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Each semester, the Faculty Center for Teaching and Learning hosts multiple semester-long interdisciplinary cohorts designed to help innovate or refine teaching techniques and learning activities. Cohorts typically meet four to six times, with participants serving as a learning community for one another. Participants will produce a deliverable appropriate to the focus of the cohort, for instance, a new or revised course component.

Depending on the topic area, participants may receive a grant from the Faculty Center. Calls for participation are announced in the lead-up to the beginning of fall and spring semesters.

Spring 2021 Programs

Faculty Teaching Squares

Teaching Squares projects are opportunities to learn by observing your peer faculty members on all aspects of teaching. They are intended to promote dialogue and self-reflection and are entirely non-evaluative.

See further details on our Teaching Squares page.

Applications are closed.

Contemplative Teaching Practices

Course Innovation Project

Tuesdays, 10:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m., 1/26, 2/16, 3/9, and 3/30, via Zoom

In an education environment overrun with pandemic pedagogy, how can instructors pause and reflect on their teaching, their students, and their classes? Our current circumstance necessitates teaching ‘survival’, but we are called to something more, something deeper. As teachers, we have a great responsibility to approach our classrooms with purpose and intentionality. Yet, we struggle to find the time, and frankly the energy, to engage in deep philosophical reflection about our role as an instructor and student learning. To address these concerns, the Faculty Center for Teaching & Learning is hosting a spring series for up to ten faculty members to adopt or create contemplative activities designed to deepen our own awareness, concentration, and insight. Participants will actively engage in practices that can be taken back to the classroom. In addition to experiencing the practices, we will discuss the literature on best practices and effective implementations.  

This CIP will address contemplative pedagogy and will provide participants with strategies to enhance student engagement. Specifically, participants will be part of a community who values a deep learning and reflective approach. During our time together, we will discuss instruction during a crisis and make sense of our current situation. In addition, we will reflect on the role of the instructor in meeting the current needs of our students. Finally, we will use contemplative pedagogy as an instructional framework and will design activities and applications that enhance deep learning in the classroom.  

Participants will receive a $200 grant for attending three of the four meetings and submitting a plan for innovating a future course with contemplative practices.

Applications are closed.

Synchronous Online Teaching

Faculty Working Group

Sponsored by the Center for Distributed Learning and the Faculty Center for Teaching and Learning

Mondays, 1:30–2:30 p.m., 1/25, 2/1, 2/8, 2/22, 3/1, 3/29, via Zoom

The pivot to remote teaching during the COVID crisis has revealed a shortage of field-tested, effective teaching practices and a corresponding gap in faculty training structures for effective synchronous online teaching and learning.  Of course, we anticipate an end to the current crisis and a general return to previous conditions, but we also envision a potentially continuing role for synchronous online teaching and learning now that faculty and students have gained experiences with this approach.

The Center for Distributed Learning (CDL) and the Faculty Center are seeking a group of faculty members with extensive experience in teaching across modalities and in faculty development. This program will combine elements of discipline-based educational research with course innovations toward the goals of 1) informing potential new/revised course modalities at UCF, 2) recommending structures for future faculty training initiatives, and 3) curating effective practices in synchronous online teaching. For those familiar with faculty development programs through the Faculty Center, this program will require more work and time from participants.

In addition to expanding their own knowledge base, participants will lay the foundations for a future advisory committee and make preliminary recommendations on future training models. Participants will be responsible for

  1. Codifying good practices for synchronous teaching anchored in the burgeoning literature but informed by faculty experience
  2. Making a consensus recommendation on whether UCF should pursue synchronous teaching and learning post-pandemic
  3. Making a consensus recommendation for how a post-pandemic, UCF-supported synchronous approach might fit within or supplement existing institutional structures (e.g., new modality or existing modality)
  4. Making recommendations for addressing synchronous teaching in new or existing faculty development programs and in institutional evaluation efforts
  5. Contributing to a review of enterprise-level learning platforms and associated technologies.

Participants will attend six meetings remotely during the Spring 2021 semester and will work individually and collaboratively to produce the above-listed four program deliverables by the end of the semester. Selection will be competitive based on the following criteria:

  1. Completeness of application,
  2. Experience teaching in multiple teaching modalities,
  3. Familiarity with existing UCF faculty training programs, and
  4. Familiarity with SoTL/DBER.

Up to ten participants will be selected and will receive a grant of $500.00 after completion of the program and submission of all program deliverables.

Approximate time commitment: 20–25 hours

  • 6 hours of synchronous meetings (via Zoom)
  • 6–8 hours of preparation time (reviewing literature and preparing for synchronous meetings)
  • 8–11 hours of time writing, reviewing, editing, and collaborating on deliverables.

