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Dreaming big about learning

A new initiative launched by Principal Daniel Woolf is asking faculty members to dream big about undergraduate teaching.

Principal’s Dream Courses is a new program that aims to enhance the student learning experience and promote undergraduate research and inquiry. The program makes funding available to help redesign an existing undergraduate course, in ways of which the instructor may only have dreamt.

The two-year program will provide up to $13,000 per course, for three courses each year, to support creative and innovative ways to enhance the student learning experience. The funds can be used for things such as additional teaching assistant support, experiential learning, field trips, new course materials, inviting experts and guests, or for technology that supports active learning.

“The Dream Courses initiative aims to unleash the creativity of Queen’s exceptional faculty members,” says Principal Daniel Woolf. “This is a chance for instructors to think big about how and what they’ve always wanted to teach. And as Queen’s prepares for its 175th anniversary it is one way to celebrate and enhance the remarkable learning opportunities at Queen’s.”

Faculty applicants are encouraged to focus their proposed courses on the three following topics:

  1. Sustainability: Understood broadly to include ecological, social, cultural, financial, professional and personal sustainability
  2. Indigenous Identities: Exploring themes of indigeneity, nationally or globally
  3. Queen’s 175th Anniversary: Highlighting any aspect of the institution, its origins, lands, people or contributions — past, present or future

Along with financial support, the successful faculty applicants will be given educational development assistance from the Centre for Teaching and Learning (CTL), which will help foreground the Dream Courses’ goals of promoting undergraduate research and inquiry.

“The CTL wants to support these courses so they can have the greatest impact on students,” says Peter Wolf, Associate Vice-Provost (Teaching and Learning) and Director of the CTL. “Here’s hoping faculty members will dream big and bring forth their most inspired and creative ideas.”   

Applications for the courses are due by Feb. 15, 2016, with winners announced in March. Successful applicants will be asked to participate in an event showcasing the Principal’s Dream Courses. Information about applications and restrictions can be found on the CTL’s website.