What is learning-centered instruction?
Learning-centered instruction “emphasizes a variety of different method types that shift the role of instructors from givers of information to facilitators of student learning or creators of an environment for learning. In learning-centered teaching, the instructor focuses on what students are learning, how they are learning, and how they can use the learning.”(1)
1Blumber, Phyllis. 2009. Developing Learner-Centered Teaching: A Practical Guide for Faculty. John Wiley & Sons, INc: Page 3 from Weimer, Maryellen. 2002. Learner-Centered Teaching: Five Key Changes to Practice. Jossey-Bass: Page XVI.
Why should I apply for a TUC Learning-Centered Grant?
Faculty Development offers TUC Learning-Centered Grants to provide CSUN faculty with support as they develop and implement innovative ideas that promote learning-centered instruction. The number of projects awarded depends upon the funds available through the Judge Julian Beck Endowment, which was established by the University Corporation in 1976.
Those who receive TUC Learning-Centered Grants will receive:
- a $3,000 stipend
- information on evidence-based learning-centered teaching practices
- faculty peer support to implement an innovation through participation in:
- a one-day TUC Learning-Centered Summer Retreat (Friday August 13th, 2021 from 10:00am-2:00pm)
- a TUC Faculty Learning Community that meets during Fall 2021 & Spring 2022 semesters
- guidance on presenting project findings
Who can receive a TUC Learning-Centered Grant?
Those interested in learning how adopting learning-centered evidence-based teaching approaches can result with greater student learning and success at CSUN. Recipients will implement a specific teaching innovation during the academic year and collect assessment data.
Applicants are NOT required to know or commit to a specific teaching idea, solution, or intervention in their application because ideas will evolve once Faculty Development provides the full scope about this learning-centered teaching philosophy. However, applicants should indicate what kind of issue, concern, or problem they are motivated to solve. Some of the common ways faculty modify their teaching include, but are not limited to:
- course redesign to improve student learning
- adopting more active-learning and experiential learning practices
- cultivating a more inclusive learning environment through the use of culturally sensitive and relevant teaching practices
- creating better assignments & assessments that promote student learning
- motivating students so they are more engaged and learning more deeply
- teaching students to learn-how-to-learn so they will be more self-regulated learners
- helping students develop the professional development skills needed for graduate school and/or their careers
- finding ways to increase the number of students passing a particular course while maintaining high expectations for learning
- other ideas
What types of projects do NOT qualify for TUC Learning-Centered Grant funding?
- Faculty working on projects that involve service learning are encouraged to consider applying for a Service Learning Grant through the CSUN Office of Community Engagement. Service-Learning projects will not be funded.
- Projects requesting re-assigned time to plan a one-time event, conduct dissertation research, or receive technical skills training or travel will not be funded.
Who is eligible to apply?
All faculty and staff are eligible to submit project proposals. Individuals may receive TUC Learning-Centered Grant funding more than once, but priority will be given to those who have not yet received funding.
Participants who can commit to participating in the the required TUC Learning-Centered programming (i.e., TUC-LC Retreat & TUC-LC Faculty Learning Community).
Faculty must be teaching at least one course during the fall and spring semesters in order to be eligible to apply for the grant.
What is the review process?
The TUC-LC Grant Selection Committee, consisting of CSUN faculty from each of the nine colleges, the Oviatt Library, and a representative from Faculty Development recommends projects for funding to the University Corporation’s Executive Committee according to the established guidelines and available funds.
What are the evaluation criteria?
- Proposed problem/issue is connected to learning-centered teaching (i.e. LC teaching methods would contribute to the elimination or improvement of this issue).
- Possible methods and/or tools for evaluation/assessment are discussed.
- Problem/issue has broad & sustainable applicability. For example… Solving this problem/issue will be widely applicable across disciplines; Solving this problem/issue will have a larger impact in the department, college, or university; Benefits will continue beyond the grant funding period.
- Proposal meets the formatting requirements.
How are TUC Learning-Centered Grant winners funded?
All awards will grant faculty with a stipend (max $3,000) at the end of the academic year once all requirements are met.
The number of projects awarded depends upon the funds available through the Instructional Improvement Endowment, which was established by The University Corporation in 1976.
What is the timeline?
March 1, 2021
- One PDF file of application materials due to Faculty Development via email
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- Awards announced
August 13, 2021
- TUC-LC Grant Retreat, 10:00am to 2:00pm
- Six Monday gatherings from 2:00-4:00pm (Sept 13, Oct 4, Oct 18, Nov 1, Nov 15, Dec 6) (Unfortunately if your Fall schedule conflicts with this FLC schedule, you will need to forfeit your grant award and apply the following year.)
- Six Monday gatherings from 2:00-4:00pm (Dates TBD)
June 18, 2022
- Final reflection/report and materials for website due to Faculty Development (firstname.lastname@example.org)