February 25, 2014


TIGER Teaching-as-Research Guided Teams Program

Through the Teaching Institute for Graduate Education Research (TIGER) the Teaching-as-Research Guided Engineering Teams (TARGET) program links 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.

In addition, students and faculty can further build on their experience by reforming a course of their choice through the TIGER PRECEPT program. Learn more about details and funding by contacting Professor Jean Hertzberg at: Hertzberg@colorado.edu

Institutional Review Board (IRB) and Human Subjects Training

In the course of the TARGET project, team members will become certified for three years to conduct human subjects research through the Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI) prior to learning to write an IRB proposal to apply for permission to conduct human subjects research.


The TIGER TARGET program is an expansion of the TIGER Teaching-as-Research program, and is an initiative to include undergraduate and graduate students in engineering with an interest in teaching, post-docs and faculty members.


How TAR Can Benefit YOU

For undergraduate students – Are you interested in teaching at the college level? The TIGER TARGET program can provide an opportunity for you to gain experience using modern teaching methods and prepare you for your future job.

For graduate students/post-docs – Already teaching or planning a course? Preparing for a career as a professor? The TIGER TARGET program can provide an opportunity for you to gain experience using modern teaching methods and prepare you for your future job. In addition, if you are participating in the Graduate Teacher Program this project could count towards your Preparing Future Faculty Project for the Professional Development Certificate in Preparing Future Faculty. More information about this certification can be found here!


For professors – Already mentoring a post-doc? Have an NSF grant? The TIGER TARGET program is a great way to fulfill the post-doc mentorship requirement of NSF grants as well as add to the Broader-Impacts Criterion of your NSF projects. Perhaps you are curious about how your teaching methods are working? This is an opportunity to apply your research expertise to find out.


$500 will be awarded per team member, plus up to $500 per team for supplies or survey costs.

Learning Outcomes for TIGER TARGET Members

  • A deeper understanding of learning goals for students, the nature of learning and effective teaching strategies that support specific learning goals
  • Learn processes and issues related to evaluating what students have effectively learned
  • Increased awareness of accessible learning and teaching resources
  • How to leverage diversity in the classroom to enhance learning for all
  • Gain a better sense of what it means to be in a learning community in terms of functional relationships and goals


The program will take place on the main campus of the University of Colorado Boulder. Monthly meetings will be arranged.


The program will take place from the end of January through December 2014. Applications for the program are due by February 12th.



The TIGER TARGET program emphasizes learning teaching methods and skill through a research based process. This means that you and your TIGER TARGET members will go through the following steps to quantify how specific teaching methods can be used to improve learning experiences.

Step Example
1. Identify the problem or question. How to improve students long-term retention of classroom learning.
2. Review the literature. See online educational databases.
3. Clarify the problem – specifically identify the purpose of the study. Can students be guided in their study methods to improve long-term retention? What works best?
4. Clearly define terms and concepts. Long-term retention – Will students be able to use specific concepts to solve problems two months after the class?
5. Define the population.
6. Develop the instrumentation plan. Compare the performance of students who only re-read the textbook to students who took practice exams.
7. Collect data.
8. Analyze the data.
9. Disseminate the results. Publish on CIRTL website and/or present to the Engineering Education Research Group.

 How to Join

Submission for proposals will be open January 20th and are due to Michelle Burns by 5 PM, February 5th, 2014. Projects may be completed by May 2014 and must be completed by December 2014.

Within your proposals please submit the following:

  • A complete list of team members, one of which must be a faculty member
  • The instructor of record of the course being studied
  • A brief description of what is to be studied
  • Dates of project start and end
  • A list of project deliverables – typically expected to be a final report and a presentation to be made in December

Information can also be found on our website: http://cirtlatcuboulder.wordpress.com

More About the Center for Integration of Research, Teaching and Learning


The Center for Integration of Research, Teaching and Learning (CIRTL) is an NSF supported consortium of universities. CU Boulder has been a member since 2006. CIRTL aims 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.

CIRTL Core Ideas 

  • Teaching-as-research is the deliberate, systematic, and reflective use of research methods by science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) instructors to develop and implement teaching practices that advance the learning experiences and outcomes of both students and teachers.
  • Learning communities bring together groups of people for shared learning, discovery, and generation of knowledge. To achieve common learning goals, a learning community nurtures functional relationships among its members.
  • Learning-through-diversity capitalizes on the rich array of experiences, backgrounds, and skills among STEM undergraduates and graduates-through-faculty to enhance the learning of all. It recognizes that excellence and diversity are necessarily intertwined.