The national Center for the Integration of Research, Teaching and Learning (CIRTL) works to improve STEM learning by supporting future faculty to develop effective teaching practices that have a positive impact on STEM education for all students. CIRTL has established a network of 23 research universities from across the country. At Northwestern, we are building communities of practice within and across the STEM disciplines to address challenges in STEM teaching and learning through on-campus programs and online programs.
Mentored Discussions of Teaching (MDT) is a collaborative effort between STEM faculty, graduate students, and postdocs to improve STEM teaching. MDT participants observe faculty teaching undergraduate or early graduate courses and meet with them to discuss their perspectives and methods. MDT participants also engage in discussions that cover key topics in teaching.
Launched in 2015, the Searle Teaching-As-Research Program is a classroom-based research initiative designed to improve learning and teaching in the STEM disciplines. Graduate students and postdoctoral fellows in STEM engage in evidence-based classroom research within the context of a supportive community of practitioners. STAR participants identify a classroom-based research question centered on improving student learning, review relevant literature, gather, analyze and interpret data, and reflect on the research findings and implications.