The Innovative Teaching Summer Institute at Columbia University


June 15, 16, 17, and 18, 2015
2015 Summer Institute site (UNI access only)

The Innovative Teaching Summer Institute will run again in June, 2016. The track announcements about the application process, please email a request to be added to the Center for Teaching and Learning's graduate student mailing list.



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The Innovative Teaching Summer Institute at Columbia University is an intensive, multi-day series of workshops, discussions, and posted reflections all centered on the use of emerging tools to support effective teaching. It is an opportunity for graduate students to work with peers from a variety of disciplines, discuss pedagogy, connect with resources and support, and develop themselves as innovative teachers.

The Summer Institute fosters interdisciplinary discussion of educational paradigms, pedagogical design, and assessment strategies. Once they have envisioned assignments with specific learning goals, participants are introduced to a variety of digital tools and directed to campus and online resources to help them meet these goals. By the end of the Institute, each participant has defined, revised, and presented an innovative assignment that exemplifies his or her instructional priorities.

Summer Institute participants receive a letter of certification that can be referenced on c.v.s and other descriptions of pedagogical preparation. Institute participants are also eligible to apply to be Peer Teaching Consultants, a designation that entails a stipend and a series of activities during the academic year. More information about the Peer Teaching Consultant program is here.



2014 Summer Institute


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The 2014 Summer Institute took place at the Diana Center at Barnard College, Columbia University, on June 16-19. See a gallery of Summer Institute pictures and scan tweets from these four days.

Over 50 Columbia doctoral students, representing a wide array of disciplines, participated in the 2014 Institute after a competitive application process that featured initial conceptions for an innovative assignment in the applicant's subject area domain. Based on these applications, admitted participants were assigned to interest 'tracks' and seated at tables with peers developing similar approaches to innovative assignments.

2014 Summer Institute tracks included:

  • Collaborative reading and writing
  • Field work and mapping
  • Media analysis
  • Media production
  • Case studies and simulations
  • Interactions across distance

The 2014 Summer Institute program represented an expansion from the previous year. It included a 'field trip' day during which participants engaged in workshops and activities across educational technology support units at Columbia (including the Center for New Media Teaching and Learning's Faculty Support Lab, the GSAS Teaching Center's Studio@Butler, the Columbia University Libraries' Digital Social Science Center, Columbia's Language Resource Center, and Barnard College Library's Instructional Media and Technology Services. 2014 Institute Facilitators included instructors at Columbia using educational technology in innovative ways in their teaching. This anchored discussions about designing, implementing, assessing digital projects with actual examples and lessons learned. A panel of 2013-14 Teagle Fellows also visited the Institute to discuss benefits of working with a peer on teaching observation and assessment. On the final day, each group voted on standout assignments that had been developed at their table, which were then presented to other tables; after a poster session, another round of assignments was selected by popular vote for presentation. Posters of assignments selected by institute participants for presentation can be found here.

Anyone with a Columbia UNI can also log into the 2014 Summer Institute website to look through presentations, resources, and work at this Institute.



2013 Summer Institute


The 2013 Summer Institute took place place at the Diana Center at Barnard College, Columbia University, on June 11-13. The application pool far exceeded available slots, but we were able to accommodate 50 students in this year's Institute. Criteria for admission into the Institute included teaching experience and upcoming assignments, interest in participating in the Teagle Teaching Fellows program, and conception of an innovative assignment to work on during the three days of the Institute.

At the Institute, participants were assigned to tables of 7 or 8: a small, interdisciplinary group to work with over the course of the three days connected by common interests reflected in early ideas about assignments. The 2013 Summer Institute program alternated between presentations by staff members of the GSAS Teaching Center, the Center for New Media Teaching and Learning, and Columbia University Libraries Digital Centers; open discussions; table-specific activities; breakout sessions for digital tool training; and assignment poster creation and display. On the final day of the Institute, each group voted on standout assignments that had been developed at their table, which were then presented to other tables; after a poster session, another round of assignments was selected by popular vote for presentation. Posters of assignments selected by institute participants for presentation can be found here.

Institute participants also posted a series of individual reflections about their assignments at the end of each day's activities. These reflections, which in many cases drove discussion at group tables, remain online and accessible to graduate students at Columbia University on the 2013 Summer Institute site.

Anyone with a Columbia UNI can also log into the 2013 Summer Institute site to see presentations, resources, and work at this Institute.



2012 Summer Institute


The inaugural Teagle Summer Institute was held at Columbia University on August 7-9, 2012 (see program). Participants in this first round of the Teagle Summer Institute sat for a series of video interviews over the course of the three days. Excerpts from this footage is incorporated into this informational video: