Ideas to Implementation: The Teams and Processes Needed to Make Faculty Ideas a Reality

Concurrent Session 9
Streamed Session

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Session Materials

Brief Abstract

Learn how one college within a large research university sparked creativity and fueled innovation with an internal call for proposals. How do you foster a climate that values innovations in education? And how do you create an effective team that reinforces and delivers that climate of innovation?


Andrea Beukema is an Instructional Designer within the Educational Support Services group of the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine where she works to create engaging learning experiences that draw on current research-based teaching and learning methods. Andrea earned a M.S. from the University at Albany in Curriculum Development and Instructional Technology as well as a Graduate Certificate in Online Learning and Teaching, and holds a B.A. in Theater from the University of Connecticut. Prior to joining the academic world she authored a book for young equestrians, Riding Right Young Rider’s Workbook, helped produce the award-winning DVD 40 Fundamentals of English Riding, and worked as a media producer. In her current position her goal is to help faculty design, re-design, and incorporate new technologies into their teaching. Her professional interests include instructional media production, online learning, and technology-enhanced teaching.

Extended Abstract

In December of 2017, the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine’s Educational Technology Steering Committee wanted to promote the use of digital and technology-enhanced learning to support the CVM curriculum. This was a new program, implemented by a new Associate Dean, inviting new ideas from faculty about new ways to use technology in teaching. Because everything about the program new, the CVM did not have an existing model; this presentation will share what worked in our process, providing a model you can adopt for your own programs. A key element is the parallel fostering of a faculty-administration climate and formation of effective teams reinforcing that climate.


We will share the path we took from idea to implementation of our internal Educational Technology Innovation Grants.  In our first open call, faculty teams from across departments submitted twenty-five proposals, with fifteen making the final selection. The team working to develop these faculty projects combines instructional design, computer programming, medical illustration, and media production skills.  While our team (Educational Support Services) is new, the timing for formation was right. We are poised to both deliver specific projects and foster educational innovation within the College.


This session will also allow you to make connections to your own institution, and discuss with colleagues ways to support faculty innovations in technology-enhanced teaching and learning.

The presenters of this session understand that not everyone works on a resource-rich team.  Thus, we ask participants to consider what can be done within their situation, and address how to leverage campus/university-wise resources and spark collaborations.


Session Outcomes:

Participants will…


  • Understand the process the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine (CVM) took to implement an internal grant process to spark faculty imaginations and fuel innovative educational technology projects.

  • Describe the key players in advocating for and adopting innovative educational practices.

  • Work with colleagues to address the question:  How can we support faculty innovation?

  • Reflect on how to realize innovative projects by leveraging campus, vendor, and student resources.


Session Interaction:

Participants will be asked to reflect individually, using the following questions as a framework for to process the information presented:

  • How eager to try new things are the faculty on your campus?

  • What resources can you provide to faculty who need support when trying a new technology or way of teaching?

  • Who are the key players at your institution advocating for advances in digital education?


After an individual reflection period, participants will be asked to work in pairs to relate their individual reflections to broader topics.

Questions to prompt discussion:

  • What resources are available on your campus, or through vendors, to supplement what you can offer to faculty?

  • How might you create (or begin to create) a climate that values innovations in education?

  • How can you make all faculty feel willing to pitch their ideas - regardless of their perceived level of tech savviness?


Presentation Outline:

  1. Introductions

  2. A Committee and an Idea

    1. The Educational Technology Steering Committee goals

    2. The Call for Proposals (CFP) issued in December 2017

  3. Faculty Dreams

    1. Response to CFP (high % of teaching faculty respond in six weeks)

    2. Project selection process

    3. How can we succeed?

  4. A Team to Implement

    1. The key players: New Associate Dean of Education

    2. Moving Educational Technology Innovation team out from under IT and into educational side of college

    3. A New team: Educational Support Services (ESS) is formed

      1. Instructional Designer, Multimedia Producer, and Medical Illustrator added

  5. What’s Working?

    1. Data to share: successes and lessons learned: sparking, and maintaining faculty enthusiasm for innovative educational technology projects

      1. Keep project manageable

      2. Consider small portions as “pilots”

      3. Expand only with success

    2. Student outcomes and perceptions

    3. Faculty satisfaction

  6. Individual Reflection (5 min)

  7. Paired Discussion (5 min)

  8. Group Discussion and Q&A (5 min)