As you know, we are committed to supporting a robust in-person experience for our students this Fall. This is especially important for our first- and second-year students, many of whom have not yet visited our campuses. At the same time, we need to be sensitive to state and federal guidelines and vigilant in protecting our student, faculty, and staff’s health and safety. For the Pullman campus, we recently announced that lecture-only courses with more than 100 students would offer the lecture portion remotely, and we are engaging faculty in creating discussion or study groups so that those classes can still have high-impact, in-person components in addition to the remote lecture portions.
In light of the above, we are very pleased to announce that funding has been made available through the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) based on provisions of the American Rescue Plan (ARP) Act of 2021 to support an innovative redesign of large classes (100+) that currently are structured as lecture only.
Priority will be given to proposals for courses with 100-plus students and those proposals that are received by May 15, 2021. Proposals will be considered on a rolling basis thereafter, while funding permits.
The goal is to provide faculty support for sustainable redesign of courses regardless of modality to integrate high-impact in-person campus experiences. Such a redesign will benefit students and faculty not just for Fall 2021 but for ongoing offering of these courses as we plan for the arrival of two cohorts of students new to campus as well as for the future of classroom-based instruction and the growth of online modalities.
Individual proposals may seek up to $5,000. Team or departmental collaborative proposals are encouraged and may exceed the individual limit. In case demand exceeds available funding, first priority will go to lower-division courses for first- or second-year non-majors (typically UCORE classes). Funding may be spent on summer salary; TA support; undergraduate learning assistants; or similar means of achieving periodic in-person learning in large courses.
Recipients of funding will be expected to participate in online cohort-based redesign workshops offered by the Learning Innovations group of Academic Outreach and Innovation (AOI) in Canvas this summer; submit a mid-term progress report; and submit an evaluation at the end of the semester. This information will be used to refine the program for subsequent iterations.
Eligible to apply are instructors, including graduate student instructors of record, who are teaching in Pullman Fall 2021. Graduate student instructors will need the active support of the course lead.
There are two cohort-based options for selecting redesign support. Applicants choose one approach:
- General, or
- Undergraduate Course Learning Assistants
Option 1: General
The General option is for instructors who are not yet sure of the approach they want to take or who know the approach and it does not involve undergraduate course learning assistants. Before applying, please review the video from the Learning Innovations group from AOI, outlining some of the possibilities. Please specify one of the approaches in the application, as the information will be used to organize cohort tracks within Canvas during the summer. AOI has graciously provided the expertise of its instructional design staff to support this endeavor through the summer.
Option 2: Undergraduate Course Learning Assistants
This option is a pilot program for fall with a separate application.
Undergraduate Course Learning Assistants are important partners in helping instructors, especially those in large-enrollment courses with traditionally high DFW rates, better connect with students and implement high-impact instructional practices. These practices have been demonstrated to lead to higher rates of student retention due to increased satisfaction and belonging, the narrowing of academic achievement gaps for students from diverse backgrounds, and higher attainment levels of student learning outcomes. These programs also increase the success and skills of the UGLAs themselves, as they refine content knowledge, gain new communication skills, build a sense of community, build an identity as a professional in their chosen academic field, and report higher levels of belonging. In addition, UGLAs provide feedback to instructors about ways to improve instruction from the perspective of the undergraduate experience.
WSU faculty with established UGLA programs will lead summer workshops and assist colleagues in implementing UGLAs in their courses.
The CEILS program at UCLA (link) and the University of Colorado Learning Assistant Program (here) serve as models for most college-level or institutional-level programs at other universities. For further information you may consult those websites or contact Bill Davis, Associate Dean in CVM (email@example.com).
Criteria for assessing proposals will include:
- Innovativeness of proposed pedagogical practice in relation to current course structure
- Likelihood of proposed approach being adopted across all course sections if course is multi-section
- Sustainability of the pedagogical approach once developed (its potential for use by future instructors)
- Feasibility of completing the project prior to the start of the fall semester.
Preference will go to:
- Proposals for high enrollment gateway courses.
- Proposals that base the proposed approach on existing assessment data (e.g., grade distributions, pass rates, equity gaps, retention data, qualitative data from surveys, etc.).