Teaching Communities

Communities of Practice

Instructors interested in learning about and trying new techniques of instruction can join a community of practice. In a community of practice, instructors come together around a common interest to improve their teaching by sharing best practices and collaborating to create new ideas. The Teaching Center organizes several such communities annually for instructors teaching courses enrolling AS&E students.

In Spring 2024, we are sponsoring a Generative Artificial Intelligence Group and a Transparent Assignment Design Fellowship group.  These groups will meet in person.

Generative Artificial Intelligence Group— This group will meet to discuss the implications of generative AI for teaching and learning, as well as to share resources and teaching ideas.  In addition to considering how to revise courses in response to generative AI, the group will consider how and whether to integrate generative AI into student and/or instructor work. 

This group will meet six times in person on Thursdays, 3:30 pm to 4:30 pm, on 2/1, 2/8, 2/29, 3/7, 3/28, and 4/18.

Register Online 

Transparent Assignment Design Fellowship—This fellowship offers instructors peer and teaching center support as they develop or redevelop non-test assignments over one semester. Transparent design principles increase student learning and retention, particularly for first-generation students. It carries a $500 non-salary stipend for use in their research and teaching.

This group will meet four times in person on Mondays, 9:30 am to 11 am, on 1/29, 2/12, 3/4, and 3/18.

*** Registration is closed. Spring 2024 cohort is full. ***


Active Learning Teaching Group—Instructors teaching a 2023 fall semester course enrolling AS&E students are invited to explore small, easy-to-implement, evidence-based classroom activities that can be dropped into ongoing courses. Participants commit to meeting six times to read James Lang’s Small Teaching (provided), as well as trying out one of the teaching strategies once and reporting back to the group on how it worked out.

Inclusive STEM Teaching Group—Instructors teaching a course in any discipline that enrolls AS&E students are invited to explore creating and sustaining inclusive learning environments. The teaching group is part of the Inclusive STEM Teaching Project and will focus on teaching methods that reduce performance disparities and improve students’ sense of belonging, self-efficacy, and STEM identity. Participants will engage with online content (videos and reflection prompts) before coming together as a group to engage in dialogue and explore how these concepts can be applied specifically at UR. 

Large Courses Discussion Group—Instructors of large courses (75+ students) enrolling AS&E students are invited to join a spring teaching discussion group to share ideas and experiences, as well as benefit from center support for common challenges.

When Students Get Stuck: Overcoming Bottlenecks—Bottlenecks are places where students get stuck in the learning process – concepts and skills that consistently seem to stymie student understanding. Instructors will learn to identify and describe student bottlenecks to learning, and design instructional strategies to help students overcome these barriers to understanding.

Teaching Center Discussion Forum

The Teaching Center has created a discussion forum in Microsoft Teams where instructors can connect with colleagues with similar interests to share ideas and ask questions.

Other Fellowships

College Course Development Fellowship—This fellowship offers instructors peer and teaching center support as they develop or redevelop a course over two semesters. It carries a $1,000 stipend for use in their research and teaching.