CFE Large Course Redesign Grants Program

CFE Large Course Redesign Grants Program

Faculty members from a wide range of disciplines are rethinking the way they teach large-enrollment courses. They are relying less on the traditional lecture and adopting active learning methods based on decades of research about how students learn. The CFE Large Course Redesign Initiative (formerly known as 100+ Initiative) supports faculty members interested in implementing changes to a large enrollment course in order to improve student engagement and learning outcomes.

Since the program was announced in 2012, the CFE has awarded 53 small grants for individual course redesign and two larger grants to support department-wide efforts in anthropology and history. Thus far, the grants program has helped transform the large-course experience for more than 14,000 Carolina students.

2017-2018 Call for Proposals

Program at a glance:

  • Call for proposals announced in November, awards announced in March
  • Course sections of 80 or more eligible
  • All full-time UNC faculty members eligible
  • Grant awards up to $5000


2017 grant recipients:

  • Neal Caren, Sociology
  • Patrick Harrison and Viji Sathy, Psychology and Neuroscience
  • Hosun Kim, Romance Studies
  • Priscilla Layne, Germanic and Slavic Languages
  • Patricia Mcanany and Ben Arbuckle, Anthropology
  • Sarah Shields, History
  • Kalina Staub, Economics
  • Dave Stotts, Computer Science
  • Jeff Summerlin-Long, Public Policy
  • Eren Tasar, History

2016 grant recipients:

  • Emily Baragwanath, Classics
  • Mike Figueroa, Music
  • Chris Jones, Mathematics
  • Fred Naiden, History
  • John Papanikolas, Chemistry
  • Michelle Robinson, American Studies
  • Michelle Sheran-Andrews, Economics

2015 grant recipients:

  • Steve Buzinski, Psychology
  • Erica Johnson, Michal Osterweil, and Jonathan Weiler, Global Studies
  • Ram Neta, Philosophy
  • Betsy Olson and Elizabeth Havice, Geography
  • Marsha Penner, Psychology
  • Tony Perucci and Renee Craft, Communication Studies
  • Jason Roberts, Political Science
  • Blaire Steinwand, Biology
  • Dave Stotts, Computer Science
  • Ariana Vigil and Michele Berger, Women’s and Gender Studies

2014 grant recipients:

  • Jay Aikat, Computer Science
  • Linda Green, Brenda Shryock, Debra Etheridge and Elizabeth McLaughlin, Mathematics
  • Suzanne Harris, School of Pharmacy
  • Jeannie Loeb, Psychology
  • Layna Mosley, Political Science
  • Christopher Nelson and Townsend Middleton, Anthropology
  • Gabor Pataki and Robin Cunningham, Statistics and Operations Research
  • Patrick Conway and Charles Merritt, Economics
  • John Sweet, History
  • Ben Waterhouse, History

2013 grant recipients:

  • Rita Balaban, Economics
  • Jean Davison and Sonda Oppewal, School of Nursing
  • Joe Kennedy, School of Law
  • Laurie McNeil and David Smith, Physics and Astronomy
  • Silvia Tomaskova, Anthropology
  • Courtney Woods, School of Public Health

2012 grant recipients:

  • Rudi Colloredo-Mansfeld, Anthropology
  • Jean DeSaix, Biology
  • Buck Goldstein and John Akin, Economics, and Chancellor Holden Thorp, Chemistry
  • Suzanne Hobbs, School of Public Health
  • Kathryn Hunter-Williams, Dramatic Arts
  • Jennifer Krumper and Carribeth Bliem, Chemistry
  • Tim Marr, American Studies, and Jocelyn Neal, Music
  • Mark McCombs, Mathematics
  • Dan Reichart, Physics and Astronomy
  • Viji Sathy, Psychology

Planning and support for the CFE Large Course Redesign Grants Program is provided by the CFE and ITS-Teaching and Learning.



Bob Henshaw, ITS Liaison to the Center for
Faculty Excellence
Phone: 919-962-9969


Finish Line Project and CFE Grants Program

With generous support from the U.S. Department of Education, the Finish Line Project and CFE are pleased to offer STEM faculty grant awards of $5,000 to support redesign of their courses. In addition to the grant money, the support will include opportunities to participate in a CFE program to introduce faculty to approaches and teaching methods that support their undergraduate students’ active learning.

