Call for Proposals: 2015-2016 Brown Innovation Fellows Program

The core focus of Stetson University’s mission is learning and the creation of a stimulating learning community that encourages a lifelong commitment to learning. Stetson’s faculty inspire and model this commitment through the teacher-scholar role. To support teacher-scholar development, the Provost at Stetson University and the Brown Center for Faculty Innovation & Excellence are pleased to announce the second annual Brown Innovation Fellows Program. The program celebrates teacher-scholars as learners by offering dedicated time for reflection on learning and strategies to facilitate deep student learning anchored in Stetson’s mission of preparing students to lead lives steeped in personal growth, intellectual development, and global citizenship. The Brown Innovation Fellows Program is made possible by generous donations from Hyatt and Cici Brown to support faculty innovation and excellence.

2015-2016 PROGRAM FOCUS:
Designing Significant Learning Experiences

Faculty engaged in continuous professional development in teaching and learning have been very successful by transforming their teaching from good to great, becoming faculty developers themselves, presenting and publishing extensively on the scholarship of teaching and learning, and winning teaching awards. However, under the current system in higher education, individuals working on terminal degrees receive little (if any) preparation in teaching to foster deep, integrative learning by students.  In addition, based on experiences in other classrooms, students have come to believe that “good” teachers tell students what they need to know. “They  expect a steady progression along a learning curve, which coincides with the amount of time they spend in classes. … Everything else — their personal struggles to master knowledge and skills in sports, software, games, or music they take to be ‘teaching yourself’ and an inferior way of learning.” [The Teaching Professor, April 2014] This year’s Brown Innovation Fellows Program focuses on innovative teaching and learning with an emphasis on course-building and quality pedagogy.

Brown Innovation Fellows will:

  • Develop expertise in pedagogical student learning
  • Use innovative strategies and technologies to deepen learning
  • Educate the campus community on pedagogical strategies and student learning by participating Brown Fellows Symposium

Hand and word Innovation

2015 Brown Innovation Institute
Fellows will participate as a cohort in the Brown Innovation Institute from September 2015 to April 2016. Faculty participating in this year’s institute will hone their teaching skills in ways that promote student learning in an atmosphere of continuous improvement as Stetson strives to advance as a learning organization. During the institute, Fellows will engage in innovative course-building to design significant learning experiences at the course, program, department, and/or general education level. A total of eight (8) four-hour sessions (face-to-face [f-2-f] and virtual) will be held monthly from September 2015 to April 2016. The institute will address the following topics, two at each session:

  • Designing significant learning experiences
  • Course design
  • Authentic assessment
  • Formative assessment and feedback
  • Lesson design
  • Student Engagement
  • Warming the brain
  • Improving discussion
  • Flipping the classroom part 1
  • Flipping the classroom part 2
  • Encouraging students to prepare well for class part 1
  • Encouraging students to prepare well for class part 2
  • Developing intrinsically motivated students
  • Classroom Assessment Techniques
  • Putting it all together part 1
  • Putting it all together part 2

Each Fellow will receive the following books:

  • Fink, D. (2013). Creating significant learning experiences: An integrated approach to designing college courses
  • Angelo, T., & Cross, K. (1993). Classroom Assessment Techniques: A Handbook for College Teachers
  • Barkley, E. (2010). Student engagement techniques: A handbook for college faculty
  • Pink, D. (2011). Drive: The surprising truth about what motivates us

2016 Brown Fellows Symposium 
As part of the yearlong program, faculty fellows will participate in a special Brown Fellows Symposium during spring 2016 as part of the annual Teaching & Learning Colloquium. The Brown Fellows Symposium will feature the work of Brown Innovation Fellows, Brown Teaching-Scholar Fellows and other faculty work supported by funding from the Brown Center for Faculty Innovation and Excellence.

Tentative Schedule
BIFP2015-16 Schedule

Award Eligibility
To be eligible for the Brown Innovation Fellow award, the applicant must be a full-time faculty member in good standing at Stetson University. Fellows must be available to participate fully during the yearlong institute and present at the Brown Fellows Symposium during the Teaching & Learning Colloquium in April 2016.

Benefits to Fellows
The 2015-2016 Brown Innovation Fellows Program will engage participants in diverse experiences to expand skill sets for designing courses that foster significant learning experiences by students. Fellows will build knowledge together as a cohort over the course of a year. In addition, each Fellow will receive a stipend of $1,000 to be issued upon completion of the Brown Innovation Institute in April 2016.

Application Process
All full-time faculty members at Stetson University are encouraged to apply. Each faculty member should submit the following:

  • A one-page description of your personal goals for participation in the Brown Innovation Institute. Include
    • a statement of experience in innovative course-building
    • how the proposed institute will your development as a teacher-scholar
  • A brief letter of support from the department chair or Dean
  • An updated 2-page curriculum vitae

Submission Guidelines

  • Applications are due on/before September 14, 2015
  • Application materials must be submitted as a single Word document (or in PDF format) to [email protected]. Submit as LastName_BIF2016.docx (or .doc/.pdf, etc.)
  • A brief email of support by the participant’s chair must be submitted September 14, 2015 to [email protected].
  • Selected Fellows will be notified by September 18, 2015. The first session will meet at 2:00 pm on September 25, 2015 (meeting times will be negotiated).

Questions: We look forward to a number of excellent applications. Questions should be directed to the Brown Center for Faculty Innovation & Excellence at [email protected].

Institute Facilitator

Cynthia Alby, Ph.D.
Professor of Education, Georgia College & State University
Dr. Cynthia Alby has spent most of her career immersed in what could most accurately be described as “avid cross-discipline idea mongering.” She studies pedagogy, sociology, psychology, neuroscience, and economics – anything that might yield some useful clues. She describes her research as, “scholarship of teaching and learning through scholarship of integration and application” (Boyer, 1990). Her primary research question is, “What does it look like to study the research on best practices in higher education pedagogy, make informed decisions about what to actually use, and then try to implement that amalgamation? Her goal is to explicitly examine this complexity in order to help herself and others negotiate the intricate terrain of teaching. In order to address such questions she has engaged in a systematic examination of teaching activities such as giving feedback, leading discussion, questioning, implementing formative assessments and feedback, flipping the classroom, and a host of others. Dr. Alby received her Ph.D. in language education from the University of Georgia in 1998. She is currently professor of secondary education at Georgia College, Georgia’s public liberal arts institution, where she works with the Innovative Course Building Group. She has taught in the Governor’s Teaching Fellows Program since 2002 after she herself became a Fellow. This highly selective program chooses 24 professors each year from Georgia’s public and private institutions of higher education for a series of intensive workshops on best practices in higher education pedagogy.