Provost Hybrid Course Award

Summary

Purpose

Provides support for UC Davis faculty to create hybrid courses, in which face-to-face instruction and activities integrate in balanced proportion with online instruction and activities.

Award

$12,500 for design or redesign of courses to be offered in a hybrid format, consulting support from CETL and ATS, and a spot in the workshop series ‘Designing Courses for Hybrid Delivery’. 

Contact

Cara Harwood (clharwood@ucdavis.edu)

Deadline(s)

October and November (2 part application process)

Proposals

Call for proposals

NOTE: The next call for proposals for the Provost Hybrid Course Award will be announced in Summer 2014.

Previous call for Provost Hybrid Course Award proposals:

The Provost Hybrid Course Award (PHCA) is a grant program that provides support for UC Davis faculty to create hybrid courses, in which face-to-face instruction and activities integrate in balanced proportion with online instruction and activities. Developed with the encouragement of Provost Ralph Hexter and the sponsorship of former Vice Provosts Pat Turner and Pete Siegel, the PHCA facilitates the gradual but steady accumulation of high-quality hybrid courses in the UC Davis curriculum. The PHCA is designed specifically to encourage excellent instructors to move into the world of blended teaching and learning.

The PHCA uses $50,000 to support four faculty through the course design process. With $12,500 each, faculty may use funds for services and resources provided by Academic Technology Services (ATS) or for up to three quarters of graduate student support for either course development or teaching. PHCA awardees also receive consulting support from both ATS and the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CETL). In addition, the award criteria request some form of departmental cost sharing or matching, such as faculty stipends, course releases, or further graduate student support.

MEMBERS OF THE FACULTY

RE: Provost Hybrid Course Awards (PHCA) Grants

The Provost Hybrid Course Award, administered by the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CETL), is a grant program designed to encourage excellent instructors to create innovative hybrid courses, in which face-to-face instruction and activities integrate in balanced proportion with online instruction and activities. The award includes funding of $12,500, as well as consulting and technical support from the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning and from Academic Technology Services, for the development of hybrid courses for January 2015 delivery.

Interested faculty should submit a letter of intent and a formal proposal by the deadlines specified above to cetl@ucdavis.edu. PHCA proposals are evaluated by a faculty-staff Review Committee that advises the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education on award decisions. In assessing proposals, the Review Committee considers their relative merits for improving teaching and learning on the UC Davis campus. Proposals that include a departmental cost share or match will receive priority consideration. Proposals are most likely to be well regarded by the Review Committee if they reflect some of the following features:

  1. New applicants and new courses (i.e., not existing online courses)
  2. A clear statement of instructional purpose
  3. A direct response to current faculty or student concerns
  4. A direct response to internal or external program reviews
  5. The potential to improve instruction for a substantial number of students
  6. The potential to address campus-wide initiatives or educational challenges
  7. Budget projections that are strategic and reasonable
  8. Proposals that integrate well with departmental curricula and budget

The full PHCA proposal guidelines are available on the CETL website, along with frequently asked questions and their answers and information on current projects under development through last year’s PHCA program. Please direct inquiries to Cara Harwood at clharwood@ucdavis.edu.

I am delighted to offer this award for the development of hybrid courses, and I look forward to receiving your proposals.

Sincerely,

Ralph Hexter

Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor

Guidelines for PHCA Proposals

Step 1

The two-step PHCA review process begins with letters of intent submitted by 5:00 p.m. PST on Wednesday, October 23, 2013, to cetl@ucdavis.edu. Each 1-2 page letter of intent should include the following:

  1. Name and departmental affiliation of faculty proposing course redesign
  2. Proposed hybrid course information, including (if applicable) existing course name and number, when it is offered, and how many students typically enroll
  3. Rationale about how the course will be improved by hybrid delivery (e.g., how the hybrid approach would help students achieve your learning goals for the class)
  4. Estimates of redesign support needed from ATS, from home department, and/or from a GSR or TA
  5. Evidence that the faculty member submitting the proposal has experience providing excellent teaching
  6. Specific availability (such as teaching or conference schedule) for faculty submitting the proposal to participate in the eight-week CETL Workshop Series on Redesign offered during the winter quarter, 2014

Staff from CETL and ATS who are on the PHCA Review Committee review each letter of intent and hold drop-in hours to provide feedback for faculty applicants about how to revise the letter of intent into a strong proposal. Drop-in hours will be on October 31st from 1-3 pm and November 1st from 9-11 am in 1360 Surge III.

