January 12, 2022

Gateway courses are focus of Aspirational Teaching Institute

Sessions are open to all faculty


The Center for Transformative Teaching is offering the Aspirational Teaching Institute, a semester-long program that will tackle specific teaching challenges, such as teaching gateway courses, large enrollment courses and more.

“Every two weeks, participants will be provided with an asynchronous presentation from a relevant campus leader,” said Steven Cain, instructional designer with the center. “During a bi-weekly remote session, representatives from the CTT will follow up on the campus leader’s presentation by providing initial thoughts on how participants could address the specific challenge in teaching. Following that, there will be an opportunity for questions and an open discussion amongst participants.”

The inaugural topic for this institute, “Striving for Student Success in Gateway Courses,” will focus on the challenges that many students face and how instructors can help students succeed with robust and realistic ideas and practices.

Gateway courses often tend to have high enrollment as well, and issues specific to large courses will be another focus of the institute.

“Instructional designers very often speak with instructors of large courses who either underestimate the breadth and prevalence of the challenges their students face or recognize the need to address these challenges yet struggle to do so while managing such a large enrollment,” said Eric M. French, an instructional designer with the center.

Other specific topics that will be discussed in the institute are student inequities inside and outside the classroom as well as helping students develop effective academic habits, especially first-generation students.

All university instructors can participate in the institute and have an option to attend all sessions, select sessions or request information. The outline of topics can be found in Canvas and those interested have until Jan. 14 to register on the ATI website.