More than a dozen university faculty members have earned grants offered through the Center for Transformative Teaching.
This round of grant funding had four types of grants for faculty to receive funding, including a student-faculty collaboration grant. Applicants for the grants had to demonstrate that the funding received would be used to create a transformative learning experience that engages students in co-creating knowledge, increasing interdisciplinary inquiry and demonstrating achievement.
“Many of us can pinpoint the moment in our university experience in which we were transformed by an experience, a class, a course or an instructor’s response to our work,” Nick Monk, director for the CTT, said. “The CTT wants to help our instructors find the ways and means create more of these experiences for more of our students.”
Congrui Jin, assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering, is a recipient of the incubation grant, which supports any teaching activity designed with a view toward creating Scholarship of Teaching and Learning publications, conference presentations or an external pedagogy-related grant application.
“I always want to try the project-based teaching approach,” Jin said. “Nowadays, industry employers require engineering graduates to have substantial technical and scientific knowledge together with social skills and good problem-solving abilities.”
Two groups were awarded the strategic departmental grant, which can be used over a three-year period. One group included members of the history department: Vanessa Gorman, Ann Tschetter, Angela Bolen and Anthony Foreman. They will use the $60,000 funding to reimagine pedagogy for student success in entry-level history classes.
“We knew we wanted to do something both to expand our appeal to first-year students, especially first generation and minority students, and to help them succeed in college at a better rate,” Gorman, professor of history and classics, said. “The study of history is intrinsically exciting, but students are looking for an approach that is different from the traditional survey courses that they have had in high school.”
The four educators decided to establish a series of collaboratively-designed 100-level courses that will meet Achievement-Centered Education requirements such as Powerful Women in European History, Historic Voyages of Exploration and Exploitation, and the Cities at the Crossroads of History.
“By limiting them [the classes] to 30-40 students, we will offer a more personalized experience than many first-year students typically receive,” Gorman said. “We will focus on the discussion of primary documents and alternative viewpoints, while also emphasizing the ability to compose good argumentative writing from evidence and offering an opportunity for each student to create an individualized project.”
Recipients will have one to three years, depending on the grant received, to implement and review the effectiveness of their projects and report findings back to the CTT.
For instructors like Jin and Gorman, they are excited to have the chance to pursue teaching through new means.
“I want to thank CTT for providing the instructors with such great opportunities to experiment with innovative methods of teaching,” Jin said.
Funding opportunities are offered once a year through the center. Learn more about the teaching grants.