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Teaching & Learning Innovation Summer Institute 2018

We will be hosting the Teaching & Learning Innovation Summer Institute (TLISI) from the week of May 22 to the week of June 12 in Hodges Library. The TLISI offers a selected group of faculty members the opportunity to learn how to incorporate experiential learning or evidence-based teaching strategies into a course that they teach, and they will receive awards ($3,500 per faculty member) to redesign their course to fit the requirements of experiential learning or evidenced-based teaching. Definitions of experiential learning and evidenced-based teaching can be found on the next tab, labeled “Summer Institute Tracks”.

What are the goals of TLISI?

  1. We want faculty members to network together and utilize peer-to-peer relationships as a foundation for successful course-based experiential learning or evidence-based teaching strategies across our campus.
  2. We want faculty to utilize the relationships they will establish with members of contributing offices and units.
  3. We want faculty to complete the Institute with a greater knowledge base in three areas:
    • campus resources supporting experiential learning and/or evidence-based teaching strategies
    • unique learning spaces and classroom technology
    • the parameters for delivering successful experiential learning and/or evidence-based teaching at the University of Tennessee

What will you learn at TLISI?

At TLISI, the selected faculty members will create a deeper knowledge and understanding of the following:

  • how to redesign a course and syllabus to incorporate experiential learning and/or evidence-based teaching strategies
  • how to create or remodel one major course component to include experiential learning and/or evidence-based teaching strategies
  • how to incorporate appropriate student learning outcomes into their courses, with particular emphasis on reflection

Required Deliverables

Faculty members must submit an application to be considered for this course redesign support opportunity. You can find the application on the “Application” tab (above). After each application has been reviewed by the Teaching & Learning Innovation team, and acceptance into the summer institute has been communicated to each faculty member, those faculty members who have been accepted need to complete the following requirements in order to receive the $3,500 additional pay to support their course design.

  1. Faculty members must attend all sessions offered within the Teaching & Learning Innovation Summer Institute. Please note that if you have prior commitments for this summer, we will allow you to miss up to 3 sessions. You must meet with a TLI team member to cover information you missed.
  2. Faculty members must complete at least one consultation with a member of the Teaching & Learning Innovation team, or another designated campus expert in a related area, during the 4 weeks of the summer institute in order to further support the course redesign. A list of eligible campus experts will be provided during the summer institute to all faculty participants.
  3. During the last week of the TLISI, faculty participants in the summer institute must send an outline of the new activity that will be incorporated into the course (representing the course redesign element) to Chris Lavan, TLI’s Assistant Provost for Experiential Learning and Teaching Innovation.

Faculty members may also be asked to produce other deliverables as participants in the TLISI depending on the track that they choose within their applications (experiential learning vs. evidence-based teaching).

Applicants may apply to redesign his or her course by incorporating experiential learning or evidence-based teaching strategies. Below are descriptions of each. For questions not answered on this webpage, you can contact Teaching & Learning Innovation by emailing and a team member will be in touch with you shortly.

Experiential Learning Track

Experiential learning is an approach to education that emphasizes engaged student learning through direct experience and intense reflection to increase knowledge, acquire lifelong learning and problem-solving skills, and elucidate values. Research has shown experiential learning increases the quality and depth of academic study and makes learning more enjoyable and fulfilling for both students and teachers. Experiential learning can come in many different forms at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and can occur both in and outside the classroom.

At UT Knoxville, there are 12 types of experiential learning. For descriptions of the listed types below, visit TLI’s Experience Learning initiative website.

  1. Apprenticeships
  2. Clinical Experiences
  3. Fellowships
  4. Field Work
  5. Internships
  6. Practicums
  7. Service-learning
  8. Simulations and gaming/role-playing
  9. Student teaching
  10. Study abroad
  11. Undergraduate research
  12. Volunteering

Evidence-Based Teaching Track

Below, you will find descriptions of the 10 evidence-based teaching strategies you may wish to implement in your course redesign.

Research indicates that setting clear learning goals is one of the most effective teaching practices in which you might engage (Simon & Taylor, 2009).  This process clarifies for you and your students what is to be learned.  It also provides a roadmap that guides and focuses both you and the student on what is important in the teaching and learning process. There are a multitude of ways in which you can systematically make explicit what you want your students to know, do, or value.  Please see the following links for ideas:

  1. What is the Value of Course-Specific Learning Goals?
  2. A Process for Developing Introductory Science Laboratory Learning Goals To Enhance Student Learning and Instructional Alignment

Most students want to meet your expectations and succeed; however, they are not always sure exactly what is required to perform well in your course.  Modeling and sharing what we want in an assignment helps to clarify what is needed to do well (Gooblar, 2015, 2016).  The way that you envision modeling for your course can depend on your discipline.  For example, it might be as easy as systematically having students review exemplar assignments and identify what makes these quality examples.  You may demonstrate a particular process or experiment in order to help students understand the proper steps.  There are several ways that you can regularly model and share what your expectations are.  For some examples, please review the following blogs:

