CIRTL Pilots Teaching-as-Research (TAR) Seminar

April 27, 2023
Photo of TAR Students, Spring 2023

TAR participants (l-r) Geoff Finch, Keila Espinoza, Masa Miscevic, and Dr. Aparna Apadhyay met weekly to work on their projects. Not pictured: Sean Zhu.

This semester, four graduate students and one postdoctoral scholar piloted a new 1-credit course (IA699: Teaching-as-Research) designed to guide them through a teaching-as-research project. The course, offered in partnership with the University Center for Teaching, Assessment, and Technology (UCATT), was adapted from fellow CIRTL institution UW-Madison's DELTA internship program, which has overseen more than 300 successful TAR projects over the past 20 years.

The five participants--Masa Miscevic (Neuroscience), Keila Espinoza (Physiological Sciences), Sean Zhu (Mathematics), Geoffrey Finch (Ecology and Evolutionary Biology), and Dr. Aparna Apadhyay (also Mathematics)--met weekly with course instructors Dr. Kristin Winet and Dr. Byron Hempel. 

Over the course of the semester, they identified a STEM student learning challenge, asked questions about how to improve the challenge, designed a literature-informed teaching plan to address the challenge, and analyzed their data to improve student learning and reflect on their teaching. In the spirit of the pilot, they gave feedback to the course instructors each week on what they enjoyed, where they saw their learning happen most, and what they'd like to see more/less.

Each project is unique, providing an experience to help participants reach their career goals--whether in outreach, industry, or higher education. To see their final projects, you can visit the collaborative UArizona Teaching-as-Research website, which will hold a repository of all course projects in coming semesters.

If you are interested in joining the next TAR cohort in the fall or you are a faculty member interested in working with a TAR student, contact co-instructors Dr. Kristin Winet and Dr. Byron Hempel.

We are extremely grateful to Dr. Devin Wixon, Associate Director for the UW-Madison DELTA program, for offering her curriculum and guidance on this project. Thank you for putting up with all of our Zoom calls and emails!