Undergraduate Teaching and Learning Improvement grants announced

Provost Robert C. Bates has announced that 14 proposals have received grants amounting to $300,000 as part of the undergraduate teaching and learning quality improvement initiative begun in early February as part of efforts to implement the first goal of the university’s Strategic Plan “to offer the best undergraduate experience in a research university. Faculty submitted 38 proposals for grants up to $25,000. Proposals were evaluated based upon their ability to clearly demonstrate how evidence of student learning will be gathered and used to change teaching and learning practices with priority given to those that focused on department or programwide efforts.

Originally $100,000 was dedicated to this initiative. The number and quality of the proposals submitted was so impressive that the Provost, upon the recommendation of evaluation committee and in close cooperation with the WSU Foundation, approved an additional $200,000 from nonstate funds to provide additional grants for excellent proposals that would not have been funded under the amount originally allocated.

“It is not the intent of these grants to be a one-time event,” said Doug Baker, vice provost for academic affairs. “Plans are being developed and funding identified to ensure this process continues on an annual basis. Over time it is our intent to encourage programs, departments, schools, and interdisciplinary teams to use evidence about the quality of the undergraduate learning experience as the basis for revamping curriculum and or teaching practices.”

The following is a list of the grant recipients and topics.

• “Improving Undergraduate Business Education and Business School National Ranking Through Outcome-Based Feedback.” Project Leaders Joseph C. Montgomery, David J. Lemak, and Richard Reed.
• “Defining, Measuring, and Improving Students’ Quantitative Reasoning.” Project Leaders Lisa Morris and Claudia M. Pacioni.
• “Developing a Holistic Learning Community Model in Science, Mathematics, Engineering and Technology Education.” Project Leaders Greg Crouch, Denny Davis, and Matt Hudelson.
• “Improvement of Writing Tutorial Assistance for WSU English as a Second Language Students.” Project Leader, Randal Leek.
• “Improving Research Skills for the Information Age.” Project Leader, Beth Lindsay.
• “Service Learning Program Enhancement 2003 – 2004.” Project Leader, Melanie Brown.
• “Outcome-Based Evaluation of the Interdisciplinary Teacher Education Program.” Project Leader, Ed Helmstetter.
• “Development of an Advanced Hands-On Cooperative Learning Curriculum for Chemical Engineering 332, Fluid Mechanics and Heat Transfer.” Project Leader, Bernie Van Wie.
• “Extending the Clinical Proficiency Exam: Deeper Assessment and Deeper Reform.” Project Leaders Rick Debowes and James Lincoln.
• “Seminar Teams: Introducing Critical Thinking Pedagogy into Large, Introductory Biology Courses.” Project Leader, K. V. Kardong.
• “Linking Student Evaluations and Learning Outcomes.” Project Leader, Vicki McCracken.
• “Creating a Clinical Computing Culture.” Project Leaders Carla Jones and Sally Johnston.
• “Developing an Assurance of Learning Plan for the Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration.” Project Leader, Joseph Cote.
• “Improving Teaching and Learning in the Undergraduate Hospitality Curriculum.” Project Leaders Dogan Gursoy and Nancy Swanger.

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