JANUARY 25, 2022 — Through a new program known as Teaching and Learning Reimagined, the UTSA Department of Academic Innovation has awarded $200,000 in seed funding to 26 projects enabling faculty to experiment with technology and pioneer new strategies that engage students in and outside the classroom. The grants will support faculty efforts to reimagine their courses across modalities, from face-to-face to hybrid to fully online.
“Faculty support, creativity, and innovation has a direct impact on the student learning experience,” said Melissa Vito, vice provost of Academic Innovation. “Teaching and Learning Reimagined provides faculty with the time and resources needed to rethink how they approach big program changes or collaborate with each other and students.”
While these 26 projects represent a wide array of topics, each will address one or more of the following objectives:
Teaching and Learning Reimagined’s inaugural cohort of faculty members will pilot their projects through the 2022-23 academic year. They’ll receive assistance from UTSA Academic Innovation’s instructional designers and consultants to utilize a suite of tools and academic resources.
This team, led by Marcela Ramirez, interim assistant vice provost for Academic Innovation’s Office of Teaching, Learning and Digital Transformation, will share best practices related to inclusive pedagogical innovation, digital literacy and transformation and evidence-based research practices. In addition, Academic Innovation will highlight the faculty’s work and progress throughout the year.
Several of the projects tap into San Antonio’s rich history as a cultural intersection and UTSA’s connections to the local community. For example, one project puts computer engineering students and behavior analysis students together to solve real problems for children with disabilities in San Antonio. Another will examine how humor and student-choice humanize the classroom. Regardless of the topic, each of the 26 projects focuses on relevant, forward-thinking ideas that will enhance learning experiences and opportunities for UTSA students.
The program’s participants applied for tiered grants based on the scope of their work and collaboration with other faculty members. Projects that demonstrated an interdisciplinary approach within or between colleges received more significant start-up funding.
“As our recent designation as a Carnegie R1 institution demonstrates, UTSA faculty have deep expertise and recognize the impact of their work,” said Vito. “These great researchers and instructors understand that innovative course design, combined with their outstanding material advances the work of their fellow faculty members and our external partners like NASA.”
“We want UTSA to be a first choice university for students and faculty,” said Ramirez. “These projects contain a mix of elements that will benefit all students, regardless of whether they join UTSA on campus or online.”
The COVID-19 pandemic was the inspiration for many of the initiatives’ projects. UTSA faculty members realized during the pandemic that they could collaborate and connect in powerful new ways to design learning experiences.
“After almost two years into the pandemic, higher education is still coming to terms with how to operate in an environment that demands flexibility without sacrificing quality or inclusivity,” said Ramirez. “Teaching and Learning Reimagined will help UTSA continue to improve its student offerings and has the potential to help other institutions that are still trying to figure it out.”
Ramirez will share best practices related to inclusive pedagogical innovation, digital literacy and transformation and evidence-based research practices. In addition, Academic Innovation will highlight the faculty’s work and progress throughout the year.
“You can feel the momentum at UTSA,” said Vito. “Whether it’s in the classroom, in labs, or on the football field, UTSA students and faculty are quickly becoming critical parts in dreaming what’s next across a lot of different professional fields. Teaching and Learning Reimagined will help us stretch even further.”
Teaching and Learning Reimagined
Funding recipients and projects:
UTSA Today is produced by University Communications and Marketing, the official news source of The University of Texas at San Antonio. Send your feedback to email@example.com. Keep up-to-date on UTSA news by visiting UTSA Today. Connect with UTSA online at Facebook, Twitter, Youtube and Instagram.
The Texas Coalition for Heritage Spanish (TeCHS) seeks to provide a cooperative platform to support the success of Spanish heritage language speakers and their communities in Texas, assisting and promoting bicultural and bilingual development in the state.River Walk Room (DBB 1.124,) Durango Building, Downtown Campus
Dr. Michael Doyle has had an immense impact on the field of catalysis and organic chemistry. Join in a one-day symposium. In order to honor Dr. Doyle’s colossal career accomplishments with his upcoming retirement, we are holding a one day symposium eventRiklin Auditorium (FS 1.406,) Frio Street Building, Downtown Campus
The San Antonio Military Health and Universities Research Forum (SURF) attracts presenters from around the nation to showcase the work of students, trainees, faculty and staff. The mission of the SURF conference is to “advance research collaborations among academic, military, and industry partners to improve health outcomes and readiness.”TBD
The NHERI Summer Institute is a free event for early-career faculty, NHERI Graduate Student Council, K-12 educators from the San Antonio area, engineers, and researchers to learn more about the Natural Hazards Engineering Research Infrastructure (NHERI) community.La Villita Room (DBB 1.116,) Durango Building, Main Campus
Connect with peer mentors and fellow first-gen and transfer students, and learn how you can join UTSA's First-Gen programs for the Fall 2023 semester.Mentoring Hub (MS 2.02.02,) Multidisciplinary Studies Building, Main Campus
Building the Dual Language Leader Symposium will provide a safe space for current and aspiring leaders to learn best practices, theories, policies, and systems that support a dual language bilingual education.UTSA Southwest Campus, 300 Augusta St.
Streaming of Spray the Word that will conclude with a discussion with San Antonio's Poet Laureate, Andrea "Vocab" Sanderson.Aula Canaria (BVB 1.328,) Buena Vista Street Building, Downtown Campus
The University of Texas at San Antonio is dedicated to the advancement of knowledge through research and discovery, teaching and learning, community engagement and public service. As an institution of access and excellence, UTSA embraces multicultural traditions and serves as a center for intellectual and creative resources as well as a catalyst for socioeconomic development and the commercialization of intellectual property - for Texas, the nation and the world.
To be a premier public research university, providing access to educational excellence and preparing citizen leaders for the global environment.
We encourage an environment of dialogue and discovery, where integrity, excellence, inclusiveness, respect, collaboration and innovation are fostered.
UTSA is a proud Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) as designated by the U.S. Department of Education.
The University of Texas at San Antonio, a Hispanic Serving Institution situated in a global city that has been a crossroads of peoples and cultures for centuries, values diversity and inclusion in all aspects of university life. As an institution expressly founded to advance the education of Mexican Americans and other underserved communities, our university is committed to ending generations of discrimination and inequity. UTSA, a premier public research university, fosters academic excellence through a community of dialogue, discovery and innovation that embraces the uniqueness of each voice.