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Graduate Student Spotlight

Graduate Student Spotlight: Rachel Williams

Ph.D. Student, Kinesiology, Recreation & Sport Studies

“When I started my PhD in the fall of 2020, my mentor and I committed to advancing our teaching practices by taking part in TLI programs. I began my work with TLI through the SoTL Incubator program and developing a skillset in the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning. With the support of Dr. Kilgore, we set out to study student motivation and engagement in a gamified undergraduate course. Our team has now completed a series of studies to better understand the use of gamified grading in higher education, and we look forward to disseminating those findings at this year’s TLI conference.

Also in the Fall of 2020, I took KNS 541 Teaching Undergraduate Kinesiology. The instructor has partnered with Dr. McGaskey, and students who complete the course are able to pursue the Associate’s Level CIRTL certificate. To do so, I studied various topics that helped me grow in the three areas of the CIRTL certification: evidence-based teaching, learning communities, and teaching through diversity. Working with the TLI office and completing the CIRTL program contributes to my growth as an aspiring professor and goals for my career. I have a better understanding of creating a positive classroom environment that is inclusive for a diverse group of students and conducive for learning to occur. I’ve learned that teaching is truly a practice and can be molded for different courses and students. I hope to continue developing as a teacher and studying my teaching practices with the remaining time I have at UTK, and I look forward to taking these skills with me to future faculty jobs.”

For more information on TLI’s programming specific to graduate students, please visit our Workshops & Events menu and Developing Future Faculty web page.

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