CEILS Teaching Guides

Supporting your curricular and teaching development towards greater diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice in our UCLA Life and Physical Sciences classrooms.

The following guides offer a deep dive into the evidence-based best practices for course design and teaching with resources and guidance developed and/or curated by our team at the Center for Education and Innovations in the Sciences. We will continue to update each guide over time, so please contact us at media@ceils.ucla.edu with feedback or resources to share with our community of instructors. 

For more resources, please view our OnDemand Teaching & Learning Library here.

Featured Guide: First Day of Class

The first day of class sets the tone for the quarter and is your introduction to your students on who you are and how you teach. It also provides an opportunity to set the expectations for the course – grades, attendance, schedule. But beyond the logistics of the course, the first day is a chance to begin to create a learning community. 

Please take a moment to review the strategies and tips below. You may already be implementing some of these or this may be the first time you are teaching and these ideas are new. Wherever you are in your own teaching development, we encourage you to try at least one new thing each quarter to make your class a bit more welcoming and inclusive.

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Professor in university classroom teaching students

Part I: Design an Inclusive Course with Equitable Assessment of Learning

How Identities Impact Teaching & Learning

Before you start to plan your course, take some time to explore the impact of identity on teaching, learning, equity, and social justice in your own discipline.

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Creating Course Goals and Learning Outcomes

What will students know or be able to do by taking your course? How can you incorporate social justice, equity, and anti-racism into your course from the very beginning?

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Map Your Course with Backward Design

How might you use a design framework to align your goals, assessments, and activities in ways that optimize student learning?

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Assessment Strategies & Equitable Grading Practices

How will you assess student learning throughout the quarter (“formative assessment”) and at the end (“summative assessment”)?

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Designing an Inclusive Syllabus

How is your course structured to support learning?   How does the tone and language set the stage for curiousity and an inclusive classroom climate?


Building in Flexibility for Pivoting to Remote Teaching

The COVID-19 pandemic has shown us that our plans might need to change in an instant. What strategies can support you in the event of a pivot to remote teaching?

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Getting Your Tech in Check

What steps can you take to ensure your course materials are accessible and that students can see and hear you clearly regardless of format?

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First Day of Class

How can you best set the stage for an inclusive classroom culture?


Part II: Actively Engaging ALL Students in the Classroom

Engage Students with Active Learning

How might you use active learning and other evidenced-based approaches to enhance participation and engagement in your class?

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Implementing Peer Instruction Using Polling Tools (Strategies for Large Classrooms)

How can you leverage polling tools to enhance student participation and feedback, especially in large classes?

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Designing Group Activities

How will you support collaborative learning in your classroom?

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Ideas for Labs and Discussion Sections

How can you and your TAs support and engage all students in labs and discussion sections?

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Part III: Evaluating and Reflecting on Teaching

Based on Student Feedback

How can you get helpful and formative feedback from your students throughout your course delivery?

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Based on Peer Feedback

How can colleagues and departments help improve teaching?

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What tools can you use to self-assess your own teaching?

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Other Forms of Evaluation

Given the many concerns with focusing only on student evaluations of teaching, what are other ways that you and your institution can assess teaching effectiveness and student learning?

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Additional Resources for Instructors

CEILS On Demand Teaching and Learning Video Library

View past webinars on topics like pivoting to remote teaching, designing an inclusive course syllabus, diverse strategies for assessment and engagement and more.

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Guidance on Artificial Intelligence

Guidance for instructors on the use of generative artificial intelligence in teaching and learning.

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Recommended Resource: ACUE’s Online Teaching Toolkit

We highly recommend this website as a resource for concrete tips and strategies for enhancing your course design and delivery online. Developed by the Association of College and University Educators (ACUE).

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Request a Consult for 1:1 Support

A member of the CEILS team would be happy to meet for individual and group consultations.

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Campus Resources to Share with Your Students

This resource guide for UCLA students has been developed by Britney Robinson, DEI Coordinator for Physical Sciences and Lauren Buzzanco, Lead mentor for the Summer BRIDGE Program. Please help spread the word about all of these supportive programs available to our students.

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