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Active Learning Fellowship

Active Learning Fellowship

Apply for the Fall 2015 and Spring 2016 Fellowships

Program Overview

The Active Learning Fellowship (ALF) is a professional development program for CWRU faculty wanting to modify and enhance their instructional practices. The ALF program will investigate and develop pedagogical practices that encourage and even mandate active involvement by both the instructor and the students. These practices may use technology in ways that support and enhance instruction. Faculty members selected for this grant will be asked to redesign a class that they have previously taught for an upcoming semester using active learning instructional methods, including the use of pedagogical strategies to encourage collaboration, critical thinking, and problem solving. The ALF program is a collaboration of the Provost’s office and Information Technology Services, with other campus partners such as UCITE participating in planning and implementation of faculty training and mentoring.

Goals

The ALF program challenges experienced faculty to redesign a course they have taught in the past to become a model for 21st century education as described in CWRU’s strategic mission. The goal of the course redesign will be to help learners develop skills that transfer beyond a single course and should incorporate opportunities for students to practice and gain proficiency in at least some of the following identified 21st century skill-sets:

  • critical thinking and problem solving, reasoning, analysis, interpretation, synthesizing information
  • research skills and practice, interrogative questioning
  • creativity, artistry, curiosity, imagination, innovation, personal expression
  • perseverance, self-direction, planning, self-discipline, adaptability, initiative
  • oral and written communication, public speaking and presenting, listening
  • leadership, teamwork, collaboration, cooperation, virtual workspaces
  • information and communication technology (ITC) literacy, media and internet literacy, visual interpretation, data interpretation and analysis, computer programming
  • civic, ethical and social justice literacy,
  • economic and financial literacy, entrepreneurialism,
  • global awareness, multicultural literacy, humanitarianism,
  • scientific literacy and reasoning,
  • environmental and conservation literacy, ecosystems understanding,
  • health and wellness literacy, including nutrition, diet, exercise, and public health and safety

ALF Details and Requirements

For the upcoming academic year, the ALF has been expanded from the last two years. There will be two separate ALF programs, one for Fall 2015 and one for Spring 2016. To be eligible for the Fall 2015 ALF, you must be teaching a course during the Fall semester that you are able to adapt to meet the ALF standards. To be eligible for the Spring 2016 ALF, you must be teaching a course during the Spring semester that you will redesign to meet the ALF standards.  If you are teaching in the Fall and Spring, and there is a course you would like to potentially redesign in each semester, you may apply for both of the ALF sections.  It is important to note, though, that you will only be accepted for ONE of the two semesters. The outline of required, essential dates for the Fall and Spring Active Learning Fellowships can be found below. The requirements for each Fellowship are as follows:

Active Learning Fellowship Workshops
Individuals participating in this program will be required to interact with each other and the workshop organizers in various settings prior to teaching their course.

  1. Fellows will begin the redesign process by completing a short online course focusing on active learning in the week prior to attending mandatory, face to face workshops before teaching their course. 
  2. Fellows will attend a series of workshops that focus on how to implement active learning, including instructional strategies and relevant technologies that can enhance active learning. Prior to and during these workshops, participants will be asked to develop a curriculum that will serve as a blueprint for the redesign of the course they intend to teach in the upcoming semester. At the conclusion of the workshop, it is expected that all participants will have a completed syllabus based on the new design.

During the workshop, all participants will be trained in using technologies that can help to enhance their classes, including technologies installed in the active learning classrooms, as well as technologies that can be leveraged in traditional classrooms as well as online. The Active Learning Classrooms will be available for use throughout the academic year, and past and present fellows will be given first priority for room assignment once the semester begins. These spaces are located in Bingham, Mather Memorial, Nord, and Thwing, and they will be available for use by the Fellows, schedule permitting.

ALF Monthly luncheons and Mentor Meetings
The cohort of participants will form a learning community to aid themselves and their peers throughout the ALF. Monthly luncheons will be held, during which participants will be able to discuss their experiences (both successes and challenges) to that point in the semester. Furthermore, Active Learning Fellows from previous years will serve as mentors for the upcoming year’s Fellows. They will provide support and assistance, as well as provide feedback regarding instructional performance throughout the semester. Current fellows will be expected to meet with ALF faculty mentors once per month.

Assessment
Faculty selected to participate in the program will be asked to partner with the program organizers to study the effectiveness of the program in helping faculty to transform their teaching as well as the potential benefits the program may have to students. Faculty in the ALF will participate in an ongoing IRB approved assessment of the ALF Program which will include in-class data collection (20-25 total minutes of class time for the semester) as well as class observations and faculty interviews. Additionally, all members accepted for an ALF grant are required to incorporate their own form of action research in their ALF course, on a topic of personal interest (e.g., student learning outcomes, level of student engagement, etc.). Ideas can be discussed in greater depth during the ALF workshop.

Compensation
All participants will receive a grant of $5000. In addition, each participant will receive in-kind support to complete an IRB approved Action Research Project. The goal of that project will be to assess the effectiveness of their revised curriculum. This support will be in the form of consultation and data analysis services through ITS.

Application
Interested individuals should complete the application for either the Fall or Spring session ALF and submit a separate, two-page application outlining their desire to change their instructional practices, as well as their reasons and methods to do so. Technological tools should play a role in the redesign by the applicant. Please address how you will promote the development of some of the 21st century skills mentioned above.

 

Fall Semester ALF Essential Dates*
   
Event
Date Time
ALF workshop July 13-17 10:00-2:00
Luncheon August 28th 12:30-1:45
Luncheon September 25th 12:30-1:45
Luncheon October 30th 12:30-1:45
Luncheon November 20th 12:30-1:45
Luncheon December 11th 12:30-1:45
Spring Semester ALF Essential Dates*^
Event Date Time
ALF workshop October 19-20, December 7 & 11  
Luncheon January 29th 12:30-1:45
Luncheon February 26th 12:30-1:45
Luncheon March 25th 12:30-1:45
Luncheon April 29th 12:30-1:45
     
     

*Applicants of the Fall ALF are only required to attend the essential dates listed under the Fall schedule, whereas those for Spring ALF are only required to attend the essential dates listed under the Spring schedule

^The dates for the Spring Semester ALF workshop include Fall Break (October 19-20), and the two reading days during Finals week (Dec 7 & 11).