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Faculty Development Resources: TEACHING & LEARNING RESEARCH GRANTS

Faculty research grants combine and replace previous OARS and DIVERSITY initiatives.

Research Grants to Support Teaching and Learning Excellence

Faculty research grants are available to all faculty who are interested in researching best teaching and learning practices in their classroom and have been teaching at Otis for at least one year.

The goal is to encourage faculty research in arts pedagogy and assessment, to improve student learning, teaching strategies with diverse students, and to serve as a teaching resource for colleagues. Such research activities also serve as Contributions to the College in the faculty advancement system. This initiative seeks to build faculty knowledge and capacity in teaching effectiveness. Projects should promote best teaching and learning practices at Otis College. As Chase, et al. (2014) argue, the scholarship and practice of assessment in the creative disciplines is “at an exciting stage of development as leaders attempt to provide evidence-based arguments for the relevance of the creative disciplines and simultaneously articulate and address some of the challenges of assessment in the creative disciplines.

Throughout the academic year, stipends will be granted to faculty members of all ranks in support of classroom and programmatic research that leads to recommendations for improvements in teaching and learning through specific teaching and learning assessment practices. The recommendations should also draw on the scholarship in those areas. The faculty research projects can serve as examples for future faculty research, encourage faculty to become involved in further developing their teaching and related assessment practices, and support faculty members’ interests in the scholarship of teaching and learning.

Process to Apply and Receive Funding

Grants of $500-1,000 are available

Deadline for submission: October 21, 2019

To Apply:

Requests will be reviewed and recommended for funding by the Assessment Committee. Final coordination and support for proposals will be fulfilled by the Provost and Associate Provost for Assessment and Accreditation.

Successful applications will address the research grant proposal rubric.


Completion of Research

Reports should cite current research from the literature of assessment (Debra Ballard will advise), and should include what the faculty member learned and recommends for improved teaching at Otis, and beyond.

Faculty will report on the research and its findings in a format appropriate for dissemination (publication).

Funds will be dispersed after reports are submitted and published.

Focus for 2019-20: Curricular Diversity and/or The Critique-

Focus: Fall 2019 - Spring 2020: The Critique and/or Diversity.

The critique is an essential and enduring art and design signature pedagogy and assessment. The pervasive crit, occurring in a myriad of forms, has been recognized as a powerful authentic learning tool. It has also been criticized as a subjective and stressful format for arts learning and assessment. Unlike many other theories of learning and assessment, comparatively little educational research or literature exists on the critique. In a time when many teaching strategies are being challenged and redesigned for increasing student diversity, the critique is a potentially rich yet contended area to reconsider with possible transfer value to other disciplines.

More on Critique

Proposals for research particularly focused on educating an increasingly diverse, changing, global student population are encouraged.

More Information

Previous Diversity Grant Program

Previous OARS Program (including faculty reports)

Readings on Critique

Readings on Assessment

Link to AICAD Conference - Coming soon

Ideas for Classroom Research Projects

What are students’ perceptions of a critique? Do they differ from the instructor’s? What are the effective (and ineffective) critique practices?

What are the strengths and weaknesses of the critique?

What types of critiques are there and which are generally most successful for diverse student populations?

How could the critique be reimagined in the context of diversity, equity, and inclusion?

How can the critique become a place where the values and principles of diversity, equity, and inclusion thrive?

What are the features of the critique be included in the category of High Impact Practices (Practices that have been proven to support learning of underrepresented students)?

What are good practices in a critique for students who are non-native speakers?

How does the critique capture the process as well as the product?

How can student agency be promoted in the critique?

What are the implications of critique that is grounded in language but usually about a nonverbal artifact?

How does culture play a part in critique?

How is a critique what Donald Schon calls “reflection-in-action?”

Does a grading rubric (or clearly articulated and weighted criteria) enhance the level or effectiveness in the process of critique?

How can student attributes such as risk-taking and creativity be productively assessed in the critique?

What kinds of feedback works best for students in the critique, and why?

The critique as assessment: how to measure and chronicle the positive effects of effective critical discourse with students.

What are the essential features of a critique done in the middle of work (formative) and at the completion (summative)?

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