  1. Doing Your Own Assignments First
  2. Modeling the Behavior We Expect in Class

Throughout time, good instructors use questions as a powerful tool to facilitate student learning.  Using questions to check for understanding, especially before moving on the next part of the lesson is a practice that allows the instructor to determine how well students are comprehending course material and what misconceptions they might have. Asking comprehension questions early on in a lesson provides an opportunity to address problems before they contribute to further confusion or misunderstanding (Questioning Strategies, n.d.).  When considering an approach to the systematic and purposeful use of questions in the classroom, you might consider types of questions, level of questions, strategies for incorporating questions into your overall classroom engagement (Tofade, Elsner, &Haines, 2013).  For examples and strategies, please reflect on documents associated with the following links:

  1. The Verbal Structure of Teacher Questions: Its Impact on Class Discussion
  2. Responding to Student Questions When You Don’t Know the Answer
  3. Question Strategies
  4. Questioning Skills to Engage Students

Graphic Organizers such as concept maps, diagrams, charts, graphs, grids, timelines, etc. help students organize ideas, represent relationships, and retain information.  Research shows that they are an effective tool in helping students make greater meaning of the information they come in contact with through text and classroom interaction (Narkawicz & Casteel, 2012; Weimer, 2009).  They can be employed in the classroom as a learning activity, formative assessment, and/or summative assessment.  For examples and ideas about how you can use these to enhance student learning, please review the following links and resources:

  1. How Foldable Graphic Organizers Can Help Learners Retain Information
  2. Reading Assignment Strategies that Encourage Deep Learning

Research related to neuroscience and learning indicates that for easier recovery of information, mastery of material, and long-term retrieval, it is important to provide students with multiple and spaced opportunities to practice engaging in the course materials (Akresh-Gonzales, 2015).  The material that students are asked to practice should be purposeful given the stated expectations and the current stage of instruction.  The appropriate kind of “practice” can depend on the discipline and the goals of the course.  For examples of ways others have implemented regular practice in their classroom, please see the following resources:

  1. Spaced Repetition: The Most Effective Way to Learn
  2. Can the Spacing Effect Improve the Effectiveness of a Math Intervention Course for Engineering Students?

Feedback from the instructor is arguably the most straightforward way to influence the quality of student work.  However, students do not always see feedback as a learning tool but instead often see it as a graded assessment. Thus, it is important to structure your feedback as a learning exercise and communicate as well as show students how they are to use the feedback.  Developing a system of providing feedback from which students can learn and improve can be influenced by the number of students in the class, number of courses taught, and the number or difficulty level of the assignments.  Some instructors use rubrics, peer grading, checklists, as well as other tools and approaches to provide students with regular feedback.  For additional information on providing students with regular feedback, please see the following resources:

  1. Written Feedback for Students: too much, too detailed or too incomprehensible to be effective?
  2. Creating formative feedback spaces in large lectures

Mastery Learning is based on the idea that students learn at different paces. Thus, while the expectations and learning outcomes are the same, the time required to learn a concept is variable (Klecker & Chapman, 2008).  Some have taken this approach by creating more one-on-one learning between the instructor and the student.  Additionally, asynchronous approaches to engagement can allow application of the mastery learning approach.  Instructors have also done this in the context of quizzes and papers in which students can continue to submit and get feedback until they achieve the desired outcome.  For more examples and research related to mastery learning, please see the following articles:

  1. Mastery Learning Benefits Low-Aptitude Students

Collaborative learning and group work are two concepts the benefits of which have been widely researched (Hassanien, 2005).  Group work can draw on the unique strengths and perspectives of students to create a better learning experience or product than could be produced by an individual student. There are numerous approaches to collaborative learning and group work activities. To better understand how you might use group work in your class effectively, please review the following resources:

  1. Collaborative Learning Overview
  2. Student Experience of Group Work and Group Assessment in Higher Education

Students cannot do well in our courses without developing effective approaches to studying.  What worked for them in high school will not work in college. However, our students may not know how else to approach developing knowledge and understanding about our content.  Teaching in college can also include exposing our students to different study strategies (Deslauriers, Harris, Lane, Wieman, 2012).  There are many ways in which we can do this.  Sharing your own or your peers’ study strategies can be impactful.  Anonymously gathering data from students about their study strategies and providing a list for your class is useful.  For other ideas on how to systematically share with students study approaches, please review the documents associated with the following links:

  1. Helping When They Are Listening: A Midterm Study Skills Intervention for Introductory Psychology

Metacognition refers to the processes related to students’ planning, monitoring, and assessing their understanding and performance. In metacognition, students are thinking about various learning strategies that they have at their disposal and which one will lead to the desired outcome.  Fostering metacognitive skill development is not just about asking questions. Rather, it is about asking questions to get students to consider their thinking and approaches to learning in their discipline, and how they can adapt the latter for different contexts (Railean, Elci,& Elci, 2017).