Faculty who take part in the joint initiative will: 1) be part of a research study on large course redesign; 2) receive a stipend of $5,000; and 3) receive support from CFE and the Finish Line Program.

For more information about the grants, please see the call for participation and application. For more information about the Finish Line Project, please see the project brochure.



Molly Sutphen, Associate Director and Teaching
and Learning Coordinator
Phone: 919-966-4838


Faculty Peer Visits Program
The Faculty Peer Visits Program provides Carolina faculty members with an opportunity to visit the classrooms of peers who are implementing interactive methods. The program features a rotating cadre of instructors from various disciplines, all at different points in their experimentation with evidence-based learning techniques.

Interested in visiting a classroom? Simply browse the list of participating instructors and select one that you feel fits well with your interests. After you have submitted a request to visit, you will hear back from the faculty member about possible dates.

The Faculty Peer Visits Program is a collaboration between the Center for Faculty Excellence and the Office of Undergraduate Education.

Interactive Classrooms

Helping Carolina Transform Its Classrooms for Student Engagement

Research shows that students learn and retain more information during class when they interact in constructive ways with other students and their instructors. Yet most classrooms were designed to emphasize the presentation of information from the front of the room. Faculty members at Carolina are interested in classrooms that facilitate 1) sustained eye contact among students, 2) instructor movement throughout the classroom, and 3) transitions between lecture, small group work, and full class discussion.

The CFE has taken an active role in the University’s experimentation with active learning classroom designs. Much of the CFE’s work in this area is closely aligned with the results of a 2012 faculty survey on classrooms and subsequent recommendations made to the Classroom Policy Steering Committee by the Classroom Innovation Subcommittee. CFE staff are eager to introduce faculty members to these new classroom spaces and to work with departments interested in investigating new classroom design and furniture ideas.

Here are the primary designs that have been implemented on campus to date:


Swivel Seat with Dedicated Aisle Space

Fixed tablet arm desks that swivel 360 degrees make transitions between lecture, class discussion, and small groups almost instantaneous. Instructors have dedicated aisle space to move throughout the room. Learn More »

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Studio classrooms support collaborative and cooperative learning methods by grouping students at round or square tables. Learn More »


Tablet Chairs on Casters

Tablet arm desks with soft casters facilitate the formation of small groups and encourage eye contact during class discussions. Learn More »


Interactive Lecture Hall

Greenlaw 101 is the University’s first interactive lecture hall. This large classroom facilitates student interaction and instructor movement throughout the room. Learn More »



Bob Henshaw, ITS Liaison to the Center for Faculty Excellence
Phone: 919-962-9969


CFE Publications and Videos

Linking Faculty Members to the Most Current Research about Teaching and Learning

The following are short essays about topics related to teaching and learning in which CFE staff draws upon current research to offer strategies and suggestions for instructional methods.

The CFE has created short videos of Carolina faculty members using some of the techniques mentioned in these essays and explaining how and why they use them. Watching these videos is a great way to learn quickly how to get started with these techniques.

UNC Resources

Providing Faculty Members with Teaching and Learning Resources across Campus

Carolina offers abundant resources about teaching and learning for faculty from all disciplines.

CFE staff is available to help faculty interested in using instructional technologies, such as Sakai, VoiceThread, Camtasia and Poll EveryWhere.

In addition, others on campus support instructional technologies, including:

For help with classroom technologies:

Other organizations that support programming about teaching and learning include:

In addition to these, CFE staff members are ready to help faculty find the right organization or person to consult.



Molly Sutphen, Associate Director and Teaching
and Learning Coordinator
Phone: 919-966-4838


Teaching and Learning Organizations

Providing Faculty with Information about National and International Organizations Supporting Programming about Teaching and Learning in Higher Education

The following organizations offer faculty, instructional technologists and faculty developers resources and opportunities to present what they have learned about their teaching and students’ learning:



Molly Sutphen, Associate Director and Teaching
and Learning Coordinator
Phone: 919-966-4838


CFE Publication and Presentation Grants

Carolina faculty members have a long tradition of innovation in the classroom. Their willingness to experiment with promising new instructional techniques and models has benefited students and peers on this campus and beyond. The impact of their work is especially broad when they are able to realize opportunities to share their findings through peer-reviewed publications, conference presentations, and other dissemination channels.

