July 30, 2014

Applications for 3rd Online Learning Initiative (OLI) Cohort Due April 8th!

Screen Shot 2013-03-28 at 4.14.50 PMWe are currently soliciting participation in the third cohort of the UMW Online Learning Initiative, beginning in August 2013. All full-­time, continuing faculty members in any of the three UMW colleges are eligible for this program.

The Online Learning Initiative began in 2011­-2012 with an initial cohort of seven faculty participants, who engaged in a faculty development project to develop quality online or blended1 courses in the liberal arts and sciences tradition. It continued in 2012­-2013, with another six faculty members developing new online courses.

The Initiative is designed to be collaborative, with participants working together and learning from each other as the process unfolds. The project is led by the Division of Teaching and Learning Technologies (DTLT), the Center for Teaching Excellence and Innovation (CTEI), and the Committee on Distance and Blended Learning. Project leaders from these three groups facilitate the process but do not prescribe outcomes, preferring to let course planning grow organically out of the conversations about liberal arts teaching and technology innovation.

The project will start with a series of summer workshops in August to explore what it means to teach a quality liberal arts and sciences course online. The workshops, which will be conducted like small seminars, will include conversation and response to selected readings, demonstration of various technology tools and approaches, and advice from former OLI faculty. Overall, what guides the workshops is a focus on teaching excellence in the liberal arts and sciences, and how technology can be used to explore disciplinary approaches, build creative and effective teaching environments, and offer learning opportunities that may not be possible in face­to­face classes.

Upon completion of the workshops, participants will write a planning document to guide the development and implementation of their courses. These documents will then undergo a review process, providing faculty with useful feedback and advice for improvement.

Following the development of the course plan, faculty will work in conjunction with DTLT and CTEI to refine their plans and develop their courses, in time to teach either summer or fall 2014.

Schedule and Deadlines

April 8, 2013: Deadline for Proposals

April 22, 2013: OLI Awards Announced

Summer 2013: OLI Program Workshops.

Attendance at these workshops is mandatory. Currently, we plan to have 2-­3 full­-day workshops in mid-August. However, we are requesting information about summer availability during the proposal process so that we can adjust the schedule according to participants’ calendars.

Fall 2013-Spring 2014: Course Development

Throughout the 2013­-2014 academic year, faculty participants will work with DTLT and the Center for Teaching Innovation & Excellence on developing their courses. This will be an ongoing process, enveloping (and informed by) the course plan reviews.

October 1, 2013*: Course Plans Due

November 15, 2013*: Course Plan Review Complete

Summer & Fall 2014:  Courses Taught

* These dates are tentative and are subject to change.

Application Process

Please discuss your grant idea with your department chair/associate dean and college dean before applying. Your submission indicates that your chair or associate dean endorses your participation in this program and agrees to allow you to offer the course online no later than Fall 2014.

To apply, submit a letter of application with the following information:

  • Your Name, Department/Discipline & College
  • What course do you propose to modify for teaching online? Can you attach a recent syllabus, ideally modified for online teaching?
  • When will this course be first offered online?
  • How will offering the course online support the academic program of your department or college?
  • Describe your current competency with instructional technologies (no experience necessary) and identify those technologies you are interested in learning as part of the project.
  • Briefly outline your vision for the course:
    • Will the course be fully online or blended (and if the latter, to what extent online)?
    • To the extent that you can, describe the online environment that you imagine for the course. For example, can you identify any instructional resources, tools, technologies, or online Web spaces that you plan to use and briefly explain how you plan to use them?

Please limit your application to no more than five pages, double­-spaced. Applications should be emailed to mkayler@umw.edu by 5:00 pm on April 8, 2013. Awards will be announced by April 22, 2013.

Preference will be given to proposals with any of the following characteristics: courses targeting UMW undergraduate students away from campus during the summer term, and/or courses with high demand and low time­-slot availability.

Award Details

Each participant will receive a grant of $3,500 to develop and teach a course in a fully online or blended format. The grant award will be distributed in two payments; $2,000 upon completion of the orientation seminars and $1,500 upon teaching the course online. The grant recipient authorizes the university to use the course as a model with other faculty members subsequently developing other online courses. The grantee otherwise retains the intellectual property rights to all faculty­-created instructional content.

In order to ensure that the course delivery meets the traditional standards of excellence for a model UMW course, the faculty member acknowledges that during the semester of offering, frequent, if not daily, interaction with students in the course is expected. Grant recipients will be asked to share their experience developing and teaching their online class by participating in a campus event no later than Fall 2014.

If you have questions, please contact Mary Kayler (mkayler@umw.edu).

About Brynn Boyer

Brynn Boyer is assistant director of media and public relations and a 2010 graduate of UMW.

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