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CTL Offers Space to Create and Collaborate

April 13, 2017

“There are great opportunities for graduate students in the new Yale Center for Teaching and Learning,” says Kaury Kucera, interim director for graduate and postdoctoral teaching development. Established in 2014 and originally housed in the Hall of Graduate Studies and 35 Broadway, the center moved into Sterling Memorial Library in January 2017.

“The CTL opened up 24,000 square feet of interactive and technology-enabled collaboration space for the Yale community,” Kucera says. “Importantly, this is not like quiet library spaces that exist elsewhere. Here, you're encouraged to talk, draw on the many writable walls, and collaborate.” The new facility was designed to be a welcoming environment for students, faculty, and postdoctoral fellows to work together and with the center’s staff.

Led by Deputy Provost Scott Strobel, Executive Director Jennifer Frederick, and Executive Director for Digital Education Lucas Swineford, the CTL was created to carry out President Peter Salovey’s goals: making Yale the research university most committed to teaching and learning, and creating a “more unified Yale.” The CTL consolidates the many teaching, tutoring, writing, and technology-enabled learning programs that had previously been scattered across the University. A great advantage of this centralization of resources is that students who come for a specific workshop, tutoring session, instructional technology seminar, or meeting will learn about and be able to take advantage of other opportunities.

The new space features a teaching studio suite. In one area, individuals or small groups can create video projects for a flipped classroom – one in which students view video lectures at home and spend class time on interactive exercises, projects, and discussions. In that studio, students can also experiment with video answers to questions that will be posted on Media Library in Canvas. Canvas is the online academic communication system that replaced Classes*v2, and Media Library is where instructors and TFs upload audio and video files that are streamed to students in Canvas courses or project sites.

In the other studio space, graduate students can practice with new technologies to gain confidence and ease of use when they employ these technologies in front of a live class.

“We want to make teaching at Yale more of a public practice,” Strobel said at the grand opening of the new facility.

The new space in SML certainly shines the spotlight on teaching like never before at Yale,” Kucera adds.