Step 2

The review process then continues with formal proposals submitted by 5:00 p.m. PST on Tuesday, November 26, 2013, to cetl@ucdavis.edu. Proposals will only be accepted for applicants who also submitted a letter of intent with the information requested above. Each 4-6 page proposal should include the following:

  1. Title. The title should briefly and accurately describe the nature of the project. It becomes a key part of the PHCA project database. Please also provide the name and title of the applicant(s).
  2. Abstract. A brief (100 word or less) description that can be used in assigning the proposal to appropriate reviewers. Please note: If your proposal is awarded, we will post this abstract online as an example of a successful proposal.
  3. Rationale. What problems and issues will the proposed hybrid course address? What relationship do these have to the purpose and priorities of the Provost Hybrid Course Award? How many students will benefit from the course? How frequently will the course be offered? Please provide evidence that the applicant has experience providing excellent teaching.
  4. Specific availability to participate in the eight-week CETL Workshop Series on Redesign offered during the winter quarter. Please tell us when you are not available (conferences, travel, teaching, and other scheduled meetings).
  5. Course Description. Please provide a draft syllabus for the proposed course. (The syllabus can exceed the 4-6 pages.) In addition, please answer the following questions: What activities will be supported by the PHCA? How much of that support will come from ATS, the home department, and/or a GSR/TA? Which people will be involved and what role will they play? How will activities be coordinated and managed? How will new activities become part of standard practice, year after year? How will ongoing activities or previously developed online learning tools be integrated? In the redesigned hybrid course, what percentage of learning activities will be face-to-face and what percentage will be online, and why? If a current face-to-face version of the course exists, please attach a copy of the current syllabus to illustrate description of proposed revision.
  6. Estimated budget (no more than one page). The proposed budget should reflect in financial format how the course development needs, PHCA support, and departmental support fit together. For instance, if the learning activities proposed in Section 4 include creation of a searchable database of images with accompanying quiz questions, how will faculty use PHCA funds to pay for ATS programming fees or staff time? How will faculty use graduate assistant salary to work on the same project? (Please note: please estimate graduate student benefits and fees; specify these amounts as a budget addendum in addition to the $12,500 award.) How will the department support the course so that it will successfully launch and become a part of the curriculum long term? Faculty will refine these estimates as they participate in the Course on Redesign and design their courses, and the revised estimates will form the basis for the MOU to be signed between design and development phases. Funds may be allocated to pay for ATS media support, or graduate student support, or a combination of the two forms of support.
  7. Report and Evaluation. To ensure full consideration, proposals must describe how the proposed course will be evaluated. A written report and evaluation of the completed course is required of all proposals supported by PHCA funds. Award recipients are also expected to share lessons learned from their project with other members of the Davis campus—i.e. through individual consultation, workshops or distributing reports. Please note: All documents or other instructional materials that have been wholly or partially supported by PHCA funds must contain an appropriate acknowledgment of this support.
  8. Chair’s Letter. Proposals must be accompanied by a letter from the department or program chair indicating her or his assessment of the course’s value to the department. The chair must also indicate the level and nature of cost-sharing support the department or program is willing to provide if the course redesign is funded (course releases, summer salary, providing a TA or GSR, etc.). Most letters are included with the proposal, but chairs do have the option of submitting the letter directly to the Director of the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning.

Following formal proposal submissions on November 26, PHCA coordinators send proposals to the appropriate divisional deans for comment. The PHCA Review Committee convenes to review proposals and draft award recommendations for Vice Provost de la Pena’s consideration. Vice Provost de la Pena announces final award decisions on January 3, 2014.

Review Criteria

The Provost Hybrid Course Award (PHCA) exists to encourage excellent instructors to move into the world of blended teaching and learning, creating hybrid courses in which face-to-face instruction and activities integrate in balanced proportion with online instruction and activities.

PHCA proposals are evaluated by a faculty-staff Review Committee that recommends awards to the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education. In assessing proposals, the Review Committee considers their relative merits for improving teaching and learning on the Davis campus. Proposals are most likely to be well regarded by the Review Committee if they reflect some of the following features:

  • New applicants and new courses
  • A clear statement of innovative hybrid instructional purpose
  • A sustainable response to current faculty or student concerns
  • A direct response to internal or external program reviews
  • The potential to improve instruction for a substantial number of students
  • The potential to address campus-wide initiatives or educational challenges
  • Budget projections that are strategic and reasonable
  • Proposal that integrate well with departmental curricula and budget

New applicants and new courses: The PHCA is intended as a bridge to support faculty who are passionate about teaching and learning but perhaps have not had much experience with online learning and related tools. It is also intended to support the gradual but steady accumulation of high-quality hybrid courses in the UC Davis curriculum. First-time applicants and those with less experience receive some preference relative to applicants who have received PHCA funds previously or those with more experience designing and teaching hybrid or online courses. However, all faculty members, regardless of experience, are encouraged to apply if they are developing a specific course for its first hybrid offering.

