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Two CALS courses receive Educational Innovation funding

The EI Small Grant Program supported UW-Madison faculty and staff again this year, providing funding for a diverse array of educational innovations in blended and online learning. The program funded 16 proposals from six schools and colleges at a total of more than $105,000. Two of the recipients were from CALS.

Lynne Prost, associate faculty associate, biochemistry 
Project description: Significantly improve student-directed learning in Biochemistry 551: “Biomedical Methods” by implementing a blended course design. The instructor will create online resources to optimize content delivery, increase student engagement with course material, allow for rapid updating of content, and increase the available face-to-face time for development of critical thinking and scientific writing. These goals will be accomplished through creating video demonstrations and interactive online tutorials about lab techniques.

Walter Goodman, professor, entomology
Project description: Convert ENT/NIES 201: “Insects and Human Culture” into an online format for an eight-week summer session to increase student access and reduce current bottleneck issues. The transformation will include adapting lecture content, developing procedures for monitoring real-time insect growth, and developing individualized electronic logbooks to record data and observations.

For this round of funding, the program received a total of 37 proposals that were submitted from 12 schools, colleges, institutes and programs. The total amount of funding requested reached nearly $300,000. Proposals were evaluated and recommended for approval by a review committee consisting of faculty and staff from various campus units. Proposals were selected based on their exemplification of the program’s main theme (blended and online learning), alignment with departmental priorities, demonstration of long-term sustainability and, most importantly, impact on student learning.

The EI Initiative plans to offer future open-funding opportunities next year and beyond.