Home » FaCE Grants Support Research and Workshops Aimed at Improving Curricula, Teaching, and Student Learning

FaCE Grants Support Research and Workshops Aimed at Improving Curricula, Teaching, and Student Learning

FaCE Grants Support Research and Workshops Aimed at Improving Curricula, Teaching, and Student Learning February 23, 2010

The impact of student social networks on classroom participation and student learning, the development of a multi-disciplinary high-performance computing consortium, the internationalizing of the psychology curriculum, and exploration of a field-based earth and environmental science program at the Geological Observatory of Coldigioco (OGC) in Italy are among the compelling collaborations funded in the most recent FaCE grant cycle.

More than 30 faculty recently received grants from the ACM Faculty Career Enhancement (FaCE) Project to support a wide range of workshops and research projects, all of which are aimed at harnessing the power of collaboration to enhance teaching and learning at ACM colleges.

“The enthusiasm for collaborative work demonstrated in the FaCE Project shows that ACM faculty members see real benefit in working together.”

John Ottenhoff,

ACM Vice President

The ten grants, which were awarded to small groups of faculty, were selected by the FaCE Steering Committee from among 20 proposals submitted.

“The quality and imagination of the proposals in this cycle was impressive,” said ACM Vice President John Ottenhoff. “Although the committee couldn’t fund all the excellent proposals it received, the enthusiasm for collaborative work demonstrated in the FaCE Project shows that ACM faculty members see real benefit in working together.”

Supported by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, FaCE provides funds for collaborative research projects and events that strengthen curricula, teaching, and student learning outcomes at ACM colleges. Through FaCE activities, ACM faculty and administrators build networks – both across campuses and across disciplines – and develop innovative and effective teaching practices and tools.

“The consortium continues to greatly appreciate the generosity of The Mellon Foundation,” Ottenhoff said, “and we believe that the impact of the collaborative work sponsored by the Foundation will be felt through all our colleges and through the higher education community.”

About 250 faculty and administrators from ACM colleges are expected to participate in the research projects, workshops, and conferences funded in this cycle of FaCE grants. The ripple effect of this work will continue, though, as the results of the projects are posted online to serve as resources for the ACM colleges and the higher education community nationally.

Coldigioco, ItalyView of Coldigioco, Italy, where the “Earth and the Environment in Italy” workshop will be held.

ACM has partnered with the Science Education Resource Center (SERC) at Carleton College to provide online resources for disseminating the curricula, course modules, teaching assignments, research reports, continuing collaborations, bibliographies, databases, and other products of these FaCE-funded projects. The organizers of each project will create a webpage in the ACM FaCE Project section of the SERC website to distribute materials to participants and then build a repository of resource materials generated by the project.

For example, Cameron Davidson (Carleton College) and Laura Cleaveland Peterson (Luther College), who are organizing the “Earth and the Environment in Italy” workshop in June, created a webpage with complete information about the workshop, a registration form, and a place for participants to submit a field-based teaching activity they have used with students.

Projects awarded FaCE grants

The ten projects awarded FaCE grants in the fall 2009 funding cycle are listed below. More details about the projects are on the FaCE webpage.

  • The Creation of Short-Term International Study Courses – Faculty from Colorado College and Cornell College are collaborating to teach a short-term off-campus course in Japan and to develop online resources to help other faculty interested in teaching such a course.
  • Developing a High Performance Computing (HPC) Consortium for Multi-Disciplinary Applications on ACM Campuses – A workshop to explore possibilities for a shared high-speed computing system across ACM campuses.
  • Developing Student Agency Through Community Exploration, Reflection, and Engagement – Research and a workshop to develop learning experiences that will challenge first-year students to actively engage with the community surrounding their campuses.
  • Earth and the Environment in Italy – Faculty from a variety of science disciplines will explore the possibility of a field-based Earth and Environmental Science off-campus study program based at the Geological Observatory of Coldigioco (OGC) in Italy.
  • Finding Our Way: Strategies for Internationalizing Undergraduate Psychology – A workshop for psychology faculty to network, share ideas, and develop strategies for internationalizing psychology curricula, both through study abroad and conventional classroom experiences.
  • First-Year Learning Outcomes and Their Assessment – Faculty will collaborate across academic disciplines to create student learning outcomes and ways to measure those outcomes directly in first-year seminar courses.
  • The Impact of Student Social Networks on Classroom Participation, Student Learning, and Student Satisfaction – Research to explore the impact of students’ social networks with one another on the students’ class participation, satisfaction with courses, and academic success.
  • Information Literacy in the Foreign Languages: A Collaborative Workshop Exploration – A workshop for librarians and faculty to discuss assignments, lab activities, and other learning opportunities that integrate information literacy with the study of language, literature, and culture.
  • Integrating Sustainability into the Undergraduate Curriculum – Faculty from a variety of disciplines will develop resources for teaching introductory courses in which students explore the interplay between the social, economic and environmental needs of current and future generations.
  • Linguistics Programs in Undergraduate Education – Linguistics faculty will discuss the best design for an undergraduate linguistics major at a liberal arts college and how to design courses and utilize staffing to meet the needs of students in a linguistics major or minor.

FaCE grants are awarded in two cycles each year, in the spring and the fall. Proposals for the spring 2010 round are due April 1. See the FaCE webpage for complete information about applying for a grant.


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