Carnegie Mellon University

Eberly Center

Teaching Excellence & Educational Innovation


…projects focus on reproducibility and generalization of scholarship across many teaching contexts for a few high-priority learning objectives and research questions. In contrast to GAITAR Institutes and Fellowships, cohorts of instructors collaborate with Eberly colleagues to study Eberly-generated research questions and teaching interventions at scale, such that data collection can directly facilitate higher-level pattern induction regarding student learning outcomes.

What is it?

To support data-informed teaching and learning at CMU and beyond, we gather cohorts of 10 or more CMU instructors of record across disciplines to conduct a controlled teaching as research (TAR) study that is designed and supported by the Eberly Center, but implemented by CMU instructors. 

First, Eberly colleagues identify high-priority teaching as research (TAR) questions that are relevant across disciplines and teaching contexts. An example research question might be: How does student use of GAI during low stakes practice exercises impact their ability to articulate an argument in writing and support it with evidence on a higher stakes assignment? Research questions targeted by GAITAR@Scale projects are selected based on gaps in the education literature and the needs of CMU instructors that surface through Eberly programs and services,  GAITAR Fellowship projects, GAITAR Institutes, or targeted needs assessments.

Next, Eberly colleagues design teaching interventions and TAR study designs to help answer the research question at scale, across numerous courses and teaching contexts. We identify a standardized educational intervention, study design, and data sources on student learning and other outcomes.

Then, we recruit CMU instructors of record from 10 or more courses across disciplines to collaboratively implement the Eberly-generated TAR study design. This approach facilitates testing TAR questions at scale and helps overcome the challenges of reproducibility and generalization in applied education research.

To further illustrate how TAR@Scale works, please see how the Eberly Center is implementing a similar project with 12 faculty regarding the impacts of specifications grading on teaching and learning.

What is happening?

Starting in May 2024, 1-3 times annually for three years, we will gather cohorts of 10 or more CMU instructors across disciplines to conduct a controlled TAR study, designed by the Eberly Center, but implemented by CMU instructors at scale. Initial potential GAITAR@Scale projects may include, but are not limited to, testing hypotheses about:

  • how best to leverage online learning modules and classroom exercises to enhance students’ knowledge and skills regarding GAI, and
  • the effects of GAI on student outcomes for learning objectives regarding written communication, coding, creation of art, and more.

How can CMU instructors of record participate?

Check the Eberly Center website for calls for GAITAR@Scale participants. CMU instructors of record selected as participants receive up to $5000 as a stipend as well as Eberly Center support to implement a GAITAR@Scale study in their courses. The amount of the stipend depends on the scale of the intervention and extent of course transformation required. Through group programming and individual consultations, Eberly colleagues support instructors as they adapt the educational intervention to their teaching context and adjust their course-level assessments to be within acceptable limits of study design parameters. Participating instructors commit to 1-2 semesters of implementation, depending on the intervention and study design. These instructors also participate in a Special Interest Group meeting twice per semester during the lifecycle of the project to build a CMU community of practice and share lessons learned.