The growing number of faculty members interested in sharing the results of their work in the classroom represent the movement known as the scholarship of teaching and learning (SoTL). This work is based on methodologies that offer some evidence about the impact of the intervention on student learning experiences and outcomes. Recent examples of the University’s contributions to this area of scholarship include Kelly Hogan’s (Biology) study on active learning and closing achievement gaps or Julee Waldrop’s (Nursing) contributions to a new book on flipping the college classroom.

The CFE is pleased to announce a small grants program to support faculty members who wish 1) to publish on the results of changes they have made to their teaching or 2) to present on their findings at local, national, or international conferences. The Center hopes that the program will make it possible for more Carolina faculty members to share their scholarship on effective teaching with the greater education community.


  • All UNC faculty members
  • Study findings must be based on a UNC-Chapel Hill credit-bearing course(s) or curricular enhancement. A broad range of instructional settings are eligible; for example the work could focus on enhancements to a residential course, a fully online course, a course offered through a Study Abroad program, or a service learning course.
  • Applicants should have collected a majority of their data, evidence, field-notes, or other observations from their course(s) by the time they apply.

Grant Award Types

The program awards two different types of grants, publication grants to support faculty during the analysis and write-up of their SoTL project findings and presentation grants to defray costs associated with conference preparation and travel.

Please keep the following in mind as you consider your grant options:

  • Faculty members who receive a Publications Grant are still eligible to apply for a Presentation Grant, and vice versa.
  • A faculty member who has received a Presentation Grant will not be eligible to apply for a second Presentation Grant on the same study.
  • Multiple faculty members presenting on the same project at the same conference are eligible, assuming roles are clearly defined. Each should complete a separate Presentation Grant application.
  • The number of grants awarded each year will be based on the quality of proposals and limitations on the overall project budget; applicants who are not funded may be asked to resubmit their proposals during the next grant cycle.

Publication Grants
The goal of these grants is to help subsidize time spent analyzing and writing up findings for a SoTL study. For example, funds may be used for salary support, to hire a statistician or graduate student who will work with you on the project, for publication fees, or data analysis software.

The awards for these grants are capped at $5,000. No more than $3,500 can be taken as personal salary by any one individual on the grant.

Full applications will be reviewed twice a year. The deadlines for submitting an application for each review process:

  • March 15, 2016
  • September 15, 2016

Applying for a publication grant

The application process for this grant involves multiple opportunities for interested faculty members to get feedback on their proposals. By identifying proposals that are NOT a good match with the goals of the program as early as possible, we hope to minimize wasted time for all parties involved.

1. All interested faculty members should begin by submitting a brief statement of interest through our online form.
2. Faculty members whose statement of interest lines up well with the program goals will meet with CFE staff members to discuss the proposal planning process.
3. Full applications are due on one of two annual dates: March 15 and September 15.
4. Proposals will be reviewed by a faculty/staff committee on the following criteria (not listed in order of importance):

  • Degree to which study findings focus on student learning experiences and outcomes
  • Coherence and rigor of study design
  • Generalizability/transferability of findings across other courses/disciplines
  • Feasibility of proposed publication timeline
  • Alignment between prospective manuscript and selected publication venues
  • Consistency with disciplinary norms for scholarship on teaching

Presentation Grants
The purpose of these grants is to subsidize costs associated with presenting SoTL study findings at a local, regional, national, or international conference. For example, funds may be used for conference registration, travel, poster preparation; funds may not be used to support registration, travel, etc. for non-faculty members.

Awards for presentation grants are capped at $1500. Allowable costs should be consistent with the applicant’s departent’s travel policies. Applicants will be asked to provide a proposed budget in the full application.

Proposals for presentation grants will be handled on a rolling, as-needed basis.

