Instructional Innovation Grants Policies, Procedures, and Administration Purpose

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 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”).

(Reviewed and recommended by the Executive Committee and Faculty Affairs Committee 11/96)

Submission Procedures

Proposals should be typed and limited to four pages, including a cover page. Six copies of the proposal should be submitted using the following 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 Page

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.

The proposal also should be submitted on a clearly labelled disk or by e-mail so that it can be loaded, if the proposal is accepted, on the FDC’s Web page.

Proposal Deadlines

Faculty should submit six copies of the IIG proposal to the FDC chair by 5:00 p.m. on the deadline date listed below:

Grant for: Deadline:
Fall Third Monday in June
Winter First Monday in October
Spring First Monday in December
Summer First Monday in March

Beginning with submissions for grants in fall 1998, the deadline dates will change to:

Grant for: Deadline:
Fall First Monday in May
Spring First Monday in October
Summer First Monday in March

It is the faculty member’s responsibility to submit the proposal copies by the deadline date.

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.
  • Should circumstances preclude a faculty member from taking a course release during the term awarded, the faculty member’s academic unit chair can request that the grant be carried forward to the next available term (excluding summer) without resubmittal of the proposal. Such requests are submitted to the FDC chair. Academic year releases cannot be carried forward to the summer. However, the faculty member can resubmit such proposals for consideration competitively with other summer proposals. A request to carry forward a summer proposal to the next academic year should be submitted through the academic unit chair to the FDC chair.
  • Faculty members must take an IIG course release within 12 months of the term awarded. Thus, a course release that the FDC awards for the fall semester of 1998 can be deferred, through the procedure described above, until spring 1999 or fall 1999. 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:

  1. Highly desirable
  2. Desirable
  3. Acceptable
  4. Unacceptable as presented, but encourage to revise and resubmit for future consideration
  5. Unacceptable, revision for resubmission not encouraged

The FDC chair will call on each member at the meeting for their 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.

Report Requirements

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 RCB 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 1998 when grant was awarded for work during spring 1998). The report also should be submitted on a clearly labelled disk or by e-mail so that it can be loaded on 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.