Assessment for Learning Improvement: Support Fund

The Support Fund is currently on hiatus.

Below is information about the 2020 Support Fund. We provided small awards to faculty—individuals and teams—who engaged in learning assessment projects intended to improve student learning at the program or institution level.

Read the winning project descriptions

East Asian Languages and Literatures
Second Language Studies
Ocean and Resources Engineering
Urban and Regional Planning

Funding Amount

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

Deadlines & Important Dates

Application deadline: n/a
Notifications of awards: n/a
Last day to submit an itemized list of requested items/supplies: n/a


Be prepared to provide the following information:

  • Names, departments, email addresses of the project’s faculty/staff
  • Project title
  • Project description, including goals (150-400 words)
  • Planned collaborative discussion/activity with faculty; examples given below, Requirements #2 (20-50 words)
  • The targeted institutional learning objective(s) [undergraduate or graduate]
  • Planned start and completion dates
  • Budget and rationale (see Use of Funds below for allowable items)

Need ideas? Sample project ideas:

  • Develop and implement a process to use student reflections to assess a civic engagement learning outcome(s)
  • Design a capstone research assignment that involves several disciplines
  • Create and implement a plan to infuse research skills in multiple courses
  • Collect and evaluate student work related to an institutional learning objective to determine the level of student achievement
  • Offer mentoring on research ethics for advanced degree students across disciplines
  • Offer faculty development sessions on teaching and assessing an institutional learning objective/program student learning outcome for a program or multiple disciplines
  • Adapt/create and pilot a rubric to evaluate students’ critical thinking skills in the discipline
  • Create a video resource for faculty on an assessment or 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:

All funds must be spent this fiscal year.

  1. Supplies (including research supplies). Examples:
    • Lab equipment (e.g., measuring tools) for students to collect and analyze data
    • Software to collect and analyze students’ performance (note: may require ITS’s prior approval before purchase)
    • Camera/digital videorecorder to record students’ performance
    • Projector/TV to show students’ performances
    • Tablet to collect, document, evaluate, and demonstrate students’ performances
    • Poster boards, flip charts, whiteboards to promote collaborative curriculum discussions
    • Books on pedagogy, assessment, curriculum, faculty collaboration, organizational change
  2. Pay (in part) for registration to attend a conference on learning assessment, teaching, learning (e.g., Hawai‘i-Pacific Evaluation Association conference or the Association for the Assessment of Learning in Higher Education conference).
  3. Pay for a training/workshop/webinar on teaching and assessment (e.g., WASC Educational Programs).


The proposed project needs to meet the following criteria:

  1. The project lead is a faculty or staff member who can participate in and contribute to curriculum decisions.
  2. The project includes a collaborative discussion of learning assessment and/or ways to use information for improvement. Examples:
    • A faculty group reviews the program’s student learning outcomes and discusses whether the learning outcomes are still meaningful, up to date, fulfill societal and student needs, etc.
    • The program faculty review the curriculum map to identify gaps, redundancy, coherence, quality and make recommendations.
    • The curriculum committee discusses what learning evidence should be collected, from where, and how.
    • The project team facilitates a faculty discussion and feedback on the evaluation criteria to judge students’ performance.
    • The assessment coordinator presents learning assessment findings and engages faculty in interpreting those results.
    • The project leader facilitates a faculty session on ways to improve (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 contributes to program and/or institution-level learning outcomes assessment and targets at least one institutional learning objective [undergraduate or graduate].
  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 on-campus poster exhibit and at other venues.


  1. The project addresses at least one institutional learning objective.
    Link: Undergraduate learning objectives (PDF)
    Link: Advanced degree learning objectives
  2. The project is collaborative and involves more than one discipline.
  3. The project addresses at least one student learning outcome in a degree program.

Evaluation of the Application

We will rank projects based on the following:

  1. The project can significantly advance program- or institution-level learning assessment.
  2. 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.
  3. The project will likely result in actions that positively impact students’ learning.

Address needs

  1. The project fulfills an important need in student learning assessment in the program or at the institution level.
  2. The funding will help 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.