A clear statement of innovative hybrid instructional purpose: Some proposals may request technical support for lecture capture only, basically putting a “canned” course online for independent study. Other proposals may budget funds for a GSR only, intending to rely on existing learning management or online tools instead of consulting with ATS media production staff about the goals of the course and the media possibilities for meeting these goals. Such proposals are regarded less highly than proposals that detail clearly how a hybrid format with media innovation will benefit student learning and promote interaction within the class, putting students as first priority. Faculty applicants should consult with ATS and CETL staff regarding essential functions for hybrid courses and incorporate these best practices into their course design plans.

A sustainable response to current faculty or student concerns: The PHCA is intended to produce hybrid courses that address faculty and student concerns such as interaction, class size, course scheduling, desire for innovation, content review, and course accessibility. PHCA proposals should discuss how the proposed hybrid courses will meet these or other concerns and improve teaching and learning at UC Davis. Proposals should also include plans for making the new hybrid course sustainable—that is, visible, sharable, and re-useable.

A direct response to internal or external program reviews: Internal or external program reviews can help define a thoughtful context for improving courses, programs, and instructional approaches. Proposals that acknowledge and respond to the findings of such reviews are given more credence by the PHCA Review Committee than proposals that ignore or trivialize them. In general, proposals that document the problems being addressed are taken more seriously than those that do not.

The potential to improve instruction for a substantial number of students: The PHCA Review Committee has not defined what “substantial” means, but proposals that might improve instruction for many students are typically ranked more highly than those that would affect only a few. The depth and scope of instructional effect are also important considerations, regardless of how many students are affected. No proposal is regarded highly simply because it appears to serve many students. In addition, the amount and nature of the support available through the PHCA may not cover the needs of an entire course redesign. It is, however, enough for faculty to try out redesign principles on a small scale. Proposals that show how these small scale experiments might be expanded if successful receive more favorable rankings from the PHCA Review Committee.

The potential to address campus-wide initiatives or educational challenges: Related to the previous point, this point emphasizes the PHCA’s intent to explore how hybrid courses might help address pressing campus-wide issues and initiatives, even if as pilot solutions. Relevant issues and initiatives might include impacted course enrollment, time to degree, facilities management, budget shortfalls, and the Chancellor’s call for growth through innovation. Successful proposals will not simply make grand claims for panacea status but will detail how the proposed hybrid courses might eventually be scaled up to address the larger issues.

Budget projections that are strategic and reasonable: The availability of PHCA funding appears to be more critical to the success of some proposals than to the success of others. In general, proposals that request funding for activities that are likely to take place with or without PHCA funds are not regarded as highly as those for which PHCA funding seems indispensible.

Proposals that integrate well with departmental curricula and budget: The PHCA Review Committee looks for evidence that proposed courses address needs within departmental curricula and that participating faculty will share their hybrid teaching discoveries with their colleagues, mentoring faculty in and out of their home departments. One indication that faculty have consulted with their department chairs about course relevance and collegial contribution is the level and nature of support that departments are willing to invest in the hybrid course development process. In addition, courses with financial support from departments are more likely to succeed–that is, make it to their first offering and become a regular part of the curriculum. Thus, the Review Committee gives more weight to proposals accompanied by strong, specific letters from department chairs that pledge significant levels or forms of support to faculty applicants.

Courses previously funded by the PHCA

The 2013-2014 awardees:

