Skip to main content

Accessibility menu

Skip to main content Skip to footer

Lesson study grants

A page within Center for Advancing Teaching and Learning (CATL)

Lesson study is classroom inquiry in which several instructors jointly design, teach, observe, analyze, and refine a single class lesson in one of their courses. The goal of a lesson study is to better understand how students learn and to use that information to improve teaching. 

About Lesson Study

Why focus on a single lesson?

According to Cerbin & Kopp, there are four main reasons lesson study stands out as a form of professional development in higher education:

  1. Teaching Improvement: Lesson study is an ideal venue for teaching improvement. In contrast to workshops and seminars that discuss general teaching strategies, lesson study looks directly at one’s classroom and how students respond to instruction. By focusing on one lesson, instructors can make improvements without undertaking extensive course revision.
  2. Instructional Materials: Lesson study results in a field-tested lesson and supporting materials that can be used and adapted by other instructors. The systematic, evidence-based approach makes it possible for teachers to build on one another’s work.
  3. Teaching Community: The lesson study process helps build communities of practice around teaching. Instructors report that collaborating with their peers is a particularly rewarding experience. Lesson study cultivates mutual understanding of goals, teaching practices, and student learning among teachers.
  4. Scholarly Inquiry: Lesson Study is a form of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning—the final products are suitable for professional presentations and publication. Lesson Study integrates teaching and research, theory and practice. 

Read more.

What is involved in doing lesson study?

Teams of 2-6 instructors works through the following steps after receiving grant funding:

  1. Develop Student Learning Goals. Team members articulate what they would like students to know and be able to do as a result of the lesson.
  2. Design the Lesson. The team designs a lesson to achieve the learning goals.
  3. Plan the Study. The team decides how to observe and collect evidence of student learning.
  4. Teach and Observe the Lesson. One team member teaches the lesson while others observe and gather evidence of student learning.
  5. Analyze Evidence and Revise the Lesson. The team analyzes results and reflects on student progress toward learning goals and then makes revisions.
  6. Document and Share Results. The team documents the lesson study and shares the results of their inquiry with colleagues.

Read more.

Where can I find sample lesson studies?

You can find numerous examples of completed lesson studies published on The Lesson Study Project website.

Search your discipline or a topic of interest. Hundreds of faculty at UWL and in the UW-System have participated in lesson study and have shared their lessons as well as insights into how students learn.

Apply for a Lesson Study Grant


  • Applicants must be faculty and instructional academic staff with at least a 50% FTE during the cycle of application.

Deadline: noon the Monday after Spring semester grades are due

  • Academic Year 24/25 Deadline: grant applications are due by noon on Monday, May 20, 2023 for grant work to be completed during Fall 2024 or Spring 2025, final report due June 1  


  • Please contact Bryan Kopp, Teaching & Learning Specialist, Center for Advancing Teaching & Learning.