The Center for Research on Learning and Teaching (CRLT) at the University of Michigan has a position opening. Applicants with any area of PhD specialization will be considered. Applicants with extensive experience will be considered for an Assistant Director title. Applicants new to the practice of faculty development will be considered for an Instructional Consultant title. Candidates from groups historically underrepresented in faculty development are encouraged to apply.

Consultants at CRLT have the following responsibilities:

  • Developing and implementing programs and activities for the improvement of teaching
  • Consulting with faculty, graduate students, and academic units about teaching, curricular development and program evaluation
  • Promoting pedagogical methods appropriate for a diverse student body

Starting date:As soon as possible.

Job requirements: Ph.D.; college teaching experience; faculty and/or TA development experience; facility using a range of technology tools for teaching; ability to work effectively in settings of social and intellectual diversity; strong oral and written communication skills; and sensitivity to teaching and learning needs at a major research university Read more »


The research is clear that peer cooperation promotes learning and can foster students' appreciation of diverse perspectives. But how to get students on board to realize the full benefits of working with their peers?

In other blog posts, CRLT has featured some effective strategies for structuring group work and guiding student pairs. Here, we highlight one U-M instructor who is applying those strategies to foster group work that has won high praise from her students and, by their account, facilitated their success with the most challenging aspects of the course.

Cynthia (Cindee) Giffen, who teaches Biology 171 in the Comprehensive Studies Program, assigns her students to in-class working groups that change several times a semester. The class includes students with a diverse range of background preparation, and the groups are designed to provide a safe space for students to work through complex activities, ask questions, and make mistakes in a low-risk environment as they prepare for individual assessments. Giffen requires students to work on complex tasks in groups during class. Students receive a participation grade for their engagement in the group activities, but all written work they submit for a grade is completed individually, using their own words. Students are motivated to work in these groups, then, in part because these low-stakes interactions prepare them to submit their best work when it's time to earn a grade. Read more »


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

This semester, our offerings include workshops for both faculty and graduate students on key skills like leading discussions and writing exams. To help U-M instructors make a smooth transition to using the Canvas learning management system, we are also offering sessions on teaching with Canvas for both faculty and GSIs. And as always, our seminar series features sessions on topics related to diversity and inclusive teaching. This fall, these include a faculty panel entitled "How Do We Teach About Privilege?"; a four-session seminar for graduate students and postdocs on Diversity and Inclusive Teaching (co-facilitated by CRLT and IGR); and a workshop exploring the intersection of technology and accessibility. Full details about these programs and more can be found on our Upcoming Events list. Read more »


Classroom instructor with students using laptops.As U-M instructors put the finishing touches on their fall syllabi, many are pondering technology policies for their courses. Instructors across all disciplines at Michigan have developed creative ways to utilize technologies to facilitate student learning. As many U-M faculty examples demonstrate, laptops and mobile electronic devices can be leveraged in the classroom to enhance student interaction, collaboration, content knowledge, and practice with key skills. 

Yet many teachers find the presence of such devices a hindrance to student learning in their classes and seek ways to limit their classroom use. Recent writings about this concern have cited the distraction of the student user, the distraction of their fellow students (with one faculty commentator comparing classroom laptop use to second-hand smoke), or the sometimes-alarming uses of social media among groups of students during class. Many faculty are also persuaded to limit laptops in the classroom by research on the benefits of notetaking by hand for those students who are able. Considering these concerns alongside the development of ever-better instructional technologies, what's the best technology policy to adopt?

Of course, there is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, and the choices you make will depend on any number of factors including your discipline, class size, pedagogical strategies, and learning goals for students. Any instructor effectively has three choices, considerations about each of which we outline below: Read more »


CRLT staff are busy preparing orientation programs for new Graduate Student Instructors across campus. Our fall GSI Teaching Orientation is coming up on August 31-September 1 in the Michigan League, followed by an orientation for Engineering GSIs on September 3. Every fall, hundreds of graduate students who are teaching for the first time at U-M attend our orientations. 

These programs provide opportunities for new GSIs across campus to think deliberately about how to engage and support the learning of every student in their classes. They feature a range of activities and sessions that highlight resources and strategies to help participants succeed as teachers at U-M. These include: Read more »