EDGE Curriculum Grant Program

The EDGE Creative Inquiry (CI) Curriculum Grant Program offers Faculty the opportunity to redesign single or multiple undergraduate courses to include creative inquiry projects and assignments. A new level of funding is being introduced for the upcoming 2018-2019 academic year: department-level grants of up to $15,000. These grants are meant for faculty who would like to incorporate creative inquiry projects and assignments in multiple courses (up to three) in a departmental curriculum in order to deepen and broaden the creative inquiry skills of their students. 

Grant Recipient Expectations

Grant recipients will agree to the following:

  1. Attend Camp QEP on May 14 and 15, 2018, for support in developing a CI course.

  2. Conduct the following activities for an annual report (due by May 17, 2019) to be sent to the Director of University Assessment, Dr. Theresa Ennis, for two consecutive offerings of the course, including the initial year of funding:

    1. Describe assessment activities for measuring the Creative Inquiry SLOs
    2. Score student performances on the assessment(s) administered in each grant course using the EDGE rubric
    3. Summarize the goals of the original proposal and progress made in reaching them
    4. Explain course improvement efforts in response to the results

  3. Have students complete the EDGE survey during the last week of the semester.

  4. Meet with QEP staff briefly on two occasions each semester for assessment purposes.

  5. Participate in spring focus group discussion.

  6. All Curriculum Grant awardees are required to sustain the creative inquiry enrichment beyond the grant funding time frame.

  7. All courses/programs supported by a Curriculum Grant should include syllabus language reflecting the creative inquiry enriched nature of those courses. Sample syllabus language  is provided for your convenience.

Note: Once a course has been supplemented with a CI grant and redesigned to include CI activities, it is expected that those activities will remain part of the course in semesters following the grant period. Your Chair must complete the QEP Curriculum Grant Support Form to agree to this requirement.

Proposal Deadline

  • Friday, March 23, 2018, 5:00 pm

Creative Inquiry Definition and Student Learning Outcomes

Student Learning Outcomes

Creative inquiry learning activities can be incorporated into the curriculum through a series of specific Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs). SLOs describe the expected gains in knowledge, skills, and attitudes that should result from participating in your course. The SLOs for EDGE are the following:

  • 1. Students will effectively use digital information search tools.
  • 2. Students will formulate a creative inquiry question or problem.
  • 3. Students will explore a creative inquiry question or problem.
    • 3.1 Choose an appropriate discovery process to address the problem.
    • 3.2 Collect information relevant to the problem.
    • 3.3 Assess collected information in a discipline-appropriate manner.
  • 4. Students will create an original scholarly or creative project.
    • 4.1 Applying critical thinking skills and/or
    • 4.2 Applying creative thinking skills
  • 5. Students will communicate their findings/creations/art/inventions in a discipline-appropriate manner.

SLO 1 is aimed at 1020/Connections courses, but any EDGE course may include this student learning outcome. All EDGE courses besides 1020/Connections courses must include SLOs 3 through 5. It is up to the discretion of the instructor to include SLO 2. Rather than requiring students to formulate their own questions or problems, the instructor may provide the question or problem to be addressed.

These SLOs are intended to be inclusive to all departments and programs, but an alternative phrasing of any SLO that maintains the intent of that SLO is acceptable.

Your Application

Please collect all the required materials below. When you are ready to apply, fill out TTU QEP Curriculum Grant Proposal form and then submit each of the required materials listed by email to lweathers@tntech.edu. Soon thereafter, have your Department Chair complete the QEP Curriculum Grant Support Form. If any aspect of your proposal requires review for research compliance be sure to follow appropriate university policies. Please submit all materials in pdf format. Include your last name as the first part of any document name, e.g. "Lastname....pdf."

Required materials:

  1. Current syllabus for the course.

  2. Short (no more than one page) narrative statement that explains why this course has good potential to be a CI-enriched course. The narrative statement must be single spaced, with a font size no smaller than 11-point; minimum 1-inch margins; tables and figure legends can be in 10-point font size. Proposals will be evaluated by the following criteria:

    1. Creative Inquiry Learning Activities: Describe how you will implement creative inquiry into the course to promote each targeted student learning outcome. Unless this is a new course, indicate how these activities differ from those in past course offerings, and why you chose to make these changes. Make sure to express the degree that the creative inquiry learning activities are student-centered.  

    2. Feasibility: The degree that: a) the budget is appropriate for the activities and grant timeline, b) the timeline is appropriate for the intended goals, c) the enhancements are sustainable, and d) the department and, if appropriate, the college is committed to the project.

    3. Intensity and Impact: The weight that you are placing on creative inquiry in your course and the scope of impact   (i.e., how many students are impacted).

