Last Friday, eight academics successfully pitched their ideas for making the learner experience in their subjects more active and collaborative. They now have some funding to realise their ideas. Would you like to join them? It’s not too late. I’ve posted this info before, but here’s an update.

It takes time, and sometimes help, to design new active and collaborative learning experiences. So we’re offering learning.futures learner experience design grants to help you. You can apply for up to $2000 to design or refine active and collaborative learning experiences for your students. In the spirit of active and collaborative learning, applying for these grants (and carrying them out) involves some active and collaborative activity. Here’s what you need to do:

1. Read the guidelines. They’re in a google doc which you can access with your UTS google account (not your gmail one). Yes, all staff members have a UTS google account – just go to google and sign in with your UTS email.

2. Propose an idea, using this form. You’ll find the password in the guidelines. We’ll assess the proposal for eligibility.

3.  Pitch your eligible idea to a group. We’ll invite you to a pitching session. The next session is on Monday Nov 6, 12-1 in the LX.Lab

Grants could focus on designing and developing a wide range of active and collaborative activities to make students’ face-to-face experiences more engaging. These could include: inquiry-based, research-based, problem-based, studio-based scenario-based, case-based or issues-based activities; simulations of work place practices; industry or community engaged activities.  But they could also involve making traditional lectures more active and collaborative. You could design or refine better ‘clicker’ questions for students to think-pair-share in your classes, or get students to design them for you. You’ll find some existing ideas from UTS on the learning.futures website, including some examples from large classes.

What you can’t do: You can’t use these grants for activities that are online only, but you could use them to create a good blend of online pre-work and face-to-face collaborative learning. You also can’t use them just to evaluate an existing activity, but you can evaluate and redesign.

Feedback is another key feature of environments that support learning, so for these grants we’ve built in opportunities for feedback. You’ll need a team, including a student and a peer, to prototype and test out your idea then give peer feedback when you try it in a class.

You’ll need to spend your funds by the end of 2017, and applications can be accepted now, up till November 24.  So start thinking.

Feature image by: Nick, Alec Bruce-Mason photography

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