Duke Faculty Cohort Designs Collaborative Project Courses

October 9, 2020

Faculty Fellows.
The 2019-2020 Faculty Fellows gather for a group photo in December 2019. (Photo: Seth Anderson)

To help meet student demand for project-based learning experiences, Bass Connections partnered with Duke Learning Innovation to launch a Faculty Fellows program last year.

Kicking off with a cohort of 17 faculty representing almost as many disciplines, the program featured six months of intensive workshops on course and project design, sustained guidance from Learning Innovation instructors and faculty experts, and peer-to-peer collaboration. This structured engagement enabled fellows to design a new course or reimagine an existing course around a robust project-based experience. Many of these courses will be offered in Spring 2021.

From left: Corinna Sorenson and Martin Eisner look on as Nicole Barnes seeks input.
Corinna Sorenson and Martin Eisner listen as Nicole Barnes solicits input on her course in December 2019. (Photo: Seth Anderson)

Cecilia Márquez redesigned an undergraduate course that examines the history of Latinx activism from the 19th century to the present. Using archival materials and oral histories, students will collaborate on small teams to create public-facing digital projects on the history of Latinx activism at Duke.

Professor Marquez.“It was wonderful to work with an interdisciplinary group of colleagues committed to teaching. I successfully designed a collaborative project course that will serve as a template for other courses. More than that, I gained a wealth of creative activity and discussion ideas to make my classes more engaging. I know my students will benefit from my time in this fellowship for years to come!” –Cecilia Márquez, Assistant Professor of History

Robert Duvall and Brandon Fain designed a new capstone course for computer science majors that explores the real-world components of being a computer scientist, including ethics, impacts on society, writing and communication, user-centered design, and professional development. Students will work on collaborative projects in small teams.

Professor Fain.“I learned a lot about how my colleagues bring students on board projects, not just with respect to the goals and methods but even about how to evaluate what success looks like and how to support one another. I think that ethos of common ownership is really important, and I appreciated hearing the various ways that faculty build it into their classrooms in different disciplines.” –Brandon Fain, Assistant Professor of the Practice of Computer Science

Professor Duvall.“Working with people wrestling with the same issues we were, seeing other ideas and from a wide variety of perspectives completely changed both how I will approach the course and my confidence in presenting a new course. Having my assumptions consistently tested and finding points of view to bring into the creation of a course was such a wonderful experience!” –Robert Duvall, Senior Lecturer of Computer Science

Learn More

  • Meet the cohort of Faculty Fellows and learn about their plans.
  • Browse the Bass Connections 2019-2020 Annual Report.
  • Submit a proposal for a 2021-2022 Bass Connections project by December 4.