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Priorities & Initiatives

Quality student learning and experiences begin with our UT Knoxville faculty and instructors. We are dedicated to providing resources, workshops and support opportunities in order to assist faculty in their teaching and learning efforts. Our focus lies in the following priorities and initiatives, listed in alphabetical order, housed within Teaching & Learning Innovation (TLI):

ASCEND Program

ASCEND—Adaptations for a Sustainable Climate of Excellence and Diversity—is funded through a grant from the National Science Foundation’s Organizational Change for Gender Equity in STEM Academic Professions (ADVANCE) program. It promotes the recruitment, hiring, retention, and advancement of women faculty in STEM disciplines through three areas: reducing bias, expanding opportunity, and providing support.

Learn more about ASCEND
Icon of magnifying glass and gearsAssessment

Assessment is the process of gathering and discussing information from multiple and diverse sources in order to develop a deep understanding of what students know, understand, and can do with their knowledge as a result of their educational experiences; the process culminates when assessment results are used to improve subsequent learning. In order to aid faculty with assessment, the TLI assessment team has developed resources for program assessment, course assessment and assessment for experiential learning courses.

Find Assessment Resources
Icon of globe with grad capExperience Learning

As part of the reaffirmation process, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges asks each institution to develop a quality enhancement plan (QEP). Housed within TLI, the Experience Learning initiative is the University of Tennessee’s QEP, submitted to SACSCOC in 2015. TLI focuses on helping faculty provide more experiential learning in their courses or co-curricular activities through course design/redesign assistance, assessment strategies, risk management, and more.

Visit the initiative’s website
Icon of people holding handsInclusive Teaching Strategies

As a unit within Academic Affairs, TLI champions diversity and inclusion in all student learning experiences at the University of Tennessee. Therefore, we strive to provide  digital resources, as well as online and face-to-face workshops to assist faculty and instructors in creating an inclusive environment for students of all backgrounds. Be sure to check out the “Teaching Resources” tab on the left for our online resource inventory, and the “Workshops & Events” tab for inclusive teaching workshops.

Find Inclusive Teaching Resources
Icon of computerOnline Programs

Online Programs is housed within TLI, and assists the UT Knoxville community with online and hybrid course development and delivery. Online Programs collaborates with faculty, staff, students, and administrators across campus to identify and facilitate opportunities for online and hybrid educational initiatives, directs the development of policies and procedures related to online and hybrid teaching and learning, and works in conjunction with units and departments on campus to facilitate faculty development and training opportunities.

Visit the program’s website
Icon of two hands shakingService-Learning

Service-learning is categorized as one of the 12 types of experiential learning at UT Knoxville, and is a course-based strategy that engages students in meaningful and relevant service with a community partner, while employing ongoing reflection to draw connections between the service and course content. Housed within TLI, the service-learning initiative assists faculty interested in designing coursework that incorporates service-learning and/or applying for the S-Designation. The TLI service-learning team also helps connect faculty to potential community partners.

Visit the initiative’s website
Icon of lightbulbUT CIRTL

UT Knoxville is a part of the international Center for the Integration of Research, Teaching, and Learning (CIRTL) Network. Named UT CIRTL and housed within TLI, the program provides both local and online professional development programs and opportunities for all UT instructional staff, but especially for graduate students and postdoctoral fellows who are thinking about an academic career in higher education.

Learn more about UT CIRTL