Each semester, the CTE hosts at least one formal research presentation on a specific question addressed within the scholarship of teaching and learning. The "What's New in Research on Teaching and Learning" talks take place over lunch (provided by the CTE) and are open to all faculty, postdoctoral scholars, and graduate students.


Over the 2017-18 academic year the CTE will offer a series of six one-hour workshops covering course design fundamentals. The series is organized to provide participants with the tools to design a new course from the ground up or redesign an existing course. Participants can choose to attend all workshops in the series or select individual workshops that best fit with their current course design goals. Workshops are open to all faculty and course instructors.

Fall 2017 & Spring 2018 Workshops

1.    Teaching Goals & Introduction to Backward Design - August 31st, Thursday 4-5pm, Herring 129

The series will begin with an introduction to Backward Design principles that will provide the foundation for the rest of the workshops in the series. This workshop offers the opportunity for faculty to reflect on and discuss their teaching goals in their courses and programs.

2.    Essential Questions - September 21st, Thursday 4-5pm, Herring 129

In this workshop faculty will work to develop the essential questions at the   heart of their course. These questions will provide a framework for course learning goals with a focus on developing and deepening student understanding of concepts, ideas, and processes. 

3.    Learning Goals - October 19th, Thursday 4-5pm, Herring 129

This workshop will focus on developing and/or refining course specific and measurable learning goals that will guide the creation and design of assignments, activities, and assessments that prepare students to meet those goals.

Spring 2018 Workshops (*Due to schedule changes in the fall semester related to Hurrican Harvey when have changed the schedule of this series for the spring semester)

4.    Evidence of Learning & Grading - January 25th, Thursday 4-5pm, Herring 129

This workshop will begin with a brief look at how to assess students’ prior knowledge when they enter our courses.  We will then focus on how to measure student learning in our courses with both graded summative assessments as well as ungraded formative assessments.

5.   Activities and Assignments - February 22nd, Thursday 4-5pm, Herring 129

This workshop will focus on designing assignments in class and outside of class to to increase student engagement and enhance student learning. Topics covered include:  collaborative learning, discussions, exams/papers, and technology.  In addition, we will discuss the most effective practices for providing students with feedback.

6.    Planning the Course Schedule & Course Content -  March 29th, Thursday 4-5pm, Herring 129

In this workshop we will focus on the strategies for the delivery and distribution of course content in both large and small classes with a focus on estimating course workload for both students and faculty. We will conclude with a focus on how to plan an efficient and productive semester schedule.


Each spring, the CTE leads a Reading Group on an important book in the field of teaching and learning. The CTE Reading Group is open to all instructors at Rice and is a terrific chance to discuss research on teaching with colleagues from many disciplines. The CTE purchases books for all who register, and books are distributed at the first group meeting.