Integration of Research, Teaching, and Learning (CIRTL) Network works to improve the learning of STEM subjects for university students by developing teaching practices for diverse student audiences.

The expanding CIRTL Network is giving you the opportunity to participate in four different online courses to start or supplement your experience as an effective and successful instructor. These courses will cover an array of topics such as, teaching methods, course curriculum development, and running your own online course, as well as allowing you to interact with CIRTL Network students and instructors across various institutions.

Summer 2015 Courses include:

For full course descriptions, instructors, and meeting dates, follow the links in the course title.

Register for individual courses opens Monday April 20, 2015.

Priority registration given to graduate students and postdoctoral fellows in a STEM or SBE (Social, Behavioral, Economic) field and from a CIRTL Network institution (A list of CIRTL Network institutions can be found at the here.) 

How to Participate

CIRTL courses occur entirely online with instructors and other participants from across the CIRTL Network. The format of the courses vary but typically you meet online once per week using the webinar/meeting tool, Blackboard Collaborate, from the comfort of your office, home, or favorite coffee shop. (If you have not used Blackboard Collaborate before, you can participate in one of the orientation sessions offered by the CIRTL project coordinators before the course begins.) Between the online meetings, you might read a paper, write on the course’s discussion forum, practice a skill or technique you learned about, or complete other tasks. Note: The CTD will not be hosting these courses as they are 100% online.

Register at: courses 



The College Classroom – Winter 2015

We are now accepting applications for the Winter 2015 session of The College Classroom.
Application deadline: Sunday, November 30 at 11:59 pm.

Applications are now closed.
We will make decisions and inform all applicants by December 10.

This series of weekly, 90-minute seminars throughout the quarter is part of the Center for Teaching Development’s Preparing Future Practitioners (PFP) program. The course is aimed at graduate students and postdocs who already have experience as teaching assistants and are interested in making the leap from grading, running discussion sessions or leading labs to being the instructor-of-record at UCSD and beyond.

By the end of this course, you will:

  • be able to talk about and reference modern theories of teaching and learning including
    • how people learn
    • fixed vs. 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)
  • start drafting a Teaching Statement for use in a job application.
  • prepared a lesson plan for a class in your field, and received feedback on it
  • be able to create formative and summative assessments.
  • be prepared to implement active learning and student-centered instruction, peer instruction with clickers, in particular
  • be able to use online tools like Google docs, Google spreadsheets and WordPress blogs
  • stand out on your job application as being well-prepared to be a successful educator.

Note this is not yet an official UCSD course so there are no credits for successfully completing The College Classroom, nor will it appear on your transcript. The learning outcomes and curriculum are based on those developed by the Center for the Integration of Research, Teaching and Learning (CIRTL) Network. CIRTL is an NSF-funded  network of 23 institutions across the US, including UCSD, with a mission to “enhance excellence in undergraduate education through the development of a national faculty committed to implementing and advancing effective teaching practices for diverse learners as part of successful and varied professional careers.” Upon completing The College Classroom, you will receive a certificate of completion acknowledging you have reached the level of CIRTL Associate.

2015 Summer Graduate Teaching Scholars: Completing The College Classroom is a requirement for Ph.D. students wishing to teach a Summer Session course through the Summer Graduate Teaching Scholars (SGTS) program. If you are selected as an SGTS but have not yet taken The College Classroom, you must complete the course in the Winter 2015 Quarter or risk losing your spot in the SGTS program. Be sure to indicate on your application that you anticipate being a 2015 SGTS.

Course details for Winter 2015 quarter:

Peter Newbury (Associate Director, Center for Teaching Development) with co-instructors from various Departments and Schools.

Once per week for 90 minutes, starting in Week 1 of the Wi15 Quarter. Each week, the same session of the course will be offered 3 times:

  • Tuesdays, 11:00am – 12:20pm
  • Tuesdays, 2:00 – 3:00pm
  • Thursdays, 12:30 – 1:50pm

Participants in the course only need to attend one session. Applicants selected for the course will have a chance to pick time(s) that fit their schedules.

Center Hall, Room 316
(adjacent to the Center for Teaching Development)

How to Apply:
Because of the high level of interest in this course, we can’t accommodate everyone who wants to take it right now. Please submit an application by following the link below, and we will select approximately 75 participants. These are our selection criteria:

  • Applicants with less time remaining at UCSD are given priority over those with more time remaining and more opportunity to take the course the future.
  • Because this course is about preparing to be an instructor, as opposed to being a successful teaching assistant, applicants with some TA experience are given priority over those with little or no TA experience.
  • Applicants with significant teaching experience (especially as instructor of record) are given lower priority as we seek to support a group without substantial teaching experience.  We encourage people in this more-experienced group to contact the CTD about other possible forums to develop their interests.
  • In the interest of diversity and the communities served by the Center for Teaching Development, part of the Graduate Division, we admit a balance between graduate students and postdocs, and between Departments, Faculties and Schools.
  • People who applied for the class before but were not admitted will get special consideration. We don’t want to make any assumptions about who is still interested and/or available so if you applied in the past, please submit this application again.
  • Spaces are reserved in either the Fall or Winter classes for the 2015 Summer Graduate Teaching Scholars.
  • Spaces are reserved for the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry’s GAANN Fellows

We will be offering the course again in the Fall 2015 quarter. We will begin accepting applications for that class in August, 2015.

Teaching and Learning at SIO

In the Fall 2014 Quarter, I’ve had the pleasure of running a series of teaching and learning workshops at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography. My thanks to Brian Palenik, Vice Chair of SIO and Education Director of the Ocean Biosciences Program, for the invitation. SIO is part of UC San Diego (though to be historically accurate, I should probably say UC San Diego is part of SIO), located “down the hill” on the ocean. This is what I see out the classroom windows. It’s challenging to keep everyone engaged, including me!

The view from the classroom. Hard not to be distracted! (Image by Peter Newbury CC-BY)

The view from the classroom. Hard not to be distracted! (Image by Peter Newbury CC-BY)

October 31, 2014: How (you can help) people learn


November 7, 2014: Course Design 1 — Learning outcomes


November 14, 2014: Course Design 2 — Alternatives to lecture


November 21, 2014: Course Design 3 – Assessment that supports learning

  •  Please read this short article in Scientific American about fixed and growth mindsets by Carol Dweck: The Secret to Raising Smart Kids (UC eLink)
  • Workshop slides