Inclusive STEM Teaching Project

Inclusive STEM Teaching ProjectThe Inclusive STEM Teaching Project is offering another 6-week course designed to advance the awareness, self-efficacy, and the ability of faculty, postdocs, and doctoral students to cultivate inclusive STEM learning environments for all their students and to develop themselves as reflective, inclusive practitioners.

The free, instructor-led course begins on October 2 and will require approximately 2-3 hours of participation per week. Instructors can learn more about the course by visiting the edX Inclusive STEM Teaching Project course page. Michigan Tech will not be facilitating a campus learning community this semester.

Contact the CTL if you have questions (487-3000,

Course Design Template

The CTL online team has developed a course design template for face-to-face courses. The course design template will provide you with a solid foundation for good and effective course design. 

Importing the course design template into your course

Step one: Log into MTU Canvas, then click on this link to access  the MTU F2F Course Design Template (If the link does not work, you can Log into MTU Canvas,  click the Commons tab on the black global menu at the left side, and search “MTU F2F”, you will see the MTU F2F Course Design Template). 

Step Two: Click on the template course, click the Import/Download button on the right side of the page, select the course you want to import the template into, and then click Import into course. The template will be imported into your course in a few minutes.

Now you can start to work on your course based on the template. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact CTL online team via

iClicker Classic software transitioning to iClicker Cloud soon

iClicker Cloud

iClicker has announced that the legacy iClicker Classic software will be retired and no longer supported or available at the end of 2023.  For several years now most instructors have used the more robust iClicker Cloud software to engage their students with classroom polls and other features.  iClicker Cloud offers additional polling question types (short answer, target question) not available in the legacy iClicker Classic software.  If you are still using iClicker Classic please make plans to transition to the iClicker Cloud software beginning in the Spring 2024 semester.  This iClicker resource has full details on iClicker Classic transition to iClicker Cloud

Don’t forget that Michigan Tech has a campus site license for iClicker, so instructors can use it as part of their teaching pedagogy at no extra cost to their students.  Please visit our CTL student polling resource page for more information on using polls to engage students in your classes.  A short knowledge base article also reviews the basics of getting started with iClicker Cloud.  Contact the CTL ( if you have questions or need help planning your transition to iClicker Cloud.

Join a CTL book club this fall!

The Jackson Center for Teaching and Learning invites MTU instructors to participate in a book club this fall focused on digital accessibility.  Join with your faculty colleagues as we read about the importance of addressing digital accessibility in your classes to ensure they are inclusive for all your students.  We’ll review related policies and laws, best practices for addressing digital accessibility issues in your course materials, and identify opportunities for additional professional development.


Book: Guide to Digital Accessibility: Policies, Practices, and Professional Development, Edited by Rae Mancilla and Barbara A. Frey.  The book will be provided to all participants.


The CTL Book Club will meet weekly (for six weeks) beginning the week of October 2 thru the week of November 13 (no meeting during the October 19 recess week). Specific dates/times will be determined based on feedback from participants.  A minimum of five people are required for the book club to proceed, with a maximum capacity of 12 participants.   Please submit your registration to our book club form no later than September 30 . 

Meeting Dates (chapter selections may be modified):

  • Week of October 2: Digital accessibility in higher education (historical perspective laws, standards)
  • Week of October 9: Quality Matters Standard 8 (accessibility & usability)
  • Week of October 23: Designing inclusive and accessible online & hybrid courses 
  • Week of October 30: Scenarios and solutions for accessible courses
  • Week of November 6: Digital accessibility awareness
  • Week of November 13:Technology tools to support digital accessibility

Contact the CTL ( with any questions or for more information.

7 Dimensions of course evaluations

The course evaluation survey is comprised of 7 main questions most commonly known as the 7 dimensions. These 7 dimensions provide students with guided questions in evaluating the teaching and learning process of a course.

As another fall semester begins again, it is often a good time to reflect on these dimensions by reviewing previous course evaluation scores and student feedback in order to seek ways to be continuously improving your courses.

It may be helpful to outline each dimension with some possible classroom strategies that could be incorporated. To get you started, we have outlined each dimension along with one or two strategies you may find useful for each.

  • The instructor was enthusiastic about the subject matter of the course.
    • Share your passion for the topic by incorporating your work experiences, research findings and publication work into your lectures.
  • The instructor communicated the course material clearly.
    • Set up course content in organized modules by weeks, chapters or units within Canvas.
  • The instructor engaged students by encouraging participation during class.
    • Chunk your lectures into 10-15 min. segments. Have students interact with the content for the next 10 mins. before returning to another segment of your lecture. Reference the CTL website for additional active learning strategies.
  • The instructor engaged students by encouraging course preparation, reflection, or other activities outside of class.
    • Offer homework or pre-class activities that allow students to apply the concepts to their current real world situations.
    • Offer social media or collaborative platforms such as google docs in order to share their files with peers and work in real time.
  • The instructor provided timely feedback on my work (homework, assignments, exams, etc.)
    • Utilize grading tools such as Gradescope that allow you to pre-populate your feedback based on student responses.
  • The instructor displayed a personal interest in students and their learning.
    • Provide timely feedback.
    • Try to arrive early to class and stay a few minutes after (if room schedule allows) to have informal conversations with students.
  • The instructor uses technology appropriately.
    • Introduce one or two technologies that complement your lectures. For example, try a digital interactive whiteboard such as jamboard.
    • Engage students with polling questions via iClicker.

