Thank you for your interest in University Studies 390X (Developing Teaching Excellence)! Please continue reading for information regarding the course.

Course Learning Outcomes

After successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

  • Discover, analyze, and discuss fundamental pedagogical research.
  • Identify, evaluate, and develop effective teaching practices.
  • Practice peer review of teaching with effective strategies for giving and receiving feedback.
  • Participate in a learning community with fellow students and the DTEI.

Main Topics

  • Icebreakers
  • Introduction to Pedagogical Research
  • Neurobiology and Learning and Memory
  • Student Learning Outcomes
  • Course Design and Lesson Planning
  • Active Learning
  • Instructional Technology
  • Inclusive Teaching and Universal Design for Learning
  • Collaborative Learning and Group Work
  • Assessment
  • Introduction to CIRTL (Teaching as Research)
  • *Topic of class's choice, if scheduling permits
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About the Course

This course meets for three hours once a week during the quarter. The goal of this course is for students to expand their expertise in teaching in higher education and build an interdisciplinary community in a respectful, collaborative, and challenging environment. By completing this course, students will earn the Center for the Integration of Research, Teaching and Learning (CIRTL) Associate level certificate as well as the Certificate in Course Design (new as of Fall 2018!), and graduate students will be eligible to apply for the Pedagogical Fellows Program. In addition, all participants will be making progress towards earning the Certificate in Teaching Excellence (CTE).

In this course, students are assigned readings and complete reflection papers on those readings, including how they would implement the concepts covered in their own teaching. Students are expected to come to class with an open mind and be prepared to discuss the readings with their peers. In addition, students are required to have their teaching observed once and to observe a peer once. To earn the CTE, students need to be observed three times and observe others three times (note: these additional observations do not need to be completed in the same quarter as 390X enrollment).

Interested graduate students may enroll online through WebReg, and post-docs should e-mail Dr. Matthew Mahavongtrakul at for auditing information.


This course is S/U graded and may be taken for 2-4 units with no difference in workload. For a sample syllabus, click here.

Post-390X Opportunities

Following the completion of 390X, graduate students will be eligible to apply for the Pedagogical Fellows Program. Graduate students and post-doctoral fellows will be eligible to apply for the Pedagogical Liaisons Program, and will be eligible to enroll in University Studies 395 (Teaching as Research).


If you have any questions after reading this page in its entirety, please contact Dr. Matthew Mahavongtrakul at regarding 390X or the Pedagogical Liaisons Program, Dr. Danny Mann at for the Pedagogical Fellows Program, and Dr. Adrienne Williams at for University Studies 395.