Duke’s Office of Undergraduate Education and Office of Interdisciplinary Studies, in partnership with Duke Learning Innovation, offer Summer Course Development Grants (SCDG) to schools, departments and other units that offer undergraduate curricula. These grants seek to foster the development or redesign of summer session courses that:
- Align with the curricular priorities of the school, department or other unit
- Have a good chance of attracting significant student interest from year to year
- Incorporate innovative pedagogical approaches, which may include asynchronous components as part of an in-person class experience, or the development of hybrid courses
- Will be taught by one or more Ph.D. students on a regular basis, beginning the following summer.
This grant program provides schools, departments and other units that offer majors, minors or certificates the opportunity to develop or redesign a regular summer course that fulfills a critical curricular niche and will likely attract strong student interest. The data from Duke summer sessions indicates that broadly-based courses, particularly those fulfilling widely needed curricular requirements, are most likely to attract significant enrollment. More specialized offerings that dovetail closely with doctoral research topics, by contrast, typically under-enroll and risk cancellation.
One challenge for many Ph.D. students who teach in the summer has been the need to develop course materials. Through this funding opportunity, we hope to generate departmental or program resources that instructors of record can build on from year to year, lowering the time summer instructors must invest to get a course up and running. Those resources might include asynchronous elements (e.g., recorded lectures, interviews, or conversations), and guidelines for assignments, such as guided research, data analysis, primary source analysis, group projects, and ongoing partnerships with Durham- or Triangle-based organizations related to those projects.