Previously Awarded Grants


Category: Early Researcher

*   Sylk M. Sotto, Indiana University “A Study of Underrepresented Minority Tailored Faculty Development Programs”
*   Jason Rhode, Northern Illinois University: “Benchmarking Faculty Development for Higher Education Distance Learning Support”

Category: Research Grant

*   Andrew Phuong, Judy Nguyen, & Richard Freishtat Developing an Adaptive Equity-Oriented Model for Inclusive Teaching and Learning: A Comparison of Adaptive and Non-adaptive Pedagogies on Student Outcomes
*   Christina Cottom & Sarah Ombres, Embry-Riddle Aernonautical University: “Virtual Communities of Practice: Scaling, Belonging, and Effective Feedback”


Category: Early Researcher

*   Cara Worick & Ashely Sorrell, University of Kentucky “Needs-Based Approach to Graduate Teaching Assistant Learning & Development”
*   Lauren Herckis, Carnegie Mellon “Knowing What We Know”
*   Sara Ombres, Angela Atwell, Christina Cottom, & Lisa Martino, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University “Virtual Community of Practice for Globally Dispersed Online Adjunct Faculty”

Category: Research Grant

*   Adriana Signorini & Mariana Abuan, UC-Merced “Students Helping Students Provide Valuable Course Feedback”


Category: POD Research Grants

Developing Habits of Mind among Graduate Teaching Assistants in Support of Student Success  

PI: Melissa McDaniels, PhD, Assistant Dean, The Graduate School, Director, Teaching Assistant Program, Michigan State University

Co-PI: Kristen A. Renn, PhD, Professor of Higher, Adult, and Lifelong Education, Associate Dean of Undergraduate Studies, Director of Student Success Initiatives, Michigan State University


The college completion agenda is at the center increasing attention from public and private stakeholders across the country. As key agents in undergraduate gateway courses at research universities, Graduate Teaching Assistants (GTAs) are instrumental in accomplishing this agenda. It is not clear how prepared GTAs are to help undergraduate students succeed beyond learning course material. In the proposed project we will investigate habits of mind required for GTAs to enact their role in fostering student success, defined here as a holistic approach that addresses academic and social integration as measured in academic performance, transition to college, and persistence to degree completion. This project has three objectives: (1) To understand—and develop a conceptual model of the degree to which GTAs understand what undergraduate student success is and their awareness of the role they can play in promoting the success of all students in their classrooms; (2) to test the model through a series of activities with current GTAs; and (3) to develop two student success “toolkits,” one for TAs to utilize in their work with undergraduates and one for departments to use in training future GTAs. We propose a two-phase implementation research project that focuses on how GTAs in undergraduate gateway courses think about and enact their role in promoting student success. In phase one we will develop an empirically based conceptual model, which we will implement and test in phase two. In addition, we will develop two digital “student success toolkits” for training teaching assistants at and beyond our institution.


Developing a Competency-Based Framework for Faculty Development

PI: Amy Fowler Kinch, Director, Faculty Development Office, University of Montana

Co-PI: Rania Sanford, Assistant Vice Provost and Director of Programs, Office of the Vice Provost for Faculty Development and Diversity, Stanford University


The rapid evolution of technology in education, changing profiles of student populations, and increased calls for interdisciplinary work and global collaboration are making new demands on faculty members. Many face job requirements never addressed in their graduate training. How can faculty development effectively address this wave of transformation in higher education? How can developers prepare their faculty for the next great challenges? Through the proposed project, the Faculty Competencies Initiative, we aim to develop a new tool to help faculty developers prepare for the future. By collecting data through a survey of POD members and higher education administrators, we will identify and categorize critical faculty competencies for the coming years. Professional development staff and faculty members will be able to use this framework to assess areas for professional growth based on interests and goals. This will allow both groups to plan for and adapt to changing institutional priorities.


