Charting a New Course: Panel Discusses ACC Course Redesign Fellowship Opportunities
July 21, 2022
by Kameko Jacobs, Instructional Communications Specialist
Have you ever considered completely redesigning your course, yet the task seems completely insurmountable and overwhelming? Have you been craving more opportunities to collaborate across disciplines in restructuring key course components with best practices in mind? The Course Redesign Fellowship program was developed to help Austin Community College (ACC) faculty do all of this and more.
The Course Redesign Fellowships provide an array of opportunities to take a close look at your curriculum alongside a dedicated group of colleagues, under the direction of a faculty facilitator.
On July 14th, the Teaching & Learning Excellence Division (TLED) held a Course Redesign Fellowship forum with a panel of fellowship faculty participants and facilitators to discuss their experiences and share how fellowships can benefit all ACC faculty and support student success.
- Arun John, Fellowship Facilitator, Liberal Arts Gateway
- Theodore Hadzi-Antich, Fellowship Facilitator, Great Questions
- Chris Burfict, Fellow, Adobe Creative Fellowship
- Rob Crowl, Fellow, Liberal Arts Gateway
- Alana King, Fellow, Great Question
Collaboration is Key
During the panel, fellows emphasized the benefits of becoming a part of a community. The fellowship programs provide an incredible opportunity to become part of a network of faculty colleagues striving towards shared goals. Additionally, at the conclusion of a fellowship, participants leave with a tangible product – a redesigned course that can be immediately implemented.
Ted Hadzi-Antich, Associate Professor in the Government department and facilitator of the Great Questions Fellowship, discussed the benefits of bringing together faculty from a wide range of disciplines. According to Hadzi-Antich:
“We saw an opportunity with the fellowship to broaden the magical method of discussion-based study of transformative texts and raise these persistent human questions for us into other disciplines. Through the [Great Questions] fellowship we’ve been able to encourage and support faculty in communication studies, humanities, philosophy, sociology, mathematics, composition and literary studies, political science, and so many different disciplines. Being able to work with colleagues directly not just in a couple meetings but over the course of an entire academic year has been a really lovely experience.”
Robert Crowl, Professor in the Composition and Literary Studies Department and a fellow in the Liberal Arts Gateway program, also repeatedly expressed gratitude for being part of a dynamic group of impassioned educators. As a new professor, Crowl was apprehensive about the enormity of the task of designing a course and stepping into the classroom, but the fellowship provided a space for him to both bring his own expertise and lean on the experience and expertise of others. Crowl said:
“I love the community and how they have inspired us to be empowered as educators. I love my community of practice and getting a chance to really find ways to use student-based and engaging strategies in my classroom and grow my practice.”
The panelists discussed with deep satisfaction how they were able to witness firsthand the transformative impact of the strategies they developed through their fellowships. Alana King, a Great Questions fellow and adjunct assistant professor with Composition and Literary Studies, expressed:
“My biggest takeaway and what I’ve gotten most out of this fellowship is just seeing how impactful it is to the students who have taken it and have learned from it and now feel more prepared for their lives as college students and lives in whatever career path that they take.”
Chris Burfict, Adobe Creative Campus Fellow and adjunct professor in the Radio, Television and Film department, developed a podcasting certificate from the ground up that invites students from all levels of audio engineering experience to learn the ins and outs of adobe programs and podcasting itself. Burfict discussed one of his students with little to no audio or video experience entering his class, who eventually developed and produced an original fiction-based podcast. While this student was initially incredibly intimidated Burfict described how she completely transformed, in part because of the structure of the course he was able to develop. According to Burfict:
“That is the surprise and the satisfaction that I’ve gotten from this fellowship. It’s seeing someone’s work take a life of its own and evolve and not feel like I’m overwhelming a student who has never used any editing software or creative software before. And all of that is because the way that we’ve structured access to the adobe suite, students can use it at home which is really revolutionary.”
The Sky’s the Limit
The best part about the fellowships, as many participants stressed, is that the only limit to the opportunity is your own imagination. Each fellowship is unique and brings to it the strengths and creativity of each faculty fellow. According to Associate Vice Chancellor of Instructional Services, Dr. Susy Thomason:
“What’s been great is that because we have worked as a collective of leaders in the space, we’re open to say if you have an idea for a course redesign that we know is grounded in research and the best practices, we’re open to talking about creating a fellowship.”
Fellowship facilitators boasted about the level of trust imparted on them to create fellowships aligned to their departments’ needs and their own vision. Each fellowship is structured with a distinct set of goals and needs in mind.
The Adobe Creative Campus Fellowship brings together faculty with the goal of integrating Adobe programs into course design to foster digital literacy skills, while the Great Questions Fellowship brings together faculty from a range of disciplines to develop ways to integrate larger philosophical questions into course content. Gateway fellowships are discipline-specific and geared towards bringing together faculty within more limited communities of practice to redesign targeted course elements. However, all fellowships started the same way: a faculty member with an idea grounded in research and the passion to redesign a course with a fellowship.
In addition to the Adobe Creative Campus, Gateway, and Great Questions Fellowships, fellowships focused on Quality Matters, Internships, and iPads are also part of the course redesign fellowship program. Each fellowship is unique and focused on redesigning a course guided by research. For example, the iPads in the Classroom Fellowship is a year-long opportunity for faculty to learn about alternative teaching methods that increase student engagement and success through the use of iPads. To learn more about each fellowship, please visit the ACC Course Redesign Fellowships webpage.
A recording of the forum is available below along with some additional resources.
Recording & Resources
View Recording of the Course Redesign Fellowship Faculty Forum.
Listen to the podcast mentioned in the forum discussion: Who’s Running the Show
To learn more about each fellowship, please visit the ACC Course Redesign Fellowships webpage.
Sign up to receive reminders for upcoming fellowship opportunities.