September 9, 2020 : By Ryan Klinker - Office of Communications & Public Engagement
Recipients of Liberty University’s 2020-21 ILLUMINATE Grants for the Improvement of Teaching were announced on Aug. 25, marking another year of providing Liberty faculty with funds to explore more creative and innovative learning concepts.
The grants are designed to encourage faculty to reflect on teaching practices and develop plans to enhance instruction through the introduction of new pedagogical and active learning techniques, activities, class trips, and/or learner-centered experiences. Individuals apply for up to $1,500, teams of two up to $3,000, and teams of three up to $4,500.
Grants are awarded on a competitive basis. Confidential scoring committees evaluate applicants on the grant’s purpose, student engagement, higher-order thinking, and potential to impact student learning. Dr. Shawn M. Bielicki, Director of Teaching Excellence, oversees the awards process through Liberty’s Center for Teaching Excellence (CTE).
“This year’s ILLUMINATE Grants winners stood out because they showcased innovative hands-on and experiential learning,” Bielicki said. “I believe that if you make learning real, real learning will take place.”
In order to learn, students have to do more than just listen; they need to read, write, discuss, or be engaged in solving problems. The Center for Teaching Excellence believes — students must engage in such higher-order thinking tasks as research, analysis, synthesis, and evaluation, and that active learning engages students in two aspects doing things and thinking about the things they are doing.
“We have such great programs here at Liberty University and our faculty members are consistently finding innovative ways to enhance student learning and advance their research with each new year,” said Dr. Scott Hicks, Liberty’s Provost and Chief Academic Officer. “We support them in these pursuits as they train the next generation of Champions for Christ and represent both Christ and Liberty in the world of academics.”
2020-21 ILLUMINATE Grant awardees: