Trends and Issues in Higher Ed

Innovators Among Us: Teaching Across Boundaries

Teaching | January 2020

University of Washington faculty never cease to amaze. They experiment with approaches to expand teaching and learning, making use of technologies and novel ways of organizing instruction and maximizing of class time.

For example, Scott Fritzen, Evans School of Public Policy and Governance, linked health leaders across Africa using a suite of connected e-learning tools, building a tight-knit community of professional learners in the process. Sarah Elwood, Geography, paired students with non-profits to solve community issues in Seattle. Kristi Straus, Environment, flipped her class and partnered with colleagues in China to create a global learning community first at a distance and then in person with a week-long study abroad. And more than 150 faculty of all ranks are coming together to learn more about evidence-based teaching (EBT), experiment together with EBT approaches and add to the growing body of knowledge on effective classroom practices.

This report series explores what these UW colleagues and others across our three campuses are doing in and out of the classroom to adapt to the needs of specific courses, disciplines and groups of students. These features are part of a growing suite of opportunities to learn from our colleagues—the Teaching & Learning Symposium hosted by the Center for Teaching & Learning each spring highlights classroom-based research on teaching effectiveness. The Evidence-based Teaching Program convenes communities of practice provide an introduction to existing research and the opportunity to connect with peers who are trying new things in the classroom. The Advances in Higher Education Research Seminar series highlights original research in college-level learning and instruction. The Teaching Technology Fellows offers faculty support while they redesign a course. And Engineering, Physics and Biology are home to faculty groups that conduct discipline-specific research on teaching and learning.

Consider this series as an on-demand learning community, a way for us to look into our colleagues’ practices and classrooms, to share what we’re doing, and to get inspired.

January 2020 Feature stories