Course Innovation Grants: Implementing a Successful Professional Development Plan

Concurrent Session 3

Session Materials

Brief Abstract

How does an institution encourage a culture of technology-driven pedagogical experimentation? This session examines how NYU Steinhardt designed a school-wide framework supporting faculty to develop high-quality, technology-enhanced courses within an 8 week period.


Francesca Socolick works as a Senior Instructional Technologist at The Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development within New York University. Even though Francesca built her career within IT she considers herself an educator, lifelong learner, and enjoys working on complex projects which merge education with technology. Her interest in education began in the Girl Scouts as an Outdoor Educator/Low Ropes Coordinator, coaching individuals through a series of real and imaginary obstacles designed to challenge groups to collectively accomplish a task. Wanting to understand how people learn inspired her to earn a BA in Psychology from the College of Staten Island (2007) and then integrated her passion for technology with a MA in Instructional Technology and Media from Teachers College, Columbia University (2011). In her free time she loves to travel and blog about her adventures, collaborate on projects related to user experience design, and refine her improvisational skills in acting class. To learn more, visit
Ilana Levinson, a native New Yorker manages the Academic Technology services team. She is passionate about technology in education and loves to solve problems. Ilana has a Masters Degree Educational Technology and a Bachelor’s Degree in Childhood Education. When she is not having fun with technology she spends most of her time playing with her dog, Feta and enjoying the city's food scene. She especially loves to cook and can be found at the farmers market several times a week.

Extended Abstract

The Course Information Grant is an eight week professional development program to support technology-based enhancements for existing undergraduate and graduate courses. The program was piloted in summer 2015. Thirteen faculty whose proposals were accepted from over 35 applications received a stipend to work weekly with Steinhardt's academic technology team to develop high-fidelity solutions for content delivery, collaborative learning environments, and evaluation and assessment.

This presentation explores the core components of the CIG model; it is premised on the view that to create a fully immersive and seamless learning experience with technology requires two parallel forms of support. The first form of support provides multiple resources - technical infrastructure, technical support, design specialists, platforms options - for course production and project management. The second form of support provides the faculty member and academic technologist with a framework to undertake an explicit analysis of pedagogical goals and strategies, with careful attention to curriculum design and an understanding of how various technologies change the learning experience, including the places of learning and the roles and responsibilities of instructors and students.