"I couldn't have gotten tenure without good student evaluations, which CRLT-Engin helped make happen. Thanks!"

"Engineering education research activities are clearly flourishing at U-M, and your leadership is one of the major reasons why!"

"To me, one of the great things about CRLT-Engin is that it quietly and consistently gives faculty opportunities to reflect on and improve at teaching, such that the opportunities are there when faculty are ready for them."

Faculty testimonials such as these show the powerful impact that the Center for Research on Learning and Teaching in Engineering (CRLT-Engin) has had during the 10 years since its founding. Started in 2004 as a partnership between CRLT and the College of Engineering, CRLT-Engin has focused on supporting excellent teaching as well as furthering engineering education research at U-M. The center is staffed by consultants with expertise in both engineering and educational development, and it provides what one faculty member describes as "a space in which engineering education research is supported and celebrated"--and the insights of that research are translated into more effective teaching across the College. As another faculty member testifies, "On several occasions CRLT-Engin encouraged me to do what I thought would be impossible; I trusted their advice and implemented active learning in my large class. Now I do many things differently than before, with greater effectiveness and more enjoyment for students."  Read more »

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Registration is now open for CRLT's fall seminar series on teaching and learning. The programs offer U-M instructors opportunities to gain new perspectives on teaching at Michigan, share ideas across disciplines, and improve teaching skills. 

Our offerings include workshops for both faculty and graduate students on key skills like leading discussions and "flipping" a class. The series also features sessions on inclusive teaching: a six-session seminar for graduate students and postdocs on Diversity and Inclusive Teaching (co-facilitated by CRLT and IGR), as well as a workshop exploring the intersection of diversity and technology. Full details about these programs and more can be found on our Upcoming Events list. Read more »

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Students and faculty return to campus this fall amidst significant turmoil around the world. Whether it’s protests against police violence in Ferguson, Missouri, wars in the Middle East and Ukraine, or the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, distressing events far from home and close to it are likely to be on students’ minds—and therefore to enter your classrooms, whether you anticipate them or not. Because these issues in so many ways relate to differences in social identity and power—and because so many of our students have personal or family connections to places experiencing crisis—these events may also influence ongoing conversations about the campus climate here in Ann Arbor. 

None of these are simple or easy topics to talk about. Over many years, CRLT has developed guidelines for discussing difficult topics to support teachers in facilitating such conversations in classrooms across the curriculum. If you want to raise such topics in your classes in order to explore connections between course material and contemporary events, you can find strategies for planned discussions of high-stakes topicsOther resources offer you ways to prepare for and respond to challenging conversations that emerge when you haven’t planned for them.

Some strategies highlighted on these pages--useful for either planned or spontaneous discussions--include:  Read more »

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What are effective ways to get to know my students and create a positive learning environment from the very beginning of the term? How can I pique students' curiosity about the subject matter? How can I set student expectations for active engagement in the course?

These are common questions as teachers prepare for the first days of class, an important time for setting the tone for what is to come in the term. CRLT offers many resources to help faculty and GSIs think carefully about getting the most out of the first days. These include tips for learning student names, activities for building community, and suggestions for ways to introduce course material and communicate expectations.

Other resources about inclusive teaching provide specific strategies for ensuring that you foster learning environments that include and enable all of your students, from the very beginning of the term. Inclusive teaching can begin before you ever walk into a classroom, as emphasized by these resources on course design and syllabus design.

As always, CRLT consultants are also available to work one-on-one with instructors. We're here to help you get your classes off to a great start.

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On Wednesday, August 27, CRLT will join President Schlissel and Provost Pollack in welcoming hundreds of new faculty members to the University of Michigan. Every year, we run a program that orients new faculty to U-M, helping them prepare for their many and varied roles--as teachers, researchers, mentors and colleagues, and even community members. 

The day's events include:

  • Welcoming addresses from the President and Provost
  • A performance by the CRLT Players sparking conversation about Michigan's diverse students and the faculty's many roles and responsibilities 
  • Faculty panelists sharing insights from their experiences about "What It's Like to Work at Michigan"
  • Workshops and presentations on teaching strategies across a broad range of disciplines and settings
  • An information fair where new faculty can learn about offices and organizations around U-M and beyond.

The program takes place at the Michigan League, and new faculty from all U-M campuses are invited. Find more information, including a full agenda, here.

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