Center for Research on Teaching and Learning Excellence helps faculty advance teaching practices

A sign points to the Center for Research on Teaching and Learning Excellence on Jan. 30 in Nedderman Hall. The mission of the center is to provide university educators with resources and programs for engaging students in successful learning.

The Center for Research on Teaching and Learning Excellence opened this semester to help faculty innovate and enhance their teaching styles.

The space is for faculty to gather and learn new ways to teach their students, Ann Cavallo, assistant vice provost and director of the Center for Research on Teaching and Learning Excellence, said in an email. The center also collaborates with faculty in writing education grant proposals.

“This center is needed for faculty as a positive, supportive place to gather, collaborate, consult, and gain support for advancing their teaching practices,” Cavallo said.

Teik Lim, provost and vice president for Academic Affairs, said in an email that the center will draw funding from the provost, external grants, and contracts and faculty support from colleges. However, a budget will develop step-by-step.

The center’s creation was a direct response to the desire to enhance the role of faculty in student learning and success, Lim said. By innovating teaching practices, students will be better prepared for their future careers.

Cavallo said Lim assembled a committee led by Toni Sol, vice provost for Faculty Affairs, and Maria Martinez-Cosio, associate vice provost for Faculty Affairs, last year to plan for the center. Cavallo devoted the fall semester to developing the mission and vision.

She said she gathered information and initiatives from similar centers at other universities and reviewed research and national documents to develop a vision for the teaching and learning.

Sol said in an email Cavallo’s experience in teacher development, grant writing and implementing innovative teaching methods makes her the perfect person to lead this campus initiative and resource.

Justin Dellinger, Learning Innovation and Networked Knowledge Research Lab associate director, said in an email the lab has moved under the center to provide support in research and practice.

“I am eager to work together on future grant submissions that will benefit not just UTA, but improve teaching and learning globally,” Dellinger said.

The center is an important resource for all instructors, Sol said. It’s exciting that the center will support faculty in their scholarship and research.

“We are very pleased that the center has opened and are expecting great collaborations, innovations, and grants,” she said.


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