Teaching Transformations Ivy+ Summit

The Teaching Transformations Summit is a yearly gathering of graduate students across Ivy Plus institutions who are especially committed to improving the support, discourse, and practice of pedagogy in higher education. Each year Columbia sends a select group to share teaching approaches and engage in a series of frank and generative discussions with colleagues at other institutions. The summit is a unique chance to form national connections with graduate students actively working to transform the academy through teaching development.

In 2022 this program will again run online, on May 6 from 12:00 – 3:00 pm ET.

Teaching Transformations Summit, Columbia University 2019

Register by April 15

This year’s Ivy Plus Teaching Transformations Summit will run online on Friday, May 6 from 12-3pm ET. Former and current CTL Fellows (LTFs, TOFs, TAFs, FAAs, Teaching Consultants) are invited to register.

About the Teaching Transformations Summit

In what way are graduate students actively working to transform the academy through teaching development? This fundamental question takes on timely urgency given data about undergraduate motivation and retention, calls for inclusive teaching, the rapid evolution of digital learning tools, and a challenging academic employment landscape. 

The Teaching Transformations Summit is a gathering of current graduate students and teaching development professionals across several Ivy Plus institutions who engage in conversations about their own teaching practices as well as systematic changes in higher education. 

Past Summits

2021: Online

After being derailed by the first wave of COVID in 2020, Teaching Transformations can roaring back online in May 2021, with a record number of participants and represented institutions. Over sixty graduate students from Brown, CalTech, Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth, Harvard, MIT, Penn, Princeton, Rice, and Yale engaged in a series of discussions about transformations in areas such as valuing the labor of teaching, crossing disciplinary boundaries, mentorship relationships, and anti-racist pedagogy.

2019: Columbia University

In May 2019, graduate students and educational developers from Brown, Columbia, Princeton, and Yale gathered here at Columbia for a day of discussions, capped off with happy hour at Arts and Crafts. Topics generated and discussed during an unconference section of the day included navigating strong emotions among students, transforming the evaluation of student progress, creating intra-departmental support for graduate student teachers, and improving the way that student evaluations are delivered and assessed. 2019 Teaching Transformations Summit pictures

2018: Yale University

In May 2018, Columbia graduate students and educational developers traveled to Yale to join peers from there and Brown for a day of mutual inspiration and deep discussion. The unconference portion of the day featured conversation about the following topics: transforming the classroom lecture, balancing teaching with research, practicing creative assessment, and distinguishing between discipline-based skills and non-discipline-based skills. 2018 Teaching Transformations Summit pictures

2017: Princeton University

The inaugural Teaching Transformations Summit took place in April 2017 at Princeton University. Columbia graduate students travelled there on a bus for a day of conversations and presentations with Princeton and Penn graduate students, followed by a quick dinner before boarding the bus home. Topics discussed included what constitutes the “basics” in a given course, shifting between small and large class instruction, an inventory of creative assessment techniques, andhow teaching centers could expand support for graduate student professional development. 2017 Teaching Transformations Summit pictures 

Participant testimonials

The trip to Princeton turned out to be a great occasion to meet new people and get to know firsthand what other institutions are doing in the field of education. As a graduate student, I felt empowered because a certain kind of responsibility had been put on my shoulders. My view, as well as my colleagues’, was going to be listened to and (hopefully) taken into account for the design of new forms of teaching and learning. We were there because our opinions matter. In that sense, we were acting as ambassadors of our own work as educators.

– Almudena Marin-Cobos, doctoral candidate, Latin American and Iberian Cultures

Attending the Ivy Plus Teaching Transformations Summit was a terrific opportunity to share teaching experiences, forge new pedagogical ideas, and simply get to know colleagues from other institutions. During the day I had the opportunity to get peer feedback on a research assignment I am developing for future courses, which improved the assignment design immensely. I also received invaluable suggestions on future classroom activities and student assessment practices that I look forward to incorporating next semester.

– Kevin Windhauser, doctoral candidate, Department of English and Comparative Literature