Innovative Curriculum and Pedagogy

Primary Goal: Develop innovative curricula and academic programs that support and enhance the success of our undergraduate and graduate students and prepare them for meaningful careers, lifelong learning, and engaged citizenship; and thereby enhance our position as a national leader in undergraduate and graduate education.

Supporting material for this focus area can be found here.

Strategic Goals

 1.  Provide exemplary support for educators in creating state-of-the-art undergraduate and graduate curricula delivered through innovative and effective approaches to teaching and learning.

 2.  Continue to build a culture of academic assessment to support our faculty as the primary drivers of continuous improvement in student learning outcomes.

Supporting Objectives

 1.1  Enhance the capacity of the Faculty Development Center to provide support for research on and training in best pedagogical practices and transform it into the Center for Teaching Excellence (CTE).

Establish a new Center for Teaching Excellence with mission, budget, appropriate stature, and effective programming that significantly increases faculty-development activities and participation in CTE programming by full- and part-time faculty, as well as undergraduate and graduate teaching assistants.

 1.2  Increase the size and diversity of full-time faculty and their engagement in first- and second-year student learning experiences.

Steadily grow the ratio of full-time to part-time instructional faculty.

Reduce the number of first- and second-year undergraduate courses taught by part-time faculty so that at least 70 percent of all such courses are taught by full-time faculty.

Steadily grow the diversity of full-time faculty.

 1.3.  Expand opportunities for advancement, prestige, and increased salaries for full-time lecturers.

Increase the number of ranks available for full-time, non-tenure-track faculty consistent with professional development and shared governance opportunities provided to tenure-track faculty.

 1.4  Expand opportunities for advancement and professional development by part-time faculty.

Establish consistent structures across campus for part-time faculty salaries and rank.

 1.5  Reappraise and update policy and practice to take into account the amount of faculty time and effort required to develop and deliver active learning and related innovative classroom practice.

Develop course assessment, evaluation, and assessment systems that recognize the potential risk taken by faculty and especially tenure-track faculty in developing innovative approaches to teaching and learning.

Reappraise and revise faculty-workload policies to take into account  the greater investment of faculty time and talent required to implement innovative approaches to teaching and learning.

 1.6  Expand campus-wide capacity for graduate education, increasing graduate assistant stipends, providing pedagogical training, and increasing the availability of informal learning spaces.

Across campus, establish standards for graduate assistant stipends and benefits and measures for ensuring appropriate funding levels.

 1.7  Develop campus-wide policies and standards for technology use in instruction, including but not limited to online and hybrid course formats.

Establish policies relating to development and delivery of hybrid and online courses and the effective use of technology for instruction.

 1.8  Provide state-of-the-art learning spaces, both formal and informal, which support both the best of traditional pedagogies and new evidence-based practices.

Invest in the renovation, redesign, and creation of learning spaces that support state-of-the-art teaching and learning.

Create private-public partnerships that assist in funding the updating of classrooms and informal learning spaces and the construction of a new classroom building devoted to the support of active learning and other state-of-the-art instructional practices.

 1.9  Reorganize the way classrooms are designed and redesigned to take full account of the perspective of classroom faculty and students with regard to space quality and usefulness.

Measure and increase levels of faculty and student satisfaction with the quality, utility, and availability of classrooms and informal learning spaces.

 2.1  Develop a robust internal information system and analytical capability that tracks student success and outcomes throughout students’ careers at UMBC and beyond. The system should use broadly defined and comprehensive success measures determined through campus-wide discussions that take into account academic performance and competencies, student engagement on campus, and overall well-being. The success measures should be utilized in academic advising and be tied to student learning outcomes, teaching modalities/facilities, and support periodic academic-program review and biannual assessment processes. Employ information systems and analytics to establish campus-wide standards for interventions to support student success throughout students’ careers at UMBC.

Develop and implement an internal information system and analytics to track and improve student success and establish campus-wide standards/best practices for interventions to support student success throughout students’ careers at UMBC.      

Continue to gain recognition by USM and the Middle States Accreditation Board of UMBC’s use of assessment as a tool of accountability and continuous improvement.

Establish campus-wide standards/best practices for evidence-based interventions that support student success and are implemented, as appropriate, at the university, college, and department levels.

Increase UMBC’s national standing as a research university that demonstrates excellence in both undergraduate and graduate education.

Increase student success as shown by all measures, including student retention, graduation rates, and time to degree.

 2.2  Develop a robust internal information system that tracks the number, quality, and utilization of formal and informal teaching spaces in relation to course offerings.

Develop classroom utilization reports and a classroom inventory that are validated by, and shared with, stakeholders.

Increase classroom utilization rates toward national benchmarks.

Measure and increase the extent to which UMBC’s inventory of instructional spaces aligns with current and future teaching and learning modalities employed by faculty.