Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions
about ETEAL and Applied Learning

ETEAL and ETEAL Proposals
Applied Learning and Critical Reflection
The Applied Learning Teaching Community (ALTC)

Do you have a question we haven't answered here? Ask us at ETEAL@uncw.edu!

ETEAL and ETEAL Proposals

  • What is ETEAL?
    ETEAL is UNCW's Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP). It stands for Experiencing Transformative Education through Applied Learning.
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  • What is a QEP?
    A QEP, or Quality Enhancement Plan, is a program that Universities in our accrediting body undertake to ensure a continual improvement of the quality of learning at our institution for all Faculty, Staff, and Students. While having a QEP is part of our accreditation process, our QEP is more than just a step in reaffirming our accreditation. ETEAL is a strong advocate and resource for applied learning practitioners, connecting all parts of our campus to enhance the applied learning experiences and quality of education available at UNCW.
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  • How do I submit a proposal for ETEAL Funding?
    Each semester, ETEAL accepts proposals from across UNCW for applied learning pedagogy initiatives. These funded initiatives are semester-long Applied Learning projects which provide students with high-impact learning opportunities they wouldn't normally have in their other courses.
    Once you've completed your proposal, you can send them to ETEAL@uncw.edu.
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  • When is ETEAL accepting proposals next?
    Calls for ETEAL funding proposals (RFP)s come out twice a year during the fall and spring semesters. The Call for ETEAL proposals comes out at the start of each semester and you can always check our Proposal Writing Guide for information on proposal deadlines and the latest RFP.
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  • What is an ETEAL RFP?
    RFP stands for Request for Proposals. The ETEAL RFP is our request for your proposals to carry out an applied learning project. Each accepted proposal can receive up to $3,500 in support from ETEAL to implement your applied learning project. The RFP isn't just a call for proposals either - the RFP also contains all of the proposal guidelines, ETEAL grant requirements, and the template you'll use to complete your proposal.
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  • I've written a draft proposal - How can I get feedback on my project before submitting?
    Each semester, there is at least one ETEAL proposal feedback workshop where you can come to receive feedback and comments on your draft proposal or to talk through ideas even if you haven't had a chance to write your proposal yet. Additionally, you can always contact ETEAL@uncw.edu with questions or request a review of your draft.
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  • How many ETEAL proposals are funded each semester? How many proposals do you receive?
    We usually receive between 30 and 40 proposals each semester and typically between 15 and 18 of those proposals will be selected for funding.
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  • My proposal for ETEAL funding was rejected. What are the main reasons proposals get rejected?
  • Although we would like to fund all applied learning project proposals, there are a number of reasons that a proposal might be rejected.
    Above and Beyond: All ETEAL proposals should describe a project that goes above and beyond the normal scope of your duties as an instructor. ETEAL cannot provide funding for projects which you are already expected to carry out as part of your regular duties; however, ETEAL can provide funding to enhance or expand current efforts. Make sure this is clear in your proposal so that our evaluators can see that your project would be above and beyond your normal duties.
    Budget and Funding Conflict: There are a number of items that ETEAL funds cannot be used for, such as paying for travel for non-UNCW employees or buying books or items that would be given away to an outside group. For a detailed list of items that ETEAL cannot fund, please see our Proposal Writing Guide and feel free to contact ETEAL@uncw.edu if you have any questions about an item in your proposal's budget.
    Preference for New Applicants: In order to encourage new, innovative projects from across all UNCW departments and schools, our evaluators give preference to proposals from new applicants over proposals from those who have received ETEAL funding in the past. If two proposals are of equal merit, our evaluators would choose to fund the proposal from a new applicant.
    Consecutive Funding limit: Again, to encourage new, innovative projects from all parts of our campus, any given instructor may only receive funding for an ETEAL project for two semesters consecurively. For the purposes of counting semesters, Summer I and Summer II are counted as a single semester and an instructor could receive funding in both Summer I and Summer II and then again in Fall 2015. Because there is no call released in the Summer, however, the summer sessions would not count as a cooldown period and so if an instructor receives funding in the Fall and again next Spring, they could not receive funding in either the summer or following Fall semester.

    Additionally, when you submit your proposal you must copy your direct supervisor and the direct supervisor for each member of your project team, as well as your administrative associate(s). If you do not copy these individuals on your proposal submission, your submission will be returned and you will have to resubmit, copying the aforementioend persons.
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Applied Learning and Critical Reflection

  • Where can I find information on Best Practices in applied learning?

