Teaching Innovations Program (TIP)

Overview

The Teaching Innovations Program (TIP) is a year-long program that supports faculty teams in developing or redesigning a course or academic program. The program’s goal is to help faculty identify a teaching and learning challenge or opportunity in their department’s curriculum and collaboratively find a solution that will be impactful for student success. Possible outcomes include improving an existing program or course, or creating a new program or course.

Each year, the program will focus on a different theme in teaching and learning. Examples include general education, adaptive learning, fostering belonging, and multi-section course design. Each year’s theme and requirements will be determined in consultation with the Provost and announced in advance in the spring, with the aim of responding to current opportunities and challenges.

How it works

  • The program begins with faculty or department identifying an issue to work on, in response to the CfP which will specify the theme.
  • Accepted participants will hone a plan for tackling the problem or opportunity, with OFE’s help.
  • Faculty teams participate in a three-day intensive workshop in June, working collaboratively and using OFE’s help to create a solution for the teaching and learning problems identified.
  • The revised course or program is piloted in the Fall, with milestone meetings and deadlines to support the project. These milestone meetings and activities provide an opportunity for reflection and revision of the plan for the spring semester, and a final action plan detailing the team’s plan for sustaining their work.
  • The OFE staff will provide support to individual teams, and also to the cohort as a whole, providing development in teaching and learning topics as needed according to theme and participant projects.
  • Faculty who complete the program are eligible for a $2000 honorarium.

*Switch between tabs to learn more about the program.
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Current Year: TIP 2024-25


This Year’s Theme: Improving Consistency and Student Outcomes in Multi-Section Courses

This year’s TIP will focus on redesigning multi-section courses to improve student learning outcomes and the student learning experience. The application process has closed for this year and teams have begun their work.

About this year’s theme:

What do we mean by course consistency?

Regardless of instructor and course section, students need to have similar experiences across a multi-section course with respect to learning outcomes and many other aspects of their course. That is, sections in a multi-section course should have some common assessments, assignments, and activities that are central to the vision of the course. For example, in a writing course, students may read different texts to inspire writing, but all students would be asked to write in the same genres, experience the same lesson on how to analyze texts, and be evaluated by the same criteria. As another example, in a course that emphasizes collaborative learning, all sections might appropriately complete the same team project (though the topic may vary). The goal is not to create a cookie-cutter course design but to identify and build out common elements and strategies for all instructors to implement. This point becomes especially important in multi-section courses that are part of a sequence or prerequisite and thus provide competencies that instructors of subsequent courses rely on. See Multi-section course design for more information on the approach. OFE is currently building a database of samples from courses that have already been designed, and these will be available to participants.

How do we evaluate the success of a multi-section course design?

Course design success will be assessed by multiple measures, including student achievement (grade data and course-embedded assessments, if appropriate), instructor and department leadership perceptions, student perceptions (via survey and potentially focus groups), enrollment, and other means that may be identified by the TIP team. Finally, we will assess how new instructors experience the transition to the course, where applicable. 

What is the commitment?

As part of the application process, teams identified one of their department’s multi-section courses to address in TIP. Teams must have the chair’s approval and commitment to implementing the new design in the coming academic year. 

In June, each team will set goals for improving consistency and student outcomes in their course, and design materials to support the effort that will be shared with other instructors of the course.  

Teams commit to be present during the three-day workshop on June 11, 12 & 13, 2024. 

Teams will refine the design over the next academic year, enabling full implementation in the spring semester of the fall pilot, with support from and meetings with OFE.

Teams will be introduced to some common strategies for improving student success through inclusive pedagogical practices and strategies for improving engagement and success from the literature on fostering belonging (see OFE’s resource on Fostering Belonging).

Teams will work with an OFE staff member to build out their courses, spending most of each day working together to create the course syllabus and Simple Syllabus template, course guide, key assignments and activities, and to design a method for gaining feedback through the implementation year. At the end of each day, teams will report out to the larger group, receiving constructive feedback on their work. 

Teams will need to ensure buy-in from the department and chair as the course design needs to be implemented in the coming academic year, with all sections using the new design by the spring semester.

General Proposal Components

Faculty interested in TIP submitted an application from teams comprising two to five faculty and/or Instructional/Clinical Specialists. The applicants wrote a proposal no longer than three pages in response to the annual call:

  1. Proposes a course or program for development and redesign.
  2. Describes the problem or opportunity that their application is addressing, per the annual call.
  3. Proposes a strategy for addressing the problem, how this program will be supportive, and how the OFE can be helpful.
  4. Summarizes the value that the program will have for the individuals and how they are well suited for this project, including whether they have taught the course or in the program, and whether they intend to teach in the course/program in the next academic year.

In addition, applications included a letter of support from the relevant Department Chairperson or ADF affirming how the primary unit can provide specific support to the success of the program. This might have included pledging to schedule faculty in target courses, to ask the unit to adopt the proposal for course or program-wide implementation, etc.

