What We Do
The Center for Teaching and Learning Excellence (CTLE) serves as a hub of innovation, collaboration, and scholarship for the purpose of enhancing learning environments and optimizing ongoing student success initiatives through targeted faculty support. We maintain programs that are faculty-driven and promote evidenced-based instructional strategies that are student-centered. With these approaches, the aim is to achieve the student success objectives outlined in the UHD Strategic Plan and to support the University’s continual growth and development as a vibrant teaching and learning institution.
The primary objectives of the CTLE are to:
• Promote evidence-based instruction through fostering a collaborative culture of teaching excellence.
• Increase success in high-enrollment courses through the Course Innovation Initiative (CI2).
• Improve the quality of Online Courses offered at UHD.
• Expand the use and improve the quality of High-Impact Practices.
The center provides all full-time and part-time instructors at the University of Houston-Downtown with access to services and resources to support their teaching efforts, with consideration for different teaching styles and methods across the disciplines. Faculty can choose from a variety of active CTLE programs each year, ranging from intensive year-long programs to short video tutorials. See below for brief descriptions of programs/services in seven categories:
The CTLE formalized award winning course redesign efforts with its Course Innovation Initiative (CI2). This initiative supports faculty teams in implementing a course innovation project. A similar program called the Online Course Development Initiative involves faculty developing or redesigning a full online course. A less intensive program called the Online Teaching Passport leads faculty through the design of key course components.
Faculty participating in the Certificate in Evidence-Based Instruction and Course Design earn badges, following a pathway toward themed micro-credentials, and ultimately the final certificate. We also have offered the nationally recognized Course in Effective Teaching Practices provided by the Association of College and University Educators (ACUE). In addition, we offer Online Learning Consortium (OLC) Certifications each year.
Faculty are eligible to complete two Quality Matters (QM) or Online Learning Consortium (OLC) workshops per year, covering a wide variety of online teaching best practices.
Faculty teams form Teaching Circles each year to explore specific topic areas or themes related to best practices in teaching and learning. Some circles yield productive CI2 awards or even external grants, such as the recent Steelcase Education Active Learning Center Grant. We also support expansion of High-Impact Practices.
Stand-Alone Workshops & Events
Workshops or events not linked to other programs include one-off requests for training on discipline specific topics as well as the semi-annual UHD Teaching and Learning Symposium.
As an ongoing on-demand service, the CTLE staff provide faculty with instructional design, graphic design, and video production support. All faculty can access these services in-person or virtually.
CTLE website resources include, instructional videos, best practice rubrics, links to partner websites, video tips from colleagues, 20-Minute Teaching Tips videos from Magna Publications, and more.