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Transforming Your Research into Teaching

The Transforming Your Research into Teaching (TYRIT) seminar is an online intensive that will help you create an advanced course based on your disciplinary research. The seminar emphasizes creativity in teaching–exploring how your own experience, style, and preferences can shape a unique learning experience for your students. 

Throughout TYRIT, you will engage in two learning communities: one locally with peers at Columbia, and another with colleagues at other institutions who are also participating in this national seminar through the CIRTL Network. Over seven weeks, you will learn to apply basic elements of course design through online modules and activities, discuss progress in our local community, and peer review and pitch your class to an inter-institutional group of colleagues. By the end of the seminar, you will have created a full syllabus for an advanced course in your discipline.

How to apply for TYRIT

TYRIT last ran on the CIRTL Network in Summer 2021. To be alerted when applications will be accepted for the next run of the program in Summer 2022, join the CTL mail list.

Seminar FAQs

Who is this seminar for?
Graduate students and postdocs interested in designing a course that links their academic research to learning experiences.

What is the time commitment for this seminar?
The seminar entails six modules that run over six weeks, described below. For each module, participants complete approximately one hour of preparatory work asynchronously, engage in one hour of synchronous discussion, and spend 1-2 hours developing ideas for their course. Budget 3-4 hours a week, then, for this seminar.

Are there mandatory live (synchronous) sessions in this seminar?
Columbia participants are expected to attend weekly synchronous sessions on the following Thursdays, 11 a.m. – 12 p.m.: June 17, 24, July 1, July 8, 15, 22. If schedule conflicts arise during the seminar, arrangements can be made to attend a synchronous discussion running at another institution at a different time.

How does this program link people to institutions beyond Columbia?
In addition to working with peers at Columbia, seminar participants will be connected to participants in the same seminar running at different institutions who are in their discipline (or a contiguous discipline), in order to exchange course ideas and provide peer support and feedback. These inter-institutional groups will decide how best to share ideas (synchronously or asynchronously). Participating institutions are listed below.

How does this seminar compare to other CTL seminars on course design?
Like other CTL seminars like Evidence-based Teaching in Science and Engineering (ETSE) and the Innovative Course Design Seminar (ICDS), TYRIT takes participants through the Backward Design process and focuses on the development of an original syllabus. The goals of these seminars, however, differ. ETSE focuses on the development of an introductory-level course in STEM, ICDS focuses on the use of online technologies, and TYRIT focuses on translating research expertise into measurable learning activities for students.

Does this seminar count towards CTL’s Teaching Development Program requirements?
Yes, full participation and successful completion in TYRIT satisfies the seminar requirement on the Advanced Track of the TDP. CTL also awards a letter of completion to all who successfully complete the seminar, whether or not they are enrolled in the TDP.

Seminar objectives and activities

By participating in this seminar series, participants will:

  • Define and  communicate different levels of understanding by aligning learning objectives with a larger educational goal.
  • Design a course sequence that supports thematic goals.
  • Select assessment strategies and consider how to improve their validity or reliability in the context of a course.
  • Choose resources and develop instructional approaches that are inclusive of diverse students.
  • Design an original, advanced course syllabus linked to academic research.

TYRIT Partner Universities

During TYRIT, you will participate in a learning community locally at Columbia, and be partnered with colleagues from other universities to conduct further peer review of your syllabi. These colleagues come from:

  • Indiana University
  • Iowa State University
  • University of California Irvine
  • University of Colorado Boulder
  • University of Houston
  • University of Iowa
  • University of Massachusetts – Amherst
  • University of Nebraska Lincoln
  • Washington University in St. Louis
  • and other CIRTL institutions

Module descriptions

Click on the toggles below to read the module descriptions.

Module 1. Identifying Your Course Topic

In Module 1, identify your course topic by participating in curriculum design, brainstorming, and concept mapping activities. By the end of this module, you will post an initial course title and concept that  you will develop throughout the seminar.

Module 2. Understanding and Learning Objectives

In Module 2, craft effective learning objectives that meet your target students where they are and fit in with your overall course concept. Engage in discussion about how to define student understanding and how to communicate levels of learning to students.

Module 3. Sequencing and Course Resources

In Module 3, consider how to select and sequence the content in your course and choose resources that will be meaningful and relevant to your students and engage them with your course concept. Activities in this module will help you make decisions around curation and prioritization of course materials and lead to the creation of a structured course sequence that will clarify to your students how they will progress through your class.

Module 4. Optimizing Assessment

In Module 4, settle on assessment strategies that are pertinent to your learning objectives and appropriate for your students and your course. Share assessment strategies with peers in the seminar and discuss how best to align these assessments with learning objectives in the course you are developing.

Module 5. Instructional Methods

In Module 5, consider what is on “the menu” of instructional methods and how we might be able to move beyond what may be customary, standard, or expected in teaching within our discipline. By selecting from a variety of choices we have as instructors to engage students in learning, you will fill out your course outline with instructional methods and related assessments that will guide your syllabus creation.

Module 6. Course Evaluation and Syllabus

In Module 6, wrap up your work in this seminar by creating a complete syllabus for the course on which you have been developing. As you work throughout this module to craft and revise this capstone project, you will engage in peer review and evaluation, and participate in course pitch presentations that will connect learning communities nationally across the CIRTL Network.


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