SDSU Center for Teaching and Learning serves as teaching education hub

by Alek Sanchez, Staff Writer

Students aren’t the only ones with resources available on campus.

Professors have their own space to improve on teaching and expand on the learning process.

Welcome to the Center for Teaching and Learning, located on the second floor of the Administration Building in room 220.

The CTL’s main function is to serve as a hub for expanding knowledge for teachers.

It provides guidance and learning resources for professors to continue their education on how to effectively educate.

The center offers a wide variety of services and programs San Diego State educators can use.

CTL hosts presentations and workshops about contemporary issues that offer opportunities for hands-on learning.

Topics range from the design of learning activities to cultural and psychological factors in student learning and achievement.

The CTL also offers mini-grants from $500 to $2,000 to professors who participate with events.

Faculty may submit proposals on course redesigns or new teaching innovations.

CTL director and economics professor Jennifer Imazeki said the center’s biggest goal is supporting faculty in all aspects of teaching.

This is currently done through learning communities and one-on-one consultations.

Her vision for the center’s future is playing the central role of a strong community of scholarly teachers on campus.

The CTL provides instructors with ways of dealing with issues that commonly  arise through the course of the semester.

These topics are broken down into six main subjects: Assessing Teaching and Learning, Managing the Classroom, Pedagogies and Strategies, Preparing to Teach, Supporting Students and Teaching Core Competencies.

“My experience with CTL has been truly transformational,” civil, construction and environmental engineering professor Thais Alves said. “I attended virtually (all) of their events … to be the best teacher I could be, to understand my students’ needs and also to communicate with my peers about my own work.”

Technology has become almost vital for any class to run as smoothly and effectively as possible.

As technology continues to increase within the classroom setting, teachers are constantly adapting to the new playing field.

The CTL works closely with Instructional Technology Services to help teachers fully utilize assets such as video, multimedia and Blackboard.

Students may feel reassured knowing professors are able to continue to expand their teaching methods.

There’s no bigger fear as a student than walking into a class on the first day to find out that a professor does not use Blackboard, has an unorganized and unhelpful syllabus and does not offer to reach out and help students.

All these topics are small examples of what is available at the CTL.

The CTL is hosting a collection of events available during the rest of February.

On Thursday, Feb. 18, the CTL will host the workshop “Student Evaluations as Tools for Improving Instruction” to review evaluations and consider changes to make them more useful for improving instruction.

On the following Monday, Feb. 22, the CTL will provide an instructional seminar addressing writing with international students, titled “Writing Across Borders.”

Focusing on the cultural gap and challenge with evaluating international students’ writing, this event will also feature a documentary from the department of rhetoric and writing studies.