The Center for Advancing Teaching and Learning Through Research announces its 2014-2015 Faculty Scholars Program to promote interdisciplinary dialogue and advance teaching and learning at Northeastern University. This yearlong program reflects the University’s strong commitment to a scholarly approach to teaching and learning excellence by bringing together full-time faculty scholars to discuss and apply seminal and emerging learning science research and use what they learn to evolve their teaching and create deeper learning environments for their students. Furthermore, the program provides an excellent opportunity for faculty to engage in the scholarship of teaching and learning (SoTL) by treating the learning of their students as an object of scholarly inquiry and by contributing to the published scholarship on university learning and teaching.
Positioned at the intersection of inquiry and instruction, this work will enrich both faculty and students by supporting faculty as they explore and share evidence-based teaching practices, and pass the benefits of what they learn on to their students.
We define “inquiry” broadly and do not want to restrict participants’ creativity in the projects they undertake or the manner of their inquiry/reflection/sharing with the community. If you want to undertake research with the goal of producing a manuscript for publication, we will support you. If instead you wish to produce some other kind of evidence/documentation of the impact of your work, we will support you in the development of a final product that is as robust and valuable to the greater community as it can be.
All full-time Northeastern Faculty are eligible to apply.
While the goal is to design a project or revise a course in the Fall and implement and collect evidence to understand the impact of these changes in the Spring, there are alternate forms of participation. Faculty members can partner with colleagues who are teaching during the Spring semester to investigate the impact of implementing different pedagogical methodologies on students. Furthermore, faculty members can also look at other forms of teaching that exist outside of the traditional classroom (e.g. through mentorship). The goal of the program is to engage faculty in reflection on their own teaching practices by engaging them in conversations about ongoing research and to have this reflection lead to some demonstrable change in the learning environments they create whether in a traditional classroom, online, or in other environments (e.g. labs).
Expectations and Timeline
Faculty Scholars will be expected to attend the entirety of the two-day August retreat and monthly meetings in the Fall and Spring. They will also be expected to partner with the Center (as well as others in their cohort if they would like) to undertake some inquiry-based creation or revision of a course or a teaching practice, and share their work through a short video and presentation (e.g., workshop, discussion, presentation, or poster) at the 2015 Summer Institute Advancing Teaching and Learning.
Monthly meetings are group meetings often in the form of a workshop or featuring a guest speaker, and will focus on various forms of evidence-based teaching. However, during every get-together, there will also be time set aside for you to work with your colleagues in your cohort or at the Center on the work that you are doing for the year. You may also want to meet with your colleagues at the Center (or others you might be collaborating with) one-on-one at other times.
The time commitment for this will depend greatly on the nature of your project, but overall the experience will provide faculty with tools to help them become more efficient in their teaching going forward. Staff from the Center will partner with participants to help them make the most efficient use possible of time spent on program activities.
Each faculty scholar will receive a $1500 stipend for their active participation in the program and will have the opportunity to:
- explore various evidence-based teaching practices and the research supporting them (including: promoting deep learning environments in face-to-face and online courses, engaging students in team-based learning, fostering creativity in the classroom, maximizing experiential learning, understanding the attentional dynamics in the classroom, adopting contemplative pedagogy into classes, and assessment of course learning objects, among other topics).
- become part of the Northeastern community dedicated to the evidence-based advancement of teaching and learning.
- develop/revise/redesign a course incorporating the evidence-based pedagogical approaches for deeper learning that are discussed and debated during meetings.
- design and execute their own SoTL project in collaboration with a mentor and Center staff.
- become familiar with disciplinary and interdisciplinary outlets for SoTL publication.
- receive ongoing collaboration and support—including IRB support—from the learning scientists at the Center.
Spring 2014: Cohort of Scholars selected
August 2014: Two-day kickoff retreat
Fall 2014: Monthly meetings and project design
Spring 2015: Implement project, collect and analyze data
Summer 2015: Present results at Summer Institute for the Advancement of Teaching and Learning
Participation in the program is through a formal application and review process.
The program is aimed at collaborating with faculty who are interested in evolving their teaching and understanding for the science that underlies human learning. All that we ask is that the applicants possess an internal motivation to engage in a yearlong inquiry into their teaching. We try to bring together faculty at different places with their teaching, those starting out and those who have been teaching for a while and would like to view it as an opportunity for scholarly inquiry. Having such a diverse group creates an environment where everyone can learn while also providing different perspectives that will inform others.
To learn more, attend an information session in Snell Library 215 at one of the following times:
- Thursday February 6, 12:00pm – 1:00pm
- Monday, February 24, 11:00am – 12:00pm
- Wednesday, March 5, 1:00pm – 2:00pm
For more information, you can also contact the Director of the Center for Advancing Teaching and Learning Through Research, Dr. Cigdem Talgar, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Those interested in applying are invited to submit a letter of interest to Dr. Talgar via email by Friday, March 14, 2014.
Complete applications consist of:
- Letter of interest to include:
- Description of a powerful learning experience of which you have been a part and why you thought it was effective. This can be in your own teaching, in a class you took or observed, or in any other context.
- Initial thoughts about what kinds of questions you may be interested in asking in your SoTL project, with the understanding that your interests are likely to evolve or change over the course of the program.
- Current vita
- Statement of teaching philosophy (1-2 pages describing your goals, approach and development)
Candidate selection will be made based upon a demonstrated interest in systematic reflection upon one’s teaching, breadth of interest and background in the overall cohort, and participant availability.
The review process will conclude and decisions regarding acceptance will be determined by April 15, 2014.