FlexLearning Fellows

FlexLearning Fellows

Flexible Learning Fellows Program

What is the FlexLearning Fellows (FLF) program?

The FLF program is modeled on other CTL successful programs (e.g., Lilly Teaching Fellows, TBL Fellows, TEACHnology Fellows). However, it differs from past fellowships by taking a departmental approach to teaching innovation. The FLF program acknowledges the importance of departments in sustainable academic change and that a range of department members including faculty, staff and students will have in supporting the university’s vision to expand flexible learning opportunities (Bayview Alliance, 2017 - Leadership: It Takes a Village (and Time) - Bay View Alliance).

The FLF program provides departments with a faculty-led opportunity to identify a path to flexible learning that reflects their unique contexts including the departmental disciplinary focus, degree programs, and students; and provides the participating faculty leaders with a faculty-centered learning community in which they can further their knowledge and skills of flexible pedagogy and, in turn, serve as leaders and models in their department and the university.

The Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL) and the Instructional Design Engagement and Support (IDEAS) group are seeking applications for the 2022 - 23 FLF program. Funded through the Chancellor’s Office, the FLF program supports departments, faculty, and staff interested in developing and implementing flexible learning opportunities. An FLF award can provide up to $30,000 of support. See the link below for the complete application guidelines.

FLF proposals are faculty-led, but made by departments rather than individual faculty members (and approved by the department chair or head and the college dean).  We encourage departments to email flexlearningfellows@umass.edu if they are interested in applying; we are happy to meet with you to discuss options and questions. PROPOSALS ARE DUE April 18, 2022.

We encourage projects similar or different to those currently fundedThe project should in some way serve to help the department to support the overall goals identified for flexible learning including:

  • Providing students with the flexibility necessary to complete their degrees, certificates or other educational goals
  • Facilitating the ability of students to access courses delivered in any flexible learning modality
  • Allowing students to seamlessly transition between all forms of learning with approaches and curricular structures determined to be most well-suited for departmental courses, learning goals, and student needs. (Final Report of the Task Force on Flexible Learning)

What are the expectations for the Flexible Learning Fellows?

While program teams can be any size, departments should identify only two faculty fellows who will participate directly in the fellows program and provide leadership in support of the departmental goals for Flexible Learning. Those faculty fellows will attend biweekly CTL/IDEAS fellowship meetings and trainings, and are expected to share what they learn in the fellowship program with the entire departmental team throughout the fellowship.

The FlexLearning Fellows work closely with staff in the Center for Teaching and Learning and the Instructional Design, Engagement and Support (IDEAS) group as a learning community to:

  • Explore and share models of best practices for flexible learning teaching and learning
  • Build departmental and disciplinary expertise within a supportive learning community Identify flexible learning approaches that are most appropriate for their departmental flexible learning projects and the resources needed to support their departmental projects
  • Explore course design models for flexible learning to support departmental and/or course needs

For more information please email flexlearningfellows@umass.edu

The application period for 2022-2023 fellowships has ended.