Category: POD Early Researcher Grant

Impact of Training on Instructor Attitudes towards Clicker Technology

PI: Lisa Liseno, Ph.D., Assistant Dean of The Graduate School and Director of the Program for Instructional Excellence and the Fellows Society, Florida State University


Literature on the use of classroom response systems, or “clickers,” shows much evidence that using this technology in classrooms has many advantages. These advantages include providing in-class opportunities for formative assessment (Paschal, 2002), increased student engagement and active learning (Stowell, Oldmann, & Bennett, 2010), and critical thinking applications (DeBourgh, 2008, Mollborn & Hoekstra, 2010, Russell, McWilliams, Chasen & Farley, 2011). However these benefits of using clickers will only be achieved if the instructor actually uses clickers, and does so in a way that effectively incorporates a pedagogical model that highlights these student outcomes (Broussard, 2012, Mollborn & Hoekstra, 2010). When recently polling a group of graduate student teaching assistants I was struck by how many of them do not use clickers to teach because they “do not like them.” Several reasons may account for this disdain, but I believe that a lack of understanding of how clickers can be used to complement teaching and student learning causes this aversion. It is vital that instructors receive appropriate training on how to use this technology in the classroom in order to realize and appreciate its value as a pedagogical tool. I hypothesize that this study will show that when instructors are shown (via training) how using these devices can be utilized to enhance their teaching techniques, and increase student engagement and learning, their perceptions regarding this technology will improve and they will be more receptive to using them in their classrooms.


A Cross-Institutional Virtual Professional Learning Community (vPLC) for Adjunct Instructors

PI: Danyelle Moore, Instructional Support Specialist, Niagara University

Co-PI: Trevor Morris, Program Coordinator, Office of Teaching and Learning, Utah Valley University

Sean Glassberg, Director of Faculty Development & Associate Provost, Horry Georgetown Technical College

Jeanne Samuel, Dean of Distance Learning and Instructional Technology, Delgado Community College


Four institutions are partnering to promote the adjunct faculty culture while researching needs, beliefs, challenges, and successes of the participating faculty. Two community colleges and two universities from across the United States are using The Adjunct Faculty Handbook 2nd ed. to guide a virtual professional learning community (vPLC) in the fall 2015 semester. The goals are to 1) gain adjunct faculty insight into current and pertinent issues related to being an adjunct faculty member 2) use a common book relevant to teaching to foster a cross-institutional community 3) create a space and resources for faculty to gain the just-in-time professional development related to the pedagogy of teaching. The structure of the vPLC will be 6 virtual synchronous meetings with a special topic of interest to be discussed occurring simultaneously with a Google group text-based asynchronous discussion. The bi-weekly prompts provided by the facilitators will spark the discussion related to each of the seven chapters in the book and the resulting discussions will determine topics for the synchronous discussions. The pre and post survey data will shed light on to the effectiveness of the vPLC model as well as whether the model with a mixture of modalities is effective in creating a community of adjunct faculty. These results will be beneficial to many teaching and learning centers as well as departments who employ large numbers of adjunct faculty.



Validating a Comprehensive Faculty Development Evaluation Mode

PI: Sue Hines, Director, Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching; Associate Professor in Educational Leadership, Saint Mary’s University


In response to the growing interest and need in the field to move towards more rigorous and systematic methods for evaluating faculty development, the researcher developed a 4-phase evaluation model based on the evaluation literature and findings from studies investigating faculty development evaluation practices across the nation. The purpose of this project is to complete the field-testing of the model for validation and refinement. Often times, published evaluation models are theoretical without being put into practice to authenticate its usefulness and practicality. Given the variability of faculty development units and the need for a practical, customizable, and feasible comprehensive evaluation model, field-testing the model in various institutional settings is essential. The ultimate goal of this work is to submit a manuscript for publication to share the model and examples from the field-testing institutions.


How Active is Your Class? Modifying, Implementing, and Evaluating an Observation Protocol

PI: Regina F. Frey, Executive Director, The Teaching Center, Florence E. Moog Professor of STEM Education, Chemistry co-Director, Center for Integrative Research on Cognition, Learning, and Education, Washington University in St. Louis

Co-PI: Beth A. Fisher, Director, Academic Services, The Teaching Center, Lecturer, Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, Washington University in St. Louis


Amidst calls for broad adoption of active learning in undergraduate STEM education, there is a need to support faculty by observing and documenting the extent to which they are implementing active-learning techniques. Faculty developers therefore need multiple, flexible, validated, and structured classroom-observation protocols, which they may use in combination with more evaluative observation methods. The goal of our project is to develop, implement, and evaluate a modified tool—the  Observation Protocol for Active Learning (OPAL)—that may be used to document teaching methods of various kinds, including interactive lecture, clicker questions, interactive demonstrations, interactive-engagement, and “flipped-classroom” methods. When combined with “traditional,” evaluative observations of teaching, OPAL promises to be a powerful documentation tool that can lead to increased adoption of active learning by helping faculty to visualize 1) the amount of active learning they are incorporating and 2) how the spacing of these activities affects student engagement in their courses.


