CRLT Blog

“I studied really hard for the exam and felt like I knew the material, but I did poorly.” 

Have you ever heard something like this from your students? Do you wonder how you might prevent such experiences? In a November Student Learning and Analytics at Michigan (SLAM) series lecture, Thurnau Professor of Psychology Bill Gehring explains how he has integrated key findings from the science of learning into his teaching in order to help students study more effectively and improve their course performance. 

If you haven't been able to attend the SLAM series talks but want to learn more about the ongoing conversation at U-M about using student data to enhance learning, this video is a great place to start. Professor Gehring's topics in this hour-long talk include:

U-M Faculty, are you interested in...

  • evaluating the impact of innovative teaching strategies in your courses?
  • using academic data to understand and improve student learning?
  • supporting your department's assessment efforts by documenting how students learn key concepts?
  • presenting or publishing research about your teaching?

kids working at a computer

If so, you might want to apply for an Investigating Student Learning (ISL) Grant from CRLT. These grants fund faculty (or faculty-student teams) who wish to investigate aspects of student learning in U-M courses or departments. This year, the Provost's Learning Analytics Task Force will be providing additional funding, allowing a greater number of grants to be awarded on a wide range of topics and approaches.

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A few weeks ago, in a post about the Rackham-CRLT Intercampus Mentorship Program, we promised to share stories from some of the program's former participants. This guest post from Sarah Gerk tells what an amazing professional development opportunity the program can be. For more details about the program--open to any U-M graduate student or postdoc--see this page. [Edit 5/13/16: The mentorship program ended in 2016, but that need not prevent graduate students and postdocs from setting up highly beneficial mentoring relationships on their own.]

It was only about a year ago now that I nervously sent an email to Charles McGuire, Professor of Musicology at Oberlin College, to ask if he would be interested in becoming my mentor. Little did I know then that the relationship initiated with that email would become one of the most helpful of my career--not only because it provided me invaluable experience with and advice about teaching, but also because I was lucky enough to get an amazing job out of it.Sarah Gerk

I chose Oberlin for my mentorship experience because of its unique combination of a small liberal arts school and music conservatory. Having attended large public schools my entire life, I wanted to explore different models before entering the job market. My mentorship involved a series of monthly visits to the Oberlin campus. I guest lectured in classes, spoke with faculty members about their teaching, and got to know a few students who were thinking about pursuing musicology in graduate school. From the beginning, Charles McGuire was a generous, kind, and valuable mentor. We spent hours hashing out the finer points of my teaching philosophy, debating the possibilities of large lectures versus small discussions, and discussing the benefits of Oberlin’s model of higher education.