Charge

  • To succeed, the working group must recognize the strength of diverse communities and perspectives.  We must continue and enhance our commitment to creating an inclusive culture in pursuit of our goals of excellence and meeting the needs of the state, nation and world.
  • The focus of the group will be on all aspects of learning and teaching (content, pedagogies and delivery formats) throughout the curriculum and for all those engaging with the university to further their learning. We recognize that all innovations will have to be taken up by the faculty at each campus and will be shaped by the context of each campus. We also will consider how innovation in learning and teaching can help enhance the diversity and inclusiveness of the CU community.  Our goal is to examine each aspect of learning and teaching for opportunities and challenges to innovation and to consider the role of the system in supporting, incenting and rewarding innovation. The working group will develop two to three metrics that can measure progress in this focus area over time.  The working group will also identify action items that will help achieve meaningful progress as defined by the metrics. 
    • Explore the expansion of the formal recognition of learning beyond the traditional credit system
      • For example, micro- and nano-credentials, certificates at the undergraduate and graduate level, the potential for reimagining our curriculum (which would be done by the faculty) to allow stackable certificates which support retention and completion and meet the needs of learners at each stage of their careers.  Recognition of progress on degree pathways should be considered as part of this work.
      • This exploration could consider issues of mastery/competency-based learning and identify barriers to and opportunities for a lifetime/career-long engagement with learners
      • Consider the relationship of new credentials to existing credit structures, degree programs and processes such as transfer of credit to and from other universities. This may require building consortia of institutions and professional organizations to provide a basis for effective mutual recognition of alternative credentials. This may also require engagement with the registrars who are already participating in and leading these discussions nationally with respect to evolution of transcripts
    • Explore the advances in pedagogies, tools and techniques, understood broadly, which support more effective and efficient learning
      • Examine our current modes of delivery which are typically bound by the 3-5 credit hour course on a rigid semester schedule. What can be done to support effective learning if courses have a more flexible structure and learning units are available with greater flexibility in time? 
      • Examine the current technology-supported pedagogical experiments on our campuses, such as the use of AR/VR, adaptive learning, predictive analytics and proactive advising, visualization techniques, etc. Understand how these are being supported and evaluated. Gather evidence from other institutions on current innovative practices and identify potential future trends.
      • Determine the current practices in alternative assessment techniques, e.g., external evaluation of projects, understand their effectiveness and potential for wider use.
      • Consider the requirements for the campuses to more widely adopt the techniques and tools that are identified or projected and the role of the system in supporting these efforts. These can include physical requirements, support infrastructure, policy and practice limitations, challenges with faculty evaluations, etc.
      • Consider how experiential opportunities such as required internships, work on community-based projects, research experiences, study abroad, etc., fit into the new learning and teaching landscape. 
    • Beyond the university physical boundaries: digital pedagogies
      • The group is not explicitly charged with exploring online, hybrid, MOOC or other specific delivery mechanisms. However, digital pedagogies embedded in these types of delivery modalities offer different affordances to address recognition of learning as well as tools and techniques to support more effective and efficient learning. As such, they should be discussed, but the group should focus on the learning component of these mechanisms and not what role they should play on/across the campuses.
      • Online is a rich modality that currently serves both on-campus and off-campus students. Online is often considered and separated from on-campus student engagement. However, this separation is artificial and represents an outdated perspective. The group should consider the integration of modalities serving students, as and where needed, and at all stages of their learning engagement with the university.   
      • The university has key partners in the mission of providing educational opportunities to our community. These key partners include K-12, community colleges, other universities, and industry. The group should coordinate with the “collaboration and partnerships” focus area group to share information on partnerships that would be especially useful from a learning/teaching perspective.  The “collaborations” group is charged with incorporating these insights into their analyses.
    • Content
      • While content is the heart of the curriculum and, as such, is clearly governed by the faculty, the organization of content should be considered for innovation. This is both in the sense of credit structure, certificates, etc., but also from the perspective of competition. For example, at some of our campuses, students are choosing to accomplish their core curriculum/gen ed requirements at the community college before coming to CU because it is less expensive.  Are there new organizations of content that would create a compelling reason to come to CU for the core?  The results of the focus groups discussion will be presented to faculty for their consideration.
      • The impact of, and technologies within, 4IR will drive a new cohort of students whose learning needs and preferences will be far different from current our current offerings. How can we prepare for their needs in all aspects of the curriculum?
  • Identify metrics to effectively track and evaluate innovation in learning and teaching in our diverse CU communities
    • Set specific goals for these metrics; and
    • Define and prioritize action items to become a national leader in this area

Working Group

Contact: CUStratInnovation@cu.edu

Co-Chair: Mike Lightner, Vice President and Academic Affairs Officer, CU System
Co-Chair: Rebecca Kantor, Dean, School of Education and Human Development, CU Denver 

  • Sheana Bull, PhD, Professor, Community and Behavioral Health Colorado School of Public Heath and Assistant Vice Chancellor, Digital Education, CU Denver & CU Anschutz Medical Campus
  • Tim Chamillard, PhD, Associate Professor of Computer Science, UCCS
  • Mary Coussons-Read PhD, Professor and Chair of Psychology and President of Faculty Representative Assembly, UCCS
  • Susan Kim (Student), CU Denver
  • Quentin McAndrew, PhD, Executive Director, Digital Initiatives & Assistant Vice Provost, CU Boulder
  • Scott McLeod, J.D., PhD, Associate Professor, School of Education and Human Development, CU Denver 
  • Leli Pedro, Assistant Dean Undergraduate Program (Interim) and Associate Professor, College of Nursing, CU Denver
  • Ann Schmiesing PhD, Executive Vice Provost for Academic Resource Management, CU Boulder