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Center for Teaching Excellence

Boot Camp


Each year in partnership with other campus units the CTE offers teaching innovation grants designed to provide resources and support for faculty who are interested in exploring new and cutting-edge approaches in their teaching in ways that promise to enhance student learning. Funded grantees have the opportunity to participate in a cohort program as a part of the award process.

3Ds Bootcamp: Design, Develop, and Deliver an Online Course Grant

The Center for Teaching Excellence (CTE), with support from the Office of the Provost, invites faculty to submit proposals for the “3Ds Bootcamp: Design, Develop, and Deliver an Online Course” grant. Hit the ground running with this one-week hands-on intensive workshop that will equip you with the skills you need to launch a top-notch online course. Get ready for hands-on action as you learn to develop your online course using best practices in the field of Distributed Learning (DL). 

Under the expert guidance of the Center for Teaching Excellence DL team, in just one week you’ll create a five-star syllabus, set up a Blackboard course framework, and develop the first learning module for your course. After the week of training, you’ll continue collaborating with your DL coach to finish building a high quality online course. Enrollees will be eligible to receive a total of $2,000 ($1,000 upon successful completion of the weeklong intensive in May, and the balance awarded after successful development of the online course by September 15, 2017). 


Any faculty member or adjunct instructor at USC Columbia or the Palmetto College campuses (Extended University, Lancaster, Salkehatchie, Sumter, and Union) is eligible to apply. Prior recipients of CTE-facilitated grants must have completed the prior project(s) and submitted final report(s) to be eligible to apply. This is a competitive opportunity, and space is limited.

Available Funds and Project Timeline

Funded projects will consist of two required, consecutive phases:

Phase I includes daily participation in a weeklong (Monday – Friday) face-to-face training workshop conducted at the Center for Teaching Excellence (Columbia, SC) from May 8 – 12, 2017. Participants will be awarded a $1000 grant after successful completion of Phase I.

Phase II begins immediately thereafter, and requires continued collaboration with a designated CTE Distributed Learning coach, and completion of the online course project in accordance with the university’s quality assurance standards no later than September 15, 2017. In addition, grantees will prepare and submit, on or before September 15, 2017, materials required for university approval of the course for DL delivery (if needed). A second $1000 grant will be disbursed after successful completion of Phase II.

All awards are contingent on availability of resources, employment with the university, and successful completion of the requirements noted in both Phase I and II of this grant program, above.

Application Procedure 

All applications, including Department Endorsement Document, must be submitted to the Center for Teaching Excellence at by Wednesday, March 1, 2017 at 5:00 pm EST. Notices of award will be distributed by March 16, 2017.  Incomplete applications will not be considered.

3Ds Bootcamp Grant Application [docx]
3Ds Bootcamp Grant Department Endorsement Document [docx]

Project Areas

This grant opportunity is open to all academic disciplines, including courses proposed for Palmetto College. All applications must identify either a new course or an existing traditional (face-to-face) course which will be developed for online delivery. Unit support for the proposed project is required.

Review Process

A committee of faculty and instructional designers/developers will review applications that are complete and responsive to this announcement. Applications will be evaluated based on project objectives; benefit to the program, college, or university; and feasibility. Please consider addressing objectives, benefits, and feasibility in your application narrative. The committee will then make recommendations to the Provost.

Post-Award Reporting

Upon receipt of the award letter, consult with your department business manager to establish an account. An account established for an internal grant funded by the Office of the Provost should not be used to offset other expenditures nor should funds be transferred from this account to offset other expenditures.

A final report detailing the results of the grant project is due to the Center for Teaching Excellence at no later than December 15, 2017.


Karen Edwards is the faculty associate director for Distributed Learning Pedagogy at the University’s Center for Teaching Excellence. She is also a senior instructor in the Department of Retailing, where she teaches retail- and law-related courses in both online and face-to-face formats. Through USC’s Center for Teaching Excellence, she develops and facilitates workshops and individualized coaching on effective teaching techniques and other issues affecting higher education. Karen is certified by Quality Matters to review and assess the quality of online courses offered by higher education institutions. She earned her Juris Doctor Degree from the University of South Carolina School of Law and her bachelor’s degree from Coker College in Hartsville, South Carolina.

Aisha Haynes is the program manager for Distributed Learning at the Center for Teaching Excellence, University of South Carolina–Columbia. She manages the design, creation, delivery and ongoing improvement of distributed learning delivery methods. Aisha is a certified Quality Matters Peer and Master Reviewer, and has earned online teaching certifications from the Online Learning Consortium. She has been designing online courses for more than nine years. Aisha teaches both graduate and undergraduate courses online at USC–Columbia and USC–Union, including Computer Applications in Business and Technological Applications for Diverse Populations.

Lydia Frass is a senior instructional designer at the Center for Teaching Excellence. She works with faculty in online course design and conducts quality assurance reviews. In addition, she facilitates our Instructional Designer’s Community of Practice. Lydia earned her Ph.D. in Adult Education and Master of Public Health from The University of Southern Mississippi. Before joining CTE, she coordinated the South Carolina Public Health Training Center, which provides professional development opportunities for current and future public health practitioners.

Gloria Washington is an instructional designer at the Center for Teaching Excellence. She is certified by Quality Matters to review online courses for quality design. She is also a certified Blackboard Trainer with more than 17 years of experience in higher education at USC. Gloria holds an MBA in Technology Management, an MA in Education with a specialization in curriculum and instruction, and is currently working on a doctorate in Educational Technology. Her expertise is in the pedagogical use of learning management systems to support student learning.

Casey Carroll is an Instructional Developer with the Center for Teaching Excellence at USC. Casey is responsible for working with the instructional design team to support faculty who are teaching online, producing technology-enabled course materials and assisting with quality assurance course reviews. Prior to joining CTE, Casey designed curriculum for professional trainings and leadership development. Casey has also taught First-Year English and English as a Second Language at the University of South Carolina. He holds a master’s degree in linguistics from USC and a bachelor’s degree in Spanish and psychology from Pacific Lutheran University.