Instructional Innovation Grants

Description of Funding Program

Georgia State University’s Robinson College of Business (RCB) provides course releases and other funding for improving teaching in the form of Instructional Innovation Grants (IIGs). The main objective of these grants is to encourage faculty creativity and innovations in instructional methodology related to classroom teaching. The grants are not designed to support course or program development, per se. Due to time and resource constraints, faculty do not pursue many worthwhile projects. The IIG is expected to provide that additional incentive which is likely to help a faculty member decide to undertake meaningful instructional changes.Faculty members are encouraged to submit all proposals that are related to teaching innovation. However, proposals to improve student learning will receive higher priority. This includes topics dealing with:

  • Experimentation with new teaching methods
  • Creative use of media
  • Inter-disciplinary enhancements
  • Creating higher levels of student learning, accomplishment, involvement, and motivation

Administration

The Faculty Development Committee (FDC) coordinates the IIG proposal submission and evaluation process. The FDC invites RCB faculty to submit IIG proposals through internal communications (e.g., posted, mailed, e-mailed, or Web page announcements).

The FDC reviews and evaluates each IIG proposal and makes its recommendation to the RCB Dean. Whether the Dean grants any or all of the recommended awards depends on budgetary and administrative constraints. The FDC officially notifies every faculty member who submits a proposal of its recommendation and provides informal feedback to every faculty member who requests it.The FDC requires every faculty member who receives funding to submit a formal report on the project results. The FDC chair is required to follow-up on the report if the grant recipient does not submit an acceptable report within the specified time (see section on “Report Requirements”).

Awards are made once per year for the summer semester. Proposals are due the first Monday in March unless otherwise announced. Please note that beginning with projects funded for summer 2000, accepted proposals and their final formal reports will be posted on the FDC web page. Proposals and final reports therefore must be submitted on a clearly labeled disk or by e-mail. Proposals should be typed and limited to four pages, including a cover page. Faculty should submit six copies of the IIG proposal to the FDC Chair by 5:00 PM on the deadline date.

Submission Format

Cover Page
This page provides the project title, name of faculty member(s), submitting the proposal, academic unit, telephone number(s), term for which grant is requested, and the following statement, which should be signed by the head of the academic unit: “I have reviewed the proposal, and I support the request for a course release/cost reimbursement for the project.”

Head of Academic Unit
Date
Top of Second Pages
Only the project title should appear at the top of the second page. The title is immediately followed by the “Problem Statement” section.
Problem Statement
Beginning on page two, document the needs to be met or the problem to be solved. Establish that the problem is important to student learning.
Proposal Objectives
State what the faculty or the students will be able to do as a result of the grant. Consider objectives that begin with language such as: to increase, to improve, to reduce, to evaluate, etc.
Method
Describe the steps to accomplish your objectives, Why do you think your innovation will work?
Evaluation
Detail how you will determine the degree to which you have met your objectives.
Budget
Request either a course release or the allocation of up to $2,000 as an expense reimbursement.
Media/Classroom
Please indicate that any special equipment or classroom needed to complete your project has been or will be secured. Check with the office manager in your academic unit for classroom assignment deadlines.

Policies Related to Awards

Faculty should direct proposals to specific innovations in instructional methodology. The IIG Program is not designed to support the development of new courses and/or programs unless the new course or program clearly has an innovative instruction component.When requesting an IIG, faculty members should be aware of the deadlines for requesting media/technology classrooms or other specific types of classrooms (e.g., those that accommodate collaborative learning environments). Generally, the applicant must request these special classrooms well in advance of the IIG proposal deadlines. Faculty should check with their academic unit’s office manager for the classroom request deadlines. Multi-person and multi-term grant proposals can be submitted. However, the FDC will review and evaluate such proposals expecting higher levels of activities/ accomplishments. Also, faculty cannot submit multi-term proposals for summer course releases.Faculty can submit more than one proposal for any term (i.e., two or more projects for which funding is requested). However, the FDC can recommend only one of these projects for funding.The FDC will not review or approve new proposals unless final reports for all prior IIGs have been accepted by the FDC. However, a faculty member may resubmit, for committee consideration of a new award, any proposal on which the time limit has expired.

Review Process

  • The FDC chair will distribute a copy of each IIG proposal received to every FDC member within one week from the proposal deadline date.
  • Every FDC member reviews each proposal for discussion at the next FDC meeting. Each FDC member rates each IIG proposal using the following rating scale:
    • Highly desirable
    • Desirable
    • Acceptable
    • Unacceptable as presented, but encourage to revise and resubmit for future consideration
    • Unacceptable, revision for resubmission not encouraged
  • The FDC chair will call on each member at the meeting for its rating on each proposal. Members who expect to be absent at the meeting should submit their ratings in advance to the chair for tabulation. The chair will open the floor for comments, clarifications, and discussions. FDC members (including the chair) can change their ratings before the final decision is made. An FDC member who has submitted a proposal is not eligible for rating proposals or being involved in any discussion for any proposal review for the term involved.

The FDC chair or designated FDC member communicates results of the review process and feedback comments to the faculty member who submitted the proposal (and copies the head of the faculty member’s academic unit).

The FDC chair will make a copy of every accepted proposal and every accepted final report available to any faculty member who wishes to review them.

The faculty member is required to submit six copies of a report to the FDC on the activities/accomplishments related to the approved grant.

The report must be in article abstract form (not to exceed one single-spaced page) and must clearly summarize the innovative teaching activity and project results. Also, the report should include one or more practical suggestions for how other CBA faculty members can use the project results to improve their teaching or student learning. The FDC reserves the right to reject reports that do not meet acceptable standards.

Six copies of the report should be submitted to the FDC chair before the end of the second term following the term for which the grant was approved (e.g., by the end of fall semester 2005 when grant was awarded for work during the summer term of 2005). The report also should be submitted on a clearly labeled disk or by e-mail so that it  can be loaded onto the FDC’s Web page.

The faculty member also should be willing to present the project at an FDC workshop or similar forum, if requested to do so.

The FDC will not award a subsequent grant until the faculty member satisfies all earlier grants with final reports that the FDC accepts. In rare cases, the Committee may recommend adjustments to an existing obligation where complete justification is provided and where circumstances warrant.

Post Script

This document provides general guidelines for a program that is aimed at facilitating faculty development. Therefore, the concepts of collegiality and effectiveness should temper all administrative criteria, policies, and procedures.