FCI: Why Participate?

Foundational Course Initiative

Why Participate?

Why get involved?

Motivations for participating in the FCI will vary among courses and disciplines, but for any foundational course, there are a number of possible reasons to participate. You may want to: 

  • Explore possibilities for course design and pedagogy that leverage emerging technologies.
  • Support, evolve, and institutionalize reforms pioneered by early adopters.
  • Create opportunities for intergenerational mentoring on teaching.
  • Develop new course models that highlight the benefits of a residential research setting.
  • Infuse evidence-based pedagogies that:
    • Support the learning and success of all students.
    • Improve motivation and engagement.
    • Increase student perception of educational value.
  • Collaborate to tackle challenges, such as:
    • In some courses, student success and satisfaction are low.
    • Teaching these courses alone is difficult, and team support can help make improvements possible.

What are the benefits of participation? 

You will identify your vision for the course and commit to pursuing it over the next three years. Your vision will not have to be constrained by concerns about whether you personally have the time and resources to implement it, because FCI will support you with the staff and resources needed to make the vision a reality, every step of the way, from vision to implementation. Here are some examples of the support we can provide.  

  • FCI provides funding up to $10,000 per year for three years for expenses related to the course design process.
  • FCI's technology experts can find the technologies that support your vision and implement them for you. This includes making the most of Canvas, as well as showcasing other technologies that can inspire new opportunities for innovation or relieve pain points in teaching. We'll also connect you with the people and offices on campus who can support your technology needs.
  • FCI's pedagogy experts can work with members of your instructional team to acquire new teaching skills and to develop materials for the course. For example, an FCI staff member might work side-by-side with a graduate student to create lesson plans for discussion sections. 
  • FCI's student support experts can be the liaison between your course and the many offices on campus that can help your students before, during, and after your course. For example, an FCI staff member might work with academic advisors to clarify what students should expect in your course so that students' goals are better aligned with your course objectives. Or, we could help you discover more about the climate in your course for different groups of students. 
  • You'll want to know how your experiments and innovations are impacting student learning - that's where FCI's assessment experts come in. They'll work with you to figure out how best to measure student success, and then implement the plan and provide you with valuable reports so you can make decisions about next steps. FCI assessment staff can also examine other aspects of your course, such as how students' backgrounds and goals impact their engagement with different topics. You get to ask the questions and we'll find the answers. 
  • We are committed to working through the process in partnership with you - this is not just a consultation, leaving you to do all the work. We will be by your side every step of the way so you can focus on your disciplinary expertise, relying on FCI staff and resources to make your best vision of your course a reality. 

Want to learn more? Ready to get involved?

Please contact us.

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