Inquire and Inspire Grant

Photograph by Chris Kayler

Think mini-sabbatical, renewal, re-energize, and dream!

The Center for Teaching Excellence and Innovation central mission is to support faculty engagement through self-directed learning. No matter where you are on your professional career path, instructional vitality is central to a fulfilling teaching career. Weimer (2010) posits, “maintaining instructional vitality can be a positive process – one that is full of intellectual challenge and personal satisfaction” Weimer (p. 1). With this sentiment in mind, this newly developed “Inquire and Inspire Faculty” summer grant (via feedback and suggestions from the Teaching Center Advisory Committee and faculty).

This grant provides UMW full-time teaching faculty with funding to support UMW’s mission of teaching excellence. Funding for faculty self-directed learning projects that address teaching and learning will run between $500.00-$3,000. Not sure if this grant is for you? Read on!

Faculty Inquire: What do I want to do for my self-directed learning?

 This faculty grant helps address ‘tired’ teaching. What might tired teaching look like?

  • Does your teaching lack energy and delivered without passion; favors the tried and true over innovation and change?
  • How long has it been since you have changed the syllabus for that frequently taught course?
  • How long since you’ve revamped a set of course assignments?
  • Do you greet instructional innovations, new curricular programs, and assessment initiatives with interest and enthusiasm?

This grant supports individual faculty efforts towards teaching excellence. In some ways, this is a dream grant (within some financial parameters) for faculty to reconnect or continue their passion for teaching and learning (their own and their students).

What would you like to do to sustain or reconnect with your passion for teaching?

  • Do you want travel to a location to develop pedagogical materials and/or redesign a course? Sometimes location matters!
  • Do you need technological tools and/or materials to support your teaching and learning efforts?
  • Wish to partner with a colleague and dream big? What would you create together?
  • Do you want to immerse yourself into a ‘place’ to better inform your content knowledge with new emergent areas?
  • Do you want to draw upon the use of primary resources?
  • Do you want to enroll in an overseas course to experience and learn in an immersive environment?
  • Other ideas?

Possible Project Ideas:

  • Extensive revision to an existing course about a new pedagogical model you are interested in exploring.
  • Redesign a course around student learning and formative feedback opportunities to inform the teaching and learning process.
  • Align your teaching philosophy with your pedagogical practice through the creation of new projects, assignments, etc. Make explicit the often-unseen learning and make visible how your teaching philosophy is enacted.
  • Revise an existing course and course materials to accessibility standards.
  • Learn how to ‘do’ something that you have always wanted to integrate into your teaching.
  • Create a teaching portfolio to highlight your pedagogical practices and impact on student learning.
  • I have a fantastic idea that is not on the list….

Faculty Inspire: What do I bring back to the UMW community?

In addition to completing your self-directed learning project, faculty will share the joy, challenges, and insights of their work – to inspire! The benefits of meeting, sharing, and learning with and from colleagues are invaluable. You will take the time to share out the meaningful work you engaged in through the support of this grant.

Award recipients will be expected to create a meaningful sharing opportunity (for yourself and for your colleagues) within the UMW community and in some cases beyond. In addition, CTE&I also provide $500.00 in professional travel grants to all UMW teaching faculty.

Ideas for Sharing your Inquire and Inspire Faculty Grant

What is your idea for sharing in a meaningful way?

  • Conduct an interactive workshop
  • Participate in an Open Dialogue Panel
  • Create a poster for the Fall/Spring Faculty Meet-up
  • Blog (in-process) about your pedagogical development and implementation
  • Create multimedia that conveys your work and can be shared within UMW and outside our university community
  • Create a learning quest for your colleagues
  • Participate in the ‘Why it Matters’ faculty showcase.
  • Other ideas? I’d love to talk with you!