President's Teaching Scholars Program

President's Teaching and Learning Collaborative: Scholarship of Teaching & Learning

Call for 2013 Proposals

Frequently Asked Questions

1) Examples of proposals by past PTLC faculty researchers

Like many faculty, you may be curious about aspects of your teaching, but you may be uncertain as to how to investigate the effectiveness. All of the proposals from previous PTLC projects are posted on the web. If you browse through these, you may gain ideas about how to formulate your project. You will also notice the variety of research projects the PTLC has supported. You can read all of the proposals of past cohorts on the PTLC website.

Examples of research projects:
• Curtis Smith inquired, "Would a comprehensive interactive ear training program increase creative production in college level computer music courses?"
• Kathy Pieplow sought to study the “transferability of genre analysis strategies across disciplines and into the workplace."
• Meredith Banasiak developed "a process for integrating research into the architecture design studio."


2) Who is eligible? 

All faculty members and teaching professors on any campus of the University of Colorado are encouraged to apply. We seek faculty with a record of innovation in teaching and/or assessment of learning as well as those just beginning to examine their teaching and their students’ learning. Experience in educational research is not a requirement. The aim of the program is to broaden participation of faculty in effective inquiry in learning and teaching. Familiarity with the literature on learning and teaching in one's discipline is an ongoing necessity, and the goal of the program is that PTLC participants publish their research.

You must be a faculty member who is currently engaged in teaching. We do not accept proposals to evaluate programs.


3) What are the benefits and expected commitments?

Faculty researchers will receive funding from the Office of the President and campus Provosts totaling $1,550 for their research that may include a student research assistant and presenting one’s research.

Faculty researchers accepted into the Collaborative are expected to meet regularly with their coach/mentor to define, clarify, or revise their research project. The coach/mentor is someone with experience in researching teaching and learning. This person has submitted proposals to the Institutional Review Board (IRB) previously and so also has experience with that process. The faculty researcher and coach/mentor will meet one-on-one at least twice each semester to advance the researcher’s project.

Faculty researchers will meet monthly for progress reporting as a cohort group. Attendance at these monthly meetings is a requisite for membership in the Collaborative. The celebration of teaching and learning meeting to launch the cohort will take place on Friday, September 16, 2011, from 12:00 PM to 2:00 PM. The mandatory meeting will be held at the Anschutz Medical Campus of UC Denver.

Schedule of mandatory meetings, all of which will take place at the Anschutz Medical Campus:
° Friday, September 16, 2011, 12:00-2:00

° Wednesday, May 16, 2012, 10:00-12:00

The Institutional Review Board (IRB)/Human Research Committee process should be completed early in the program. This review may take up to six weeks depending on the proposed project. PTLC coach/ mentors, the director (Mary Ann Shea), and the coordinator (Clayton Lewis) should be consulted to assist in this process.

Participation may include 2 years time maximally. During your year(s) of membership as a faculty researcher, the PTLC requires each participant to formally present their work on their respective campuses. Presentation includes departmental meetings and campus colloquia, among other venues. This spreads awareness of both your scholarship and of the PTLC.

The goal of the Collaborative is to have completed a peer reviewed research article by the end of 2 years. During the first year you will learn from actively participating in the twice a year mandatory assembled group meetings. You will also attend campus progress report meetings including instruction in different facets of education research. These meetings are mandatory. You will attend with your coach/mentor. Your campus faculty director will contact you regarding these schedules.

UCB: Clayton Lewis, Computer Science
Stefanie Mollborn, Sociology

UCD: Ellen Stevens, Center for Faculty Development

AMC: Mary Jane Rapport, SOM, Department of Physical Medicine and Development

UCCS: Elaine Cheesman, Special Education

Publication in a journal or presentation at a conference (or notification of acceptance) is expected no later than September 2013.

Because the growth of the PTLC depends on investigators’ willingness to coach/mentor future PTLC investigators following their term in the program, each researcher is expected to participate as a coach/mentor in the following year.


4) What kind of research does PTLC support?

The PTLC seeks to promote the practice of inquiry in teaching and of measuring student learning. PTLC faculty researchers work on projects that aim primarily at assessing student learning. Through their research on teaching and learning, we hope to improve the student experience at the university. This occurs through changes PTLC faculty researchers make in their own teaching after conducting their research. In addition, other faculty beyond PTLC participants may work to enhance their classrooms as a result of the dissemination of PTLC research. In particular, the Collaborative assists University faculty in developing scholarly projects on teaching and learning intended for publication. This program is modeled on the Carnegie Foundation’s national work on the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning.

Central to the PTLC is creating and disseminating scholarly work in teaching and learning to contribute to scholarship and practice in and across fields. To this end, each scholar designs and undertakes an investigation aimed at deepening her or his understanding of, and practice related to an important issue in innovative learning. Several features for projects should be kept in mind:
• Proposed work should center on definitions, experiences, problems, and values related to effective teaching and learning as well as investigations of one’s own students and classroom practices.
• The focus of this work should be teaching and learning for understanding, exploring primarily the character and depth of student learning that results (or does not) from particular teacher practices.
• We look for attention to enduring, widely recognized issues and questions that have broad relevance or implications for student learning. Scholarship that advances understanding of such questions is more likely to find audiences. We also are interested in work that demonstrates a commitment to the personal and social development of students.
• Of further interest is work explicitly linked to established lines of research. Like other forms of scholarship, the scholarship of teaching and learning builds on work done by others. All proposals should review research related to the specific problem to be investigated.


5) Testimonials from past participants.

“It was wonderful to hear about the scope of PTLC. I was so energized and it is a wonderful new thing to be involved in as things were just getting a bit stale, with same old, same old. I am thrilled to be in the program, and feel like I have a new lease on my creativity. I am honored, and gratified. I am looking forward to opening up a whole world of scholars that I can actually have a conversation with! I believe the President’s Teaching & Learning Collaborative has that potential!”

"At best, it makes professors more reflective about what they do, and the components of what they do that are measurable and not measurable."

"Mentors and coaches don't come from the same schools or departments, so collaborations develop."

"The PTLC program has prompted me to attempt an objective look at teaching and learning, my own as well as that of others. Reflecting on the educational process is a necessary step to improving on it. "

"By collaborating with mentors, coaches, a graduate research assistant, and teams of other PTLC researchers on a specific project, I've been encouraged to think a great deal about my teaching."

"My project and my mentor, force me to consider my underlying pedagogy theories, my approaches to students, and my techniques/methods... all of which are beneficial in exposing what works well and what doesn't."

“I find that it promotes inquiry into teaching because to carry out a research agenda you must study your teaching.”

"We're investigating how effective our teaching is, not just looking at it from our own perspective or our FCQs (summative assessments of our teaching of a course)."

"There is added visibility and recognition of team-based endeavors to enhance teaching and learning."

"We have interacted with many people across the campus, both faculty and staff, during our investigation. Many of these people are individuals with whom we would likely not have interacted otherwise."

"I would never have thought to work with a mentor not in my field, but it's been very useful... he has a much more publication oriented, quantitative approach than I do/did."

"I have collaborated with two faculty in different departments because of the PTLC."

"I learned a lot from other PTLC team member comments and suggestions, as well as our mentor and coach, to improve this project. Our PTLC meetings are great opportunities to share ideas across campuses."

"I've enjoyed meeting faculty from the system whose projects relate to different topics, but whose research essentially meets with the same problems, techniques, etc. as mine... we've had interesting discussions, sharing of info., etc."

"You know I do see myself as a researcher. I see myself as having a responsibility to my discipline. Truly to be able to develop a good research methodology, something valid, and then share it is validating that role for me. And that feels great."