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Each year the Faculty Center selects between 30 and 50 full-time faculty members to participate in a 2½-day on-campus conference at the end of the fall semester. Each funded faculty member joins a cohort of colleagues from departments across campus to make a prepared presentation about professional practice related to the conference theme, attend workshops, and engage in think tank sessions. The event features some elements of a typical academic conference and other elements similar to a working retreat.

Selected faculty members who attend all sessions and submit the required deliverables receive a grant subject to normal withholding tax. The call for proposals typically goes out in mid-October.

2020 Winter Faculty Development Conference

The Faculty Center welcomes faculty proposals for the 2020 Winter Faculty Development Conference on December 14th and 15th. This year’s theme is “Addressing the Teaching Challenges of 2020.”

The world looks different than it did a year ago. In March of this year, the COVID-19 pandemic forced drastic lifestyle changes across the nation as residents, municipalities, and states restricted movement, donned masks, and socially distanced to slow the spread of the new coronavirus. In May, with George Floyd’s tragic death in Minneapolis, the nation plunged into deep scrutiny about of the racism in our society. As we grapple with our response to these events at a personal level, we are also challenged to respond to them in our pedagogy. The sudden transition to fully remote teaching in the spring, in particular, and the continuation of many fall classes in remote or hybrid modalities has meant for many of us the need to completely overhaul our toolbox of teaching techniques.

The goal of this year’s Winter Conference is to cull our collective experiences in addressing these challenges, and share teaching strategies that we’ve tested in our own classes. To do that, we are asking faculty who wish to attend the conference to submit a formal description of a teaching strategy appropriate to that purpose.

Teaching strategies could address, for example, promoting engagement among remote students in BlendFlex classes; assessments techniques that minimize academic dishonesty in online classes; collaborative exercises for remote classes; assignments that promote engagement in large online classes; inclusive teaching exercises in remote environments; exercises that promote civil discussion, intellectual humility, and/or perspective taking in the midst of viewpoint diversity; introductory exercises to acclimate students to using Zoom and Panopto; and so on. Strategies can take the form of a document or a demonstration video. Strategies will be featured in virtual poster sessions posted to the Winter Conference webcourse, and presenters will be available in scheduled break-out sessions to take questions. Strategy documents and videos will then be stored in a new repository of teaching strategies on the Faculty Center website.

Approximately 75 faculty members will be selected to receive funding to participate in two days of remote sessions. Each funded faculty member will join a cohort of colleagues from across campus, prepare a document or video describing a teaching strategy related to the theme to be posted to the conference website (and later to an FCTL repository); attend a poster session to answer questions about their teaching; and engage in small group sessions about current campus issues. Funded faculty participants are expected to attend all sessions on each of the two days. All UCF faculty and staff are welcome to attend plenary portions of the event.

Proposal Criteria
Each applicant for funding may choose one of two types of submission:

  • a formal document of approximately 600 to 1000 words plus a linked example describing their teaching strategy, OR
  • a proposal of approximately 450 words to create a brief video demonstrating the teaching strategy.

Proposals will be reviewed using the following criteria:

  1. relevance to conference theme of “Addressing the Teaching Challenges of 2020.”
  2. Quality, completeness, and clarity of presentation description

Among proposals that meet the above criteria, new faculty members will be given special consideration.

Deliverables

  1. Participants will provide a document or video describing their teaching strategy to be posted on the conference virtual poster session along with facilitation of Q & A about the poster at an assigned time slot.
  2. By the end of the Winter Conference, faculty participants will identify one new teaching strategy from the conference and turn in a plan to implement in one of their classes the following semester.
  3. Participants agree to submit a post-implementation report by the end of the spring semester that describes the results of the implementation of the new teaching strategy.
  4. Participants will fill out the post-conference evaluation questionnaire at the end of the conference.

Please note:

  • Registration is for individuals only, not groups.
  • Selected faculty members who attend all sessions and submit the required deliverables will receive a $300 grant subject to normal withholding tax.
  • Participants will be expected to attend the entire conference to receive payment. Those who cannot attend all sessions on both days are welcome to participate in as much of the conference as they are able but will not be eligible for funding. This includes those who must miss to complete any other university business.
  • Proposals are due at 5 p.m. on November 9, 2020.
  • Final decisions on acceptance will be provided to all applicants by November 20, 2020.

The conference will occur from 8:15 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on December 14 and from 8:15 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. on December 15. Parts of the conference will take place synchronously; others can by completed asynchronously. Please confirm your availability for full remote participation on both days before applying. For the sake of parents with school-age children at home, no synchronous activities will take place before 9:30 a.m.