We are thrilled to announce that SHSU Online has been named the recipient of two grants from the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) to focus on course design and student-centered learning.
In Fall 2021, the THECB began looking at the different types of digital learning taking place in the state of Texas. The question they had in mind as they explored was “what might digital learning look like in the state of Texas in the post-pandemic world?” Their hope was that the lessons we’ve learned since March 2020 might make for a better future as far as digital learning is concerned.
The THECB identified four areas of need for most institutions to reach this goal:
- Improved methods for content creation
- Improved methods for content curation
- Formation and nurturing of communities of practice
- Certification of instructors to teach in the online format
To help Texas colleges and universities advance in these areas, the THECB launched the Digital Transformation Initiative. As part of this initiative, the THECB has sponsored selected public institutions to participate in workshops focused on digital transformation led by national experts from acclaimed groups such as the Association of Chief Academic Officers (ACAO), Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU), Achieving the Dream, and Every Learner Everywhere. Participants in this initiative will create digital learning resources to be shared across the state via the THECB OERTX Repository.
The first grant awarded to SHSU Online is for participation in the “Design and Teach an Online Course” initiative. Kristie Zientek is working with faculty member Carroll Nardone to design a technical writing course using L. Dee Fink’s “significant learning” framework.
The second grant is for participation in the “Evidence-Based Teaching & Student-Centered Instruction” initiative. Rachel Scherer and Alex Emmons are engaging in this effort which will open the door to conversations regarding equitable course design, the impact of instructional design choices on student equity and access, and the intentional dialogue required to bring these important topics to the forefront at an institution like Sam Houston.
Thank you to everyone participating in these grants! We look forward to sharing with our entire department what we learn as we engage in these initiatives.