CITRAL helps faculty advance innovative teaching and assessment practices by focusing on five broad areas.

Check out our events listed below and join our listserv to learn more about upcoming seminars, workshops, and special events.


  • Teaching and learning in large courses. CITRAL facilitates and supports pedagogical innovations, often incorporating innovative technologies, to create personalized and inclusive learning in large courses. CITRAL can help faculty and TAs with strategies to make large courses personalized and inclusive. We provide technologies, workshops, and pedagogical support to foster inclusive teaching and learning that can provide "small course" experiences for students, even in courses that enroll hundreds.
  • Effective communication. Now more than ever, students need to develop skills to become effective, flexible communicators. CITRAL provides workshops for faculty and TAs and special courses to support this development. CITRAL provides workshops to help teach critical writing, reading, and speaking across the curriculum. CITRAL also facilitates Discovery@UCSB seminars, where students learn to study expectations for communication and learning across disciplines.
  • Information and data literacyCollaborating with UCSB librarians, Institutional Research, and other partners, CITRAL helps faculty use data to improve teaching, and incorporate data and information literacy in courses. Collaboration among faculty, librarians, and graduate and undergraduate students lead to cutting-edge approaches to assessing and understanding information in the age of fast data. 
  • Teaching and learning in minority-serving institutions.  UC Santa Barbara is a Hispanic-Serving Institution (HSI) and an Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander (AANAPISI) Serving Institution. We are privileged to work with students and faculty members who bring diverse cultures, identities, and experiences to their learning experiences. CITRAL helps disseminate evidence-based practices to improve teaching and learning, provides workshops and opportunities to develop inclusive teaching practices, and provides support and leadership programs for underrepresented faculty, graduate students, and undergraduate students.
  • Engaged assessment. CITRAL helps faculty and departments to create assessments to improve teaching and learning, and to interpret data that can contribute to assessment and improvement.CITRAL helps coordinate institutional accreditation and provides support for faculty to design innovative assessments to inform teaching and learning.


CITRAL's 2023-24 workshops include:

Intersections and Interdisciplinarity in Arts and Sciences: Creativity, Pedagogy and Practice

Join us for a special guest workshop that explores the intersections of science and art! Drawing on the scientific concept of the “edge effect,” the workshop will explore tools for interdisciplinary learning and teaching. During the workshop, you will practice how to use visual thinking strategies in your context - whether in STEM, humanities, or social sciences.

Thursday, February 16 at 4:00 pm to 5:00 pm at UCSB Art, Design & Architecture Museum

Friday, February 17 at 10:00 am to 12:00 pm at CITRAL (UCSB Library Room 1576)

Stimulating metacognition and self-regulated learning: the effects of getting students to monitor learning

Can students improve their ability to reflect on their learning, and change their study strategies? We are often unaware of our own learning processes, are resistant to changing our approaches, and frequently overly optimistic about how well we understand concepts. Thus, teaching self-regulated learning strategies, including metacognitive reflection, is notoriously challenging. We have collected data from several semesters of students enrolled in an undergraduate genetics course that promotes such practices, and will report on our successes and plans for further interventions.

Monday, February 27 at 12:00 pm to 1:00 pm at CITRAL (UCSB Library Room 1576)

How to Engage Students in Classes, and Disciplines, by Thinking Aloud

Bringing "think-aloud" techniques from the world of research into our classrooms can help students engage more with challenging threshold concepts — that is, key concepts shaping the ways that social scientists (and others) operate — and to reflect on disciplinary puzzles with their fellow students, and with instructors. Incorporating these perspectives into courses can make our classes more active, more engaging, and can offer more opportunities for students to find the fascination with our disciplines that, once upon a time, attracted us to the work we do. In this workshop, we’ll explore this idea through hands-on activity and discussion that can make introductory courses in the social sciences (and elsewhere) more engaging and productive for students and faculty alike.

Tuesday, February 28 at 3:00pm to 4:30pm at CITRAL (UCSB Library Room 1576)

For information on any CITRAL seminar contact Linda Adler-Kassner, Faculty Director ( Research funding and stipends may be available for participants in some seminars.

Upcoming CITRAL events