Fall 2011 Course Continuity in a Crisis (C3) Grants
Request for Proposals (RFP)
The Teaching with Technology (TWT) program offers $5,000 incentive grants to USC full-time faculty for the development of a one-week online assignment and preparatory activities within an actual USC course during the Fall 2011 semester. The primary goal of the C3 grants is to pilot various types of assignments and technologies for their effectiveness in supporting learning on an emergency basis and as a temporary replacement for face-to-face teaching.
The program is sponsored and funded by the Office of the Provost and based on the institutional imperative to ensure continuity of courses during a campus closure as outlined in Provost Garrett's October 5, 2010 memorandum Maintaining Your Classes in an Emergency.
The Center for Scholarly Technology staff will support instructors to create a remote assignment, and to choose and deploy appropriate technologies. Follow-up support will be provided throughout the implementation during the Fall 2011 semester.
EligibilityAll full-time members of the USC faculty who are teaching courses in the Fall 2011 semester are eligible to apply, including faculty with non-tenure-track appointments. Part-time, visiting faculty, and graduate teaching assistants are not eligible. Members of the proposal evaluation committee are not eligible to apply. Recipients must be faculty in good standing and in residence at USC during the award period. Awards are not transferable to other institutions.
Submitting a ProposalA key requirement for participation in the grant program is attendance at a one-day orientation/training session during the week of either August 8 or August 15, 2011. Please take this commitment into consideration when you submit your proposal.
All applicants are required to use the online submission form.
The submission deadline is 6:00 PM on Monday, July 25, 2011. Grant awards will be announced on or before Friday, August 5, 2011. For additional information about the grant program or the application process, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Assumptions about a Hypothetical Campus Closure
For the purpose of piloting online assignments, the following assumptions will be made about the "emergency" conditions:
- The University has formally announced a campus closure
- Students will have power and internet access and be able to work remotely.
- Students will not be able to meet face-to-face.
- The Blackboard LMS (Learning Management System) will be up and running.
Assignments and Technologies
- How will you adapt a course assignment to create a project students could execute off-site?
- How will that assignment fulfill course and disciplinary learning goals?
- How will students connect to each other and the instructor, get feedback and understand their progress?
- How will you evaluate the assignment?
The types of assignments that instructors might propose include:
- Data collection, analysis and publication or presentation
- 'Citizen' journalism, interviewing, editing and reporting
- Audio-visual documentation/production, and multimedia resource sharing
- Online discussion and commentary
The types of technologies that the CST will help grant recipients to use include:
- Synchronous audio and video conferencing (e.g. Adobe Connect, Skype, etc.)
- Collaboration, document and file sharing, online discussion and peer review tools (e.g. Google Docs, Blackboard Groups and Discussion Boards, VoiceThread, etc.)
- A publishing platform (e.g. Blogger.com, Twitter, Posterous, etc.)
- Video and multimedia hosting platforms (e.g. YouTube, Flickr, etc.)
- Social media and networked resource sharing (e.g. Delicious)
Implementing the Online Assignment
- Instructors must begin using the technologies that will support the online assignment during the first 30 days of the semester (e.g. Instructors could use web-based video conferencing for office hours or encourage online peer review of an assignment).
- Instructors must replace face-to-face instruction with the remote assignment during the Fall 2011 semester after the first 30 days.
- Instructors must use Blackboard for some part of the remote assignments (e.g. Instructors might require students to submit assignments, share documents, or use the groups feature to collaborate on the assignment).
- The online assignment must fulfill existing course learning goals.
- Instructors agree to attend a one-day assignment-building and technology workshop during the week of August 8, 2011 or August 15, 2011.
- An online assignment that resembles existing course assignments reduces the need for extra communication and coaching about a new assignment type.
- Assignments that build in formative assessment by requiring timely and periodic feedback by both peers and instructors help offsite students achieve assignment goals.
- Assignments that require student online collaboration and/or peer-review build social connections among students and help them practice problem-solving skills.
- Assignments that benefit the larger community could have "real world" value in the case of an actual emergency and provide students with a valuable service learning experience.
- For example, an assignment that involves collecting and analyzing atmospheric data, might contribute to "real world" problem resolution or recovery efforts being conducted by experts.
- Similarly, interviewing witnesses and publishing witness accounts provides documentation of the impact of an emergency situation and the progress of recovery efforts.
- Instructors agree to meet all grant requirements.
- Instructors agree to collaborate in administering a survey to students shortly after the remote assignment is completed.
- Instructors agree to complete a survey and provide a brief report on grant outcomes, including samples of student work.
- If requested, instructors agree to present at a USC sponsored event about the results of their grant within one year of the completion of the grant.
- Instructors agree to permit USC to post their course assignment and grant report on a publicly accessible website or repository.
Evaluation and Selection of Proposals
A panel of USC faculty and information technology staff will evaluate the proposals. Selection criteria include:
- The degree to which the proposal matches the grant's goals and requirements
- The degree to which the offsite assignment lends itself to service learning in the case of an actual crisis
- The likelihood of success based on the instructor's demonstrated track record of pedagogical or technological experimentation or other project-oriented success
- The breadth of disciplines represented and variety of course sizes and types
Preference will be given to undergraduate courses, but graduate courses will be considered as they support the grant goals, such as disciplinary breadth.
The Center for Scholarly Technology will announce a second call for proposals in October 2011 for grants to be implemented during the Spring 2012 semester.