Assessment for Learning Improvement: Support Fund

The Support Fund provides up to $2,000 worth of supplies and equipment to UH Mānoa faculty to engage in assessment-for-learning-improvement projects with the end goal of demonstrating improved student learning at the program or institution level.

Congratulations for the 2023 awardees! Read about the 2023 projects.

  • Asian Studies
  • Athletic Training (Kinesiology & Rehabilitation Science)
  • Chemistry
  • Chinese (East Asian Languages & Literatures)
  • History
  • Life Sciences

Read the 2020 support fund winning projects (which focused on assessing institutional learning objectives). Read the 2020 fund evaluation report.

2024 Support Fund

Application deadline: Wednesday, January 31, 2024.

Complete & submit an application (Google Form; UH login required)

Funding Amount

Individual faculty/staff: up to $500
Team of 3 or more faculty/staff: up to $2000

Use of funds requirements described below.

Deadlines & Timeline

Application deadline: Wednesday, January 31, 2024
Notification of awards: February 29, 2024
Project activities: March 2024-June 2025*
Deadline to request items/supplies: April 29, 2024
Project report deadline: Monday, June 30, 2025

The timeline as a graphic:
Application deadline: Wednesday, January 31, 2024
Notification of awards: Thursday, February 29, 2024
Project activities: March 2024-June 2025*
Deadline to request items/supplies: Monday, April 29, 2024
Project report deadline: Monday, June 30, 2025

* Projects may be shorter or longer than one year depending on goals. However, requests to use funds must be received by the stated deadline.

* Projects may be shorter or longer than one year depending on goals. However, requests to use funds must be received by the stated deadline.

Application

The application form asks for the following information:

  • Name, department, email address of the project’s faculty/staff
  • Project title
  • Project description, including goals (150-400 words)
  • Planned collaborative discussion/activity with faculty; examples given below (20-50 words)
  • The targeted program student learning outcome(s) and the targeted institutional learning objective(s) [undergraduate ILOs or graduate ILOs]
  • Summary of the past assessment results on the targeted learning outcomes/objectives
  • Overview of the plan to re-assess student learning near project completion
  • Project timeline
  • Budget and rationale (see Use of Funds below for allowable items)

Need ideas? Sample project ideas:

  • Read the 2023 winning projects
  • Implement changes in multiple classes to address previous learning assessment results
  • Create and implement a learning assessment plan informed by the college/school/unit’s Native Hawaiian Place of Learning strategic plan (see also the UHM 2015-2025 Strategic Plan, page 19)
  • Design place-based, equity-minded, and/or culturally-responsive assignments and activities
  • Develop and implement a process to use student reflections to improve and assess a civic engagement learning outcome(s) (see sample reflection prompts)
  • (Re-)Design a capstone assignment along with scaffolding (e.g., create/modify assignments at the 200-, 300-, and 400-level before the capstone assignment)
  • Create and implement a plan to infuse research skills in multiple courses
  • Offer a mentoring initiative on research ethics for advanced degree students
  • Offer faculty development sessions on teaching and assessing an institutional learning objective/program student learning outcome
  • Create video resource(s) for faculty on a teaching topic about a program student learning outcome(s) or institutional learning objective(s)

Use of Funds. Awards may be used for the following:

The awarded funds can be used to purchase materials related to teaching, learning, and assessment. Please ask if you have questions about permitted use of awarded funds.

Examples:

  • Books on pedagogy, assessment, curriculum, faculty collaboration, organizational change
  • Materials such as poster boards, flipcharts, whiteboards, and other office supplies to promote collaborative curriculum discussions
  • Lab equipment for students to collect and analyze data [note: maximum of 5 unique items; may request multiple quantities of the five items]
  • Software to collect, analyze, host, and/or distribute students’ performance (note: may require ITS’s prior approval before purchase)
  • Camera/digital video recorder to record students’ performance
  • Projector/TV to show students’ performance
  • Tablets to collect, document, evaluate, and demonstrate students’ performance

The funds cannot be used for gift cards, food and beverages, protocol items, services, travel and travel-related expenses, membership and registration fees, salaries/stipends/honorarium, hazardous and radioactive materials; biological commodities.

Requirements

The proposed project needs to meet the following criteria:

  1. The project lead is a UH Mānoa faculty or staff member who can participate in and contribute to curriculum decisions.
  2. Because the projects are program- or institution-level, the project must include collaborative activities among faculty (or with staff or students). Examples:
    • A faculty group partners with students to reflect on one or more ways to improve learning based on assessment results.
    • A faculty group collaborates with stakeholders to investigate ways to improve the program’s learning assessment results (stakeholders such as students, alumni, employers, community members, etc.).
    • The project team engages with cultural experts, instructional designers, etc., on equity-minded or culturally-responsive pedagogy and assessment.
    • Curriculum committee discussion on program improvement actions based on the learning evidence.
    • The faculty work together to develop and then implement an action plan to improve student learning
    • The project leader(s) facilitates a faculty session on ways to improve learning (e.g., assignments, learning opportunities, co-curricular activities, course restructure, course sequencing, pre-requisites, advising, resources/support, policy and procedure).
    • The project team members provide faculty development sessions on teaching and assessing one of the targeted learning outcomes.
  3. The project (a) targets a program student learning outcome and an institutional learning objective [see undergraduate ILOs or graduate ILOs] and (b) directly contributes to student learning improvement on that targeted outcome(s).
  4. The project lead submits a project report upon project completion.

    Note: We will encourage awardees to showcase their completed project and its impact in our biennial poster exhibit and at other venues.

Priorities

  1. The project seeks to improve student learning on a particular program learning outcome or institutional learning objective that is deemed a priority by faculty based on previous assessment results.
  2. The project is collaborative.
  3. The project addresses at least one institutional learning objective (ILOs):
  4. The project addresses at least one student learning outcome in a degree program.
  5. The project plans include re-assessment of the target learning outcome(s) near project completion.

Evaluation of the Application

We will rank proposed projects based on the following:
Impact

  1. The project addresses previous program-level or institution-level learning assessment results
  2. The project can markedly advance program- or institution-level learning assessment and improve the learning environment (assignments, activities, pedagogy, scaffolding, etc.).
  3. The project will engage the program or campus community (faculty, staff, and students) and help to communicate the meaning and usefulness of learning assessment activities.
  4. The project will likely result in actions that positively impact student learning achievement.

Address needs

  1. The project fulfills an important need in student learning in the program or at the institution level using the tools of assessment.
  2. The funding will help the program to overcome financial obstacles in assessment project implementation.

We are ready to help you. Please contact us if you'd like assistance with a project idea or project implementation.