Faculty Fellows Program Will Support Design of Collaborative Project Courses

Faculty and students collaborating.

Deadline: October 15, 2019

Duke Learning Innovation, in partnership with Bass Connections, is launching a new Faculty Fellows program to support faculty interested in designing Collaborative Project Courses (including redesigning existing courses). Participating faculty will receive $5,000; support and guidance from pedagogy experts and faculty experienced in this form of teaching; and the opportunity to collaborate on course (re)design with a group of faculty from across campus.

  • Program dates: December 2019 – December 2020
  • Deadline for applications: Tuesday, October 15, 2019 at 5:00 p.m.
  • Applicants notified: Early November 2019

What Are Collaborative Project Courses?

Collaborative Project Courses are courses in which student learning is driven by collaborative research, analysis and communication on applied projects that extend across an entire semester. Such courses often bridge the classroom and the world beyond the university, giving students a chance to bring their academic knowledge and skills to bear on complex problems under the mentorship of faculty, graduate students and sometimes community members.

Collaborative Project Courses help students grasp the relevance of their work while also demanding rigorous study and original research, often alongside engagement with a community of practice. When done well, this approach creates a dynamic learning environment and inspires students to take greater ownership of the learning process.

About the Faculty Fellows Program

Collaborative Project Courses often raise new challenges for faculty – challenges related to course design, the framing of projects, the provision of guidance to teams and the management of group dynamics. This new Faculty Fellowship will establish a cohort of faculty who will learn and work together, with support and advising from Duke Learning Innovation, to develop Collaborative Project Courses for Fall 2020 or Spring 2021.

Participants in the program will reimagine an existing course, or design a new course, which includes project-based pedagogies in which students work together to create new knowledge, tangible works and/or creative or artistic products.

The Faculty Fellows program will run for a year and will include an intensive one-day kick-off in December 2019, followed by shorter learning and guidance sessions throughout Spring 2020, an intensive design day in May 2020 and regular check-ins and lessons learned sessions through December 2020 (see full description here). We aim to create an active and engaged learning community where faculty will provide one another with support and advice throughout the program, creating new faculty networks along the way. We will also invite faculty with experience using this teaching model to share their experiences with the cohort and provide advice to participants at different stages of the program.

Recognizing the time that it takes to design project-based courses, Faculty Fellows will receive $5,000 to be used at the faculty member’s discretion (e.g., for summer salary to design the course, funding to pay a doctoral student for assistance in course design, discretionary research funds, funds to support course activities or a TA, travel funding to explore best practice models or seek professional development). 

Topics covered through the Fellowship will include:

  • Writing achievable learning objectives and designing a syllabus
  • Structuring in- and out-of-class time effectively
  • Choosing and scoping projects
  • Identifying and working with partners/clients for projects
  • Designing course/project milestones and deliverables
  • Creating and managing student teams
  • Mentoring students to be effective team members
  • Using journaling/reflection to support student learning
  • Assessing student work
  • Preparing for team teaching, if applicable
  • Other topics identified by fellowship participants

Program Details

For full program details, including information on time commitment, eligibility, faculty support, the selection process and frequently asked questions, please visit Collaborative Project Courses Faculty Fellows Program.

Fellowships are limited. Apply through our online application by October 15 at 5:00 p.m.