Taking time to reflect and plan strategies for each of these dimensions at the beginning of the semester will be beneficial at the end of the semester as students evaluate these seven dimensions and provide feedback on what worked well. If you would like to discuss the Student rating of instruction in more detail, please feel free to reach out to the CTL at 487-3000.

September 2023

Tuesday, September 12, 2023 at 12:00pm – 1:00pm

CTL Instructional Award Presentation

Curriculum Development and Assessment Award

Radheshyam Tewari, Associate Teaching Professor, Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics

Pasi Lautala, Professor, Civil, Environmental and Geospatial Engineering

Innovative or Out of Class Teaching Award

Elham Asgari, Assistant Professor of Management and Entrepreneurship
College of Business

Large Class Teaching Award

Tim Wagner, Assistant Teaching Professor, Mathematical Sciences

Click here to register to attend this lunch and learn.

2023 CTL Instructional Awards Announced

The Jackson Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL) congratulates the following 2023 Deans’ Teaching Showcase members who have been selected to receive 2023 CTL Instructional Awards.  

  • Elham Asgari (College of Business)- Innovative or Out of Class Teaching:  
  • Tim Wagner (Mathematical Sciences)-Large Class Teaching
  • Pasi Lautala (CEGE), and Radheshyam Tewari (ME-EM)-Curriculum Development and Assessment

This year’s recipients will present an overview of the efforts that led to their teaching awards at a CTL Lunch and Learn event on Tuesday, September 12, at 12:00 in the MUB Alumni Lounge.  Each presenter will receive formal recognition and a cash award. 

Please register in advance to attend the luncheon.

The CTL would also like to thank previous instructional award recipients who were instrumental in the selection process.

We’re looking for nominations for the upcoming 2024 Deans’ Teaching Showcase during spring semester. Please consider suggesting (to your dean or chair) instructors whom you’ve seen make exceptional contributions in curriculum development, assessment, innovative or out-of-class teaching, or large class teaching.

Contact the CTL ( for more information.

A great teaching resource for Michigan Tech instructors

The Teaching Professor

As we begin the new academic year we want to remind instructors of the campus subscription to the Teaching Professor sponsored by the CTL. The Teaching Professor is a highly informative newsletter with a singular purpose: to provide ideas and insight to educators who are passionate about teaching. It’s a source of cutting-edge information and inspiration for more than 10,000 educators at universities and colleges worldwide.

To access the Teaching Professor visit

  • On campus you can obtain full access to all Teaching Professor content (including their extensive archive) if your computer/device is connected to the campus network (except the MichiganTechGuest network). It is not necessary to create an account or log in to access the subscription on-campus.
  • Off campus access is also available but does require you to create an account.

Take advantage of this resource and contact the CTL ( if you have any questions.

Course Planning

Start with course learning objectives

Good course planning starts with course learning objectives. Course learning objectives are the goals you want students to achieve through taking your courses. Usually, you will have three to six course learning objectives and they are at relatively higher cognitive process dimensions (Bloom’s taxonomy from Vanderbilt University). Then you break course learning objectives into subordinal skills and knowledge, which will be your module learning objectives. 

Creating measurable and observable learning objectives

Learning objectives should be measurable, observable and student-oriented, which indicate explicitly what students must do to demonstrate their learning. Learning objectives are typically structured as: By the end of this course/module, you should be able to +[action verb] +[object]. Avoid using verbs like “understand” or “know” in your learning objectives. If you don’t know which verb to use, please check out Bloom’s taxonomy of measurable verbs from Utica University. 

Planning out your course map with Backward Design

When we start to plan out course content and assessments, backward design is a very useful model for planning out your course map. It has three steps: 

  1. Identify desired results. What should students know and be able to do at the end of the course/module? These are your learning objectives.
  2. Determine acceptable evidence that students have achieved these learning objectives. These are your formative and summative assessments.
  3. Plan learning experiences, instruction, and resources that will help students achieve the learning objectives. These are your course content and resources.

Backward design can be used on both course level and module level. For example, in module level, once you have decided the module learning objectives, you’ll need to think about your assessment plan, learning activities, and then learning materials for your module based on your module learning objectives. Here is a course map template that you can use to plan out your module structures. 

Planning out your course map is a pivotal step towards your success teaching your course. Congratulations for what you’ve accomplished so far. Once you have finalized the planning of your course map, you can start to build your course. Stay tuned to our blog for forthcoming guidance on how to build your course in Canvas later. 

— Dan Ye from CTL Instructional Design Team 

August 2023

Thursday August 24 and Friday August 25, 2023

New GTAs are asked to attend a general teaching orientation EITHER Thursday or Friday morning the week before classes begin.   This essential session will review national and university instructional policies (FERPA, Title IX, Academic Integrity), basic classroom management and expectations (safety, managing disruptions, inclusion), effective communication with students (in and out of class), and introduce campus instructional resources (library, Student Services, CTL). You must register for a session prior to the event.

Register for Thursday August 24 here.

Register for Friday August 25 here.