Individual Teaching and Learning Mini Grants

Wednesday, October 13, 2010 (Around 4 years ago)

As life-long learners themselves, faculty members seek to learn, develop, implement and evaluate new classroom techniques. New pedagogies, content, and ideas acquired from workshops, conferences, discussions, or other venues are largely lost unless individual faculty members have means for developing and implementing these new techniques.

Mini-grants to faculty offer a means to build upon initial learning that occurs in summer workshops (or other formats), allowing faculty members to develop and tailor newly acquired ideas to meet their own course needs. Teaching and Learning mini-grants will facilitate incorporating teaching strategies and best practices in the classroom. Specific examples include: Web-based instruction, team teaching, and service learning. Inspired by Teachers Talking sessions (discussed below) or a summer workshop, a faculty member might propose to redesign a course that has been traditionally lecture based. The redesigned course could incorporate collaborative student group work with student presentations or the faculty might develop a discussion format intermingled with lecture. Another example might be a science faculty member who, following attendance at a national conference on science equity, wishes to reflect ethnic and gender diversity in examples of scientific discovery. Yet another example might be to develop contacts and facilitate opportunities for students to become involved in service learning.

The Kendall Center for Engaged Learning respects the fact that faculty development needs of individual faculty members vary greatly. Some needs are based on discipline (science, humanities, etc.), others on stage of career (untenured, mid-career, etc.), and still others on the teaching techniques involved. The mini-grant program encourages individual faculty to select from many opportunities to formulate a development plan related to teaching and student learning that is appropriate to their situation. Several examples of mini-grants were noted above. Others include the following: A new faculty member may seek support to learn how to design a course involving collaborative student work, whereas more experienced faculty might choose to concentrate on developing a Web-based course. They both might participate in Teachers Talking sessions or in a summer workshop on student writing. Another possibility is that several faculty members from different departments will seek funding as joint applicants to allow them to go to a retreat center to focus on teaching and learning issue of concern to the group. The flexibility of the mini-grant program encourages faculty members to tailor their continued learning so that it will translate into enhanced student learning in the classroom.

Mini-grants provide a direct means of enabling faculty to bring workshop innovations into the classroom. Preference will be given to faculty members who demonstrate a capacity to draw upon workshop themes, Teachers Talking, or national pedagogy conferences in this fashion. Faculty will be encouraged to identify the ways in which these opportunities are interrelated, ultimately resulting in enhanced student learning. A finite number of mini-grants will be awarded according to the procedures and criteria listed below.

I. Application Applications by eligible individual faculty members for projects about teaching and learning can be submitted anytime.

A. Proposal The proposal must specifically address how you anticipate student learning will be affected. Each application must address the following questions: 1. What are the basic pedagogical ideas, problems, or questions you will examine during the grant period? 2. Please describe what course/s you will focus on during the mini-grant period. 3. What work will be accomplished during the grant period? Supply a brief plan of work. 4. How will you measure the outcomes and impact on teaching and learning of your work during this grant period? Please be specific about methodology, assessment techniques, and evaluation of student learning. 5. Anticipated project completion date.

B. Budget 1. Mini-grants will be awarded for up to $1,000 as long as funds are available. 2. Funds may be used to acquire materials and supplies, reimburse expenses of visiting speakers and colleagues, pay printing costs, and offset room and food expenses. • The funds cannot be used for stipends for Gustavus Adolphus College faculty or students. • Food costs, if applicable, will be reimbursed provided itemized and reasonable receipts are submitted. • Note: As of June 1, 2009, all reimbursements for mileage are capped at a maximum of $350. 3. Please complete the budget form (Excel).

II. Submission A. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis and reviewed by a committee consisting of the Kendall Center Director (Margaret Bloch-Qazi), a member of the Faculty Development Committee (Yurie Hong) and a Kendall Center Faculty Associate (Paul Saulnier). B. Submit applications as electronic attachments to Margaret Bloch-Qazi (

III. Final Report A. Submit a final report addressing the outcomes of the activities undertaken within one month of the completion of the proposed project or the end of the semester, whichever is first, to Margaret Bloch-Qazi ( B. Applicants with outstanding final reports will not be considered for additional funds.

Visit the John S. Kendall Center for Engaged Learning for more information on available Grants and information.

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