As CU Boulder faculty adapt to the ongoing challenges of teaching in the COVID-19 era, they can take heart that they are not alone. Offering resources, training and outreach on all aspects of teaching and learning—and particularly, this fall, on the ins and outs of in-person, remote and hybrid teaching—CU Boulder’s Center for Teaching & Learning (CTL) is taking center stage as a teaching partner for CU Boulder faculty.
“Instructors at all levels can find resources and support at CTL for their teaching—regardless of modality and regardless of their level of experience,” said Kirk Ambrose, CTL’s founding director. “We don’t want anybody to feel helpless or frustrated—we’re here to assist new instructors as they develop their own voices as teachers and to empower the most experienced faculty to take their teaching to all new levels of success, whether remotely or in person.”
The CTL grew out of calls to create a common student-centered approach to teaching and learning from several campus initiatives, including Academic Futures, Foundations of Excellence, the IDEA Plan and the 2018 Academic Review and Planning Advisory Committee report on campus teaching and learning programs.
Formed in 2019, CTL integrated the Faculty Teaching Excellence Program and the Graduate Teacher Program into a unified set of efforts and continues many aspects of those programs’ offerings, while adding new and innovative classroom-focused initiatives.
This year, CTL hired several key staff, including leads for inclusive pedagogy, professional development and assessment. The CTL team continues to collaborate with partners across campus and to develop programming to serve and support faculty, instructors and graduate students.
Critical role in teaching support, consultations
This fall, CTL will offer a series of classroom-focused workshops around multiple teaching themes, open to all who teach or anyone interested in developing their teaching practices on the CU Boulder campus. In addition to stand-alone workshops, instructors can partake in a range of range of programs that enable sustained inquiries into teaching.
Several workshops and programs this fall focus on developing inclusive practices, with opportunities for faculty, staff and graduate students to engage with a self-paced reading and reflection course for anti-racist pedagogy via Canvas, weekly interactive community meetings and a workshop series on inclusive practices.
CTL continues to develop online teaching resources and will launch a newsletter in September to announce upcoming events and new offerings. Additionally, the group continues to offer consultations for individuals or units on topics such as inclusive pedagogy, assessment and hybrid or remote teaching strategies.
“The work that Kirk and the team at CTL are doing is transformative,” said Katherine Eggert, senior vice provost for academic planning and assessment. “It is transforming how we think about and engage in teaching and with students, as instructors and facilitators of learning inside and outside the classroom. In this way, it is also transforming the university’s role and impact, making it a resource for a lifetime of learning.”