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QEP Course Revision Grants

This grant is part of Trinity's Quality Enhancement Plan "Starting Strong: Intentional Strategies for Improving First-Year Student Successes."

Grant Details

Grant Amount: $500                                                       

Grant Duration: One semester      

Grant Resources: A bibliography of some relevant scholarship on research-based, best practices for first-year pedagogy can be requested by emailing Katherine Troyer. Small-group workshops may also be offered, upon interest, through the Collaborative regarding this grant opportunity, the QEP, and first-year pedagogy.          

Grant Stipulations

1) Starting Strong QEP course revision grants can only be awarded to faculty who teach lower-division  courses with a significant number or proportion of first-year students.

2) Grant applicants are expected to meet with a staff member of the Collaborative for Learning and Teaching prior to proposal submission; discussions may focus on research on first-year pedagogy, the Starting Strong objectives, and the grant application process.

3) Grant proposals must be submitted at least 4 weeks prior to the start of the proposed revised course.

Grant Objectives

Grants will be awarded to instructors whose course revision narrative and accompanying revised course syllabus illustrate the incorporation of and support for two objectives of the QEP:

  1. First-year students will be able to assess their academic performance by the fifth week of class to identify areas that need improvement; and
  2. Faculty who teach introductory courses will incorporate research-based, pedagogical practices that offer concrete activities or deliverables that support student success.

Preference will be given to applications that achieve both objectives.

Grant Proposal Requirements

  • A brief description (150 words or fewer) of the course to be revised.
  • A proposed timeline for implementing the course revision.
  • A course revision narrative (250 words or fewer) detailing how the following will transparently meet the Starting Strong objectives listed above:
    • the inclusion of concrete activities/deliverables,
    • explicitly-crafted course structure, and/or
    • pedagogical practices

 A course syllabus must also be included with the grant proposal and must include: basic course and instructor information, course goals/class methodology, student learning outcomes and how they will be measured, description of evaluation procedures, preview of class activities and assignments, and any other course policies.

Course Revision Guidelines

There are a number of guidelines that instructors can follow to ensure that a course supports proven strategies for (first-year) student success. The attached course syllabus should illustrate attention to these guidelines and, when appropriate, the course revision narrative should address why the course is not adhering to one or more of the following:  

  • No single assignment/assessment should be worth more than 30% of the course grade.
  • At least one major assignment/assessment (worth no less than 10% of the final course grade) should demonstrate scaffolding techniques.
  • Both high-stakes and low-stakes activities should be incorporated.
  • Discussion in the first week of the course goals, the methodology of the class, and how the student learning outcomes will be measured.
  • Over the course of the semester, there should be some variety in the types of assignments/assessments assigned to help measure a diversity of skills and abilities.
  • Efforts should be made to include a range of pedagogical practices, delivery of information, and class activities.

Grant Recipient Duties

In addition to teaching the course according to the proposed revisions, grant recipients will also be expected to:

  1. Participate in the QEP assessment, possibly including the Early Alert system and a student self-assessment.
  2. Include assignments and/or assessments scheduled early enough in the term that students can receive both grades and feedback by the 5th week of the course to help them assess their academic performance.
  3. Complete structured mid-semester feedback (conducted either by the instructor or through a facilitator from the Collaborative) wherein they receive responses from students currently in the redesigned course.
  4. Submit a brief report (250 words or fewer) at the end of the term (no later than 4 weeks after final grades have been submitted) outlining the extent to which the Starting Strong objectives were realized as a result of the course revision process.