Published: Oct. 12, 2021 By
Learning by design cohort

Image Caption: Pictured left to right - Jennifer Scheib (CivilEng), Colleen Scanlan-Lyons (ENVS), Katherine Lininger, (GEOG), Jay Arehart (CivilEng), Andrew Tan (IPHY), Diana Oliveras (Creative Minds RAP), Donna Louie (Creative Minds RAP) and Bradley Markle (GEOG).

Over the last eighteen months, we’ve all experienced unprecedented shifts in our daily lives, including how, when, and where teaching and learning happens. One bright side is that these shifts have given us the opportunity to examine precisely those aspects of teaching and learning. To that end, CU Boulder has incredibly dedicated faculty who are engaging in professional development to become even better at their teaching craft. 

A few of those dedicated faculty were recently accepted into the Fall 2021 Learning by Design cohort and will be spending this semester examining the design of their courses and ways to infuse active learning strategies into their teaching. Please join ASSETT in congratulating these eight faculty who were selected from a very competitive group of applicants:

  • Jay Arehart, Instructor, Civil Engineering
  • Katherine Lininger, Assistant Professor, Geography 
  • Donna Louie, Instructor, Creative Minds RAP 
  • Bradly Markle, Assistant Professor, Geology and INSTAAR
  • Diana Oliveras, Instructor, Environmental and Natural Sciences RAP
  • Colleen Scanlan-Lyons, Associate Research Professor, Environmental Studies
  • Jennifer Scheib, Instructor, Civil Engineering
  • Andrew Tan, Assistant Professor, Integrative Physiology

This offering is available thanks to the efforts of Leilani Arthurs, Associate Professor of Geological Sciences. She and her team were awarded a $2.3 million grant by the National Science Foundation to implement the Active Learning Academy (ALA), a series of three professional development programs. This series of programs is aimed at building capacity at CU Boulder for student-centered teaching in undergraduate science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) courses. Arthurs is the lead facilitator of the ALA, with Amanda McAndrew (ASSETT) and Alisha Clark (Assistant Professor of Geology and an ALA alum) in supporting roles.

The first in the ALA series is the Learning by Design program. It is an eight-session program with primary goals to (a) introduce participants to research-based instructional strategies and course design principles that facilitate active learning in an undergraduate STEM course they teach or will teach and (b) cultivate a faculty learning community that together explores ways to apply active learning to their chosen courses. After the end of the fall semester, participants will have completed and submitted a teaching portfolio for their chosen course, which can be later used for reference in annual reviews, promotion, and tenure. Additionally, they will be awarded a $1000 stipend for their efforts. The Learning by Design program is in its third year and will be offered again in fall 2022.

Participants who complete the Learning by Design program will have the opportunity to continue their pursuit of teaching excellence in the other two ALA programs. The second in the ALA series is the Follow-Up Mentoring program, which will be offered each spring semester for four years. The third in the ALA series is the Course Re/Design Award program, which will be offered during the summer/fall period for three years. 

For additional information about the Active Learning Academy and its programmatic offerings, please contact, or