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Update on the Educational Innovation Initiative

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    roadmap-updatesEducational Innovation, one of the initiatives of the Roadmap to Our New Century, is designed to foster innovation and experimentation in teaching and learning amid advances in technology and learning science research.

    Led by William Green, senior vice provost and dean of undergraduate education, the Educational Innovation action team meets regularly to plan and execute the first steps of the roadmap initiative. The action team includes nine faculty and six students, who represent diverse disciplines and perspectives on our teaching practice, learning science, and a collaborative vision for the next century.

    As its first step, the action team is developing and implementing the University’s Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP), an essential component of reaccreditation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. The QEP will focus on forms of discussion-based learning, such as, among others, the Harkness Table method. Discussion-based learning promotes content retention, student engagement, deeper understanding and enhances communication and research skills.

    To inform the QEP, the action team is designing and conducting faculty and student surveys to understand current experience with and interest in discussion-based learning methods. The team is also examining how classrooms need to change to support discussion-based learning, communicating with other educational institutions that use discussion-based methods, reviewing existing research and planning a faculty development program.

    To help advance the QEP and the Educational Innovation initiative, Allan Gyorke, the University’s chief academic technology officer, has been named assistant provost for educational innovation. In this new role, Gyorke will work with the action team to execute the QEP and develop future Roadmap steps, such as the analysis of the faculty and student surveys, the identification and management of faculty resources for teaching and learning, and the coordination of the action team’s work with such University partners as the Office of Classroom Management and the University Libraries.


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