Call for Applications: Designing for Student Success Faculty Learning Community

Overview

Faculty are invited to apply to participate during spring semester and fall semester 2019 in the Design for Student Success Faculty Learning Community. Those accepted will participate in a pilot project to explore how intentional course designs focused on student success, in combination with smart use of technology (in particular, Blackboard’s Retention Center), can be used to support students who may be considering leaving the university without achieving their educational objectives. The pilot project is a joint effort of the Center for Teaching and Learning, the IDEA Shop, and Learning Technology Solutions, with assistance from the Advising and Academic Support Center and eCampus. Its primary goal is to engage faculty in designing courses that help students succeed and that leverage tools and strategies for early identification of struggling students and for timely intervention to help them succeed. An additional goal is to develop processes and workflows to create a full system of support for struggling students (for example, handoffs from faculty to the Advising and Academic Support Center, Blackboard support, or other relevant campus agency).

Faculty in the FLC will assist the project’s principal investigators in determining how technology, course design, and early intervention can help students to develop a sense of belonging and can contribute to both student success and student retention. In particular, the project will focus on students with the following characteristics:

  • first in their family to attend college (first-generation students)
  • eligible for Pell grants
  • living off campus

Design choices that are likely to help these students are also likely to benefit other students, as well.

Activities of the Faculty Learning Community

In pursuit of the goals described above, faculty will participate in the Faculty Learning Community as a cohort, completing the following activities:

  • Attend seven mandatory cohort meetings during spring semester 2019. Some of these meetings will enable participants to explore Blackboard’s Retention Center and other technological tools. Other meetings will be work sessions devoted to effective assignment design, supporting student’s metacognition skills, strategies for generating early alerts of struggling students, and development of effective strategies for intervention, including boilerplate language to be used in communicating with students.
  • All meetings are scheduled for 10:30 to 11:45 AM in RFH 301 on the following Wednesdays: January 30, February 13, February 27, March 13, March 27, April 10, and April 24, 2019
  • Develop a plan for incorporating use of the Retention Center and other strategies in one or more classes to help provide support for struggling students in fall semester 2019.
  • Contribute to the development of boilerplate language for communicating with students during various types of interventions.
  • Contribute to the development of processes and workflows to create a full system of support for struggling students.
  • Provide the principal investigators with “before and after” data about student success and student retention.
  • Respond to a survey at the end of the semester to assess your satisfaction with the experience of being part of a Faculty Learning Community and to assess your perception of the value of that experience.

Goals of the Faculty Learning Community

After participating in this Learning Community, faculty will be able to do the following:

  • Identify ways to proactively intervene to increase student retention in their courses.
  • Describe the importance of course design that supports intervention, retention, and equitable learning.
  • Explore and reflect on methods for incorporating transparency into course design.
  • Demonstrate course design elements and strategies that meets the unique needs of most students, including those in the target population.
  • Use Blackboard and the Retention Center effectively and efficiently.
  • Identify resources around campus that can be of assistance in retaining students and with intervention.
  • Describe how principles of Universal Design for Learning can support efforts to engage and retain students.
  • Develop such tools as workflows and boilerplate language that can be used to improve student success and retention rates in the target student population.
  • Share ideas about course design and implementation with peers.

Eligibility

All Boise State instructors are eligible to apply to participate, including adjunct faculty, lecturers, and tenure-track faculty.

Financial Support

Each participant in the Faculty Learning Community will receive a stipend of $600, paid as supplemental salary ($300 for one semester of planning and $300 for one semester of implementation).

Application Process and Deadline

To apply, complete this application form before 5:00 PM on December 5, 2018.

Selection Criteria

Only a limited number of faculty can be selected to participate in the Faculty Learning Community. Your application will be judged, in part, on the strength and thoroughness of your answers to the questions on the application form. However, our selection of faculty will also be guided by our desire to assemble a Faculty Learning Community with members from a variety of disciplines and colleges, as well as members of various faculty rank (professor, assistant professor, associate professor, adjunct, etc.).

Preference will be given to faculty who are teaching large-enrollment classes attended by students who share the following characteristics:

  • first in their family to attend college (first-generation students)
  • eligible for Pell grants
  • living off campus

Sponsorship

This program is supported and funded by the Center for Teaching and Learning and Learning Technology Solutions.

Questions?

Please direct any questions to Kevin Wilson, IDEA Shop Instructional Design Consultant (kwilson@boisestate.edu).