Reacting Consortium and the Endeavor Foundation Announce the Third Round Competition for High Impact Challenge Team Grants

The Reacting Consortium, in collaboration with The Endeavor Foundation, is pleased to announce that it will hold its Third and Final Challenge Grant Workshop in coordination with the Reacting Winter Conference at the University of Georgia, January 12-14, 2018. We will award the final six mini-grants, each for $7500, to colleges and universities that seek to develop and implement curriculum innovations that use Reacting to the Past, a proven high impact learning pedagogy. The grants will enable institutional teams of at least five faculty and administrators to attend a conference focused on learning about curriculum revision and experiencing Reacting to the Past games, and to use the remaining funds to support the development of their curriculum projects on their own campuses. Application details are listed below.  Institutions that previously applied are encouraged to update their applications for the Third Round and new institutional applications are also welcome.

The application deadline for the Third Reacting Endeavor Challenge Grants is September 1, 2017.  Applicants should show 1) that their institution is planning or implementing a curricular change for their undergraduate program that will employ high-impact practices including Reacting to the Past; and 2) that their institution has a clear process for advancing the project and can identify a strong five-member team to plan that project, including at least one well-placed administrator. 

The Reacting Consortium has already hosted 12 institutional teams in two workshops in January and June 2017.  These Reacting Endeavor teams experienced the Reacting pedagogy by playing mini-versions of Reacting games, and learned strategies to advance their project through interactions with Reacting Endeavor Facilitators, sharing with other teams, and by participating in sessions on curriculum design and institutional change.

The Reacting Endeavor Challenge Grant is a direct response to the plea of Derek Bok, former Harvard University president, outlined in Our Underachieving Colleges (2004).  There Bok observed that those who sought to revitalize college instruction often found it next to impossible to break through “the crust of inertia and complacency.”

The Reacting Consortium has demonstrated the ability to overcome this inertia and energize faculty in developing highly engaging and interactive role playing simulations that have proven to achieve the Essential Learning Outcomes called for by the AAC&U LEAP initiative and other research on best practices in learning. The Consortium has built a strong collaboration across all types of higher education institutions and disciplines that it can now share with institutions that need help to take the next step in developing curriculum discussions.

Application Details

Applicant institutions should submit a statement of 4-5 pages outlining their plan for exploring the use of Reacting to the Past within an undergraduate curriculum revision. Applications are encouraged from all types of accredited higher education institutions exploring one of a variety of programs such as general/liberal education, disciplinary programs, honors programs, or experiential learning programs that will have a significant impact on their campus. The application should:

  1. Identify the institutional name and the primary contact for the grant application. If this contact is not the Chief Academic Officer or Dean of a College/School/Division, indicate the name and title of the institutional official who has approved the team’s submission;
  2. Provide a list of the names, positions, and contact information for five members of the institutional team who will attend the team-based conference. While most teams will include several faculty and staff members, each team must include the Chief Academic Officer or a suitable high administrative designate who has the ability to contribute to discussions on institutional resources and commitments.
  3. Outline the purpose of the project in a concise narrative, including
    1. A statement of the project’s programmatic goals and/or student learning outcomes: What impact will your revision have either in terms of number of students, faculty development, or generally for improving learning at your institution and meeting critical mission or programmatic goals?  
    2. A summary of the current state of the project:  for example, would the Reacting Endeavor grant advance an existing curricular revision or would it help jump start a more preliminary discussion? Has the institution committed any resources to develop or implement the team’s project to supplement the Reacting Endeavor funds?
    3. As far as the current state of planning will allow, an indication of the types of Reacting games that may be used in the project: full games or micro-games; games focused on a specific discipline, content, or theme; or a broad range of games, etc.
    4. A candid assessment of the openness of the faculty to using active learning pedagogy or, on the other hand, the projected obstacles to implementation of high-impact practices such as Reacting;
    5. A paragraph indicating how the expertise of each member of the team will contribute to the project.  Have any members of the team already attended a Reacting Conference or taught using the pedagogy? Do they bring additional curriculum revision experience or perspectives to the project?
  4. Include any additional links or attachments that might assist the Reacting Consortium in understanding the team’s application.

The majority of the $7500 grant will cover expenses for registration, accommodations, and most meals for the team to attend a team-based track at the Reacting Winter Conference. The remaining funds may be used to cover travel costs or otherwise help advance the projects by funding campus workshops, providing stipends for course development, or supporting attendance at future conferences. Part of the grant funds will be used to make each institution a member of the Reacting Consortium for one year, and thus they will be eligible to receive discounts on registration for Reacting’s regular Annual Faculty Institute in June 2018 and additional regional conferences or campus workshops.

Deadlines

September 1, 2017: Receipt of application sent as a PDF attachment to Dr. Jennifer Worth, Administrative Director of the Reacting Consortium at jworth@barnard.edu. Questions about the applications should be directed to Dr. John M. Burney, Professor of History, Doane University and Chair of the Reacting Endeavor Project at john.burney@doane.edu.

September 15: Notice of the Six Awards

January 12-14, 2017: Reacting Winter Conference at the University of Georgia. Each successful team will be sent further details on the Winter Conference upon receiving the award.