CITL Teaching and Learning News: May 7, 2024

May 10, 2024, 10:29 AM
CITL Teaching and Learning News May 7, 2024
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Instructor Voices

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Early Findings from the Hybrid Teaching Pilot Program

Are you interested in hybrid teaching? Maybe you already explored some form of hybrid instruction during the pandemic, or maybe your department wants to expand enrollment by offering a hybrid section. The Provost’s Hybrid Teaching and Learning Pilot project, which launched in Fall 2023, is investigating the challenges of hybrid delivery when students are in-person in the classroom and attending remotely at the same time. CITL is overseeing the project in collaboration with Technology Services.

The study is designed to gather data on 1) effective classroom technologies--including room set up, cameras, microphones, and tech support, and 2) effective teaching strategies--including content delivery, engagement strategies, and learning outcomes. A Service-in-Excess (SIE) stipend is available for instructors who meet specific criteria including classroom size, location, and style of teaching. 

Want to learn more? The CITL Art of Teaching Lunchtime Seminar Series recently interviewed Pilot investigators, Drs. Simona Buetti and Alejandro Lleras, about their experiences offering Psychology 230 in hybrid format. This interview recording includes early findings on test scores and grade comparisons between hybrid and in-person sections, student behaviors, room technology issues, and teaching strategies during the FA23 and SP24 terms. Simona has also agreed to serve as a CITL Faculty Fellow helping to gather and analyze data for the Pilot program.  

For more information about this opportunity, please send a brief note about your course and hybrid interests to


CITL Announcements


We Wish You a Great End to the Semester

We at CITL hope you had a great semester and will have the opportunity to relax a bit at the end of the school year. Keep in mind CITL is here for you over the summer, so you can schedule a consultation with us or look forward to our summer workshop offerings.

Congratulations to This Year's Teaching Certificate Recipients!

155 certificates were earned this year by 144 individuals from at least 37 departments from across campus. See the list of all recipients here. We commend the hard work of all our certificate recipients, and we admire their dedication to good teaching and learning.

If you would like to earn a teaching certificate over the next year, check out the certificate options on the CITL website.

Summer Reading Group June 11-20

CITL will offer an 8-hour Summer Reading Group during June, led by Grad Affiliate Kathleen McGowan. The text will be James M. Lang's Small Teaching (2nd ed., 2021). The group will meet in person 4 times during June on the 11th, 13th, 18th, and 20th to discuss the book and workshop some applications of its materials for use in participants' current and future classrooms. Students of all disciplines are encouraged to join—please register by May 24th.

Summer Workshop Series June 18-27

Lucas Anderson, Jordan Leising, and the CITL Graduate Affiliates will be bringing back the annual CITL Course Design Series in June. This 8-workshop series introduces participants to backward course design, then uses backward design principles to guide participants through the crucial elements of their course design, from setting course objectives, to choosing appropriate assessments and learning activities, all the way through establishing course policies and creating a syllabus, with special attention to issues of inclusive teaching. Workshops will be in-person at the Armory building on Tuesdays and Thursdays from June 18-June 27. Registration will be opening soon.


Workshops and Events


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

Summer Reading Group
Tuesdays and Thursdays, June 11-20
Exact time and location determined by the group
Register by May 24

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


UDL Tip of the Month

  A person holding a sign, "Key points were highlighted"

How to UDL-ify Your Syllabus: Representation

This article is the second in a three-article series of UDL Tips focused on applying UDL principles to your syllabus. The first article focuses on Engagement and how it influences students' interactions with the syllabus contents and choices for learning opportunities. This article looks at how representation impacts students' retention and comprehension through visual learning style, language, and symbols. These multiple modes help students learn more actively and pay greater attention to the syllabus by providing them with a variety of ways to access course content and resources. While the time-honored tradition of starting a course with a syllabus quiz and the imperative to "Read the Syllabus!" may have a certain brute force effectiveness, it does little to establish a welcoming learning environment and does not reflect the principle of multiple modes of representation. Here's how you can UDL-ify your syllabus utilizing the principle of Representation to give your students multiple avenues for accessing your course content. 

Let’s start with digital formats. Providing a digital syllabus allows students the flexibility to obtain information in a different medium and may be especially helpful for students who may be using assistive technology like screen readers and other text-to-speech software. A digital syllabus can give students the option to listen on mobile while driving or exercising or to modify the text or colors for better readability. Start by offering two different formats in your course:

  • Add a Syllabus page in Canvas.
  • Post a Word document attachment.
  • Post a digital syllabus in Google Drive.
  • Create a video syllabus.

Word or Google documents can be printed or modified. And if you’re making a video, a little creativity can go a long way—for instance, using a slideshow with audio or touring different parts of the syllabus to explain or highlight the text or images. The sky’s the limit!

Seeing visual content also helps people remember better than reading or listening to text alone because our brain needs more processing time to perceive words as tiny pictures and then identify features of letters before we can read them. Combining auditory and visual cues increases the percentage of remembering the information over the text alone. John Medina, a biologist who studies the brain, found that people remember visually 65%![i] 

Here are a few ways to illustrate your syllabus visually:

  • Highlight with colors, symbols, or icons.
  • Use lists to summarize or highlight key points.
  • Use data tables to organize course schedule, office hour information, etc.
  • Use meaningful images that convey the content.

Before jumping in, take a few minutes to review your syllabus and consider how you can modify and organize the information to better suit visual learners. This small adjustment can make a big difference in their learning experience.

Lastly, consider offering a variety of resource types, rather than the required textbook alone. Offering students multiple modes of representation increases the possible ways they can understand the subject matter and improves retention. Why not change the pace and help your students feel a little less daunted by the required textbooks? Change up your approach by making greater use of different multimedia, books, and other formats. Let your class:

  • Search textbooks online.
  • Choose one of two textbooks offered.
  • Access textbook information via paper, electronic formats, audio, etc.

These are just a few ways you can improve your syllabus with small changes that offer multiple representations of content that engage students' retention and comprehension through visual learning style, language, and symbols. If you would like more information or a consultation on this topic, CITL’s UDL Team is here to help. You can reach us at In the meantime, stay tuned for next month's article on how to apply multiple modes of action and expression to your syllabus.


Boyle, Molly. Think College. (2010). Six Tips for Building a Universally Designed Syllabus. Retrieved from

Image credit: Seattle Central College. (October 12, 2011). Universal Design. Retrieved from

Image credit: Inayaysad, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

[1] John Medina. Brain Rules. Retrieved from

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