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Learning Spaces Innovation Grants

The Collaborative for Teaching Innovation invites proposals from teams of faculty for projects that explore the incorporation of technologies into learning space to support pedagogical designs to enhance student learning, and that provide data on student learning.

Timing of Funding Opportunities
Grant proposals are accepted on a rolling cycle throughout the year, with two formal rounds of submissions, during fall and spring. Proposals are solicited in October, with submission deadlines in November (November 30, 2017) and notification of awards in December. A second call for proposals is solicited in early April, with submission deadlines in early May and notification of awards in June.

Submission process
Proposals must be submitted via email to facultycollaborative@scu.edu.

Evaluation process

Each proposal will be reviewed and evaluated by the Teaching and Technology Committee appointed by the Co-Directors of the Faculty Collaborative for Teaching Innovation. The Committee will include the Collaborative’s Co-Directors and Faculty Associates, and 4-6 faculty from disciplines/areas not already represented by the Faculty Associates. The Teaching and Technology Committee will review proposals and determine which to fund and at what level of funding.  

Evaluation criteria
Overall, proposals are evaluated on the quality of the project and the potential impact on student learning, curriculum, or pedagogy within a significant component of a program, major, or the Core Curriculum. Given the goal to make the best strategic use of limited resources proposals with significant cost sharing from external grants, departmental budgets, or other sources of supplemental funding are encouraged.

Special consideration will be given to proposals that explore ways of facilitating active, collaborative, interdisciplinary, engaged or integrative learning, or involve students as collaborators.

Other criteria used to evaluate proposals include:

  • Student needs or populations addressed - who are the students who will be affected by this; size and characteristics of student population
  • Enduring impact on an area of the curriculum
  • Impact on understanding of how to transform student learning
  • Improvement of instructional quality
  • Improvement of learning environment
  • Potential to serve as a model for wider campus adoption
  • Scalability
  • Transferability

For example, projects might include:

  • Designing spaces to better support the use of mobile devices for group work, quantitative or qualitative data gathering, analyses, or documentation
  • Rethinking/redesigning active learning environments to support in-class activities (e.g., piloting SCALE-UP or in-the-round spaces).
  • A focus on how different technologies interact with learning environments (small group discussions where information is shared electronically vs. on a black/white board), or course designs or pedagogical practices that integrate mobile devices or social media to promote student engagement, interactive learning, or community outreach
  • Documenting how faculty and students use recently built/renovated classrooms to better understand how teachers and students learn to work within both "traditional" and nontraditional classroom spaces.

Reporting Requirements
Successful faculty teams will be asked to write up their experiences, results and assessment in a brief report and to share their experience in a CAFE - one of the Collaborative’s lunchtime conversations to share teaching practices with faculty colleagues offered throughout the academic year.

Proposal Format
In no more than 3 pages, proposals should provide the following information:

  • Title of project and Names/Departments/emails of all faculty participants
  • Provide a general description of the project, addressing:
    1. Desired location of space for innovation.
    2. How will this project contribute to or enhance teaching and student learning, or our understanding of student learning? How do you envision using educational technology in this project?
    3. What research questions guide your project?
    4. A brief summary of any relevant research or project design (e.g., similar projects from other universities).
    5. How will you assess or evaluate the effectiveness of your project? Please be specific in describing your assessment approach and anticipated measures.
    6. Describe the relevant experience and context the faculty team brings to the project.
    7. What support will you need (e.g., from Academic Technology) to implement this project successfully?
    8. What other internal or external grant requests have you submitted to support this same proposal?
  • Budget:
    1. Costs for equipment, software, or furniture essential to the learning space renovation, equipment installation, first year operating expenses such as maintenance, travel, and training are appropriate.
    2. Provide a budget that includes any additional costs associated with the renovation. If you are proposing a project where students will need access to particular technologies, please note how many students will need those tools. For example, will students work in pairs with shared tools for the quarter?  How many will be needed?  Note: while faculty may retain tools (such as mobile devices), all student equipment will be provided on a “loaner basis”: students will turn the equipment in at the end of the quarter (or the completion of the project) so it can be used in subsequent projects.  
    3. If you have questions about whether a particular expense is appropriate for a Learning Space Innovation grant proposal, please contact any of the Collaborative Co-Directors - Chris Bachen, Nancy Cutler, or Eileen Elrod.
    4. Proposals to renew equipment obtained in a previous Technology Innovation grant will usually not be funded, since by definition the proposed use is no longer innovative.

Funding levels and success rates
As with any competitive funding opportunity, success rates depend on the funding available, the number of proposals received, the quality of the proposal, and the relation of the projects proposed to the funding criteria.