The Center for the Integration of Research, Teaching, and Learning (CIRTL) is an NSF Center for Learning and Teaching in higher education. CIRTL uses graduate education as the leverage point to develop a national STEM faculty committed to implementing and advancing effective teaching practices for diverse student audiences as part of successful professional careers. The goal of CIRTL is to improve the STEM learning of all students at every college and university, and thereby to increase the diversity in STEM fields and the STEM literacy of the nation.
Established in fall 2006, the CIRTL Network was comprised of Howard University, Michigan State University, Texas A&M University, University of Colorado at Boulder, University of Wisconsin-Madison, and Vanderbilt University. After a substantial expansion in 2011 the Network now includes 23 research universities across the nation. The diversity of these institutions—private/public; large/moderate size; majority-/minority-serving; geographic location—is by design aligned with CIRTL’s mission.
The Teaching Institute for Graduate Education Research (TIGER) was formed in 2006 and builds on the CIRTL core ideas—learning-through-diversity, learning communities, and teaching-as-research—to promote development of future STEM faculty in teaching and learning. TIGER works to enhance the creative synergy that exists between graduate student teaching and research, and TIGER’s main goal is to show graduate students who aspire to be future faculty members how to utilize their disciplinary knowledge and research experience to develop innovative teaching practices for undergraduate education.
Within the Teaching Institute for Graduate Education Research, programs such as TIGER Teaching-as-Research Guided Engineering Teams (TARGET) and the TIGER Summer Teaching-as-Research Institute for Postdocs in Engineering (STRIPE) workshop aim to further support TIGER’s mission and incorporate CIRTL goals.
TIGER Teaching-as-Research Guided Engineering Teams brings together faculty and students in College of Engineering to study aspects of teaching and learning within engineering. Together, these teams will use the familiar tools of research in their field to study teaching and learning in their discipline. The TIGER TARGET program is an expansion of the TIGER Teaching-as-Research program, and is an initiative to include undergraduate and graduate students, post-docs and faculty members.
TIGER Summer Teaching-as-Research Institute for Postdocs in Engineering is a one-week summer institute for postdoctoral fellows in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) fields in which they will apply engineering principles of design, build, test and iterate to specific course development and utilize access to relevant literature and techniques. The 4-hour per day, 5-day workshop will include educational research techniques, CIRTL topics, and seminal engineering education research findings. Participants will complete a genuine teaching and learning experience to discuss in their faculty job interviews.