Centers and Services

Learning Research and Development Center

The Learning Research and Development Center (LRDC), founded in 1964, conducts research on learning, cognition, and instruction. Center staff, including postdoctoral fellows and graduate students, come from a wide range of disciplines. Faculty in the Center are research scientists and have academic appointments in their respective schools or departments, including Computer Science, Business, Education, Intelligent Systems, Law, Political Science, and Psychology. An interdisciplinary center, LRDC employs advances in research to address fundamental questions about the acquisition of knowledge and skill, characteristics of effective instruction, and social and organizational factors that shape educational systems.

LRDC researchers are engaged in a variety of activities, including: (1) the study of psychological principles that underlie learning in school settings; (2) the investigation of intellectual functioning and development; (3) the study of the social aspects of learning; (4) the evaluation of educational programs; (5) the evaluation of educational standards and assessment; (6) the design of school environments that adapt to children from a range of social and cultural backgrounds; (7) the development of training programs that address the continual learning requirements of the modern workplace; and (8) the study of technological applications to improve learning in the classroom and at the training site.

Office of Measurement and Evaluation of Teaching

The Office of Measurement and Evaluation of Teaching (OMET) provides services related to collecting student opinion of teaching data.

Services include:

  • Building research-based evaluation instruments and procedures.
  • Administering midterm and end-of-term student opinion of teaching surveys and summarizing data so that faculty may obtain systematic feedback about their teaching from students.
  • Preparing and distributing department and school level reports

Academic units establish their own specific policies on evaluation of teaching. Schools are not required to use OMET but should have some system in place to gather student feedback, as well as other feedback related to teaching effectiveness and student learning.

For more information, e-mail OMET or visit the Office of Measurement and Evaluation of Teaching website.

University Book Centers

The University owns and operates two self-supporting Book Centers on the Pittsburgh Campus. The University Store at 4000 Fifth Avenue, telephone 412-648-1455, fills students and faculty needs for required texts, and stocks the largest diversified selection of books, calendars, and supplies in the city. 

The Book Center and the University Library system have made available to the University community Books in Print, an electronic source of bibliography information.

Faculty can open a 30-day net charge account for personal use with a University ID and a signed authorization, available at the service desk. Visa, MasterCard and Discover are also accepted.

In addition to the Book Centers on the Pittsburgh Campus, there is a bookstore at each of the four regional campuses.

University Center for Teaching and Learning

The University Center for Teaching and Learning (the Teaching Center) works to advance educational excellence through innovative, discipline-based approaches to teaching and learning and appropriate uses of technology to enrich the learning environment. In support of the Plan for Pitt, we engage directly with faculty through new initiatives and close collaboration on pedagogy and educational technology projects. We strive to advance innovation and excellence in teaching, learning, assessment and other scholarly activities.

The Teaching Center works with all schools, departments and regional campuses. The Center offers a variety of workshops and seminars focused on pedagogy, educational technologies, and assessments. It also facilitates the annual Provost’s Diversity Institute for Faculty Development and New Faculty Orientation.

Center staff are available to assist faculty with course development and revision, syllabi design, assessments, teaching strategies and learning activities, instructional materials, and the use of technology to enhance learning. The Center also provides individual teaching consultations and classroom observations with formative feedback to improve teaching and learning. These services are confidential and available to all University faculty.

The Teaching Center also supports school- and department-based services for teaching assistants through the Graduate Student Teaching Initiative, workshops, teaching credentials, and New Teaching Assistant Orientation. The Teaching Center has worked with units across the University to develop a TA handbook entitled The Teaching Assistant Experience. (Visit the Graduate Student Teaching Initiative’s web page and select "TA Handbook.")

Classroom Services, located in B10 Alumni Hall, (call 412-648-7240 or e-mail ClassroomServices@pitt.edu), provides audiovisual/multimedia equipment and operators, and schedules and distributes the University's film and video collection. The Teaching Center supports the use of technology for on-campus instruction and distance learning facilities by providing faculty support and video network operations, as well as training and consultation in the use of distance education technologies. Classroom Services also provides training and support for the University's media equipped classrooms and coordinates all satellite downlink teleconferencing activities on the Pittsburgh Campus.

The Learning Management System (LMS) Support and Consulting team, located in B23 Alumni Hall (lms@teaching.pitt.edu), specializes in educational software, most notably the University’s new LMS, Canvas. Canvas is an ever-growing LMS in higher education, designed to empower teachers and engage students to make education more efficient, effective, and productive. Visit the Teaching Center’s website for more information on Pitt’s transition to Canvas. The Teaching Center’s LMS Support and Consulting team also supports faculty in their use of other educational software, including Top Hat, Turnitin, Panopto, Qualtrics, and many others.

For additional information about the Teaching Center, call 412-624-3335 or visit its website for more information.

University of Pittsburgh Testing Center

The University of Pittsburgh Testing Center offers a variety of testing services in a private, supervised testing area. The center administers computer and paper-based examinations for distance education students, makeup exams for students who missed a regularly scheduled exam due to medical or family emergency, testing with accommodations made through the Office of Disability Resources and Services, proctoring for students from other universities, and classroom exam scanning and scoring services. We also offer a variety of nationally standardized tests such as the CLEP, GRE, GED, and TOEFL exams. You can find information about testing center policies, protocols, make-up examination request forms and videos at the University of Pittsburgh Testing Center webpage and additional resources at the Pitt Faculty webpage.