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 role 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 their 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 new FlexLearning Fellows (FLF) program. Funded through the Chancellor’s Office, the FLF program will support 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 (and approved by the department chair or head) rather than individual faculty members. PROPOSALS ARE DUE OCTOBER 1, 2021
The 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 leads 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 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 will 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 firstname.lastname@example.org
Proposal submission details to be announced
- Full Proposal Guidelines
- Application Forms and Instructions (Applications are due by October 1, 2021)
RESOURCES from the Office of the Chancellor’s:
- Why Flexible Learning?
- June 7, 2021 Final Report of the Task Force on Flexible Learning
- Flexible Learning at UMass Amherst: Shaping the Future of University Education (White Paper by Chancellor Kumble R. Subbaswamy)
- A brief history of selected teaching-and-learning-at-a-distance activities at UMass Amherst