In this program, students and faculty members work together as partners in exploring how we can create more engaging, inclusive, learning-rich environments for every student. Each week, students visit and observe their faculty partner’s class, and then they and their faculty partners meet to discuss their respective observations, insights, and wonderings. This program is premised on the idea that students and faculty members can learn much from each other regarding the experience of teaching and learning, and that it is through dialogue and sharing of different perspectives that this learning from each other can occur.
What are the goals of this program?
Our hope is that this program will:
- Engage students and faculty as co-inquirers who learn and work together to analyze and improve educational practice
- Foster open and constructive student-faculty dialogue to promote understanding, empathy, and connection
- Involve students with diverse experiences, identities, and perspectives in creating an inclusive, engaging learning environment here at DU.
NOTE: Information on the rest of this page is student-focused; faculty interested in this program should go to the faculty information page to learn more/apply.
What’s in it for me?
Through participating in this program, not only will you be paid (see below for more on that!), but you will:
- Play a significant role in creating a more inclusive, engaging learning environment here at DU
- Gain practical experience in voicing your perspective and advocating for change
- Develop personal connections with fellow students and your faculty partner
- Build your leadership, communication, and dialogue skills
- Gain a whole new perspective on teaching and learning that will allow you to be more successful in your time at DU and beyond
How is this program structured and what is the timeline?
We’re inviting student applications for this program through October 27, 2017. We will select participants and determine student-faculty pairings by early November. If you are selected for the program, here is what you can expect after that:
- In early November, we will have an orientation for all student participants. Also in early November, you and your faculty partner will meet with each other to plan for your Winter 2018 partnership work. This will include identifying a focus question(s) for your work together.
- Each week of the Winter 2018 quarter, you will visit your faculty partner’s classroom and take detailed observation notes, focusing on the question(s) of interest the two of you have identified. Then, you’ll write up your observation notes, share them with your faculty partner, and you and your faculty partner will meet to share with each other your perspectives, wonderings, and insights in regards to your observations and the focus question(s). You will also participate in weekly meetings with the other student participants and the program facilitator so that you might support each other in learning from this experience and in figuring out how to best work with your faculty partner.
- Mid-Winter-quarter, if you and your faculty partner choose, you’ll conduct a feedback session/focus group with the students in your faculty partner’s class, compile the feedback, and share it with your faculty partner.
- At the end of the Winter quarter (or early Spring quarter), you’ll participate in a final debrief/reflection/celebration with the other participants, and will also have the opportunity to share your individual reflection on what the partnership experience was like, in writing or in person, with the program facilitator.
How will student participants be compensated, and what is the time commitment?
All students who participate in this pilot will receive $15/hour for their time. While the details are still evolving, at this point we estimate that the total time commitment for students will be roughly 66 to 96 hours (or $990 to $1440) over the course of the partnership, depending on how many hours you observe each week; that’s:
- 2 hours in early November 2017 for orientation activities
- 2 hours in early November to plan for the partnership
- 6 to 9 hours per week in the Winter 2018 quarter for observing your faculty partners class, writing up your notes/reflections, meeting with your faculty partner, and meeting with the other student participants
- 2 hours for end-of-quarter wrap up activities at the end of Winter quarter or beginning of spring quarter
How will you decide which students will participate?
We are seeking students who:
- Are undergraduates who have been at DU for at least 2 quarters
- Represent a diverse range of social identities and perspectives, particularly those identities/perspectives that are currently under-represented in shaping the higher education environment
- Are excited about the goals of this program
- Are able and committed to spending the time required to make this program a success
Our final selection of student participants will be determined in large part by the schedules of student and faculty applications (as we’ll need to ensure that students’ available times mesh with the class times of the participating faculty members!).
What faculty will participate and how will you match students and faculty members?
We hope to find faculty members from a range of departments and class types so that we might explore how these partnerships play out in different contexts. In most cases, faculty members with be paired with a student partner who is outside of their discipline, as the idea is that students bring an expertise in what it means to be a student, faculty members bring their expertise in the discipline, and it’s the combination of these two types of “expertise” (along with a mutual desire to learn and work together in creating an inclusive, engaging learning environment) that will lead to great things!
How do I apply or learn more?
If you are a student who would like to participate, please fill out this application as soon as possible, as we will being reviewing applications immediately. The application deadline is October 27, 2017. We will notify selected participants in early November.
If you are a faculty member who would like to participate, please go to the faculty information page to apply.
If you would simply like to learn more about this program, or can’t participate in the Winter quarter but want to be on the mailing list for future quarters, please contact Virgina.Pitts@du.edu, who is the facilitator of this program.