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Center for Teaching Excellence


Student Taking Online Course

Provost's Distributed Learning Course Development Grants Awarded

The Center for Teaching Excellence, with support from the Office of the Provost, funds grants of up to $7,500 for the development of exemplary Distributed Learning (DL) courses that enhance the overall quality, scope, and reach of teaching and learning at the University of South Carolina. For Spring 2016, grants were awarded to Associate Professor Sharon Dewitte, who holds a joint position in Anthropology and Biological Sciences, Assistant Professor Kelly Lynn Mulvey, Department of Educational Studies, and Assistant Professor Greg Springer, School of Music. In addition to funding, each grantee will receive expert instructional design assistance and technological support to develop and implement courses for delivery through Distributed Learning methods.

Sharon DeWitte will use her funding to make Human Anatomy and Physiology II (BIOL 244), the second course in a two-course series required for all undergraduate Nursing majors, available through distributed learning methods. By doing so the course will be available to students from a variety of majors, and also to those whose schedules do not easily accommodate enrolling in traditional classroom courses

Kelly Lynn Mulvey will be developing a fully online version of a new course, Growth and Development: Childhood (EDPY 706). In this course students will learn and apply theories and concepts involving the developmental processes that occur to children during early- to middle-childhood. Offered as an elective across multiple Ph.D. programs, the online format will make this course more convenient for, and accessible to a wider audience of students.

Greg Springer is also developing a new course, Understanding the Psychology of Music, a 100-level online course that explores the role of music in the human experience. The course will be submitted for consideration as a Carolina Core foundational course, aligning with the Global Citizenship and Multicultural Understanding: Social Sciences (GSS) track. Rich with ancillary resources, this course is being created for a campus-wide audience, and 100% online delivery will ensure access without limitations caused by physical location or time constraints.

The kick-off workshop and luncheon for the grant cohort was held on February 23, 2016. In addition to the grantees, CTE welcomed special guests, Steve Adams (DLSS) and Mitchell West (UTS). After a fun ice-breaker exercise, participants de-briefed the pre-workshop reading of Chickering and Gamson’s seminal article, “Seven Principles For Good Practice in Undergraduate Education” and discussed best practices in online teaching. 

CTE staff then covered the grant requirements, USC’s Quality Assurance standards for distributed learning courses, the InDev course approval process, and provided a demonstration of a live DL-course on Blackboard. Mitchell West gave an overview of University Technology Services, and Steve Adams led an informational tour of the new DLSS studios. 

CTE is very excited to be working with this year’s grantees. DeWitte, Mulvey, and Springer submitted stand-out proposals among a large pool of extremely strong grant applications. We are delighted that so many faculty at USC are enthusiastic about the great opportunities that Distributed Learning formats provide for our students, and look forward to providing support for them as they develop their online courses. 

Click Here for more information on the winning grant proposals.