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Newsletter - Read More Here - Spring 2024


Welcome to Spring Term! As spring is often a time for new beginnings, we encourage you to take a fresh look at your courses and your Canvas site.

To help you with this "spring cleaning", the CTLO is offering you several new resources:

The CTLO wishes you a fruitful spring term!

- Jasmine Bryant


How Learning Works: New 5-Session Workshop Series - Registration required.
Begins Wednesday, April 3

Evidence-based principles for smart teaching, grounded in research from education and cognitive and developmental psychology. Attend one or all sessions!

For more information and to RSVP, click here.

Faculty Short Course - Course Design Basics
Begins Wednesday, April 10

Are you planning to teach a new class next fall? Hoping to redesign a course you have taught before?

Join the CTLO for a five-session workshop on course design. This course is intended for faculty who will be teaching a new course OR who want to re-imagine an existing course. Open to new faculty as well as anyone currently teaching full-term courses at Caltech. Every other Wednesday from 10-11:30am starting April 10.

To RSVP, click here

Spring Ombuds Training
Tuesday, April 16
CTLO Workshop Space

The CTLO is holding a lunchtime training session for any students interested in being Ombudsmen for courses this spring. Please encourage your Ombuds to attend.

Transforming Your Research into Teaching for Postdocs- Registration required.Begins Wednesday, April 10

This 6-session short-course for postdocs will focus on participants learning the skills of course design and developing a college-level course based on the area of your research expertise.

For more information and to RSVP, click here.

Gradescope 101-Registration required.
Tuesday, April 2

Are you teaching a course in Spring 2024?

Attend this session to learn about grading problem sets and exams/quizzes in Gradescope, how to connect it to your Canvas course, and Gradescope tips and tricks. Open to Spring 2024 Instructors and TAs.

For more information and to RSVP, click here

Succeeding as a TA this Quarter–Registration Required

Friday, April 5

The CTLO is offering a lunchtime workshop to address the elements that will help you succeed as a TA this quarter. Lunch is provided.

Topics Include:

  • Holding office hours
  • Planning Instruction / Rec Sessions
  • Facilitating discussion for student learning
  • Giving feedback on students' work

For more information and to RSVP, click here

Fair & Effective Grading: Choosing and Using Rubrics-Registration Required Thursday, April 11

In this workshop, we will explore how to create and use rubrics to grade more efficiently and effectively.

Lunch provided.

For more information and to RSVP, click here.


Science Events Bring STEM Fun to the Local Community.

CTLO and our many volunteers have been out and about this winter and spring, attending eight science events since the winter break at local schools, the most recent one being the Pasadena Unified district-wide event at Muir High School on March 16. Many Caltech clubs have participated, including LEAP, Chem Club, Women in Biology, and MEDLIFE, as well as students from CS 42, which gives Caltech undergraduates credit for designing engaging activities that teach precoding skills. LIGO and Astronomy Club have also given their time to talk to young learners and their families about their research. In addition to these groups, we're also grateful to the many individuals who have signed up to host a demonstration at one of these events! We have three more on the schedule for this spring, including the Los Angeles-wide City of STEM on April 6. We always welcome volunteers to attend these events, and if you have no demo of your own, we are happy to supply one, and even give you a ride!

Sign up at or contact Kitty Cahalan at with questions.

Visiting Scientists Give, But Also Get Back

Visiting Scientists is wrapping up its eighth year providing science lessons at a local elementary school throughout the academic year. This year, seventeen graduate students, postdocs and staff members have given about 10 hours a month to plan and teach lessons at Madison Elementary School for grades three through five. Because Visiting Scientists often return to the program year after year, they have an opportunity to see growth in the students they work with.

Highlights this year have been seeing real recovery among Madison students, who are rebounding from the challenges of pandemic-era distance learning, which affected their reading and math uptake at critical ages for developing those skills. Bringing these students opportunities to explore phenomena by creating and testing their own hypotheses is great motivation for them to dive deeper and learn more, and the Visiting Scientists themselves benefit greatly from the opportunity to work on teaching and classroom management skills. Most importantly, the Visiting Scientists say that being among curious kids reminds them why they decided to pursue the fields of study they're in now and reinforces the importance of the work they are doing.

Interested in joining Visiting Scientists next year? Email Kitty Cahalan at