Building KU's Teaching and Learning Community

Curriculum Innovation Program: AY 2018-2019

Request for Proposals—Deadline May 23, 2018

KU-Lawrence departments and academic programs are invited to contribute proposals to a one-year Curriculum Innovation Program. This program is an opportunity for departments to improve student learning and retention by transforming a key part of their curriculum. The goal is for departments to design new learning experiences for students that are grounded in the literature on student learning and mindful of the challenges that lie ahead for our graduates. Departments or programs will identify two or three courses to be the focus of their work, and a team of faculty will develop and begin to implement a plan to innovate teaching and learning in the target courses. Innovations might include active and collaborative learning, real-world learning experiences, and/or continuous assessment of student understanding to inform class sessions, which are all known to foster deep learning and engagement. 



We anticipate funding three departments/programs. Those selected for the program will receive:

  1. A one-year $12,000 grant for the team, which can support work on the project (e.g., student assistance), or summer stipends or professional expenses for team members. 
  2. Access to travel funds ($4,000-$5,000) for teams of three to five faculty members to travel to another institution to learn about innovations that have been successful elsewhere. 
  3. Consultation, guidance and support from CTE throughout the duration of the project and an intellectual community of colleagues from other departments and other universities, for idea exchange and problem-solving with others working toward similar goals. CTE will also coordinate collaboration with other relevant units (e.g., CODL, Center for Service Learning, Center for Undergraduate Research, KU Libraries).



Any academic department or program on the Lawrence campus is eligible to apply. Department teams should be composed of at least three faculty members who will play an active role in the transformation activities, with demonstrated support of the department chair. “Faculty” include multi-term lecturers, teaching specialists, and professors of teaching who have an ongoing role in their departments. The team will implement a plan to transform two or three key courses (courses that students struggle with, or courses that are at the heart of their program), with changes to improve student learning and retention that can be sustained (or continuously enhanced) over the year. 

Curriculum Innovation Project teams are also expected to: 

  1. Have representatives participate in a year-long working group run by CTE in the 2018-2019 academic year to provide guidance, knowledge, and opportunities for intellectual exchange and community building. 
  2. Work with CTE to arrange a site visit in AY 2018-2019 to another university to explore teaching innovations there (more details after program participant selection). 
  3. Submit a short progress report at the end of each semester until the project is complete. 
  4. Share their Curriculum Innovation Projects at CTE’s annual Celebration of Teaching and poster symposium (May 10, 2019, 3:30-5:30 p.m.) and through a portfolio on CTE’s website (by the end of AY19-20).



Preference will be given to proposed projects that: 

  1. Will have a high impact on the teaching and learning culture of a unit. We encourage proposals from units that have not yet substantially engaged in course transformation work.
  2. Will promote broad agreement within the department on measurable educational goals (i.e. what students should be able to do; what you want them to learn) and mapping those goals to the rest of the curriculum. 
  3. Involve rigorous evaluation of what students are actually learning, to determine how well they are achieving those goals. 
  4. Propose changes in materials, curriculum, and/or teaching practices that are likely to help students better achieve the desired goals. 
  5. Will achieve these goals in a sustainablemanner; this would include establishing working groups of all faculty members who normally teach the course, developing repositories of shared course materials, and developing a plan to continue (or continuously improve) the modified course methods by all instructors of the target courses.



Departments should submit a brief proposal (no longer than five pages, including the budget) and letter of support from the chair by Wed., May 23. Submit to Judy Eddy ( 

Keeping in mind the four criteria described above, the proposal should include:

  1. Course Information. What courses are to be modified or developed and why? How do you know these courses need to be improved? Explanations could address analyses of student success and difficulties in the curriculum, opportunities to build on or leverage previous work on course transformation, contributions of the courses to the curriculum (e.g., theme, content or essential skills addressed by the courses). 
  2. Transformation Plan.What sorts of modifications would you like to make to the courses and to students’ learning, and how will you determine whether those enhancements are effective? What is your proposed timeline and sequence for transforming the courses? 
  3. Team Information. Who is on the team and what will be their roles in the project? Describe the scale of faculty member participation, how leadership and oversight of the effort will be provided in the department, and how you will establish faculty consensus on educational goals, practices, and assessments. 
  4. Sustainability Plan. What processes/mechanisms will you use to ensure sustainability of the educational improvements across sections and over time? 
  5. Prior Support. If your department has had a CTE Department Teaching Grant or a Teaching Postdoctoral Fellow, or if one or more of the target courses has been the focus of a Course Transformation Grant, include a brief summary of the project, including results, and whether/how the proposed work builds on previous project(s). Courses that have already received CTE support will require clear explanation of why additional funding is needed.
  6. Budget. Describe how you will use the funds and include a draft budget. Funds can be used to provide summer stipends or cover professional expenses for team members or for other forms of support for the work (e.g., hiring hourly student support, purchase materials, support seminars or workshops). The funds may be sufficient to allow some team members release time from classroom teaching, but such arrangements should be worked out with the team’s department administration. Fringe for any salary must be included within the $12,000 budget.



We anticipate notifying applicants of funding decisions by May 31, 2018. Funds will be available to successful applicants shortly thereafter. Teams are encouraged to use the travel funds in Fall 2018.  Grant funds must be expended by the end of FY19. 


Questions? Contact Andrea Greenhoot ( or  Judy Eddy (

Funding for the Curriculum Innovation Program was made possible through the generous contributions of Bob and Kathie Taylor.