Mission

We foster and champion effective teaching, grounded in sound pedagogy and enhanced by innovation, to promote successful learning for our diverse student population. To realize this mission, we collaborate with faculty and other campus partners, drawing on our wide range of expertise in pedagogy, educational technology, assessment, learning spaces, and curricular research.

Scope and organization

UCLA’s Center for the Advancement of Teaching (CAT), formerly the Office of Instructional Development, provides multiple services, resources, and programs to enhance and support teaching excellence, innovation, and inclusivity. These include a grant program for curricular innovation; pedagogical development of faculty and graduate students via workshops and learning communities; strengthening of TA training campus-wide; educational technology software and lecture capture; classroom technology and furnishings; and analytics and assessment for curricular and institutional improvement efforts. We also work to enhance the valuation of teaching in the academic personnel process and foster a culture of effective teaching and learning as institutional priorities.

Our efforts are organized into four main areas:

Center for Educational Assessment

The Center for Educational Assessment (CEA) provides comprehensive institutional support to help faculty identify workable assessment strategies that facilitate the development of academic programs, quality of instruction, student learning, internal and external grant funding, and research publications. Core to CEA’s mission is providing consultative support to faculty as they develop and implement meaningful, sustainable assessment initiatives to evaluate educational programs and the university experience more broadly.

Instructional Improvement Programs

The Instructional Improvement Programs are designed to enhance curricular experimentation and development and to improve instruction through grant funding, consultation, and workshops for both faculty and TAs. We also offer curriculum development and teaching opportunities for graduate students.

Learning Spaces

The mission of Learning Spaces is to ensure that faculty have the best possible resources in the classroom to support teaching. This mission is accomplished through a commitment to high quality customer service, renewal and expansion of the installed technology base, and measured infusion of innovation in both technology and service models.

Teaching and Learning Technologies

The mission of the Teaching and Learning Technologies unit is to enable instructors to use technology, when it makes sense, to augment and facilitate the teaching and learning that happen both inside and outside the physical classroom. To achieve this mission, we provide services related to instructional media and instructional technology.

History

For four decades, UCLA has made an explicit commitment to the development of programs and activities that enrich university instruction. The process of developing a campus plan began in 1975 when The Regents and the legislature allocated special funds for UC-wide instructional improvement. At that time, UCLA also took the opportunity to augment its own existing programs. By Spring 1976, these two efforts permitted the construction of a draft campuswide Instructional Improvement Plan. In order to review, fund, and evaluate specific initiatives, the implementing committee translated the plan’s general goals into four specific funding categories: curricular development, pedagogical development, advising, and skills deficiencies.

In 1978, the Office of Undergraduate Affairs was reorganized. The newly formed Office of Instructional Development assumed primary responsibility for instructional improvement activities. The Faculty Advisory Committee on Instructional Improvement Programs (CIIP) was constituted to direct the approach taken at UCLA. In 1982, the Instructional Improvement Plan was further revised, and included “criteria to assess effectiveness” as a means of evaluating its major accomplishments. These criteria, coupled with the plan’s original objectives, gave a structure that could be used to project instructional improvement planning and activities into the future.

The Office of the President conducted a systemwide review of Instructional Improvement Program activities in 1991 and concluded that they continued to be successful in generating significant contributions to undergraduate instruction at UCLA. The CIIP concurred and expressed confidence in the likely future effectiveness of Instructional Improvement Programs.

The organization underwent a series of reviews beginning in 2015 by a campuswide faculty review committee and by the Academic Senate, and a renewed commitment to effective teaching innovation and excellence was launched. On March 6, 2019, the Center for the Advancement of Teaching was announced as the new name for the Office of Instructional Development to underscore the mission to foster and champion effective teaching.