Innovate. Invigorate. Inspire.
Innovate. Invigorate. Inspire. These are just three of the goals that many UCI instructors come to the Center for Engaged Instruction to achieve.
There is a lot of talk about “innovation” in teaching these days, but what does it really mean? At the Center for Engaged Instruction, we feel that “innovation” in and of itself is not the point; rather, our focus is on finding the most effective teaching strategies, methods, and tools to help students to achieve “deep learning”–learning that fundamentally changes the way they think and view the world, rather than “surface learning,” which focuses on short-term memory. Perhaps the most effective strategy or tool is unique and never been used before; in this case, it could be called “innovative.” Perhaps, however, the strategy or tool is new to the user or to the culture of a discipline; in this case, it could also be called “innovative.” The strategy, method, or tool could also be one that has been around for a significant amount of time and is evidence-based, such as active learning, but is just now being widely adopted across the country. In all of these instances, “innovation” may be a part of the equation, but it is not the desired outcome.
UCI faculty care deeply about their students’ learning and invest a great deal of time and effort into helping their students. Most have been very successful with the way they teach. Our students change, however, and sometimes our teaching needs to be adapted to our new audiences. Sometimes as instructors we change and decide we want to try something that is new to us as a means of invigorating our pedagogy and being fully engaged in our instruction.
Lastly, most instructors hope to inspire their students to learn for learning’s sake, to get excited about the disciplines faculty love, and to inspire students to change their lives and the world in some positive ways.
At the CEI, our staff are here to engage in conversations with instructors about what they want their students to learn and then to collaborate with them to find ways that are likely to increase their students’ learning. We share what we know about evidence-based teaching practices, and the instructor decides which practices she or he will explore and implement. The discussion may lead to an “innovation”; maybe it will invigorate a long career of successful teaching for a new audience; and hopefully, both the instructor and the students will be inspired to keep on learning.
CEI’s mission is…
- …to improve the quality of teaching and learning through pedagogical development for faculty, lecturers, postdoctoral fellows, and teaching assistants
- …to promote the use of evidence-based teaching practices, including the use of instructional technology
- …and to foster campuswide conversation about enhancing student learning through evidence-based teaching.
|De Gallow, Ph.D.
Executive Director, Instructional Development
Vice’s Provost’s Office
Division of Teaching & Learning
|Daniel Mann, Ph.D.
Assistant Director, Graduate Student Instructional Development
Instructional Development Associate
|Dr. Andrea Aebersold, Ph.D.
Assistant Director, Faculty Instructional Development (7/1/17)