Applications due January 28, 2022 for work to begin in Spring 2022

The CTL Learning Assessment Micro-Grants support individuals or small teams to plan and conduct small projects to assess student learning or develop assessment tools and strategies. Micro-grants provide a small amount of funding and assessment staff expertise to work on questions about student learning in a course or set of courses.

Recipients will learn how to identify assessment questions, select or create instruments (e.g. rubrics, pre-post tests, etc.), and use assessment data to answer their questions. A partnership between CTL and the Office of Data Analytics (ODA) will support grant recipients in each step of the process. 

Recipients will be expected to participate in an introductory workshop, and then work individually with CTL and ODA for the duration of the project. Faculty will be encouraged to use the assessment results to make changes to courses or programs to address student needs and advance teaching in the targeted course(s). 

The scope of the projects should be small, and manageable to complete in 1-2 semesters. Recipients will have one-on-one support to move the project from questions to completion during the project period.

Micro-grants will fund up to $300 (for an individual course) or $700 (for a course series or set of courses). Individuals or small teams are encouraged to apply. A maximum of ten projects will be funded for the spring 2022 semester.

Applications for Spring 2022 must be received by Friday, January 28, by 5:00 pm. Please see the application information below.

We invite CU Boulder full-time faculty members (including TTT and instructors/teaching professors) of all ranks who would like to explore a question about student learning in their courses or in a course series.

Allowable Expenses:

Micro-grants will fund typically allowable expenses, including:

  • Materials and supplies used in the project
  • Books
  • Registration fees for training webinars
  • Software licenses to collect or analyze data

Non-allowable Expenses:

  • Pay or travel expenses for professional consultants or outside speakers
  • Faculty or staff pay, honoraria, or release time

We recommend that you prepare the following information separately and then submit responses using the online application form

Contact Information:

  • Applicant Contact Information (for a team, select a Primary Contact or PI)
  • Contact name and email for a departmental accounting person

Project/Funding Request:

  1. Provide a brief description of the proposed project, including what you hope to learn by participating.
  2. The CTL and Office of Data Analytics will provide expert project support. What kind of assistance do you anticipate needing for this project? What data do you think you may need to help you answer the project questions?
  3. List campus faculty, staff or student participants and provide a brief description of how they will be involved in the project.
  4. Provide a brief timeline for the proposed project, beginning in Spring 2022.
  5. Total dollar amount requested (Maximum $300 for an individual course or $700 for a course series or set of courses); and a brief description of how funds will be used to support the activities described in the project.

Decisions about funding will be announced within 14 days of the submission deadline. Award funding is subject to availability and partial funding may be awarded. Applicants must complete the online application. Incomplete or late applications may not be considered. Applicants may receive more than one grant per academic year, though priority will be given to first-time applicants.

Faculty ask themselves questions about student learning in their classes all the time. How effective was a certain activity or assignment in helping students learn? What is a better way to teach a certain skill or subject? How do I know what students are learning in a group project? Should I try a different method for exams? How can I better assess higher order skills such as critical thinking, analysis, synthesis, and problem solving?

Questions about student learning and performance in a course series might include: Do the course prerequisites adequately prepare students for this course series? What factors contribute to different levels of performance? How can knowledge or skill gaps be identified and addressed to support student success in the course series and beyond?

The main benefit of this program is the team of assessment and data experts to help you identify your questions and support your project at each step.

Recipients will be expected to participate in an introductory group workshop on planning learning assessment projects. Recipients will then be matched with individuals from the CTL and the ODA Assessment Team to plan and carry out their projects.

Project support will be tailored to the needs of the individual projects, and may include:

  • assistance with identifying the assessment questions or problems
  • choosing assessment tools, instruments, or strategies
  • carrying out the assessment plan
  • assistance with analyzing or making sense of the data collected
  • consultation about next steps, or how to make changes to address the assessment results

The CTL would like to highlight your project on our website in our Improving Teaching and Learning with Assessment series. You may be asked to write a summary of how the project contributed to changes in your teaching practice.

For More Information:

Contact Stephanie Foster, CTL Assessment Lead, stephanie.foster@colorado.edu