One technique that is widely used is the wrapper.  A wrapper  is a series of questions that are asked of students at the end of project, exam, or assignment that encourages them to think about how they approach the opportunity and what they could do different to better attain the desired outcome.  Other metacognitive strategies include pre and post assessments, as well as reflection activities.  For more ideas and research on metacognition in the higher education context, please review the following resources:

  1. Metacognition and Successful Learning Strategies in Higher Education
  2. Thinking about One’s Thinking



Akresh-Gonzales, J. (2015). Spaced repetition: The most effective way to learn. NEJM Knowledge+. Retrieved from

Andrews, J. D. W. (1980). The verbal structure of teacher questions: Its impact on class discussion. POD Quarterly: The Journal of the Professional and Organizational Development Network in Higher Education. Paper32.    

Cathey, C. L., Visio, M. E., Whisenhunt, B. L., Hudson, D. L., & Shoptaugh, C. F. (2016). Helping when they are listening: A midterm study skills intervention for introductory psychology. Psychology Learning & Teaching,15(3) 250-267.

Collaborative Learning: Group Work (n.d.). Retrieved from

Deslauriers, L., Harris, S. E., Lane, E., Wieman, C. E. (2012) Transforming the lowest-performing students: An intervention that worked. Journal of College Science Teaching 41(6), 80–88.

Duis, J. M., Schafer, L. L., Nussbaum, S., & Stewart, J. J. (2013). A process for developing introductory science laboratory learning goals to enhance student learning and instructional alignment. Journal of Chemical Education, 90(9), 1144-1150.

Fain, R. J., Hieb, J.L., Ralston, P.A., & Lyle, K.B.(2015). Can the spacing effect improve the effectiveness of a math intervention course for engineering students? Retrieve from

Fleenor, M. (2010). Responding to student questions when you don’t know the answer. Faculty Focus Retrieved from

Glover, C., & Brown, E. (2015). Written feedback for students: too much, too detailed or too incomprehensible to be effective? Bioscience Education, 7(1), 1-16.

Gooblar, D. (2015 Modeling the behavior we expect in class. Chronicle Vitae. Retrieved from

Gooblar, D. (2016). Doing your own assignments first. Chronicle Vitae. Retrieved from

Hassanien, A. (2006). Student experiences of group work and group work assessment in higher education. Journal of Teaching in Travel and Tourism, 6 (1),17-39.

Ironsmith, M., & Eppler, M. A. (2007). Faculty forum: Mastery learning benefits low-aptitude students. Teaching of Psychology, 34(1), 28–31.

Klecker, B. M., & Chapman, A. (2008). Advocating the implementation of mastery learning in higher education to increase student learning and retention.  Paper presented at the Meeting of the Mid-South Educational Research Association Knoxville, TN.

Ludvigsen, K., Krumsvik, R., & Furnes, B. (2015). Creating formative feedback spaces in large lectures. Computers & Education, 88, 48–63.

Narkawicz, M., & Casteel, D. B. (2012). Improving accelerated college courses: How foldable graphical organizers can help learners retain information. Delta Journal of Education, 2(2), 113-120.

Prince, M.J., & Felder, R.M. (2006). Inductive teaching and learning methods: Definitions, comparisons, and research bases. Journal of Engineering Education, 95(2), 123-138.

Questioning Strategies (n.d.). Retrieved from

Railean, E., Elçi, A., & Elçi, A. (2017). Metacognition and successful learning strategies in higher education. Hershey, PA: Information Science Reference.

Simon, B., & Taylor, J. (2009). What is the value of course-specific learning goals?Journal of College Science Teaching, 39(2), 52–57.

Sockalingam, N. (2011) Questioning skills to engage students.  Faculty Focus Retrieved from

Tofade, T., Elsner, J., & Haines, S. T. (2013). Best Practice Strategies for Effective Use of Questions as a Teaching Tool. American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education, 77(7), 155.

Weimer, M. (2009). Reading assignment strategies that encourage deep learning. Faculty Focus.  Retrieved from

In order to participate in the Teaching & Learning Innovation Summer Institute 2018 and receive funding for the course redesign, faculty will need to complete the application form below, which will be reviewed by members of the TLI team. The application deadline has been extended to May 3, 2018 at 12:00 p.m. Applicants will be contacted between May 10 – 11, 2018 about their application status.

A Statement of Support from your department chair, associate dean or dean is required with your application. Please download this TLISI Statement of Support form and have it signed by the appropriate individual. It can be signed electronically or can be printed and scanned.

The Teaching & Learning Innovation Summer Institute is a four-week program, beginning the week of May 22 to the week of June 12 in Hodges Library. The Tuesday and Thursday of each week will hold the TLISI programming sessions, with each day beginning at 1 p.m. and lasting until 4 p.m. approximately. As it stands, the Institute schedule is still being finalized. However, we can confirm the following topics will be discussed during the TLISI:

  • Inclusion and Identity
  • Overview/elements of course design
  • Developing student learning outcomes
  • Assessment and Reflection
  • Experiential Learning or Evidence-Based Teaching Strategies (dependent on application track)
  • Risk Management
  • Faculty Support Services at the University of Tennessee
  • Collaborative Learning

Once the schedule is finalized, it will be featured on this webpage.

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