CITL launches the "Teach Talk Listen Learn" podcast

Jun 21, 2022, 11:00 AM

What happened when University of Illinois lecturer Billy Huff (Gender & Women’s Studies and Communication) stopped assigning letter grades in his courses?

What’s the “big idea,” and how does Yilan Xu (ACES) communicate it to her students?

How and why does Nic Flores (Latino/Latina Studies) use reflection in his courses throughout the semester?

Find out in Teach Talk Listen Learn (TTLL), a new podcast from the Center for Innovation in Teaching & Learning.

TTLL episodes can be found on the CITL website and major podcast platforms, including AppleSpotify, and Stitcher and hosting platform Acast.

During each episode, host Bob Dignan and his guests—Illinois faculty and instructors across campus—shine a spotlight on the innovative and creative ways they're creating transformative learning experiences for students in all modalities—all in service to better teaching and learning on campus and beyond.

“We’re off and running,” said Dignan, CITL’s Associate Director of Instructional Media Resources, who also serves as podcast showrunner.

“The podcasting space has seen explosive growth in recent years, and it’s an unworn medium and platform for us to share our mission with audiences,” he continued. TTLL episodes “aren’t quite webinars or workshops, and they’re also not faculty video vignette or textual write-ups. Plus, you can listen while you drive.”

“We have really talented faculty that are doing amazing things every day,” CITL Director Michel Bellini added. “It’s up to us to help them amplify their voice and let the rest of the world know, hey, we’re doing it here, and it’s really working. Try it, and if you need help, we can help you.” 

As Bellini and Dignan share in the trailer, the podcast provides instructors with a platform to talk pedagogies, projects, tools, and more. For example, in Episode 1: Ungrading, Huff and Kary Zarate (Special Education) discuss the novel teaching approach of evaluating students’ understanding and application of course content without assigning points or letter grades and their experiences using it in their courses.

Throughout the series, guests share what worked, what didn’t work, what they want to try next time. By doing so, they hope to spark a conversation with the teaching community on campus and across the globe. 

The podcast also aims to spark conversations about educational reforms and innovations—including a modern curriculum, digital skills, multimodal assignments, for example—needed to meet the needs and expectations of students in this rapidly-advancing technological, post-pandemic world.  

“As more and more different expectations are now associated with our students,” Bellini says, “we need our faculty, our scholars, to reach them the right way, so they can continue to carry that spark and flame in academia … U of I is in a unique position to be a leader in that space.” 

We hope you tune in to the Teach Talk Listen Learn podcast and join the conversation!

If you have a story to share about your teaching experiences or an idea for another episode, please drop us a note at