University of Virginia

Teaching+Technology Initiative

A partnership between the Office of the Vice President & Provost and the Office of the Vice President of Information Technology.

Selection Criteria


The TTI program began in 1995, and ended in May 2009. New proposals are not being solicited.


Following are explications of criteria used to judge TTI Fellowship proposals.

Pedagogical Effectiveness

Projects selected will typically allow instructors to do something better than or other than what is currently being done with traditional technologies. Long-term teaching improvements will generally be foreseen as a result of the project. Applicants are encouraged to include supporting material from the relevant instructional technology and education literature, if available.

Innovation

Particular emphasis will be given to projects that are innovative in nature either because the technology is newly emerging or because that technology has not yet been explored or exploited sufficiently for classroom use here at UVa. UVa is interested in advancing its skill and infrastructure in instructional technology. Examples of emerging technologies which may offer opportunities to enrich teaching are:

  • Social Networking. Online environments and sites such as Facebook and MySpace have exploded in popularity recently. Can the energy that students expend in these environments be harnessed effectively in classes here at UVa?
  • Wireless Computing. Emerging and rapidly developing wireless technologies offer great promise in interactive aspects of education. How can we make practical use of one of these technologies?
  • Mash-up Culture. The ability of students to quickly and effectively re-mix digital information to analyze and comment on their culture has taken the interactive nature of the web to new levels of activity. YouTube and GoogleVideo, for example, offer public exposure to massive amounts of this self-created, re-mixed content. How can the students’ skills be enhanced in this mash-up culture, even as their ability to critique and improve that content is increased?
  • Creative Commons and Copyleft. There is currently a lot of discussion about creative complements and counters to copyright. How can a course take advantage of those emerging movements to further its own pedagogical aims?

An excellent series of publications by Educause can be found at: http://www.educause.edu/7ThingsYouShouldKnowAboutSeries/7495. These publications succinctly summarize emerging technologies and their impact on pedagogy.

Preparation and Feasibility

Where appropriate, precise plans for programming and the use of field-tested software will be described. A timetable for completion and implementation of the project in the instructional program (preferably during the term following the end of the fellowship) should be well thought out and realistic.

Collegiality in Project Development

A TTI Fellowship is more than a solo award. Applicants should indicate a willingness to engage in debate and discussion with other TTI Fellows by participating in the September retreat and monthly meetings that are an essential element of the program. It is probably best not to apply for this Fellowship if travel plans or other commitments will make regular participation difficult. Fellows should also anticipate occasional participation in ongoing campus discussions of instructional technology use.

Plans for Project Dissemination

The proposal should show how the project would impact teaching in the applicant's school or department and other faculty as well as the Fellow. Projects that develop materials that can be used in other courses and/or that are usable by other faculty members are especially encouraged. The project should be strongly endorsed by the applicant’s school or department, including plans to showcase the work within the department, the University community, and the appropriate professional conferences and journals.

Project Budget

Project budgets should not exceed $20,000. Proposals that can be accomplished for less than the maximum budget are encouraged, as that would allow the possibility of funding more projects.

Considerations for Selection

The following is offered as clarification of factors considered in reviewing and selecting proposals. James Hilton and Milton Adams will:

  • seek to fund new approaches and cutting edge pedagogical innovations;
  • strive for a balance of proposals from the Humanities, Sciences and Social Sciences;
  • consider pedagogy over technology;
  • carefully consider the feasibility of the project in light of the currently available instructional environment. (It is recommended that authors consult with the Instructional Technology Advisors to TTI while developing proposals to determine if the project can be accomplished with existing university resources and/or establish that it will require upgraded facilities or systems.); and
  • strive to include excellent proposals regardless of the technical expertise of the proposing faculty member. It is understood that participating faculty members will, with limited instruction and support from the Instructional Technology Advisor, be expected to develop a level of expertise and the technical skills to manage projects themselves, during and following the official grant period, and to integrate these into their teaching and research.