In partnership with other campus units, each year the Center for Teaching Excellence offers teaching excellence and innovation grants designed to provide resources and support for faculty who are interested in exploring new and cutting-edge approaches in their teaching. During the fall of 2015, CTE and its sponsorship partners awarded grants in two new and exciting areas, global learning and flipped course development.
It’s well known that study abroad can provide students with the opportunity to add an international dimension to their education. In sponsorship with the Study Aboard Office, CTE awarded five Faculty Global Learning Grants for New Study Abroad Programs or Curriculum Integration Initiatives. Programs proposed by award recipients span a wide range of topics and destinations. From creative writing on the Island of Jersey and theatre course development collaborations in Germany and Australia to an experiential course focused on the hospitality industry in the Czech Republic and a foreign exchange program for chemical engineering students with the University of Thailand, newly developed studying abroad programs, supported with grant funds, will challenge students to think beyond their immediate world, gather new experiences and diversify and broaden their education in ways not possible through traditional academic study alone.
With support from the Office of the Provost, CTE continued its commitment to flipped course development with the award of three teaching innovation grants for the development of exemplary flipped courses that employ innovative pedagogy with related online tools and learning technologies. The proposals for this third cohort of Flipped Course Development award recipients included the development of both individual courses and a sequence (2 or more) of courses in disciplines that included foreign languages, biomedical engineering and Biochemistry.
The CTE initiated this course-redesign/enhancement cohort journey with a Flipped Learning Boot Camp. In addition to meeting fellow cohort participants and learning about each other's projects, participants discussed the flipped learning model with special emphasis on how to avoid potential pitfalls that await. Additionally the cohort explored the characteristics of human learning and why active learning provides a better fit with these characteristics than a typical content-rich lecture does. Danny Jenkins and Liz Breitbach, previous grant recipients, shared their wisdom with the new cohort, particularly regarding Standards-Based Grading and flipping a large and a very large Carolina Core course. While lunch and dark chocolate covered pecans nourished the cohort through the afternoon, the activities, idea sharing, and conversation around anticipated challenges kept this group of faculty fully engaged for 4 hours on a Friday afternoon at the end of the semester!
If you are eager to try something new in your courses, consider applying for one of CTE’s Teaching Excellence and Innovation Grants which we sponsor each semester in collaboration with other university programs.