Course Revision / Course Creation Awards
The Faculty Center is once again excited to announce the availability of grants for COURSE revisions/creation. Details are described in separate sections below. The aim of this program is to encourage instructional faculty to explore something new/different that they expect to enhance student learning. Anyone teaching a course is eligible to apply, although preference is given to persons with continuing contracts. **DEADLINE: October 22, 2018**
The Course Revision/Creation award is meant for an individual and targets one or two classes. Successful past awards have included exploring use of group work, investigating community based learning projects, developing case-based projects, and revising content to include race and gender considerations. Awardees are expected to spend at least 25 hours on the project, including research and reading in the literature, and designing, drafting, and polishing a product(s). At least two of the 25 hours will be spent discussing the project. The first hour should be a strategic development discussion with Amy Mulnix, Faculty Center Director, or another educational development professional. At the end of the project, the second time block will be scheduled with Amy Mulnix to serve as part of the final project report. Documents produced as a result of the project (e.g. syllabi, handouts, slide presentations, etc.) should be included as part of the final report (due June 20, 2019)..
Two calls for course revision/creation grants will be made this academic year, this one in mid-fall and a second in later winter. The deadline for in the Fall will be October 22, 2018. Notification of awards will occur in early November. Work is expected to be completed during the winter break and spring semester. The spring call will be made in late winter and the work is expected to be completed prior to June 30, 2018. Up to 4 awards will be given in the Fall.
The Course Revision/Creation application should be no more than three pages (12 pt font, 1 inch margins) in total and successful applications have been shorter. A one-paragraph executive summary or abstract of the project should be included at the beginning. Details on the narrative are at the end of this document.
Members of the Faculty Advisory Board and the Director of the Faculty Center will evaluate proposals for clarity of purpose, potential for impact on students and the overall curriculum, persuasiveness of how the approach will accomplish the goals (reference to evidence-based practices is recommended), and discussion of how the project contributes to the professional development of the faculty member(s). Amy Mulnix, Director of the Faculty Center, is happy to chat about ideas or point you to resources.
Guidelines for Course Revision/Creation Proposal Narratives
Narratives should provide: 1) an overview of the course(s) involved 2) a description of what is not going as well as you’d like (what is it that you want to change?) 3) a statement and explanation of the outcome you desire; 4) a description of the products that will be generated; 5) an outline of the activities you expect to undertake; 6) a discussion of how those activities can lead to the particular outcome; and 7) a description of how you expect the change to positively impact students. The exact information you provide will depend on the project you are proposing (e.g., appropriate products might be syllabi, assignments, white papers, a summary of discussions among participants). Preference is given to proposals that are clearly grounded in evidence-based practices. If you are proposing a project that does not fit neatly into this set of categories, please be in touch with Amy Mulnix.
Considerations for the Narrative
The following questions might be useful in writing the Course Revision/Creation or the AVD Curricular Innovation proposals. They are neither prescriptive nor exhaustive. Some faculty will prefer to write an extended narrative that embeds the information; others will craft an application that provides the information more directly. The format is less important than clarity of reasoning and argument. The reader should be convinced that the work involved is above and beyond the kinds of revisions expected of faculty as part of typical course development. The following questions should be used to guide the writing of the proposal, but note that, depending on the project, not all of the questions may be relevant, such as in the cases of projects that span departments or involve the entirety of a major/program. In these cases, clarity of the scope of the project is paramount.
What is the numerical designation of the course(s)?
What does the course(s) cover? (please be clear but succinct)
Who are the students that typically enroll? (e.g., juniors, majors in a particular department/program, non-majors)
How does the course fit into the larger curriculum? (e.g., writing intensive for the major, first time students exposed to a topic/skill/perspective, only course in which students get particular information, general education course)
On what skills do you focus? (e.g., technical expertise, primary source analysis, listening, debate, collaboration, etc.)
Reason for revision:
1. What is it about the course/curriculum that isn’t working as well as you’d like? Why is a change needed? (e.g., content is outdated, students don’t seem to progress sufficiently on a particular skill, students aren’t prepared when they arrive in class, current events suggest some new content/approaches, there is a greater range of preparedness among students).
2. What changes/work are you proposing? What outcome are you expecting? What products will be produced? (e.g., develop/tailor several case studies, include more content related to diverse perspectives, include a new topical area, create more staged-assignments, provide more time to practice applying content to problems, develop better group work). In the case of some AVD projects the work may involve departmental retreats, visiting other programs, collecting data about current majors, etc.)
3. Why/how do you expect the change/work you propose to accomplish your revision vision? (e.g., introducing some new examples will better engage students; paying more attention to group management should improve collaboration; a more open-ended format will encourage creativity; peer evaluation might enhance critical analysis; structured rubrics might provide more useful peer evaluation; introducing clicker questions will help me know what students are struggling with; including a new topic area will provide an entrée to the material for a broader range of students; review of transcripts will give a view of the path students are taking through the major; review of other programs will provide options for how to restructure the requirements) Citations to the literature should be provided as appropriate.
