These resources will help you plan, implement, monitor, assess, and document your teaching improvement work. Your improvement efforts can be used to create teaching portfolio entries and set the stage for a future teaching grant or scholarship of teaching and learning project

These guides have been created and published by The Center for Advancing Teaching & Learning (CATL) at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse

Please direct feedback and suggestions to Bill Cerbin, Director of CATL.

The Syllabus Guide

provides instructors with information about the goals and purposes of the syllabus, along with current Faculty Senate syllabus policy, and a policy-compliant, downloadable, and editable template that includes required and recommended statements, components, and policies.

The Teaching Improvement Guide

is intended to help college teachers identify, explore, and plan ways to improve their teaching and student learning.  Each section includes strategies and tips for improving teaching.

The menu under "How can I improve…" corresponds to several important areas of teaching: 

  1. Teaching methods - including lecture, class discussion, and various forms of group learning.  Students learn in one of two ways:  on their own (most often through lecture, or with course materials, most often as assigned reading) or with others (most often through small-group activities or through class discussion). 

  2. Course structure - Structuring a course means designing the learning process. This section provides ideas for thinking about learning outcomes and how to get students to success.

  3. The learning environment - Here you will find ideas for improving the learning environment, working with historically marginalized student populations, building rapport with students, and help for teaching online.

  4. Student engagement and motivation - This section of the guide focuses on strategies to support students’ motivation—their effort and persistence in learning, including students’ achievement goals, the type of value they place on learning, their expectancy for success or failure, how they interpret their successes and failures, the degree of choice they have over their own learning, and more.

  5. Student learning. This section focuses on strategies teachers can use to influence how students learn. Some are basic learning strategies that can help students acquire and remember new material. Others help students engage in more complex thinking and transfer of learning. Consider two examples:

    • Practice Testing is a strategy in which students study and then try to recall what they have learned.

    • Metacognition is awareness of and ability to regulate one’s own learning and thinking. Metacognitive skill is what makes students more strategic and better able to plan, monitor, assess and improve their own learning.
  6. Assessment of learning - all forms of teaching improvement require assessment to monitor and maximize the impact of instructional activities on student learning and achievement. After providing background on rubrics, this section includes strategies related to particular kinds of assignments--namely, objective tests, writing assignments, presentations, and portfolios.

The Instructor's Guide to Inclusive Excellence

The IE Guide examines the multiple and varied roles that instructors play in creating supportive and inclusive courses and classrooms and campus climates and in closing equity gaps for historically underserved student populations. This guide provides a brief review of the literature on each topic and offers options for implementation, as a means to building our collective knowledge and problem-solving skills as instructors. 

The IE Guide is currently a work in progress.