  • Introduction to Cognitive Psychology (Steve Luck, Psychology): This flipped course, scheduled for Winter 2014, will serve up to 200 sophomores per offering and will be offered five times each academic year. Topics will introduce a history of cognitive neuroscience as well as units on perception, attention, memory, language, knowledge, and thinking. Students will work online with interactive video mini-lectures, quizzes, short experiments, and a discussion board, and they will meet face-to-face for small group discussions with the instructor to process and apply the material encountered in readings and online activities.
  • Principles of Pharmacology and Toxicology (Birgit Puschner and Alan Buckpitt, Molecular Biosciences): This course, scheduled for Spring 2014, will serve 50-80 upper division undergraduates with interests or majors in chemistry, neurobiology, and graduate studies in pharmacy, toxicology, and forensic sciences. Topics will provide a view of the biology of chemical-receptor interactions and pharmacokinetics in the context of pharmaceutical chemistry. Students will work online with recorded mini-lectures, audio and written assignments, quizzes, animations, readings, and a discussion board, and they will meet face-to-face for sustained discussions, group presentations, and student-interactions that are student-centered and teacher guided.
  • Introduction to Biotechnology (John Yoder, Plant Sciences): This flipped course, scheduled for Spring 2013, will serve approximately 250 lower division undergraduates from a variety of science fields with special focus on biotechnology majors. Topics include principles and technologies of biotechnology as applied to agriculture, the environment, and medicine; business plans and presentation pitches for new biotechnology products; and bioinformatics approaches to exploring genomic databases and DNA manipulations in silica. Students will work online with interactive video mini-lectures, quizzes, and a discussion board, and they will meet face-to-face in small groups for discussions, group projects, and group presentations.
  • Human Evolutionary Biology (Andrew Marshall and Timothy Weaver, Anthropology): This flipped course, scheduled for Winter 2014, will serve 200-400 lower division undergraduates  per offering and will be offered five times each academic year. Topics will examine the origins, evolution, and diversification of humans, introducing the broad principles and patterns characterizing social, behavioral, and morphological aspects of human evolution. Students will encounter new material through online resources such as interactive video mini-lectures, case studies, and self-assessment tools. Students will then meet face-to-face for small-group discussions, brainstorming sessions, quizzes, and other activities that focus on critical thinking and the important real-world implications of anthropology topics that sometimes challenge students’ preconceptions.
  • Engineering Senior Design Series (Angelique Louie and Don Chigazola, Biomedical Engineering):These two courses, scheduled for Winter and Spring 2014, will serve approximately 120 senior undergraduate biomedical engineering majors. Topics will include medical device design activities, their impact on manufacturing operations, and a student-team project under faculty or industry mentorship in which students design and create a testable prototype of a biomedical device. Students will view online mini-lectures, meet face-to-face for discussion and project teamwork, and meet via video conference for guest lectures from industry engineers.
  • Introduction to Linguistics (Patrick Farrell and Kristen Ware, Linguistics): This flipped course, scheduled for Winter 2014, will serve 200-360 lower division undergraduates per offering and will be offered up to 10 times each academic year. Topics will include phonetics, phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics, sociolinguistics, historical linguistics, and other related linguistics subfields. Students will encounter new material through online resources such as interactive videos, readings, experiments, and simulations. Students will then meet face-to-face to discuss the online materials, work in small groups, and apply concepts to challenges in the linguistics field.

The 2012-2013 awardees:

  • iBioseminars in Molecular and Cellular Biology (Jon Scholey, Molecular and Cellular Biology): This course, first offered in Spring 2013, served 17 senior undergraduates in molecular and cellular biology and genetics, via a flipped class design. Topics included origins of cellular life, organization of cytoplasm, vesicular trafficking along the secretory pathway, actin-based cell motility and intracellular pathogens, cytoskeletal motors, G-proteins and protein phosphorylation as regulatory switches, mitosis/chromosome segregation and the cell division cycle. Students watched video lectures created by leading research scientists in the field, answered online homework questions, met face-to-face for discussions and quizzes, and completed a final paper.
  • Reading War, Fighting War (Naomi Janowitz, Religious Studies): This course, scheduled for pilot in Fall 2013 and full offering in Spring 2014, will serve 50-75 lower division undergraduates from a variety of majors. Topics will introduce students to war in literature (with a special focus on the Iliad) and to the experience of fighting in modern wars. Students will watch video mini-lectures, respond in writing to selected readings and case studies individually and in an online discussion board, and meet face-to-face for discussions, presentations, quizzes, and group projects.
  • Intermediate Spanish (Robert Blake and Travis Bradley, Spanish and Classics): This course, scheduled for Winter 2013, serves approximately 50 undergraduates from a wide variety of fields. Students speak, listen, read, and write in Spanish for meaningful communication in realistic situations, develop an understanding of basic grammatical concepts, and gain an appreciation of the various cultures of the Spanish-speaking world. Students attend three face-to-face class sessions per week, work independently with an online textbook and a series of interactive video lessons, video chat online with the instructor in small groups for 20-30 minutes each week, and video chat with a native Spanish speaker each week.
  • One Health (Woutrina Miller and Sophia Papageorgiou, Veterinary Medicine): This course, first offered in Spring 2013, served 33 lower division undergraduates from a wide variety of fields. Topics explored how human, animal, and environmental interfaces affect health in all three arenas and how professionals in relevant disciplines can work together to improve health in each arena, including case studies and guest lecturers from around the world. Students met face-to-face for discussions, worked online with readings, case studies, video lectures, and discussion boards, and met via video conference for guest lectures and student presentations.

