Internal Grants

Instructional Development Fund: Direct Course Enhancement

Objectives

The main objective of this fund is to improve qualitatively the content and/or methods of instruction in existing or proposed courses at Ithaca College. The fund intends to encourage faculty members to respond to specific academic needs at this institution by refining or updating teaching skills, cultivating expertise, or developing innovative instructional materials and resources that contribute to an improved and more current curriculum.

To be considered, any proposal submitted for this fund must specifically address concrete benefits to classroom or laboratory instruction and demonstrate the extent to which the College’s curriculum will be enhanced and the improvement that might demonstrate for the College’s curriculum more generally. Faculty applicants are encouraged to discuss ideas or drafts with Committee members beforehand.

IC faculty members are continually responsible for developing and revising the curriculum. Hence, the IDF funds primarily support proposals that are notably innovative, require assistance beyond those available from school or department sources, or address College, school, or departmental priorities, and/or seek to activate a key component from the Mission Statement of Ithaca College.

The fund is not generally intended to provide financial support for participation in professional/scientific conferences. Many professional conferences, however, have intensive workshops or pre-conference instructional courses that require fees beyond conference registration. The expenses incurred at these special sessions of professional conferences are potentially fundable through the IDF program. This support may cover tuition, room, and meal expenses for the days of the workshop. See Travel Services Policies and Procedures. Travel to the conference site and registration for the professional/scientific conferences are not eligible expenses nor are housing and meals for days other than those of the special instructional sessions.

Professional/scientific organizations hold events that may be termed conferences, but are instructional in nature. Participation in instructional conferences is fundable through IDF. These instructional conferences differ from professional/scientific conferences in that instructional conferences are not held on a regular basis, there is no open call for papers, and there is no business/organizational meeting. Faculty members may wish to expand their training with regard to new or existing courses that lie outside a particular disciplinary area of expertise. For such cases, a faculty member can propose to participate in a workshop or conference that is not one that s/he would normally go to using existing travel funds. Such participation for course improvement is fundable, but the proposal should specify that the participation is exceptional to the faculty member’s expertise.

The IDF program is not designed to fund faculty stipends, purchase equipment or other items or activities normally provided for in a department or school budget, nor is it intended for use by faculty for personal study in programs leading to an advanced degree. The IDF program also does not support release time. Faculty should seek that support through Center for Faculty Research and Development (CFRD).

Faculty proposing to attend software training workshops to enhance the teaching of software in their courses will be funded only if they have no significant prior experience with that software, or the faculty’s department has interest in learning about new software for its curriculum. Ongoing software training or upgrading existing software skills is the responsibility of individual departments and schools to support.

Individual projects may be funded to a maximum of $1500. For projects that require budgets in excess of $1500, additional funds from other sources should be sought. Reviewers often welcome evidence that the dean and/or department have pledged support to an IDF proposal through travel funding, supplies, and reassigned duties.

Criteria
In addition to the rationale for the fund stated above, proposals will be evaluated according to the following criteria:

• the project’s potential impact on classroom teaching/learning;
• the project’s relevance to curricular and instructional development;
• the feasibility of the proposed project (likelihood of its successful implementation, applicant’s justification of costs).

Eligible Budget Categories
Fees for training workshops may include travel, lodging, or meal expenses required for such workshops; materials such as slides or software for course adaptation; technical services.

Composition and Role of Instructional Development Review Committee
Committee members will be selected to represent all schools and will be appointed by the Director of the Center for Faculty Excellence.  The Committee will review proposals submitted and make recommendations to the Director.

Procedures for Submitting a Proposal
• An original proposal should be submitted electronically to wasik@ithaca.edu. One printed copy with cover page containing signatures from the department chair and the dean/director must be submitted to the Center for Faculty Excellence by the published deadline (see below). When support for a workshop is requested, the printed announcement, brochure, or website link for it should be included in the proposal.

• Proposals are due in the Center for Faculty Excellence, 316 Gannett Center, by September 15 or November 15 for fall and spring implementation, February 15 for spring and summer implementation, and April 15 for summer and fall implementation.

• Proposals that are complete, concise, clear, and comply with the specified format will be considered for funding.  All proposed expenditures must be detailed and fully justified. At the Committee’s discretion, vague proposals will be returned to the author for clarification or will be refused. Faculty are encouraged to discuss ideas or drafts with Committee members beforehand.

• Department chairs/directors and/or deans should be consulted about the project before the proposal is finalized and submitted.

• Decisions for funding will be communicated by letter within one month after the deadline for submitting proposals.

• If completion of a project will require support from Information Technology Services (ITS) or the Center for Education Technology (CET), a memo of support from ITS/CET should accompany the proposal

Examples of successful proposals are available for perusal here as well as in the Center for Faculty Excellence, Gannett Center 316. 

Download the IDF: Direct Course Enhancement cover page and guidelines.