Reflective Teaching Seminar

Who are you as a teacher? What do you believe is most important for your students to learn? How do you do teach them this? Why? Join a community of Columbia University faculty to reflect on your teaching experiences and commit to improving student learning through your teaching.

Faculty, Postdocs, and Staff

Deadline: Tuesday, January 16, 2018

When and Where

This program enrolls a new cohort of faculty and staff at the beginning of each spring semester.

The Reflective Teaching Seminar program will be offered in an online format in Spring 2018. The online format allows more flexibility for participants who aren’t able to make the multiple face-to-face commitments, but who want a similar, engaged community experience in a small cohort.

Please note: while this CTL offering will take place in a fully online environment, we will have TWO face-to-face meetings: one kick-off orientation session at the beginning of the semester (Thursday, January 25 from 3:00 pm – 5:00 pm), and one closing session at the end (Thursday, April 12, from 3:00 pm – 5:00 pm). These sessions will require pre-work and discussion, and will also provide us a chance to get to know one another and celebrate in community. Refreshments will be served.


Faculty, postdocs, and staff who:

  • have experience facilitating learning.
  • are interested in reflecting on their teaching.
  • are prepared to put reflection into action through intentional course design.

Program Description

In this program, faculty and staff will reflect on their teaching experiences and explore their pedagogical practices and beliefs by participating in discussion activities, completing readings and course design assignments, and receiving feedback on their progress.

Upon completing the seminar, participants will be able to:

  • Engage in systematic reflection on teaching and learning.
  • Apply concepts and ideas from the literature on teaching and learning to practice.
  • Develop and align objectives, assessments, and teaching methods in a specific course context.
  • Provide and integrate feedback into your reflective teaching practice.
  • Develop a reflective community of practice.

Units of Study

The program takes places over a semester term, organized into six units of study:

  1. How Learning Works
  2. Reflecting for Inclusion
  3. Developing Student Learning Objectives
  4. Measuring Your Students’ Learning
  5. Engaging Your Students
  6. Reflecting Forward

Each participant will also complete a CTL Teaching Observation to engage in collaborative discussion and receive formative feedback.


Email if you have any questions or concerns.

Frequently Asked Questions

How is the Reflective Teaching Seminar offered online?

The Reflective Teaching Seminar is offered online through Columbia CourseWorks (Canvas). After participants are accepted into the program, the instructors will add them to the site via their Columbia UNI.

Is the Reflective Teaching Seminar self-paced?

While participants can move through the individual units of study at their own pace, there are set deadlines for discussions and assessments that open and close at scheduled times throughout the seminar. Participants will be prompted with explicit deadlines as they arrive.

Is this a credit-bearing university seminar?

No. The Reflective Teaching Seminar is a program offered through the CTL designed to further develop your teaching and learning.

There’s never enough time to step back and reflect on our teaching, to ask ourselves why we’re doing what we’re doing in the classroom and whether we can maybe do things better. The Reflective Teaching Seminar gives you that time.

Caroline Marvin

Lecturer in the Discipline of Psychology

I found the Reflective Teaching Seminar to be extremely beneficial to my teaching practices.  The seminar offered a wide-range of flexible techniques that could be adapted and adopted to most teaching situations – whether you teach one-shot sessions or semester-long courses. 

Elizabeth Call

Public Services Librarian, The Burke Library at Union Theological Seminary

I got big and small ideas to improve my classes, the seminar was designed so that the time commitment was manageable, and I appreciated being ‘forced’ to do some scholarly reading outside of my field. I think it’s good for teachers to occasionally revisit what it’s like to be a student!

Abigail Sporer

Lecturer in the Discipline of Biological Sciences