The University of Iowa Center for the Integration of Research, Teaching and Learning (CIRTL)

About Our Local CIRTL

The University of Iowa joined the Center for the Integration of Research, Teaching and Learning (CIRTL) - established in 2003 with support from the National Science Foundation - to improve teaching skills and increase the diversity of future university faculty in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields. The UI is among 43 members. All of CIRTL’s members commit to developing local learning communities that promote proven teaching and mentoring techniques for STEM graduate students. As a new CIRTL member, the UI has developed its own programs built on the CIRTL core ideas: Teaching-as-research, learning communities, and learning-through-diversity. CIRTL stresses the use of successful, evidence-based strategies proven to promote active learning and to help STEM students from all backgrounds succeed and complete their degrees. Teaching strategies include: connecting classroom topics to real-world situations, promoting inclusive learning, encouraging teamwork through shared projects and study groups, continually assessing student progress, and using research skills to advance effective teaching practices.

Become a CIRTL Member

All University of Iowa graduate students and postdocs are eligible to become CIRTL members. Interested participants only need to create an account on the national CIRTL Network website, and you can access any of the online programming that is available.

Pathways to Associate, Practitioner and Scholar Levels

  1. Pathway to Associate Level: UI graduate students and postdocs may participate in various activities ranging from workshops to multi-week learning groups or courses. To achieve Associate Level, CIRTL participants will choose from local activities or CIRTL network activities and must participate in a minimum of 5 activities (or sessions for extended activity or series). These 5 activities may include local as well as CIRTL network activities (CIRTLCast, CIRTL Reads Journal Club and others), but at least one activity must be local. A full-length course focused on teaching may also be used to fulfill the Associate Level requirements. These activities will directly address CIRTL content areas and include offerings that teach students to describe and recognize key CIRTL competencies. Students will be required to submit an application summarizing the activities comprising the Associate Level requirements.
  2. Pathway to Practitioner Level: After completing the Associate level, CIRTL participants can earn the Practitioner level by designing and completing a “Teaching as Research (TAR)” project. To prepare and plan the TAR project, CIRTL participants must submit a proposal describing the TAR project. Participants are strongly encouraged to take a course offered through the CIRTL network such as Teaching as Research or Advancing Learning through Evidence-Based STEM Learning (MOOC) to prepare for the TAR project. To complete the Practitioner level, CIRTL participants will be required to submit a short reflection on their TAR project and to present a poster on their TAR project at a CIRTL Capstone experience.
  3. Pathway to Scholar Level: CIRTL participants attain the Scholar level through dissemination of their scholarly education research nationally or regionally. Possible options would be a presentation at a national conference, a seminar at another campus, or publication in a scholarly journal.

UI Leadership

Steering Committee

The steering committee will meet regularly and will act as an advisory group for the local CIRTL network. The steering committee will be consulted on programming both locally and cross network and for assistance with outreach to the local CIRTL community. The steering committee will consist of the following faculty and students from STEM fields and with expertise in education and assessment. Several students and postdoctoral associates will be invited to participate in the steering committee to provide a student perspective and insight.

CIRTL Teaching-as-Research (TAR) Fellows (2017)

Ranthony Edmonds, Mathematics
Project Title: “A Partially Flipped Model for a College Trigonometry Course”
Research Questions
1. What is the effect of the instructional videos on student performance on course assessments?
2. What is the effect of the flipped instruction on students’ perception of their own learning?
3. What is the effect of flipped instruction on student attitudes towards the course?
Emily Hammond, Biomedical Engineering
Project Title: “The Effect of Reading Quiz Questions on Student Test Scores in a Flipped Classroom”
Research Question
What is the relationship between the type of reading quiz questions and test scores in a flipped classroom environment?
Meaghan Rowe-Johnson, Counseling Psychology
Project Title: “Enhancing Graduate School Application Self-Efficacy for Underrepresented First-Generation, Low-income Students through Targeted Interventions in the Classroom.”
Research Question
Do interventions in the “Applying to Graduate School” course increase Graduate School Application Self-Efficacy (GSASE) over the course of the semester?
Braden Krien, English Literature
Project Title: “Strengths-Based Writing in the FYC Classroom”
Research Question
To what extent does the inclusion of strategies based on the StrengthsFinder assessment help to lower students writing anxiety and increase self-perceptions of writing effectiveness in the FYC classroom?
Yejun Bae, Science Education
Project Title: “Teaching from the Heart: Non-Threatening Learning Environments and Science Learning”
Research Questions
1. Why is creating non-threatening learning environments necessary for all students’ math and science learning?
2. What are the role of teachers’ knowledge and beliefs on multiculturalism in terms of creating non-threatening learning environments?
Caitlin Smith, Epidemiology
Project Title: “How Private is Our Genetic Information?”
Research Question
Does Case-Based Teaching improve media literacy among public health students in the context of scientific research reporting?
Soumya Venkitakrishnan, Audiology
Project Title: “Effectiveness of Online MCQ Quizzes in an Undergraduate Audiology Course”
Research Question
Does the use of online-MCQs based quizzes help in learning?
Tanja Roembke, Psychology
Project Title: “Increasing Student Feedback during the Semester to Improve Teaching and Learning Outcomes”
Research Question
How does increased feedback by students influence teaching quality/ effectiveness, student and teacher satisfaction?

Coming soon.