  3. Timeline for development, teaching, and evaluation of the course.

  4. Budget and budget justification.  Other than the Faculty Stipend budget item, clearly note how each budgeted item is linked to 1) a proposed assignment or project and, 2) to one or more student learning outcomes.  Please break your budget down into these categories:  
CategorySummer 2018Fall 2018Spring 2019
Faculty Stipend (see Budget
Considerations below)
Graduate Student Stipends$$$
Undergraduate Pay$$$
Materials (please supply list)$$$
Other (please supply list)$$$

Funding Levels

  • Single course grants: the total funding limit, not including faculty stipends, is $5000.
    • For faculty who wish to develop or revise a single course to develop the creative inquiry skills of their students by including creative inquiry projects or assignments.
  • Departmental level grants: the total funding limit, not including faculty stipends, is $10,000 for two courses, and $15,000 for three courses.
    • For faculty who wish to build connections between courses to ensure students engage in creative inquiry learning activities throughout their program experience, by incorporating creative inquiry projects or assignments within multiple courses throughout a program.

Budget Considerations

  • All faculty who are PIs or co-PIs on approved projects will receive $2,000 for their first approved project. Faculty who are PIs or co-PIs on approved projects other than their first will receive stipends of $1000.
  • Budget should align with curricular initiatives and should coincide with project and assignment implementation proposed in the application.

  • Proposals primarily seeking to add assessment methods and tools to courses without revising existing teaching strategies and learning experiences will not be funded.

  • Funding for fall classes must be used prior to the last day of the fall semester. Funding for spring classes must be used prior to the last day of the spring semester. Funds cannot be “carried over” into the following semester unless approved by the QEP Director. Any funds not used are returned to the QEP budget.

  • Faculty stipends will be released in two installments: one-half after requirements of the first year of the grant have been met, including the submission of the annual report to the Office of University Assessment (see item 2 under Grant Receipient Expectations above), and one-half after attendance at Camp QEP.

  • Significant changes to any budget must be approved by the QEP Director.

  • The budget justification must indicate whether each budget item is a one-time expense to be used to design or pilot new elements of the curriculum or if it is a recurring expense. Each recurring expense needs to include a plan for how the expense will be funded after the grant cycle ends.

  • TTU’s QEP will not reimburse students for items purchased directly. 
  • Pursuant to TBR Policy 4-02-10-00 and Guideline B-120, the University maintains an electronic Procurement Manual, which sets forth any procedures of the University which are in addition to and necessary to comply with TBR Policies, Procedures and Guidelines.  The TBR Policies and Guidelines pursuant to Purchasing and Contracting shall govern the University's purchasing practices.  These practices must be adhered to when spending all QEP grant funds, including EDGE Curriculum Grant funds.

Allowable Expenses

  • Wages for graduate or undergraduate student assistants to assist in the design, teaching or assessment of undergraduate creative inquiry enhanced courses.

  • Grant-specific materials and supplies, equipment, etc. to support creative inquiry enhanced courses.

  • Marketing materials for your program, if appropriate.

  • Faculty stipends for curricular design/redesign. 

  • Support for piloting experiential learning and field trips, with a plan for sustaining the activity after the pilot period.

Non-Allowable Expenses:

  • Faculty travel to present the results of their EDGE-related scholarly work at professional disciplinary conferences. Faculty are instead encouraged to apply for an EDGE Faculty Development Grant.

  • Expendable course materials without a sustainable plan for department support after grant.

  • Student travel to present the results of their scholarly work. Students are instead encouraged to apply for funding through the URECA! Grant Travel Fund.

  • Food and drink.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who is eligible to apply for an EDGE curriculum grant?

All full-time tenured or tenure-track faculty and lecturers are eligible to apply. Faculty on one-year appointments are not eligible.

What kinds of assignments or projects should be included in the course re-design?

Assignments or projects that address the student learning outcomes. A student in a STEM course might investigate a phenomenon by examining relevant journal articles and then present their work as a research report and/or a poster presentation. A student in the humanities might research and apply a recent theory or finding to a topic in their discipline, and present their work in a paper or an innovative format. In any course, the proposed re-design should show clearly how an assignment or project will meet the SLOs more effectively than in the previous syllabus.

How could I enrich a service learning course with creative inquiry activities?

As an example, if in a particular course the instructor has incorporated either one large service learning project or several small projects, aspects of the planning of the event OR each individual project could be aligned with the SLOs. The process of assessing needs as well as the process of planning and executing such projects, gathering necessary information regarding the service and the dissemination of final service project itself all could apply to meeting the requirement of aligning the course with the SLOs.

Can my students work in teams?

Teamwork is encouraged, however, each student must be assessed for their achievement of each SLO.

When will I know if my project has been funded?

You will be notified by Apr. 13 with regard to the decision for your project.

If I receive a CI curriculum grant do I have to teach this course again when it is taught next?

Decisions such as this are made on a departmental level, however, as mentioned above, once a course has been supplemented with a CI grant and redesigned to include CI activities, it is expected that those activities will remain part of the course in semesters following the grant period, regardless of who teaches the course.

If I have a question about the Curriculum Grant Program who should I contact?

Contact the QEP Director, Lenly Weathers; the CISE/URECA! Director, Ed Lisic; or any of the Faculty Fellows: Shelley Brown, Kristen Deiter, Melissa Geist, Kim Winkle, or Matthew Zagumny.