Critical Thinking in Active Learning Classrooms: When Course Design and Space Collide

PI: Connie Schroeder, Ph.D., Associate Director for Programming and Instruction
Center for Instructional and Professional Development, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

Centers juggle diverse mission dimensions, including instructional, curricular, career, research, organizational, leadership, and career development. Additionally, Centers are merging with new units, including learning management system, assessment, and student tutoring. In era of accountability, Centers must validate their effectiveness with diminishing resources while scaling up their impact. Centers invest substantially in institutional initiatives that impact teaching and learning (Schroeder and Associates, 2010), but this work remains invisible and difficult to measure.  The Center Mission Matrix juxtaposes the multiple Center mission dimensions noted above —organizational development in particular, with three levels of impact -individual, department/School or College, or institutional. After entering the Center’s programs and activities across the Matrix, a finer-grained analysis and visual portrayal of the Center mission emerges. The Center is equipped with a visual conceptualization of the Center Mission for in internal decision making, budgeting, orienting, and strategic planning, and renders obvious the complexity of Center impact.



  • Linder, Kathryn, Suffolk University “Institutional Support and Resources for Online Accessibility: The Roles for Centers for Teaching and Learning and Offices of Disabilities Services”


  • Anna ella Martinez, Universitat del Norte, Columbia, “Exploring Professors and Students Learning Experiences in a Course Transformation Project”
  • Jennifer Herman, Niagara University, “Come and They Will Build It: A Model for Involving a Majority of Faculty in Professional Development.”
  • Derek Bruff, Vanderbilt, “Patterns of participation in faculty development activities and their impact on teaching approaches, beliefs, and practices.”
  • Aisha Jackson, University of Colorado, Boulder, ““I’ve learned more on Twitter…” -Investigating the Professional Development Value of Twitter for Educators in Higher Education”


  • Pamela Barnett & Adalet Baris Gunersel, Temple University, “Exploring Faculty and Graduate Student Self-Authorship through an Instructional Development Program”
  • Stacy Grooters, Stonehill College “A Longitudinal Assessment of the Focus on Diversity in POD’s Scholarly Output”


  • Lawler, Patricia Ann, Widener University & Donna Harp Ziegenfuss, University of Utah, “Expanding Leadership Development for Faculty: Faculty Views, Needs and Motivations”
  • Horii, Cassandra Volpe & Sarah Almyra Smith, Curry College, “Assess Faculty Development Programs and Services for Short-term Outcomes and Long-term Professional Growth”
  • Palmer, Megan, Mary Dankoski, & Krista Hoffmann-Longtin, IUPUI/Indiana University School of Medicine, “Expanding the Concept of Faculty Vitality”


  • Donnelli, Emily, Amber Dailey-Hebert, & Jean Mandernach, Park University, “Creating Inclusive Professional Enhancement Programming for Geographically-Dispersed Faculty: Uncovering and Disseminating Best Practices”
  • Fisher, Beth & Pat Brown, Washington University in St. Louis, “Utilizing Pedagogy to Help Graduate Students Write Effective Teaching Philosophy Statements”
  • Hines, Sue, St. Mary’s University of Minnesota, “A Study Investigating Faculty Development Program Assessment Practices at Established Centralized Centers”

Previous to 2009 (list not complete)

  • Burdick, Dakin, Endicott College, “Gathering POD’s Oral History”
  • Chism, Nancy, IUPUI, “Professionalizing the Entry Preparation of Educational Developers”
  • Schönwetter, Dieter J., University of Manitoba, & Donna Ellis, University of Waterloo, “Peeling Back the Layers: Competencies in U.S. and Canadian Graduate Student Development Programs and Developers’ Preparation to Teach Them”
  • Schroeder, Connie, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, “SoTL Program, Institutional Initiatives, and Faculty Development: Researching Models, Attributes, and Practice”