The University of Iowa

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

Information on Summer 2020 CIRTL Programming.

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 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 at UI is open to all graduate students in any academic discipline, not just STEM disciplines. CIRTL stresses the use of successful, evidence-based strategies proven to promote active learning and to help 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 email to join our local CIRTL community and create an account on the national CIRTL Network website, and you can access any of the online programming that is available. 

Do you want to learn more about UI CIRTL? Click to book a CIRTL Introduction Appointment.

Pathways to Associate, Practitioner and Scholar Levels

Associate Level: 

A CIRTL Associate can describe and recognize the value of the CIRTL Core Ideas. Participation at this level involves participating in workshop, seminars, and classes to learn about existing knowledge around issues in teaching and learning within a discipline or more broadly. The Associate Level can be completed in as little as one semester or workshops can be taken over the course of several semesters.

To achieve Associate Level:

  • Participate in a minimum of 5 CIRTL activities or programs. These 5 activities may include local as well as CIRTL network activities but at least one activity must be local.
  • To see the University of Iowa local CIRTL approved workshops and CIRTL network events for the current semester, visit and click on the “Programs and Events” tab


  • Complete a full-length course focused on teaching. This can be through the CIRTL network (full courses or MOOCs) or an approved UI course.  Many UI pedagogy-based courses can be used to fulfill this requirement.  Some examples of currently approved UI courses are below.  If you have taken a different course you can email with the course name/number and description to see if it qualifies.
    • EDTL/EPLS/GRAD/RCE/PSQF:7385 Teaching and Learning in Higher Education 3 s.h.
    • GRAD/PSQF:6217 Seminar in College Teaching 3 s.h.
    • SOC:7010 Teaching Sociology 3 s.h.
    • PSQF:6205 Design of Instruction 3 s.h.
    • PSQF:6211 Universal Design and Accessibility for Online Learning
    • PSQF:6215 Web-Based Learning 3 s.h.
    • PSQF:6216 Tools and Utilities for Online Teaching 3 s.h.
    • CLAS:5100:0001 Practicum: College Teaching for TAs 1 s.h.

Participants are required to submit an application summarizing the activities comprising the Associate Level requirements and reflecting on their experiences

Practitioner Level: 

Practitioners exercise the knowledge they gained at the Associate level. They understand how to develop and implement a Teaching-as-Research project. The Practitioner Level certificate takes approximately 2 semesters to complete. The semesters do not have to be consecutive. It can also be completed in a spring semester and summer term.

To achieve Practitioner Level:

  • Have attained an Associate Level certificate
  • Participate in a TAR prep cohort and attend 5 workshops designed to prepare students to propose and implement a TAR project (1 semester)
  • Propose a Teaching as Research (TAR) project (culmination project of TAR prep cohort)
  • Implement a “Teaching as Research (TAR)” project (1 semester or summer term)
  • Attend bi-weekly Implementation cohort meetings during the semester (or summer) they implement their project
  • Present reflections on their TAR project experience at a UI CIRTL capstone event

Participants who successfully complete the TAR prep cohort series and propose a project will receive $250. Participants who successfully implement their project and participate in the Implementation cohort will receive an additional $250.

Want to learn more about TAR projects or talk through your TAR project ideas?  Book a TAR Project Appointment here

Scholar Level:

CIRTL Scholars add to community knowledge about teaching and learning and disseminate their findings at a regional, national, or international venue.

To achieve Scholar Level:

  • Have attained both Associate and Practitioner level certificates


  • Present their TAR project research and results at a regional or national conference either in their discipline or a Teaching and Learning-related conference


  • Publish an article in a peer-reviewed journal about their TAR project research and results (either in a discipline-specific journal or a teaching and learning journal)


  • Participate in the CIRTL Network Exchange Program and present a talk on their TAR project at another CIRTL institution

Funds are available to help with conference registration and travel to present about TAR projects.

Participants who complete the Scholar level will have the opportunity to mentor graduate students who are designing and implementing TAR projects.

