Information Technology Services

2021 Summer Faculty Development Institute

Summer FDI:  Grand Challenges and Race, Power and Privilege Course Incubator

This annual Summer FDI promotes teaching renewal, risk taking, and excellence in the classroom while working collaboratively in a community of practice. The Institute supports faculty members who are committed to broadening their teaching and curriculum development skills. This multi-day workshop runs this summer from June 18-July 1. Participating faculty will commit to either significantly revamp or develop a new course with a goal of offering it in the Academic Year (AY) 2021-22 or AY 22-23. There are three tracks available in the Incubator faculty can choose from:

  • Silver Linings
  • Grand Challenges
  • Race, Power, and Privilege

Silver Linings: We invite faculty who discovered "Silver Linings" in their teaching and learning environments due to the pandemic to explore in small cohorts how to bring these “lessons learned” back to the physical classroom.

Grand Challenges and/or Race, Power, and Privilege: Participating faculty members work collaboratively to develop courses that promote “big thinking” around two key aspects of the new general education reform: courses that help students understand large and complex societal challenges and courses that focus on race, power, and privilege. These courses are profoundly valuable to the Union College community and will enrich the Union curriculum, regardless of the outcome of general education. Faculty developing a Grand Challenge or Race, Power, and Privilege course will have opportunity to apply for a course development stipend.

The Incubator is designed to nurture ideas, not grow them to completion. It is a safe and fun place to begin thinking about a new course or revising an existing course. Ongoing Instructional Design consulting is available throughout the academic year to further develop the course.

Up to 15 faculty will be selected through application to participate weekdays from June 18-July 1st, with 1-3 hours of meetings each day (presenting ideas, providing feedback, and one on one consultations). Faculty selected can receive a technology stipend for a new 64 GB 10.9" iPad Air, Apple Pencil 2, and keyboard case, instructional design assistance during and after the FDI.

Faculty can apply to develop individual or team taught courses. These faculty will work with their faculty colleagues and in consultations with instructional designers and technologists and with staff at the College for help with writing instruction, digital scholarship, library use, making, diversity and inclusion considerations and much more. Faculty applying to team teach together will receive privileged application status. Faculty who plan to develop a team taught course should submit a single summer FDI application.

Courses developed in the incubator will benefit from:

  • Using a design thinking process to rapidly prototype the curriculum
  • Studio methodology where faculty frequently present and critique each other’s work
  • Consultations from Joe Johnson (integrating writing), Jennifer Grayburn (library/digital scholarship), Cole Belmont (making), Deidre Butler (Diversity/Inclusion), etc.
  • Technology integration support from ITS
  • Facilitation and Instructional design coaching

Participating faculty will receive:

  • Assistance designing or renewing a course
  • 10.9-inch iPad Air Wi-Fi 64GB - Silver, Apple Pencil 2, keyboard case*
  • FDI books (relevant to project)
  • Instructional Design assistance during/after FDI

    *ITS/College supported tablet alternatives available–see proposal for more details. Equipment is college-owned property for you to use while you are an active employee with the College

Additional Activities and Resources after the FDI completes:

  • Ongoing Instructional Design consulting throughout academic year
  • Opportunity to apply for a course development stipend
  • Opportunity to continue conversations in a faculty study group around the Teaching & Learning in the Diverse Classrooms through a series of workshops throughout the next academic year (funded by HHMI grant and led by Dr. Deidre Hill Butler)

What is the format and expectation for participation?

Virtual participation is expected June 18–July 1, with 1–3 hours of Zoom meetings each work day (presenting work, providing feedback to others, 1:1 consultations). A poll will be sent out to participants in early June to coordinate the best time to schedule Zoom meetings. Note: As you will have 1:1 consultations with experts, the times may not be the same.

2021 FDI Format and Expectations

Who should apply?

There are no technical prerequisites to participating in this year's Summer FDI. Faculty interested in designing and developing a team taught course are strongly encouraged to apply. We welcome and are counting on a mix of skills and talents: technical and non-technical; creative and logical. We will be working together in the Institute to learn from each other, try out new ideas, and produce equitable, engaging, and meaningful learning experiences. Come contribute to and enjoy a positive learning environment where participants are active, constructive, social, and respectful of individual contributions and ideas, while working through authentic, real-world tasks and challenges.

We do ask participants to be open-minded, flexible, reflective, and willing to talk and actively listen, or come with a willingness to develop these aspects over the course of the summer FDI. In other words, bring your growth mindset!

How do I apply for the summer 2021 FDI for Teaching With Technology

Applications closed on Friday, May 28 2021.

When are applications due?

Applications closed Friday, May 28, 2021.

Questions about the FDI? Please contact Denise Snyder, Director of Learning Technologies & Environments. We look forward to an exciting summer learning, innovating, and creating with you!

Interested, but want to hear more?

Here are some actual quotes from past participants about their experience in the FDI:

I've learned more about teaching and pedagogy in the last two years through the FDI, than the previous ten. The facilitators provide evidenced based strategies that really work in the classroom and increase student engagement. I would recommend attending multiple FDI, as that creates a scaffolding learning environment for teaching. The first year is filled with overwhelming possibilities, but as you implement various strategies in your classroom, you attend the next FDI with a more targeted approach. Holli Frey, Professor of Geology

There was something for everyone! This was an excellent way to hear about a variety of new learning technologies and strategies. Some I was ready for, others were beyond me, but now I have a good sense about the resources available on campus. I was amazed that they are almost all also linked to Nexus so that students can find everything from that single source. Jill Salvo, Associate Professor of Biological Sciences

Almost any faculty member would benefit from this course, which is thought-provoking and provides both theoretical and practical advice for innovative teaching. Mark Walker, Professor of History

What I have learned in the FDI is invaluable. The FDI has helped me better grasp the nature of effective learning. It also offered me the opportunity to identify and address aspects and areas in my own teaching, which weren't helping students achieve the desired goal. I feel far more prepared to engage my students in more effective learning opportunities. Erika Nelson Mukherjee, Associate Professor of German Studies

Just as our students struggled with finding and sustaining community online, we do, too! The FDI reminded me, in really productive ways, that we belong to lots of communities of support. Jennifer Mitchell, Assistant Professor of English

I think the program will help me to refresh courses that I felt were getting stale. Joyce Madancy, Professor of History

However you teach now, the FDI will open your eyes to teaching ideas that are probably new to you. Doug Klein, Professor of Economics

The thing I love most about being an educator is the constant challenge to engage students who come into a class with such varied skills and background knowledge. After this workshop, I feel more confident about trying new techniques and technology to (hopefully) inspire more of my students to push themselves, take risks and think creatively. Barbara Danowski, Professor of Biology

It made me think about teaching in new ways. Helen Hanson, Associate Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering

If you are in a pedagogical rut, or looking to take a new direction with your courses, the readings and workshop discussions in FDI offer excellent ways to shake up your routine and develop alternate ways of thinking about the elements of teaching and student learning. Kara Doyle, Associate Professor of English

High-impact, high-quality teaching practices that will make your courses the most sought-after on campus. Megan Ferry, Professor of Chinese

The FDI is about collaboration. It's an opportunity for individual faculty members to think through their teaching as part of a well informed, experienced, and supportive group of like-minded teachers. Joe Johnson, Director of Writing Programs

I highly recommend the FDI to colleagues who are interested in learning about and discussing innovative teaching strategies at the intersections of technology and pedagogy. If only one could participate every year! Kristin Bidoshi, Associate Professor of Russian

Sessions provided a great opportunity to recharge and refresh my teaching strategies. Tim Olsen, Professor of Music