New ideas for Innovedum, the ETH innovative teaching fund
With the Innovedum Fund, ETH has an extremely successful instrument for promoting innovative teaching, especially with regard to community building (cf. Reinhardt, Korner, Walter, 2019). Topics such as student engagement (Healey, Flint & Harrington, 2014) and Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (Martensson & Roxa, 2015) are increasingly being considered globally as an important part of educational development activities. With this in mind, the Innovedum application process became the focus of a rethink and revision in 2020. The application process was updated to a webform and new criteria were included in the application process. These were; inclusion of the student perspective, dissemination of Innovedum projects results and communication.
Inclusion of the student perspective in the project design and the planned project implementation
To encourage future applicants to take the student perspective into account, a new question was added to the application form. This is to meet the express wish of the Rector to further student perspectives and involvement when developing projects that innovate teaching and learning at ETH. Since the purpose of Innovedum is to have a positive effect on teaching and learning, it is important that the opportunity to include students in the application process is available:
Student Involvement: Describe whether and how students were involved in the preparation and review of this project application. How will students be involved in project implementation?
This question provides the project applicant with the freedom to decide if and how students can be involved in a possible project, while also pointing out easy steps how this could be done.
Dissemination of Innovedum Projects: Spreading good Teaching and Learning at ETH
Currently there is a public project database and various community events (Refresh Teaching; Learning and Teaching Fair) where Innovedum projects are made visible. To compliment this an explicit expectation to systematically reflect on the effectiveness of Innovedum projects is now also part of the application and reporting process. Applicants are now encouraged to consider the impact the project will have on teaching and learning and therefore develop a coherent evaluation strategy from the beginning.
Evaluation strategy: Describe the evaluation strategy you will use to check achievement of project goals and effects on teaching. What approaches will you use? Are you planning measures for identifying interim results? If so, how will these results flow back into the project?
For help with designing an evaluation strategy apropriate lecturers can always contact their LSPs or LET.
Project communication: Making project insights visible
Taking the findings made during the evaluation and sharing them with others will make it easier for new applicants to profit from the lessons others have learned and increase the quality of their own applications. Ultimately a clearer picture of how innovation in teaching in learning works at ETH will emerge and flow back in to educational development as a whole.
Project communication: How do you plan to publicise and document the progress of the project? What form will the final report for the Innovedum project database take? How will you disseminate project results?
There are a multitude of spaces both at ETH and beyond where results and experiences can be shared. At ETH the following spaces are available:
- LET-Blog. The blog is a place where effective and innovative teaching is featured as well as general projects and activities relating to teaching and learning. www.blogs.ethz.ch/letblog
- Refresh Teaching. A lunch-time seminar series where lecturers share and discuss their innovations in teaching. www.refreshteaching.ethz.ch
- Innoview and Competence view are two different dynamic websites which respectively feature innovative teaching projects or projects where cross-disciplinary competencies are explicitly fostered.
- Learning and Teaching Journal. The Journal publishes discussion as well as systematic reflections regarding discipline specific contributions.
Please contact LET (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you want to share your teaching project in one of these spaces. Any kind of projects are welcome, funded and non-funded.
Beyond ETH there are frequent conferences where teaching staff are welcome to present such projects. The Swiss Faculty Development Network hosts an annual conference of this nature and scholarship of teaching and learning (SoTL) conferences are also a great opportunity.
The Education Developer in your Departement (https://ethz.ch/en/the-eth-zurich/education/educational-development/netzwerk-lehrspezialisten.html) can advise and support the communication of your project.
You can find further information on the Innovedum website or contact the Innovedum office. Applications deadlines for focal and teaching projects are March 1st and October 1st every year.