The Trefny Innovative Instruction Center leads and collaborates with the Mines community to ensure that instruction is highly effective and follows a continuous improvement model. We accomplish this mission through four focus areas:


Provide ongoing professional learning opportunities and resources to integrate research-based teaching practices, as well as nurture/maintain a vibrant and inclusive learning community to ensure that all Mines course reflect highly effective teaching.



Lead and collaborate across campus to ensure that resources and policies support, encourage, and reward highly effective teaching. This includes access to data, educational resources (self-study modules, online learning, HIVE-developed materials and videos), and policies that facilitate high quality teaching at Mines.


Utilize current research to inform our practices and encourage research-based teaching practices at Mines, as well as contribute to the literature. While we are not an Engineering Education Research Center, we conduct research to better understand teaching and learning on campus and to validate research-based practices as they are enacted.


Invest time and effort to ensure that the Trefny Center stays at the forefront of the work, functions as a strong collaborative team, is inclusive, and is a campus-wide leader that supports the advancement of teaching and learning at Mines.

Continuous Improvement through Engineering Learning

By continuous improvement, we mean an iterative process that builds on current practices. Continuous improvement is not a deficit model (assuming practices need to be fixed). Instead, it presumes we can and should strive to enhance all aspects of our work.

Continuous improvement utilizes data to understand questions such as what is working, what could be better, or what should we continue?

The cycle begins by using data to identify areas of critical need or areas that could be enhanced. Then a plan is put into place to study what others have reported related to the area. Based on findings from the study, an plan/design is constructed to address the need, enacted, and studied. The last stage in the cycle is to collaborate with others to share, learn, and further refine the work. Based on the outcomes at this stage, one might continue to focus on the same area and begin the cycle again, or identify a new area of focus.