Summer 2020 Transforming Your Research Into Teaching Workshop series for CIRTL Associate Level Credit

Transforming Your Research Into Teaching

Tuesdays June 16th-July 28th; 4:00-5:00 pm ct via Zoom

This is a 7-session workshop series designed to expose you to the basic elements of course design.  Over the course of this workshop, you will design a course based on your current area of research interest.   This workshop series is open to MFAs, PhDs, and Post-docs from any academic discipline.  We will work slowly, one aspect of the course at a time, to allow you to fully develop your ideas and not detract unnecessarily from your research goals.  At the end of the workshop you will present your course to the group and design a full course syllabus.

Course Benefits:

·         Design a syllabus for a unique and specific course you can teach – important for going on the academic job market

·         Learn and practice effective teaching strategies

·         Learn and implement course design fundamentals

·         Receive CIRTL Associate Level certificate


Course Logistics:

This workshop uses the “flipped course” format.  Each week you will watch a series of videos to learn about effective teaching and course design.  Then you will attend a 1 hour seminar to discuss what you have learned, practice techniques, and give and receive feedback on your classmates’ projects.  Including class time expect to spend about 3 hours per week on this course.

The course runs from June 16th through July 28th.  Seminar sessions are on Tuesdays from 4:00-5:00.  Attendance at all seminar sessions is highly recommended.

At several points in the course you will have the opportunity to virtually meet and work with graduate students and post-docs from four other research universities who are also taking this course. 


Register here!

 Summer 2020 Teaching As Research Project Prep Cohort Information

Requirements for Participation:

  • Be a current UI graduate student or post-doc in any discipline
  • Have earned the CIRTL Associate level certificate
  • Any graduate students or post-docs who would like to join this cohort, but have not yet earned the CIRTL Associate Level certificate will need to meet with the CIRTL Coordinator ( to discuss their prior pedagogical experience. 

The summer 2020 TAR cohort will meet on Mondays starting June 1st through June 27th from 3:30-5:00 pm on Zoom.

If you are interested in joining our summer 2020 cohort, please email Lisa Kelly (

Other Information:

  • Participants do not have to be a TA or be teaching a class during this semester. Ideally they will be a TA or instructor in a future class so project implementation is possible. Projects can also center around a question related to academic support or a departmental teaching concern and data sets available through university offices or departments, so classroom teaching is not required for proposal or implementation.

Teaching as Research Project Prep Cohorts (hosted fall, spring, summer semesters)
The Iowa CIRTL Program (Center for the Integration of Research, Teaching & Learning) is recruiting graduate students and post-docs who are interested in creating Teaching as Research (TAR) projects.. A TAR project is an opportunity to use your disciplinary research skills to develop a research question relating to teaching and propose a project that would allow you to investigate this question with a class you are teaching or a TA for, or a data set available through your department or other university offices or departments. These projects can be small or large scale and can help you develop your reflective teaching skills.  A project also is a great talking point on a resume or CV and in a job interview. If you are close to graduating and will not be able to implement a project, the work of designing and proposing a project is by itself a worthwhile endeavor.

Examples of Recent Projects:

  • Accommodating Student Learning Preferences in Online Classes
  • Increasing Lecture Effectiveness Through Including Active Learning Activities
  • The Impact of Discussing Diversity in Constructing Identity for Freshmen Engineering Students
  • Increasing Student Motivation Through Enhanced Assignment Design
  • Student Perceptions of Expository Approach to Mathematics

Everyone who attends all sessions and submits a proposal will receive a $250 stipend. Those that implement the project in a future semester will receive an additional $250 and the CIRTL Practitioner certificate.  The workshop schedule is listed below.

If you are interested in joining a future cohort, please email Lisa Kelly (

Prerequisites: Graduate students and post-docs from any academic discipline who have taken a graduate level teaching-related course (at UI or elsewhere) or 5 teaching-related workshops (from the Center for Teaching, your department, the Graduate College, another academic department, etc.) are eligible to participate. If you have questions about whether a course or workshops you have taken fit, please email Lisa Kelly (  with information about the course or workshops.    

TAR Prep Cohort required workshops

  • Intro to Teaching as Research
  • Evidence-Based Teaching Methods
  • Finding Library Resources
  • Methods and Assessment
  • Applying for IRB​​​​​​

Participants who successfully attend all workshops and complete a project proposal will receive $250 and a CIRTL badge for their CV.

Participants who are able to implement/assess this project in a future semester will receive an additional $250 and earn the CIRTL Practitioner certificate.

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.