The CIRTL Network is “committed to advancing the teaching of STEM disciplines in higher education.” To improve STEM teaching, CIRTL focuses on the preparation of graduate students to become effective faculty and STEM education researchers. As I’ve mentioned before in this blog, the quality of STEM instruction is a barrier to retention for many undergraduates. CIRTL has the potential to be a rich resource and learning community for librarians who are seeking to contribute to retention among STEM majors.
CIRTL offers numerous free events and venues for educators who care about the future of STEM education. CIRTLCasts are free webinars organized into monthly thematic series and archived for later viewing. The theme for the eight webinars in January and February is highly applicable for science librarians – “Educational Innovation and the Active Classroom.” Sample webinars in this series are “Hybrid/Flipped Teaching with In-Class Design and Build Activities” and “Developing Active Learning Activities for Your STEM Course.” These webinars should get you thinking about how you can collaborate with STEM faculty and might improve your own instruction skills. CIRTL also hosts four online learning communities where you can participate in discussions and share resources. The Teaching as Research Community may be the ideal place to bounce your ideas for increasing retention off other educators and find collaborators for research.
My free account with CIRTL has just been activated, and now I have access to all the events, learning communities, my own blog platform, and more. I can’t wait to start exploring. Hope to run into some of you in the CIRTL Café!