Friday @ the Center
March 12, 2010
Grant Writing at SPU: Grant Action Plan & Writing
After completing an Intent to Apply form for an external grant, you will receive a Grant Action Plan from the Grants Office that includes a recommended timeline, internal deadlines, and the necessary compliance assurances. You will then write the grant, consulting the Grants Office when necessary. Two common mistakes faculty make in working with grant writers are either to expect them to write the entire grant or to pay no attention to the advice they provide. The Grants Office will not write a grant for you; you have to generate the research question, design the research strategy and methodology, do the literature review, and demonstrate your knowledge of the field. But the Grants Office will work with you to complete the grant writing process as successfully as possible. Good grant proposals (just like good papers) will require two to three drafts and careful proofreading. The Grants Office can be particularly helpful in examining the proposal from the grantor’s point of view, checking for the required components, and analyzing the strategic language used with each funder. The Grants Office is also able to supply boilerplate language for certain sections. Next week: budgeting.
Developing Independent Learning: Problem-Solving Systems
Skill 7 for independent learning, based on Terry Doyle’s Helping Students Learn in a Learner-Center Environment, is problem-solving skills. For students to be effective independent learners, they must know how to solve problems on their own. The teacher’s task, Doyle says, “is to design authentic problems and help our students learn how to examine and solve them on their own.” Begin by identifying a problem or putting a case study together in your discipline. Then guide students through the process—highlighting the various steps that are appropriate for tackling this problem. Then, and this is the hardest one, consider how those same steps might transfer to another situation. Problem-solving steps might include: 1) exploring potential causes for the problem (your ideas, peers’ ideas, experts’ ideas, data); 2) identifying resources needed to help solve the problem; 3) suggesting possible solutions by brainstorming, identifying top three solutions, listing pluses and minuses of each one, and identifying possible unintended consequences or side-effects of each solution; 4) selecting a solution; 5) planning the implementation of the solution; and 6) evaluating the effectiveness of the solution.
Center Star Honors Star Teachers
Check out the new Center Star which honors our eight nominees for the 2010 SPU Teacher of the Year: Michelle Beauclair, Kathleen Braden, Carlene Brown, Kerry Dearborn, Kathy Lustyk, Chris Sink, Lisa Surdyk, and Cara Wall-Scheffler.