Winter 2015 CTLO Newsletter

Caltech Center for Teaching, Learning, & Outreach
Announcing the...


A Lightning Quick Overview of Educational Theory!

What is a "backpocket barnburner"...?
It is a super fast overview (~15 minutes) of
a specific, domain-defining dimension of
a theory of learning or motivation.
WHEN: Friday, February 13th from 12-12:30pm
WHERE: CTLO on the 3rd Floor of the Student Services Building, Room 360
WHAT: This session will cover TRIADIC RECIPROCITY - a model that shows the dynamic, interdependent relationship between personal, behavioral, and environmental factors in learning - from Social Cognitive Theory!
WHY???: The goal is to leave the session with information you can keep in your backpocket...just in case.

For example:
  • the language of the theory (terms, concepts, lingo)
  • search terms you can plug into databases to do educational research
  • seeds of ideas for applying theory to any learning/teaching experience

A Mid-Quarter Meetup for TAs!

WHEN: Wednesday, February 18th from 2-3pm
WHERE: CTLO on the 3rd Floor of the Student Services Building, Room 360
WHY: A chance for TAs to come together to socialize, share experiences & resources, hang out with the CTLO staff, and eat lots of food!


From Director Daniel Thomas

  •  We are looking forward to a great new year of CPET Seminars, with Jorge Cham (author/illustrator of PhD Comics) and Suzanne Kern (Caltech alumnus, Assistant Professor at Claremont/Pitzer/Scripps). Stay tuned for dates and even more speakers!
  •  Did you know you can receive a Certificate of Interest in University Teaching from the Provost's office for attending CPET and other teaching and learning events at Caltech? Find out more at

Teaching & Learning Beyond Caltech!

CTLO can help you find an educational outreach opportunity that reflects your work at Caltech - either specific to the goals and objectives of your research or more broadly aligned with your general field of study!

Perfect for Future Faculty development and the development of a holistic Teaching Statement!

Examples of typical Educational Outreach Opportunities include: 
  • Mentorships at local schools
  • Classroom lecture series
  • Summer opportunities for high school students and teachers in Caltech labs
  • Site visits to Caltech for programs designed to showcase Caltech researcher expertise
  • Sharing Caltech science at public events
Contact the masked man in the photo, CTLO Associate Director Mitch Aiken at or 626-395-4641, to discuss how you can get involved!

TAs, Meet The 
Outreach Guys:


Like eating food...?
Like playing with it even more...?

Join us at CTLO on Wednesday, February 4th  at 1pm to enjoy an interactive food experience!

While you're at it, come learn about exciting opportunities to reach out to your local elementary, middle, and high schools, while sharing your science expertise and enthusiasm.

Did you know Pasadena schools have academies in engineering, environmental science, and app development, with access to school gardens, robots, and 3D printers???

Come to our session to learn how you can get involved in our dynamic programs starting right away.

Read more about the outcomes and benefits of service learning from the Association of American Colleges & Universities' publication Peer Review!

Introducing the NEW Caltech Introduction to University Teaching Program! 
This program was designed to fulfill the TA Orientation requirement for all new TAs and for those who have not yet completed a TA Orientation at Caltech.

Now with...More dates and times to choose from for the required in-person meeting! Smaller group sessions!  A more user-friendly Online Policies Module

If you haven't done so already and need to complete an orientation - RSVP today! Detailed information on the program and how to RSVP can be found at:

Here's the Word on the Street:
"I am a first-year chemistry graduate student, and I TA for Chemistry 3X. During the Fall term, CTLO was an invaluable resource for me to discuss my teaching practice with a team of wonderful educators who care about effective and active teaching." - Brendon

"CTLO has been an immensely useful resource in my time at Caltech.  Whether it's feedback on classes I've taught or guidance on academic job applications, the staff have always given me excellent resources and invaluable advice.  I highly recommend the Center to all TAs!" - Carissa

We Are Here For YOU!

We can work with you or your group on all aspects of being a TA, such as:
  • teaching strategies
  • grading & assessment practices
  • balancing TA work with other responsibilities
  • classroom observations/recordings & feedback
  • mid-quarter/end-of-quarter student surveys
Please contact us at (626) 395-8427 or (626) 395-1299 for more information or stop by the 3rd Floor of the Center for Student Services.
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Copyright © 2015 Caltech Center for Teaching, Learning, and Outreach, All rights reserved.

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