Applying for a presentation grant

Faculty members are welcome to apply for one of these grants only after a conference paper or presentation has been accepted.

1. To apply, download a copy of the full application and follow the instructions.
2. Proposals will be reviewed on the following criteria (not listed in order of importance)

  • Degree to which findings focus on student learning experiences and outcomes
  • Coherence and rigor of project findings
  • Generalizability/transferability across other courses/disciplines
  • Appropriateness of proposed budget
  • Role in the SoTL study and presentation




Molly Sutphen, Associate Director and Teaching
and Learning Coordinator
Phone: 919-966-4838


Inclusive Teaching Tips

Structuring the Classroom for Inclusive Teaching

Kelly Hogan ( and Viji Sathy (

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Unstructured learning environments can lead to unfairness, feelings of exclusion, and collisions of students’ cultural background with the learning environment.

Adding structure to learning environments can mitigate unfairness, promote feelings of inclusion, and promote student success.

Workshop Objectives:

  • Explain the inequities that arise in an unstructured learning environment.
  • Describe techniques that add structure and equity to a classroom.
  • Brainstorm ways to reduce the inequities in your own classroom.

Practical Tips:

  • Prompt students to interact socially by introducing themselves and providing basic info about their gender identities and names.
  • Use colored boxes to provide clear instructions on structured activities. Giving expectations about timing adds structure.
  • Use methods that allow everyone to feel comfortable participating:

–  Learn or have access to all student names

–  Use “wait time” of 5-7 seconds before calling on students

–  Monitor and vary who gets to share with class.

–  Assign reporters for small groups

–  Allow students time to write (notecards)

–  Allow students anonymous ways to participate (notecard shuffle)

  • Working agreement about the rules, i.e. “you won’t be cold-called unless you have discussed with your group and are simply reporting for your group.”
  • Allow quiet THINK time in the think-pair-share.
  • Routinely use small groups rather than all large class discussion.
  • Wait for multiple hands or call on parts of the room.
  • Use technology or paper to collect answers.
  • Be explicit about promoting access and equity for all students. Tell students, “you all belong here.”

Practical Tips (cont.):

  • Explicitly acknowledging the differences that exist with students and that with a growth mindset all students can achieve.
  • Use anonymous ways of reporting for students to build confidence that they belong with these peers.
  • Use varied active-learning activities that include small groups and think-pair-share.
  • Use random calling to reduce bias in who is called upon.

  • Course structure with required (not optional) practice before, during, and after class.
  • Syllabus that has clear dates/deadlines specific readings, goals, etc.
  • Objectives presented for each lesson with less “telling” and more “asking” so students can learn what they know and don’t know.
  • Assessments that align with objectives.
  • Collect assessment evidence from every student, every class.
  • Low stakes practice assessments to help the student practice high stakes assessments.
  • Many lower stakes quizzes rather than 3 high stakes exams.
  • Explicitly acknowledging the differences that exist with students and that with a growth mindset all students can achieve.

  • Include respectful communication in learning objectives for the course.
  • Set up “ground rules” that define respectful communication in the class.
  • Select preparation reading that will be read by all—consider length, density, relevance.
  • Choose “grounding” in-class content such as a video, audio selection, in-class reading that can be used as an anchor for discussion.
  • Set up discussion with acknowledgement that there will be differing views.
  • Develop and implement a case to discuss.
  • Give a writing prompt to allow students to organize their thoughts before discussion.
  • Consider a “warm-up” writing prompt to take view opposite of student’s own.
  • Assign viewpoints to pairs to encourage taking others’ perspective.
  • Reinforce appropriate communication and behaviors.
  • Model respectful communication.

Suggested Resources:

Hogan and Sathy Podcast on Interactive and Inclusive Classrooms:

Hogan and Sathy:

Inclusive Classroom Campus Conversation:

Kimberly Tanner. Structure Matters: Twenty-One Teaching Strategies to Promote Student Engagement and Cultivate Classroom Equity. CBE Life Sci Educ. 2013 Fall; 12(3): 322–331.

Eddy and Hogan:



Molly Sutphen, Associate Director and Teaching
and Learning Coordinator
Phone: 919-966-4838