Applications are closed.

Spring 2021 Faculty Center Book Club

Book Club

Wednesdays, 12:00–1:00 p.m., beginning 1/20 and ending 3/31, via Zoom

Facilitated by Patty Farless and Eric Main

This spring we will reprise Minds on Fire: How Role-Immersion Games Transform College by Mark C. Carnes (2014). Carnes offers a provocative critique of higher education and an impassioned appeal for innovation in teaching. This study is based on interviews with students and faculty who participated in the pedagogical innovation “Reacting to the Past,” which began at Barnard College (https://reacting.barnard.edu/). The focus of this book is student disengagement and how role-immersion pedagogy can channel students’ untapped energies for transformative learning experiences.

Participants will need to purchase a copy of the book https://www.amazon.com/Minds-Fire-Role-Immersion-Transform-College-ebook/dp/B00N79RDG0/.

Registration is closed.

Teaching and Learning in American Universities (J-1 scholar cohort)

Faculty Development Cohort

Thursdays, 9:30–11:00, 1/21, 2/4, 2/18, 3/4, 3/18, 4/1, and 4/22, via Zoom

Navigating in a new culture can be challenging, and even more challenging when you are confronted with varying approaches to teaching and learning. This cohort is designed for scholars on J-1 visas, or new international faculty members. Participants will learn about the culture of higher education in the United States, investigate effective teaching practices, such as engagement strategies, active learning, as well as available resources for faculty at UCF. Participants gain an understanding of the nuances of faculty life, from course design to assessment to delivery, all while traversing a new culture.

Applications are closed.

Past Programs

Fall 2020

Ever wonder “what’s the buzz” about Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL)? Have you ever pondered the ABCs of IRB?  Would you be interested in an opportunity to be a co-author on a SoTL research project? If these are the questions that keep you awake at night, then this Course Innovation Project is for you! Members of this cohort will work together on a joint SoTL project from start to finish. In the process, faculty members will learn how to create research questions, complete an IRB, explore journals committed to the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning as well as how to discuss this essential research with colleagues and contextualize it for award applications.

Learning and applying new technologies can be challenging; however, active learning via technological tools can help students to more effectively learn course concepts across all course modalities. Join us to learn about many technological tools that can revamp your courses. Each session will feature demonstrations of technological tools as well as practical examples of how faculty members have integrated the tools to enhance learning in their courses. Our last meeting will be the ALTT Faculty Showcase, where participants will demonstrate deliverables that they created during the ALTT CIP.

Has COVID-19 impacted your writing? Are you struggling to find time to write? Is your research being impacted? This 12-week workshop may be the solution you’ve been searching for!

Join like-minded faculty who are struggling to make time for research and writing in the midst of other professional and personal obligations.

Up to 12 faculty will work as a cohort to (a) reframe their approach to writing, (b) create a schedule and processes that prioritize writing and research, and (c) receive support and accountability to write/rewrite/revise existing research (conference paper, chapter, journal article, etc.) in only 12 weeks.

The workshop meets every other week, for up to 2 hours, remotely. Participants often include a variety of disciplines, offering unique peer-to-peer support and insight.

Spring 2020

The Faculty Center will offer a course re-design opportunity to integrate role-immersion activities to improve student engagement and learning. Faculty will participate in four sessions and work collaboratively to design a significant role-immersion project for a class. This may be a debate assignment, a mock trial, mock U.N., or other serious game designed to embed students more deeply in the subject while enhancing critical thinking and communication skills.  We will also be reading Minds on Fire: How Role-Immersion Games Transform College by Mark C. Carnes (2014). This study is based on interviews with students and faculty who participated in the pedagogical innovation “Reacting to the Past,” which began at Barnard College. Participants will receive a $300 grant upon successful completion of the project.

As educators, it is critical to adapt teaching approaches and strategies to meet the needs of changing student populations.  Today’s students are often referred to as the iGeneration; they are digital natives. They not only learn differently than students 10 years ago or 20 years ago, but they also engage in course content through different channels. To reach these learners it is essential to understand the unique set of characteristics this population brings to the classroom. It is also vital to rethink how we deliver content. We will address the characteristics of the iGen with special attention to their learning modalities. We will investigate the four pillars of the FLIPped ideology, how to apply them to your own courses, and key instructional technologies (Lightboard, WACOM, screencasting) that can be used to FLIP intentional content. The culminating project includes a FLIPped lesson and assessment measure.

Participants will receive a $300 grant upon successful completion of the project.

