CITL Teaching and Learning News: January 30, 2024

Feb 2, 2024, 11:43 AM
CITL Teaching and Learning News January 30, 2024
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Instructor Voices

  TTLL podcast s2e2

Flipping the Classroom in Food Sciences: Insights from Prof. Soo Yeun-Lee

Explore the approach of flipping the classroom with Prof. Soo Yeun-Lee, former UIUC professor, now leading the School of Food Sciences at Washington State University. This tried-and-true method enhances student engagement and improves learning outcomes in her class. You will find valuable insights into Soo's purpose, methodology, and advice to reprioritize courses for real-world preparation beyond timed exams. She successfully fostered a learning environment that supported team-based projects required in students' future workplaces. Please tune in to Season 2 Episode 2 of the Teach Talk Listen Learn podcast and enjoy our conversation with Prof. Soo Yeun-Lee.

Did you enjoy this episode, or do you have a story to share about your teaching? Drop us a note at

This podcast was produced by the Center for Innovation in Teaching & Learning at the University of Illinois. Episodes can be found on our website, Teach Talk Listen Learn - A CITL Podcast and major podcast platforms. We hope you’ll find us there and join the conversation!


CITL Announcements

  Digital Literacy Made Simple book cover image

CITL Faculty Book Club: Digital Literacy Made Simple

One book, eight friends, and infinite possibilities! It's not too late to join our CITL Faculty Book Club. It's a great way to connect with colleagues from different disciplines who are curious about the same topics that interest you. Our selected book will be…

Digital Literacy Made Simple: Strategies for Building Skills Across the Curriculum (Kammer & Hays, 2023)

Discover and explore simple ways to teach digital literacy skills throughout the day and across various content areas without a formal digital literacy curriculum.

Digital literacy describes skills and ways of thinking related to the use of technology, including the technical competence to communicate, evaluate, and interpret digital information, navigate websites, and understand why all these skills are important.

Joining our book club has many benefits:

  • Creating new collegial friendships
  • Learning from each other's experiences and points of view
  • Earning a badge that can be displayed on LinkedIn
  • Suggesting ideas for our next book

If you are a faculty member at UIUC or a post-doc with teaching responsibilities, please consider joining! Registration is now open.

Please check your calendar to determine if you can commit to attending all of our meetings from 11:30 a.m. - 1 p.m. The first three sessions occur on Thursdays: January 25, February 8, and February 22. The last session will occur on Tuesday, March 5.

Join Us for the Art of Teaching Lunchtime Seminar on February 1

Discover insights into the experiences of first-gen and FGLI (first-gen, low/limited income) students at the University of Illinois in the upcoming Art of Teaching Lunchtime Seminar. Join Kristine McCoskey (I-Promise) and a small group of first-gen students on Thursday, February 1, from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. via Zoom. As the numbers of first-generation, and particularly FGLI students increase, we need to understand their classroom challenges and the impact of external factors on academic performance and persistence.

The Art of Teaching Lunchtime Seminar happens every first Thursday from February 1 to May 6, 12 p.m. - 1 p.m. Mark your calendar and register for this upcoming online seminar.

Mark The Dates - The Spring 2024 Faculty Series on Teaching & Learning Begins February 7

Join a dynamic learning community by participating in this specially designed seminar series for faculty (across all disciplines and ranks). This six-part weekly series will begin Wednesday, February 7, typically from 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. This series is open to first-time and previous attendees. The theme is what the best college teachers know about how their students think, act, and feel. We will start with "Understanding and Incorporating Informal (IEF) and Formal (ICES) Student Feedback" and then move to topics such as the Teaching Philosophy Statement for Promotion & Tenure, Creating Effective, Appropriate Exams; Strategies for Students to Learn how to Learn Better, and a special event: come visit classes of our exemplary teachers.

Dates are listed, and registration is now open on our CITL calendar. Click here for the flyer.

Earn a CITL Teaching Certificate

CITL offers several teaching certificates for professional development purposes. Whether you are a graduate student, faculty member, postdoc, staff, or visiting scholar, one of our certificates is probably right for you. Visit the teaching certificate page of the CITL website for more information.


