Transforming Foundational Courses
in the Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences
Spark’s program goals:
- Support instructors from social sciences, humanities, and the arts interested in developing instructional approaches that foster skills, strategies, and habits of mind that first- and second-year students need to become successful learners.
- Assist instructors in the creation of student learning outcomes for their courses that explicitly address areas of the learning sciences referred to as “learning how to learn.”
- Embed college-preparedness skills into course assignments, communications, and structures that will better support UD’s conditionally admitted students, and first generation students.
- Generate assessment data that will better inform future initiatives to improve outcomes for first- and second-year UD students.
Spark faculty will develop course specific learning outcomes related to at least one of the following:
How to be a better student.
Examples include learning how to engage in self-regulated learning, and/or learning how to approach and complete complex reading or writing tasks.
How to examine and construct knowledge.
Examples include learning how to create and assess truthfulness, source trustworthiness, and reliability of inquiry methodologies (e.g. ethnography, narrative research, textual analysis, etc.).
How to pursue self-directed or intentional learning.
Examples include developing a learning agenda and plan, valuing continuous improvement, becoming an intentional learner, being a reflective learner.
How to develop an openness to learning new things and curiosity about the world.
Who is Spark designed for?
Spark is designed for instructors from social sciences, humanities, and the arts who teach large, foundational courses that serve primarily freshman and sophomore students. We are most interested in courses where students have been known to struggle. Through Spark, faculty will design their course to include “learning how to learn” skills that will not only help students be successful in their course, but will be able to apply these skills in future courses and beyond.
How do I participate in Spark?
How does participating in Spark help me?
As a Spark participant, you will receive:
- Individualized support from CTAL, UD Library and Instructional Designers from UD Online to assist you in further developing your course and implementing new strategies to foster student learning
- Collaboration with other Spark faculty in monthly group meetings addressing timely topics related to student learning
- A stipend of $5,000 to support the time involvement in course re-design and ongoing involvement throughout the year
- The title of Provost Teaching Fellow
What takes place during the 1st year of Spark?
Meet the current Spark faculty participants
The following faculty are participating in Spark’s inaugural year 2021-2022
Cresean Hughes, PhD
Department: Sociology and Criminal Justice
Kedron Thomas, PhD
Jennifer Trivedi, PhD