News & Announcements

The CTL & the BU Hub

By Matthew Trevett-Smith
March 2nd, 2017 in News & Announcements.

How can the CTL help you understand the BU Hub?

  1. The Center for Teaching & Learning will offer a number of BU Hub themed information sessions, workshops, and institutes this semester and into the early summer.
  2. We’ve also developed a collection of concise teaching strategy guides that outline practices faculty have used and found effective.
  3. Constructing you BU Hub course syllabus is easier than ever when you build upon the foundation provided by this composite course syllabus template.
  4. Detailed information on Hub Course Development Stipends, including application form, will be available in the week of March 13.

Please visit the CTL’s BU Hub Resource page for complete details.

Deconstructing Bob Dylan: A CTL Supported Course

By Matthew Trevett-Smith
December 6th, 2016 in News & Announcements.

dylancourseIn this CTL Interdisciplinary Course Development Grant funded course, “Bob Dylan: Music and Words,” Kevin Barents and Jeremy Yudkin focus on the recent Nobel winner’s most compelling albums. The class is run in a kind of two-part harmony—Yudkin focuses largely on the music and instrumentation while Barents shares readings and critiques on the poet.

Read the full BU Today article online.

Returning to the Classroom After the Election Resources

By Matthew Trevett-Smith
November 12th, 2016 in News & Announcements.

We have been hearing from many instructors seeking guidance on how to talk with their students in the days following the election. Depending on many factors, you may or may not choose to engage students in conversation about the election results. 

In a recent blog post, our colleagues at the University of Virginia remind us that even if you choose not to discuss events directly in class, there are a few things you can do to support your students’ well-being and learning. For example: your students will appreciate it if you acknowledge in-person (or in an email) that due to recent events they may be struggling to keep up with school work. This simple acknowledgement can normalize feelings of distress, ease a sense of isolation, and signal that you care.

If you teach immediately following a distressing incident, consider inviting your students at the beginning of class to free-write for a few minutes about a prompt such as the following: “How do you make sense of the current events and your emotions in light of your values? Who do you want to reach out to later in the day for more processing and support?” You may also give students the choice to leave class if they need to process differently and offer flexibility regarding assignment deadlines. We know from the research that such an acknowledgement can increase students sense of belonging and their ability to learn.

We would be happy to talk with you about further strategies within the context of your particular teaching setting. Call us at 617-358-0017 or request a confidential consultation online. The FSAO is also available for confidential consultations for issues beyond the classroom. BU’s Student Health Services also offers advice for helping students in distress.

We’ve collected a number of online resources to guide and support you:

Difficult Dialogues
Vanderbilt University Center for Teaching

Post-election resources and support (Post-Election Community Conversation Topics)
University of Washington Center for Teaching and Learning

Returning to the Classroom After the Election
University of Michigan Center for Research on Learning and Teaching

Teaching in Response to the Election
Vanderbilt University Center for Teaching

Resources for Teaching the Presidential Election and Other Controversial Topics
The Ohio State University, University Center for the Advancement of Teaching

Teaching the Election Reading Group
The Ohio State University, University Center for the Advancement of Teaching

Teaching After the U.S. Election
Brown University’s Sheridan Center for Teaching and Learning

The Political Classroom: Evidence and Ethics in Democratic Education
By Diana E. Hess, & Paula McAvoy
Google Books Link  & A Book Review published in the Journal of Social Studies Research

The following BU services are available for you to share with your students:

Dean of Students Self-Care Website

Student Health Services

Behavioral Medicine

Center for Anxiety & Related Disorders

Boston University Chaplains

Howard Thurman Center

International Students & Scholars Office

Boston University Police

CAS Academic Advising handout with detailed information about BU resources:
self-care guide for students

We will continue to update this list as additional resources become available.

Now accepting applications to CTL’s New Faculty Retreat (2016)

By Matthew Trevett-Smith
July 12th, 2016 in News & Announcements.

The CTL is now accepting applications to its inaugural New Faculty Retreat; a 5-day program, devised to help faculty new to BU develop into exceptional teachers by providing them with knowledge, skills, and a supportive community of interdisciplinary peer educators. Click here for full details.

Apply by July 20 for full consideration.

Searching for our first Learning Experience Designer

By Matthew Trevett-Smith
April 21st, 2016 in News & Announcements.

The Center for Teaching and Learning at Boston University seeks applicants for the exciting and challenging position of Learning Experience Designer. The Learning Experience Designer provides high-level support to the Center’s faculty and programs, which promote teaching excellence and innovation, foster student learning, and build community at BU. As a member of the team, this position will help to shape a bold vision for the future of BU around active, technology-enhanced, learner-centered pedagogies. To read the full announcement or to apply, please visit

The CEIT becomes the Center for Teaching & Learning (CTL)

By Matthew Trevett-Smith
January 26th, 2016 in News & Announcements.

As we celebrate our 15th anniversary and welcome Dr. Matthew Trevett-Smith as our new Director, the Center has changed its name from the Center for Excellence & Innovation in Teaching to the Center for Teaching & Learning (CTL).  The Center remains committed to supporting schools’, departments’, and instructors’ efforts to inspire effective teaching through research-based methods, enhance student learning, and enrich the University’s distinctive community of teacher-scholars.

Appointment of Dr. Matthew Trevett-Smith as CTL Director

By Matthew Trevett-Smith
January 26th, 2016 in News & Announcements.

Boston University Office of the Provost

  • TO: Boston University Faculty and Staff
  • FROM: Jean Morrison, University Provost and Chief Academic Officer Morrison
    Beth Loizeaux, Associate Provost for Undergraduate Affairs Loizeaux
  • DATE: January 25, 2016
  • SUBJECT: Appointment of Matthew Trevett-Smith as Director of the Center for Teaching & Learning (CTL)

We are delighted to announce the appointment of Dr. Matthew Trevett-Smith as Director of Boston University’s Center for Teaching & Learning (formerly the Center for Excellence and Innovation in Teaching – CEIT), effective immediately. Dr. Trevett-Smith was identified to lead the Center for Teaching & Learning (CTL) through a national-level search and comes to BU from the University of Virginia (UVA), where he served as Assistant Professor and Assistant Director at UVA’s Center for Teaching Excellence.

A nationally respected champion of teaching with technology, Dr. Trevett-Smith has been recognized for his leadership and collaborative efforts at UVA, where he worked intensively with faculty to nurture a culture of innovation and create rich, active classroom environments that support meaningful learning. He has been particularly effective in leading wide-ranging efforts to convene, support, and facilitate faculty learning communities – self-selecting groups of faculty who gather to pursue particular ideas or experiments in teaching and learning. Dr. Trevett-Smith is an accomplished scholar and teacher in his own right, having taught a host of popular courses at UVA, the University of Richmond, and St. Lawrence University. He holds a BA in Anthropology from SUNY Potsdam and a Master’s and Ph.D. in Cultural Anthropology from the University at Buffalo.

As the Director of BU’s CTL, Dr. Trevett-Smith will work with the affiliated teaching and learning units on campus – including the Digital Learning Initiative, the STEM Education Initiative, Learning Assessment, IS&T’s Educational Technology team, and the Office of Distance Education – to help create an infrastructure that best supports teaching and learning at BU. Please join us in welcoming Matthew Trevett-Smith to our vibrant community.

cc: Academic Deans
Provost’s Cabinet