Springing into Spring 2024: An Update from the CTL Fellows

Emily, Jacqueline, Katherine, Nicole, Sophie and Zoe share project updates from this semester

CTL Grad Fellows have been busy this semester on a variety of new and exciting projects. Check out some of these projects below and be sure to sign up for the CTL newsletter to receive regular updates on CTL programs, events, and more! 

Programs: Old and New 

On March 8th, the first pilot meeting was held for IGNITE, ignite logo a new community for postdocs and graduate students in the later stages of their degree to connect on shared interests in teaching. IGNITE will hold a second pilot meeting on April 12th and officially kick off in Fall 2024!  

Additionally, the Graduate Student and Postdoc (GSPD) Reading Community provides another space for students to engage in cross-disciplinary conversations on critical topics in teaching and learning. The GSPD Reading Community restarted this semester and is co-facilitated by a CTL fellow and the CTL’s newest staff member Dr. Elina Salminen. This spring they are discussing power dynamics in the classroom and the group will continue to explore new topics each semester. 

The regularly offered Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) Seminar is in full swing. The seminar is co-facilitated by a CTL fellow and staff members Dr. Elina Salminen, Dr. Lisa Kuehne, and Dr. Rick Moore. Completion of the SoTL seminar is a requirement for the Professional Development in Teaching’s Practitioner Level. Students discuss the SoTL discipline and design a SoTL research project throughout this semester-long seminar.  

Finally, on Thursday, March 21st, CTL fellows hosted a new workshop on Effective Use of Visuals in Presentations. Look out for new related articles to be added to CTL resources soon!  

New Initiatives Tackling Generative AI 

As part of a new initiative to help educators interact with AI as it transforms the teaching landscape, CTL fellows and staff are collaborating with Digital Publishing librarians to build an online repository where WashU instructors can upload teaching activities that engage generative AI in creative and critical ways. The archive will be introduced in a virtual conversation in April. Stay tuned for more updates!

Assessing MTE Orientation and Training Resources 

In our latest data analysis project, CTL fellows utilized a Large Language Model (LLM) to analyze feedback from the annual MTE Workshop. This innovative approach has enabled us to extract actionable themes that are instrumental to updating the structure of workshops and feedback systems to better serve students’ needs.  

Additionally, CTL Fellows are seeking feedback from international graduate students on their teaching experiences at WashU to inform new training, programs, and resources geared towards our international student community.

Ongoing Research 

Fellows are engaged in multiple SoTL projects! One project focuses on how students’ survey fatigue may limit SoTL research that utilizes surveys. Another project seeks to understand what drives some students to engage deeply with CTL programming while others do not. 

In short, it’s been a busy semester so far for the CTL Fellows, but one that promises many exciting new initiatives ahead! 

Questions? Contact Lisa Kuehne to be connected to a fellow who can help you get involved with our programming!