Workshops and Events


Canvas Open Office Hours
Recurring: every Thursday, 11 a.m. - 12 p.m.
Host: CITL Instructional Support Team

Hidden Gems: Recognizing, Understanding, and Supporting First Generation Students in the Classroom - CITL Art of Teaching Lunchtime Seminar Series
Thursday, February 1, 12 p.m. - 1 p.m.
Zoom (Registration Link)
Host: Jordan Leising (CITL)

Developing Your Professional ePortfolio
Friday, February 2, 3:30 p.m. - 4:45 p.m.
Zoom (Registration Link)
Host: David Favre (CITL)

Using Informal Early Feedback (IEF)
Wednesday, February 7, 9:30 a.m. - 11 a.m.
Zoom (Registration Link)
Host: Lucas Anderson (CITL)

Spring 2024 Faculty Workshop Series on Teaching & Learning, #1: Maximizing Informal (IEF) and Formal (ICES) Student Feedback to Enhance Teaching & Learning (I wish I had known that earlier)
Wednesday, February 7, 11:30 a.m. - 1 p.m.
Location: Room 182, Armory Building (east side hallway, first floor)
Registration Link
Host: Cheelan Bo-Linn (CITL)

CITL Faculty Book Club: Digital Literacy Made Simple - Strategies for Building Skills Across the Curriculum 
Thursday, February 8, 11:30 a.m. - 1 p.m.
Zoom (Registration Link)
Host: David Favre (CITL)

Spring 2024 Faculty Workshop Series on Teaching & Learning, #2: A Reflective Teaching Philosophy Statement for Promotion and Tenure
Wednesday, February 14, 11:30 a.m. - 1 p.m.
Location: Room 182, Armory Building (east side hallway, first floor)
Registration Link
Host: Cheelan Bo-Linn (CITL)

Spring 2024 Faculty Workshop Series on Teaching & Learning, #3: Opening the Classroom Door: Join Us for Opportunities to Observe Exemplary Teachers (Introductory Session)
Wednesday, February 21, 10 a.m. - 11 a.m.
Location: Room 182, Armory Building (east side hallway, first floor)
Registration Link
Host: Cheelan Bo-Linn (CITL)

Spring 2024 Faculty Workshop Series on Teaching & Learning, #4: The Art of the Enhanced Lecture (Part II): Active Teaching = Active Engaged Learning by Our Students
Wednesday, February 21, 11:30 a.m. - 1 p.m.
Location: Room 182, Armory Building (east side hallway, first floor)
Registration Link
Host: Cheelan Bo-Linn (CITL)

Stay tuned for this semester's events! Bookmark the CITL Event Calendar for all upcoming workshops and the Training Services (formerly FAST3) Calendar for additional training opportunities.


Teaching Tips


Do You Have a Teaching Philosophy Statement?

The teaching philosophy statement is a critical part of a promotion and tenure package, for teaching awards and grant proposals and, very often, for job applications. This document is known by other names, such as a teaching statement or philosophy of teaching. Regardless of the different names, this document serves as a reflective, purposeful narrative about the instructor’s teaching philosophy and the beliefs and actions that guide the teaching and learning process. For the reader, it can serve as a glimpse into the classroom with concrete examples of the above beliefs and actions. For the instructor, writing and reflecting on this document provides an opportunity for continued growth and purposefulness in one’s teaching. This document also serves as the anchor for a teaching portfolio/dossier. 

How to Get Started

There are several ways to get started on your teaching philosophy statement, such as taking an inventory on your desired student learning goals and/or answering opening questions. 

  • Teaching Goals Inventory,by Thomas A. Angelo and K. Patricia Cross and their book Classroom Assessment Techniques. This inventory will help you to identify or create your teaching and learning goals.
  • The Center for Teaching at Vanderbilt Universityoffers any of these questions for you to answer: 
    • Why do you teach the way you do?
    • What should students expect of you as a teacher?
    • What is a method of teaching you rely on frequently? Why don’t you use a different method?
    • What do you want students to learn? How do you know your goals for students are being met?
    • What should your students be able to know or do as a result of taking your class?
    • How can your teaching facilitate student learning?
    • How do you as a teacher create an engaging or enriching learning environment?
    • What specific activities or exercises do you use to engage your students? What do you want your students to learn from these activities?
    • How has your thinking about teaching changed over time? Why?
  • Parker Palmer in his book “The Courage to Teach: Exploring the Inner Landscape of a Teacher's Life” provides these insightful questions for you to answer: 
    • When good teaching is the focus….
      • We most commonly ask the “what” question: “What subject shall we teach?”
      • In a deeper conversation, we ask the “how” question: “What methods and techniques are required to teach well?"
      • Occasionally, we ask the “why” question: “For what purpose and to what ends do we teach?”
      • But seldom, if ever, do we ask the “who” question.

Some General Guidelines

  • A teaching philosophy is generally 1–2 pages, double-spaced, in length. 
  • Use present tense in most cases. Writing in the first person is most common.
  • Most statements avoid technical terms and favor language and concepts that can be understood by readers across the disciplines.
  • Describe in detail teaching strategies, methods, and assessments.
  • Make the statement memorable and unique.

If you would like to learn more and develop/revisit your teaching philosophy statement, the Center for Innovation in Teaching & Learning (CITL) here at UIUC will offer you two workshops. You can also contact CITL for additional assistance. 

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