What Is Your Big Question?
TEP, the Office of the Provost, and the Division of Undergraduate Studies seek up to 12 faculty fellows to develop—with an eye toward offering in AY19-20—UO’s first core education “runways.” Fellows will receive a $1K stipened.
Runways (a tentative name) are meant to enhance the intellectual coherence and sense of community of students’ first year at the university by focusing on a big question that runs through several core education and writing courses.
The runways are held together by faculty-led year-long seminars (one credit in fall and winter, two credits in spring) about the big question—questions students explore in the seminar, informed by their work in existing core education courses identified by seminar faculty as opportunities to develop the knowledge and skills required to pursue their question. The seminars support students’ social belonging, enhance their “college knowledge” and metacognitive capacities, and give them a chance to integrate concepts, examples, and skills from other courses into a more cohesive learning experience. They culminate in a final project and count for core education credit.
Big questions are linked to one of six broad themes, currently called: industry and innovation, identities and social structures, sustainability and the natural world, healthy communities, human stories and expression, and global connections.
Fellows will develop the seminar curriculum along with a standardized syllabus template, identifying shared learning goals—and even pedagogies like, say, collaborative learning—that should be common across seminars. Fellows will work with writing composition faculty to develop how a writing course can connect with the big question. They will learn teaching strategies proven effective for teaching first-year students and develop each fellow’s own big question, course cluster, syllabus, and final project in collegial conversation. Finally, fellows can inform how these runways are named and presented to students. Fellows will be invited into the Provost’s Teaching Academy.
Please submit a brief note of interest to TEP Director Lee Rumbarger, email@example.com, that includes a “big question” linked to one of the six themes, why you think it is a particularly engaging or relevant question, a couple of goals you would have for students as a seminar instructor, and ideas for natural sciences, arts and letters, and social sciences courses or topics that you think resonate with your question. A sample big question might be "How do we make sense of climate change?" or "What makes a good story?"
Notes of interest due Monday, December 10.
Fellows will meet nine or 10 times across the 2019 calendar year as the Core Education CAIT, one of TEP’s network of Communities Accelerating the Impact of Teaching.