Navigating in a new culture can be challenging, and even more challenging when you are confronted with varying approaches to teaching and learning. This faculty cohort unpacks the culture behind higher education in the United States, investigates effective teaching practices, such as engagement strategies, active learning, 21st-century skills, and problem and project-based learning. Participants gain an understanding of the nuances of faculty life, from course design to assessment to delivery, all while traversing a new culture. Limited to J1 Scholars and Educators. Non-funded, certificate upon successful completion.

The purpose of this cohort is to enable STEM faculty and post-docs to produce a manuscript for submission to an academic journal. It is designed to foster a community of colleagues that will support participants in making time for research and writing in the midst of their other various professional and personal obligations. It is also designed to help participants make and meet weekly goals. Faculty writers will work over twelve weeks during the spring term to revise an existing piece of writing (conference paper, chapter, unpublished draft, etc.), to identify publishing venues, and to submit the finished product for publication. The workshops will be held on January 22, February 5, February 19, March 4, March 18, and April 1 from 10:00 – 12:00. Participants should be prepared to attend all six face-to-face meetings, to have regular online “check ins” with the workshop group, and, most importantly, to talk about their work with colleagues. Each participant will receive a copy of the Writing Your Journal Article in 12 Weeks book prior to the beginning of the workshop.

Fall 2019

As teachers, we must adapt our teaching strategies to different classes depending on class size, modality, student readiness, program placement, and many other factors. For students, their approaches to learning are influenced by a multitude of variables as well, and their study strategies are often inefficient or even maladaptive. In this workshop series, we will closely examine many factors that influence our approaches to teaching and our students’ approaches to learning, and we will devise strategies to better teach and to help our students better learn. Additionally, we will identify many research questions for potential SoTL studies related to these topics.

In order to receive the $500 grant, participants must participate in all four cohort meetings, submit a revised assignment that reflects integration of some of the principles we’ll be learning about, and submit a Canvas module with resources and activities that will help your students improve their approaches to learning.

Our meeting times are Tuesdays, 10:00–12:00 on September 10th, October 1st, October 22nd, and November 12th.

Active learning classrooms (ALCs) are flexible, student-centered spaces that facilitate the use of active learning strategies. Faculty on the downtown campus, where ALCs are the design of choice, may recognize the opportunities and challenges associated with teaching in ALCs. This flipped-format Course Innovation Project will address challenges through four important instructional practices that will be impacted by moving to an ALC: implementation of active learning pedagogies, management of physical space, methods of assessment, and adoption of instructional technologies. We will address these practices with special emphasis on the classroom spaces downtown (e.g., mobile tablet chairs and collaborative platforms like Intel Unite).

To receive the $500 grant, faculty must attend four cohort meetings, develop activities and assessments appropriate for use in an ALC that can be used for their course, and submit a (re)designed lesson plan that could be used in an ALC. The cohort will meet on Thursdays, September 12, October 3, October 24, and November 14 from 10:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m. on the downtown campus.

We will accept up to ten faculty members. Please register by September 5th at 5 p.m. Notifications of acceptance will be sent on Friday, September 6th.

The purpose of this cohort is to enable faculty to produce an article manuscript for submission to an academic journal. It is designed to help participants to make time for research and writing in the midst of their other various professional and personal obligations. It is also designed to help participants make and meet weekly goals. Faculty writers will work over twelve weeks during the spring term to revise an existing piece of writing (conference paper, chapter, unpublished draft, etc.), to identify publishing venues, and to submit the finished product for publication. The workshops will be held on September 11, September 25, October 9, October 23, November 6, and November 20 from 10:00 – 12:00. Participants should be prepared to attend all six face-to-face meetings, to have regular online “check ins” with the workshop group, and, most importantly, to talk about their work with colleagues. Each participant will receive a copy of the Writing Your Journal Article in 12 Weeks book prior to the beginning of the workshop.

This semester, we will be reading Connected Teaching: Relationship, Power, and Mattering in Higher Education (2019) by Harriet L. Schwartz. The book club will meet on Thursdays, noon to 1:00 p.m., from September 12th through November 14th. The first ten faculty to register will receive a free copy of the book.

At a time when many aspects of the faculty role are in question, Harriet Schwartz, the author of Connected Teaching, argues that the role of teachers is as important as ever and is evolving profoundly. She believes the relationships faculty have with individual students and with classes and cohorts are the essential driver of teaching and learning. Inspired by Relational-Cultural Theory, this book encourages teachers to deepen awareness of themselves and the transformative potential of teaching as relational practice.

If you are interested in participating, please send an e-mail to Eric.Main@ucf.edu.

For information about events prior to Fall 2019, please contact us at fctl@ucf.edu.