The Center for the Integration of Research, Teaching, and Learning (CIRTL) is an NSF Center for Learning and Teaching in higher education. CIRTL uses graduate education as the leverage point to develop a national STEM faculty committed to implementing and advancing effective teaching practices for diverse student audiences as part of successful professional careers. The goal of CIRTL is to improve the STEM learning of all students at every college and university, and thereby to increase the diversity in STEM fields and the STEM literacy of the nation.
Established in fall 2006, the CIRTL Network was comprised of Howard University, Michigan State University, Texas A&M University, University of Colorado at Boulder, University of Wisconsin-Madison, and Vanderbilt University. After a substantial expansion in 2016 the Network now includes 45 research universities across the nation. The diversity of these institutions—private/public; large/moderate size; majority-/minority-serving; geographic location—is by design aligned with CIRTL’s mission.
Currently, there are 6 programs associated with CIRTL at CU Boulder: the TIGER series, presented by the Graduate Teacher Program (TIGER Teaches, TIGER Teaching-as-Research (TAR), TIGER Design and Development (DAD), TIGER Diversity on Campus (DOC), TIGER Teaching-as-Research Guided Engineering Teams (TARGET)) and the Evidence-Based Introduction to Teaching (EBIT) which evolved from the Summer Teaching-as-Research Institute for Postdocs in Engineering (STRIPE). A new program, Prepare To Teach (PTT) is a short ‘teaser’ workshop designed to briefly introduce participants to an evidence-based context including active learning for college STEM classrooms. The following programs are described in detail below, and more information can be found by clicking the links of each program.
The Teaching Institute for Graduate Education Research (TIGER) was formed in 2006 and builds on the CIRTL core ideas—learning-through-diversity, learning communities, and teaching-as-research—to promote development of future STEM faculty in teaching and learning. TIGER works to enhance the creative synergy that exists between graduate student teaching and research, and TIGER’s main goal is to show graduate students who aspire to be future faculty members how to utilize their disciplinary knowledge and research experience to develop innovative teaching practices for undergraduate education.
TIGER Teaches supports TIGER TAR and TIGER DAD participants, providing them with the opportunity to interact with members of the TIGER Team and other TIGER TAR and DAD fellows, receive feedback on their projects, and establish a sense of community.
TIGER Teaching-as-Research (TAR) projects are funded to allow graduate students to study teaching practices in the classroom.
TIGER Design and Development (DAD) supports experienced graduate students to develop discipline-specific pedagogy courses for their departments.
TIGER Diversity on Campus (DOC) TIGER DOC training is designed to help CU Boulder graduate teachers (TAs, RAs, and GPTIs) incorporate diversity and inclusion into their classroom environments and be prepared to enter a diverse teaching and workforce environment. Because TIGER DOC is supported currently on an NSF grant and subcontract from the Center for the Integration of Research Teaching Learning (CIRTL), the focus of the training will be on teaching in the STEM disciplines. Thus, CU Boulder science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM), sociology and anthropology graduate students are invited to participate. Graduate students from other departments may participate, and are welcome, if space allows. Participation is limited to 20 graduate students.
TIGER Teaching-as-Research Guided Engineering Teams (TARGET) brings together faculty and students in College of Engineering to study aspects of teaching and learning within engineering. Together, these teams will use the familiar tools of research in their field to study teaching and learning in their discipline. The TIGER TARGET program is an expansion of the TIGER Teaching-as-Research program, and is an initiative to include undergraduate and graduate students, post-docs and faculty members.
Evidence-Based Introduction to Teaching (EBIT) is a one-week summer institute for postdoctoral fellows and incoming faculty in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) fields in which participants apply research and engineering principles of design, build, test and iterate to specific course development, while experiencing a student-centered environment. The 4-hour per day, 5-day workshop will include evidence-based teaching techniques, CIRTL topics, and seminal STEM education research findings. Participants get a genuine teaching and learning experience to discuss in their faculty job interviews. EBIT is also run as semester long seminar version aimed at new faculty on the CU campus.