Criteria for Evaluation

Proposals were evaluated by the OFE Executive Director and their designees on the basis of:

  • Potential value for student success as defined by Montclair’s strategic plan
  • Feasibility
  • Appropriateness to theme

Note: Priority was given to projects that hold the most potential for sustained positive impact to the University and are aligned with the strategic directions and plan of the University, which evolve given the rapidly shifting challenges facing public higher education.

Eligibility

  • Participants must have a full-time appointment as a Tenure-Track or Tenured member of the Faculty or as an NTTP (instructional or clinical specialist).
  • Participants must be fully available on the defined dates in June — see below.

 

Detailed Schedule of Activities — 2024-2025

By March 15, 2024: Call for applications
By April 1, 2024: Applications due. Email proposals to Isaacse@montclair.edu with a copy to faculty@montclair.edu.
By April 5, 2024: Decisions communicated to applicant groups.
April 5-May 15, 2024: Initial team meetings to clarify plan and identify team needs
June 11, 12 & 13 2024: Three-day workshop for all participants to jumpstart and work out the details of the new or revised course or program.
August 1, 2024: Submit brief memo for the Fall implementation and meet with OFE Staff to finalize fall implementation
October, 2024: Check in meeting with OFE Staff
January 5, 2025: Revision Memo clarifying changes for Spring Semester
March, 2025: Check in meeting with OFE Staff
June 1, 2025: Final Report due

TIP 2023-24

2023-2024 Theme: Learning Environments that Promote Belonging and Support Learning

Much talk on campus and beyond these last few years has been about creating learning environments that foster belonging and support student success across student populations. We can all applaud these goals, but finding the time and help to create such learning environments can be difficult. The goal of the 2023-2024 program is to provide faculty with support and time to adopt and adapt evidence-based interventions and teaching strategies that increase equity, promote engagement, and support academic success in specific courses and/or programs.

Following research on psychological and social interventions that lead to improved student success, faculty teams selected two or three specific interventions or practices to adopt and implement in their program. Each team selected their own interventions and practices from a recommended library of practices, adapting them to their own contexts. Faculty also selected a set of measures to evaluate students’ experiences with these interventions and practices, enabling them to continue to refine their practices over the course of the program.

Teams and Projects

Coming Soon

Guidance for 23-24 Theme

  1. Explain the rationale for selecting this course or set of related courses. Some questions you might consider: Are students’ struggling? Do you observe or suspect inequitable outcomes? Are students leaving your program because of this course? Or is this simply an early required course that can set students on the right path (or not).
  2. Select two or three practices or interventions that your group would like to develop for your project. To make these choices, browse the library of material on social belonging and the student success experience offered by the College Transition Collaborative SEP Practices library. You are not limited to these practices, but this collection is an excellent place to start. From your review – and you needn’t try to become expert if this field is relatively new to you – select two or three practices or interventions that your group would like to develop for your project, and explain why these strike you as good choices for your context.
  3. Write a bit about you as individuals and a team. Why do you want to do this? What do you anticipate gaining from the experience? What assets and strengths do you bring to the project?

Resource Library: https://collegetransitioncollaborative.org/sep-practices-library/ from the Student Experiences Project, and especially Supportive Instructor & Course Interactions. Teams are not limited to these resources, activities or interventions.

*Program here might be a major, minor, general education course, as examples.

Detailed Schedule of Activities — 2023-2024

April 28, 2023: Call for applications
May 12, 2023: Applications due. Email programs to Isaacse@montclair.edu with a copy to faculty@montclair.edu.
May 17, 2023: Decisions communicated to applicant groups.
May 18-June 9, 2023: Initial team meetings to clarify plan and identify team needs
June 13, 14 & 15 2023: Three-day workshop for all participants to jumpstart and work out the details of the new or revised course or program.
August 1, 2023: Submit brief memo for the Fall implementation and meet with OFE Staff to finalize fall implementation
October, 2023: Check in meeting with OFE Staff
January 5, 2024: Revision Memo clarifying changes for Spring Semester
March, 2024: Check in meeting with OFE Staff
May 8, 2024: Participation in the annual Faculty Showcase
June 3, 2024: Final Action Plan due

Honoraria

During the implementation year, after the planning workshop, teams will meet with OFE staff at least twice and will provide three memos. See below for important dates.

  • June: $1,000 (per person), with attendance at the June 3-day workshop: Dates: June 13, 14 and 15. Faculty need to be available all day each day to get all the work done. The workshop will be held in-person, 9:30-4:30. We will meet as a full team to discuss common goals and strategies and share teams’ emerging plans, but much of the time will be devoted to teams working at planning, writing, and executing all the details of their interventions.
  • January (of the next year): $500 (per person) with submission of a completed Redesign Memo
  • June (of the next year): $500 (per person) with submission of a completed Final Report Action Plan
  • If the team’s Final Report Action Plan is approved by the department chairperson or school ADF, up to $1,000 will be available to the team to support the implementation of the Action Plan. The $1,000 will be for use in support of the program, jointly agreed on.

Questions? Contact Emily Isaacs.

CC

Last Modified: Monday, June 10, 2024 10:33 am