Teaching as Research Seminar

The online Teaching as Research Seminar (TaRS) trains participants to assess the impact of teaching interventions in the classroom. Over the course of these four asynchronous modules, participants gain proficiency in the Teaching as Research (TaR) method by defining an original research question, exploring data collection and assessment tools, and drawing on the support of peers and the instructor to draft a complete TaR proposal. The seminar culminates in the presentation of these proposals to the seminar cohort.

See below for details and TaRS module descriptions.

Teaching Development Program logoThis program fulfills the seminar requirements in the Advanced Track of CTL’s Teaching Development Program (TDP) for graduate students.

Apply by January 16!

CTL is accepting applications for the Spring 2024 run of TaRS through Tuesday, January 16. For more information about this seminar, email us at CTLgrads@columbia.edu.


Current Columbia University graduate students and postdocs who are interested in…

  • Understanding the role of Teaching as Research (TaR) in evidence-based pedagogy
  • Exploring educational research literature
  • Learning about data collection and assessment tools pertinent to teaching and learning
  • Defining and developing an original TaR proposal


The Teaching as Research Seminar will run online from January 22 to March 3. Outside of the seminar kickoff on Monday, 1/22 (2:40–3:55 pm ET via Zoom) and online presentations scheduled for the week of February 26, this seminar is asynchronous. There are no regular in-person or online meetings. Instead, weekly due dates every Sunday will help participants work through modules with the rest of the cohort and engage in peer review activities.


Click on the toggles below to read the module descriptions.

Module 1. TaR Questions

In Module 1, learn about the iterative process of Teaching-as-Research (TAR) as a means to help you decide how to go about assessing your teaching and your students’ learning. After gaining an introduction to TaR in context with other educational assessment terms, you will discuss sample TAR research questions to help you develop an original research question to help guide your own assessment work.

Module 2. Grounding Your TaR Question in the Literature

In Module 2, learn how to contextualize and refine your drafted TaR question by looking into the research of teaching and learning in your academic discipline and beyond. After reviewing TaR questions by other participants, you will draft a literature review that puts your refined research question into context.

Module 3. Introduction to Assessment Methods

In Module 3, learn how to select the data collection and analysis methods that may be appropriate for assessing your research question. To do so, you will see examples of some common methods, and dive more deeply into a few methods of greatest interest to you. At the end of the module, you will draft an introduction and methods section that discusses the fit of your assessment approaches and analyses to your TaR question.

Module 4. Teaching and Learning Assessment Instruments and Analysis

In Module 4, dive deeper into assessment instruments and analysis techniques that are relevant to your TaR project. After engaging in peer review of your colleagues’ introductions and methods sections, revise your own and design an assessment instrument that will help you put your plan into action.

Module 5. Proposing Your TaR Project

In Module 5, learn how to put all of the parts of your proposal together, and get direct feedback on a complete draft of your assessment plan. Drawing from and completing your peer reviews, you will draft a final proposal for your project, and create a short five-minute pitch that summarizes your goals and approach – a pitch similar to what you could use if you were talking about this project in an interview.

Seminar objectives

After participating in this seminar series, you will be able to:

  • Explain Teaching as Research (TaR), its role in the spectrum of the scholarship of teaching and learning (SoTL), and its usefulness in your own teaching
  • Define and refine a TaR research question
  • Select appropriate methods for data collection and analysis for a TaR project
  • Draft a proposal to implement a TaR project



Email CTLgrads@columbia.edu with any questions about this seminar.