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University Teaching & Learning Program

The TLTC, in collaboration with the Graduate School, provides professional development for UMD graduate students and postdoctoral fellows in the area of teaching and learning in higher education. Many graduate students and postdocs will pursue teaching positions as part of their future careers, yet many do not receive formal training in teaching and some do not have direct teaching opportunities. 

The Philosophy of UTLP

At the heart of the UTLP is the philosophy that teaching, like research, is a scholarly activity, one that requires intellectual engagement and public conversation. The scholarly activities of UTLP center around three core ideas:

The improvement of teaching and learning is a dynamic and ongoing process that includes the need to accurately determine what students have learned as a result of teaching practices. This includes understanding evidence-based research on teaching and learning and applying it in the classroom. Teaching-as-research also involves teachers engaging in the deliberate, systematic, and reflective use of research methods to develop and implement teaching practices that advance the learning experiences and outcomes of students and teachers.

Learning communities bring people together for shared learning, discovery, and the generation of knowledge. Within a learning community, all participants take responsibility for achieving the learning goals. Learning communities incorporate shared discovery and learning, establish meaningful connections among learners, situate learning in the broader context of disciplines and life experiences, and are inclusive of diverse backgrounds and life experiences.

Existing social and educational practices do not always promote equal success for all learners. Thus, creating equitable learning experiences and environments requires intentional and deliberate efforts on the part of present and future faculty. Teachers should endeavor to know the diverse backgrounds of their students, draw upon the diversity to enhance learning, apply methods of teaching and assessment that support students from diverse backgrounds, and promote an equitable, respectful climate for learning.

Program Overview

The University Teaching and Learning Program recognizes and celebrates that development as a teacher is a lifelong process. Whether preparing to teach in the future or teaching for the first, second, or tenth time, UTLP is designed to meet graduate students and postdocs at their current level and help them advance their practices. 

For more information and details about completing program requirements visit the UTLP ELMS site after enrolling. UTLP is a self-paced program. However, a suggested timeline for completing UTLP requirements is available to assist with planning. 

Once enrolled, participants receive access to an UTLP ELMS site with detailed information for each program level. 

Level Description Recognition of Completion Requirements
Level 1: Associate Associates have the knowledge to be effective teachers and value the importance of quality teaching and learning. They understand and are able to implement evidence-based practices in different learning environments to achieve defined learning goals to meet the needs of diverse learners. Associates may or may not have teaching experience. Certificate of completion and program may be listed as professional development on resumes/CVs
  1. -Course Path (1+ credit course and 1 Diversity & Inclusion workshop) OR Workshop Path (5 workshops, including 1 Diversity & Inclusion workshop)
  2. -Teaching Philosophy Statement
  3. -Observe an Undergraduate class session
Level 2: Practitioner Practitioners have a level of knowledge and skills that allows them to be scholarly teachers who use Teaching-as-Research to improve their practice. They build on what others have learned in an ongoing way, seek evidence of learning, and use evidence to improve practice. Practitioners are often currently teaching in some capacity, though this is not a requirement of the program Same as Level 1 plus a transcript notation
  • -Course Completion (2+ credits)
  • -5 TLTC Workshops or Reading Groups (including 1 Diversity & Inclusion workshop)
  • -Observe 3 Undergraduate class sessions
  • -Mentored by Faculty (3 meetings & 1 observation)
  • -Teaching-as-Research (TAR) Project
  • -Teaching Portfolio
Level 3: Scholar Scholars go beyond scholarly teaching and are driven by a desire to understand how students learn effectively and how teaching influences this process. At the Scholar level, graduate students are expected to advance and disseminate evidence-based research on teaching and learning through the completion of a teaching as research project that informs broader questions related to teaching and learning. Becoming a Scholar requires in-depth understanding of the literature, critical reflection, and sharing findings with a local, regional, or national group of peers. Same as Level 2
    Practitioner Level Requirements PLUS:
  • -Scholar-Level TAR Project
  • -Formal Proposal
  • -Presentation of TAR Project
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