FAQs

What is the PHCA?

The Provost Hybrid Course Award, administered by the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning, is a grant program designed to encourage excellent instructors to create innovative hybrid courses, in which face-to-face instruction and activities integrate in balanced proportion with online instruction and activities.  The award includes funding of $12,500, as well as consulting and technical support from the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning and from Academic Technology Services, for the development of hybrid courses.

Whose idea was the PHCA?

The idea sprang from discussions during Summer 2011 between faculty members from multiple disciplines, staff from ATS and the CETL, Provost Ralph Hexter, and Vice Provosts Pat Turner and Pete Siegel about how to overcome barriers to curricular innovation at UC Davis.

What counts as a hybrid course?

The provost’s call is for courses “in which face-to-face instruction and activities integrate in balanced proportion with online instruction and activities.” This means reducing the required face-to-face time and increasing the required online time, usually so each delivery mode gets about half of the instructional time. For instance, in a three-credit course in which students and faculty used to meet in the classroom three hours a week, they might now meet in the classroom 1.5 hours a week and spend the remaining 1.5 hours of instructional time with online group work, lecture videos, web conferencing or other online activities. Homework time remains unchanged.

Given the price of tech support, $12,500 could disappear pretty fast as I create my hybrid course. Can you do anything to help me stretch my award dollars?

Yes. Academic Technology Services (ATS) will match any PHCA funds spent on ATS services. So, for instance, a faculty member who spends $6000 on a GSR and $6500 on ATS web design could get up to $13,000 worth of ATS services. A faculty member who spends the whole $12,500 on, say, ATS videography and editing could get up to $25,000 worth of ATS services. In addition, the award includes up to 200 hours of consultation with an ATS instructional designer, free of charge, after completion of the workshop series on course redesign.

What does the requested “departmental share or match” mean?

A departmental share or match means a significant departmental financial investment in the success of the hybrid course. Examples might include a course release, a summer stipend, or a graduate student to help with designing or teaching the course.

We’re broke! Why are you asking our department for more money?

It’s true—course redesign takes production money, but it also takes a lot of faculty time, which is already in short supply. The PHCA mitigates the production costs but cannot support the faculty time costs. Experience with launching hybrid and online courses has shown us that courses are more likely to be successful—that is, to make it to their first offering and then become a regular part of the curriculum—if departments are as committed to offering the course as are the course authoring faculty and the provost. Most often, that means going beyond granting a departmental blessing to offering some kind of financial support, such as course releases, summer stipends, or GSR/TA support.

Is this departmental match required?

No, but it is requested as part of the application. It is one of eight criteria that the Review Committee uses to evaluate proposals. All things being equal, a proposed course with financial support from its department will receive higher consideration than one without, because the former is more likely to succeed in the long run. However, the committee has at times recommended funding for PHCA proposals that were particularly strong in other ways, even though they did not have a departmental match.

Why are you asking about my availability to participate in a workshop series?

Faculty who are redesigning courses for hybrid delivery frequently have the same questions about how to use new technology, engage students online, navigate course approval, promote academic integrity, get the most out of ATS production services, make courses accessible to students with disabilities, and so on. Faculty also benefit from giving and receiving feedback from peers who are working on the same kind of redesign projects. The Winter Quarter workshop series meets both needs. PHCA steering committee members need to know your schedule so that they can schedule the workshops when you are available.

Are the workshops distinct offerings or more like a coherent course?

Each workshop covers a different topic, but they build on each other like sections of a course. As you participate in each one, you will work on your course redesign, with the end result of your work being a set of course documents and a plan for course development. Topics may vary but will follow the same general outline each year.

If I get the award, do I have to participate in the whole workshop series? I already know what I want to do with my hybrid course, and I don’t have any extra time this Winter Quarter.

innovative teaching practice is one of the important goals of the PHCA program. The workshop series also allows instructional design and production staff to answer the above questions for large groups of faculty—and plan for course development support—in a way that would not be sustainable if done through individual consultation. If you cannot participate in the workshop series but want to move ahead with your hybrid course redesign without PHCA funding, you are welcome to meet with CETL or ATS instructional designers for a one-time consultation.

When (what day and time) will the workshop series be offered?

The workshop series is scheduled so that all PHCA awardees can attend, which is why the proposal asks for your availability during the winter quarter.  The workshops are two hours long, weekly, for eight weeks during the Winter Quarter.

What’s the PHCA application procedure?

It is a two-part process that happens during Fall Quarter. Instructions for each part are available on the CETL website.