Innovation Showcase

The Provost Innovation in Teaching Showcase features a selection of particularly meritorious nominations for the award. Throughout the year, case studies of innovative teaching and learning will be shared with the campus community on this site as part of a web-based library of innovations. These additional showcase innovations remain eligible for future Provost Innovation in Teaching Awards. 

The Pilgrimage Project

J.R. Osborne, Communications, Culture & Technology

The Pilgrimage Project brought together six academic courses, four faculty, three departments, and two external collaborators from the Smithsonian Institution and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Students engaged in collaborative, project-based learning and used an iterative design process to digitally map resources and stories on campus, which culminated in an interactive, multi-sensory, and multi-disciplinary exhibition and public event held at Old North. The Pilgrimage Project was first drafted at the annual Teaching, Learning and Innovation Summer Institute and supported through a grant from the Initiative on Technology Enhanced Learning.

Innovations in Teaching Proof 

James Sandefur, Math and Statistics 

Through two NSF grants and many years of research and iterating, Sandefur has developed a demonstrably successful Proof course in which he holds students responsible for their learning via out-of-class assignments, in addition to introducing interactive classroom activities. Widely documenting and sharing his work, Sandefur has also developed supporting written materials, the most innovative being videos of other students working aloud, so that students and other faculty can learn from their thinking and learning processes. 

History 099

History Department 

As the revamped second required course in History, the HIST 099 curriculum shares the experience of “doing history” as faculty teach focused topics that represent their specializations and passions. Featuring frequent writing and revising assignments, as well as weekly History Lab sessions, the course emphasizes iterative work in multiple sections each semester. The weekly lab day involves discussing documents or images, considering and comparing different examples of various categories of sources, demonstrating the use of Library resources, and other hands-on tasks.

Curricular Integration

German Department

Using a theory of language called Systemic Functional Linguistics to guide curricular organization, German department faculty reimagined their undergraduate program through their now-renowned “Developing Multiple Literacies” model. Materials and task-based pedagogies allow for intellectually stimulating content early on as well as sustained attention to the development of language abilities in upper-level courses, which eliminates the bifurcation between “language” classes and “content” classes. The innovation was developed over two decades, involving a community of faculty and graduate students, many of whom have now spread the method to other institutions. 

English MA Capstone

Maggie Debelius, Sherry Linkon, and Matt Pavesich, Department of English / Writing Program 

English professors Debelius, Linkon, and Pavesich worked with colleagues to create an alternative to the traditional graduate thesis, allowing students to represent the professional, intellectual, and creative expertise acquired through earning the English MA. Students create digital humanities projects-including grant proposals, portfolios, online exhibits and games, podcasts, maps, and other resources–that explore the potential of digital communication to represent layers of integration and interplay among theory, texts, culture, the academy, and the public humanities.