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Getting Started with VPTL

VPTL offers Stanford instructors customized support to advance teaching and learning. There are many ways we can collaborate with you.

As a collaborative change agent and a service organization for the university, all of our activities and services draw on five core competencies:

Principles and practice of effective pedagogy

Teaching. VPTL assists instructors and brings expertise in collaborative curriculum design, course design, effective classroom and digitally mediated teaching practice, and evaluation.

  • Goal-based design - Articulate specific learning goals and use them to design course strategies and activities.
  • Engagement - Use effective and varied practices, such as active learning and social learning, to involve students in creating their own effective learning experiences.
  • Inclusion - Collaborate to create and sustain an environment in which students from a variety of identities, backgrounds, and previous learning opportunities can thrive.
  • Reflection - Productively assess student learning and evaluate courses for further improvement.

Core teaching concepts are applicable to undergraduate, graduate, professional, and lifelong learning. We work with individual faculty members to develop a holistic approach their teaching across varied audiences. We also understand that effective teaching methods may differ by field and we have pedagogy experts with different disciplinary backgrounds to assist our faculty and may have additional depth of expertise in methods that are particularly effective in particular fields.

Learning. VPTL student learning activities bring the student perspective to everything we do. We work directly with learners to improve their academic skills and success and through tutors and TAs who we train to be empathetic, engaging and successful in working with the entire range of Stanford students.

Digital teaching and learning technology


VPTL helps faculty integrate pedagogical principles into classrooms, blended classes, and fully online courses. Seasoned media producers work with instructors to find the most effective ways to capture their enthusiasm and content knowledge, leveraging studio, classroom, and on-site recording in locations ranging from library archives to jet planes and weightless environments.

We assist faculty in use of specialized software platforms. We can customize, extend or modify software systems to support faculty-driven innovation and the university's unique requirements.

Learning environments

The VPTL designs conventional and innovative classrooms, maker spaces, and environments that are adaptable to formal and informal learning. We focus on the integration of effective pedagogical practices and learning technologies in appropriately provisioned physical learning spaces, managing a suite of general-use classrooms, advanced-resource classrooms and technology-rich study spaces.

Program development

VPTL provides market research, design, and development of a range of on-site and distance programs that are responsive to academic interests. We support free public-service courses (MOOCS) and revenue-generating programs (based on regular for-credit courses or specialized short courses), with platform contract negotiation, brand management and marketing services, and legal compliance.

Facilitating consensus, community building, and collective action

In addressing specific goals—such as disseminating inclusive teaching and learning strategies or helping lead a faculty initiative for collaborative and interdisciplinary teaching in the arts—VPTL partners with schools and academic support units to engage students, faculty, and staff in events, workshops, and ongoing activities.

In an effort to advance education research at Stanford and other universities, we contribute to open-source software platforms and actively store, curate, and share data sets derived from digital learning environments,


VPTL provides resources for designing curriculum, courses, and programs, applying innovative classroom and digitally mediated teaching practices, and effectively leveraging structured evaluation and feedback. Our expertise includes digital digital learning design and technology, media design and production, user-centric software design, and longitudinal management of digital platforms.


Request a Meeting

How to Get Started

Consult with VPTL or Register a Project

Request Feedback

Apply for a Grant or Program

Request Classroom / Software for Courses

* The dual-boot Mac/Windows cluster computers provide specialty software to support instruction and academic work. They are available throughout the Residences, Libraries, Community Centers, and some central locations on campus such as Old Union and Lathrop Learning Hub.