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Cornell University

CIRTL at Cornell

Teaching as Research Support

Graphic entitled The Process of Developing and Implementing a Teaching-as-Research Project. Steps run left to right and are: Get Inspired, Define the Question, Perform a Literature Review, Obtain IRB Approval, Define Methods and Evaluation Tools, Perform Intervention, Collect Data, Report and Reflect, and Iterate.Teaching as Research is the deliberate, systematic, and reflective use of research methods by instructors to develop and implement teaching practices that advance the learning experiences and outcomes of both students and teachers.

Teaching as Research programming can be a great capstone experience for graduate students and postdocs interested in learning more about teaching and learning, enhancing their CVs, and moving closer to an academic career. Cornell and the CIRTL Network offer the below options for learning more about and engaging in Teaching as Research projects.

Four ways to begin a Teaching as Research Project:

Local Training

1. Take ALS 6016: Teaching as Research in Higher Education

This course exposes students to the literature on the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SOTL) and facilitates their engagement in teaching as research within their disciplines. Participants usually begin to plan a Teaching as Research project in Fall semester and investigate human subjects requirements, and carry out and present the project in Spring semester while taking the course. This project is typically presented at a symposium as a poster (oral presentations may also be possible). Participants in the course have the option to write a manuscript for a Working Paper Series.

Course details:

  • Instructor: Kimberly Williams, Center for Teaching Innovation
  • 2 credits, meets once weekly for 2.5 hours
  • Offered in Spring semester only
  • Pre-requisite: ALS 6015 (or by instructor permission)


2. Participate in the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Practicum

A workshop version of a similar curriculum to ALS 6016, but more individualized and self-guided, and with no pre-requisites. This program offers participants a good chance to design and implement a pilot-scale project in one semester. Projects to be presented at June symposium as a poster. $500 stipend to defray project expenses and support additional training or conference travel.

Program details:

  • Instructor: Kimberly Williams, Center for Teaching Innovation
  • Not credit-bearing
  • Meets 4-6 times for 2 hours during the year
  • Offered annually


Online Training

3. Take an Online CIRTL Course – CIRTL Teaching as Research Course

In this course participants design a Teaching as Research project and write up a proposal but do not carry it out. A letter of completion will be provided. 

Course details:

  • Fall 2017 Instructor: Denise Pope, University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • 1 credit optional (via a Cornell graduate individual study course number)

As with the Teaching as Research online CIRTL course, participants design a Teaching as Research project and write a proposal but do not carry it out. Letter of completion provided. Videos from the course are now posted for public viewing as a resource. Next offered Spring 2018.

Image credit: Laura Slane, CIRTL Network (