4. What is the evidence/experience that leads you to think the particular change/work you propose will accomplish your goal? (e.g., conversation with departmental colleagues, particular readings you’ve done, previous assessments, suggestion by an external reviewer, tinkering you’ve already done, recommendation by disciplinary experts, pedagogical research)
5. How will you know whether the change has been successful in the short term? In the long term? What evidence will you accept that you’ve accomplished your goal? (e.g., mid-semester evaluation, student focus group, change in student engagement, change in average student performance, change in enrollment patterns, conversation with departmental colleagues)
How will you spend the time funded by the grant? (e.g., reading, developing assignments, analyzing syllabi from other institutions, attending a conference, working with colleagues, researching)
How will you spend the funds? (e.g., travel, stipend, books, workshop registration, paying student(s) for collaborative efforts)
Are there budgetary implications beyond the revision? (e.g., subscription to new computer program, purchasing a new piece of equipment, yearly field trip for class, new expendable materials, new library purchases) If so, how will the change be sustained beyond the grant-funding period?
How will you ensure a balance of work for you and the students in the long run? (e.g., reducing content, exchanging readings, exchanging/revising your own grading commitments)
Past Mellon Course Revision Awards
2017-18 Project Titles and Awardees
- Community Engaged Learnign in E&E Senior Seminar - Eve Bratman (E&E)
- Revising PSY 304 - Krista Casler (PSY)
- Developing a Contemporary Disability Poetics Course - Meg Day (ENG)
- Incorporating Small Group Exercises in TDF 165 - Dirk Eitzen (TDF)
- Revising Architectural Design and Sustainable Green Principles - Carol Hickey (A&AH)
- Incorporation of Video Conferencing Platforms into Intermediae Spanish - Ashley Laboda (SPA)
- Team Teaching in Classics and E&E - Shawn O'Bryhim and Bob Walter
- China and the Global Environmental Crisis - Richard Reitan (HIS)
2016 - 2017 Project Titles and Awardees
- Women of Science / Science of Women - Jaime Blair (BIO)
- Using "Talk Abroad" in Italian classes - Giovanna Faleschini-Lerner (ITA)
- Genetically Modified Organisms - Peter Fields (BIO)
- Designing and Implementing a Multi-Day Farm Visit in Ecological Economics - Patrick Flemming (ECO)
- Understanding Social Psychology in the Wake of the Replication Crisis - Megan Knowles (PSY)
- Revising GOV 327: Latin American Politics - Stephanie McNulty (GOV)
- Germany Transformed: Migration and National Identity - Jennifer Redmann (GER)
- Strengthening the Ties Between BOS and STEM: A New Version of BOS 200 -Strategies for Organizing - William Schneper (BOS)
- Revising RST 375 / WGSS 375: Islamic Law, Gender and Sexuality - SherAli Tareen (RST)
2015-2016 Project Titles and Awardees
- Race and Ethnicity in Caribbean Literature – Genevieve Abravanel (ENG)
- Improving Science Writing in BIO 110 – Dan Ardia (BIO)
- Integrating Diverse Perspectives in BIO 337 – Dan Ardia (BIO)
- Re-Examining the Promise and Pitfalls of Genetic Testing, Bio 305 – Jaime Blair (BIO)
- Diversifying Participation: Capturing & Grading Course Engagement in New Ways – Nina Kollars (GOV)
- Refining and Developing Writing Assignments in CNX 2 – Food – Padmini Mongia (ENG)
- Collaborative Research Assignments in Economics – Yeva Nersisyan (ECO)
- Revised Assessment in a General Chemistry section – Katherine Plass (CHM)
- Fostering Deeper and More Independent Learning in the Survey of Western Art – Amelia Rauser (A&AH)
- Examining the Relationship Between Inequality and Diversity in an Introduction to Sociology Course – Roscoe Scarborough (SOC)
- Designing and Implementing Student led Discussion Activities – Kathrin Theumer (SPA)
2014-2015 Project Titles and Awardees
- Case Teaching in WGS 210 – “Gendered Perspectives” – Alison Kibler (AMS/WGSS)
- Adding Diversity and Immediacy to a Musty Course – Lee Franklin (PHI)
- Incorporating Community Engagement into Natural Disaster History and Policy Course – Joanna Dyl (E&E)
- CONX 109 – The Business of Food and Water – Nancy Kurland (BOS)
- Digital Mapping Project in SOC 100 – Amy Singer (SOC)
- Increasing Student Participation in HIS 221 and HIS 222 – Maria Mitchell (HIS)
- In-Class Writing Assignments in English 210 – Genevieve Abravanel (ENG)