    Applied Learning pedagogies should be based on the best practices of the National Society for Experiential Education (NSEE), the AAC&U's High impact practices, or other best practices in applied learning in your discipline. These principles should be included in the development of any applied learning activity and are required in all ETEAL proposals.

    Refer to descriptions of these practices: http://www.uncw.edu/eteal/resources/HighImpactPractices.htm

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  • How does applied learning benefit students?
    Applied learning gives you the opportunity to use the concepts and skills your learn in your courses in practical, real world situations that you could actually encounter in their future academic or professional careers. Not only can this help you apply what you learn in your major or field of study, applied learning can also help you develop important skills like critical reflection, intentionality, and help you understand the impact your work has on others. Beyond gaining valuable experience, applied learning projects can often be listed on your C.V. or resume!
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  • How can applied learning benefit Faculty & Staff?
    Applied Learning is an excellent way to engage your students and give the more opportunities to find creative solutions to real world problems both in and out of the classroom. These experiences can also be a great way to recruit students into your major and show them exactly what they can do by applying the things they can learn in your department. Applied learning can also lead to a number of research, presentation, and collaborative opportunities.
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  • Can applied learning help my research?
    Since research is one of the most common applications of the knowledge students gain in their courses, involving students in research can be an excellent applied learning opportunity. Many ETEAL-funded instructors have guided students through their own independent research projects or involved them in an existing research project, even co-authoring and publishing articles together with their undergraduate students!
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  • What if my students don't respond well to the applied learning project(s) I've incorporated into my course?

    Many applied learning projects are more time and labor intensive than standard coursework and may be significantly more difficult as well. Students might have trouble adjusting to the project, especially if your project is their first exposure to applied learning, but the best way to get buy-in from them is to be as transparent as possible. When incorporating information regarding the assignment in your syllabus, you can explain the purpose of the assignment and expected outcomes. When describing it to them, emphasize that this is not "busy work" and that there is a personal/professional benefit to completing the assignment as outlined.
    We've spoken to students in ETEAL courses as well and surprisingly, while they admit the course is more intensive than their usual classes, many find it more satisfying and interesting as well. Being able to see the immediate outcome of their work or understanding how their project would apply to their future career are just some of the things students have enjoyed most about being a part of an applied learning project.
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  • Is all applied learning field work or research?
    While Field Work and practicums are some of the most common examples of applied learning, you don't have to plan a field study to apply what you've learned in your classes. ETEAL has funded a wide variety of applied learning projects in the past from geospatial mapping in the field with Geography and Geology to developing new curriculum guides for elementary classrooms in the School of Education. Applied Learning can take many forms from classroom activities that challenge you to strategize and plan a Service Learning project to class excursions to carry out the Service Learning project you've planned. In every case, applied learning experiences are high-impact, authentic experiences that give you the opportunity to think critically and apply your knowledge to solve real challenges.
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  • What if all of my courses are taught inside the classroom? How can I bring applied learning into my course?
    Every discipline and field of study can incorporate applied learning into its courses, even if all of those courses take place in the classroom. There are a number of great applied learning teachning techniques, such as flipping the classroom, which can help you turn a standard lecture into a more applied, engaging experience for students. Our Applied Learning Library and our Past Workshops Archive have a variety of resources that can help you find an applied learning teaching technique that will work for you and your classes.
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  • How does Critical Reflection relate to applied learning? Why is Reflection Important?
    Critical Reflection is a process in which you critically examine the things you've learned, the actions you've taken, the impact your work and learning has had on yourself and others, and much more. Although it's possible to do applied learning without critically reflecting on your work, engaging in critical reflection helps solidify the experiences you've gained and the things you've learned. When you take the time to complete a critical reflection at the end of your applied learning experience, you gain a firmer grasp on the things you've learned and you get better at imagining alternative solutions, possible future directions, and the broader implications of the things you've learned and the work you've done.
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The Applied Learning Teaching Community (ALTC)

  • What is the ALTC? How do I join the ALTC? Who can join?
    The Applied Learning Teaching Community (ALTC) is a group of interested faculty, staff, and students committed to the ideals of teaching excellence through a teaching and learning community supporting one another through the sharing of resources and adoption of best practices across disciplines, colleges and the academic experiences at UNCW.
    The ALTC Exposes individuals to ideas and ways of developing and implementing applied learning pedagogies used by faculty which can be adopted in other disciplines. Involvement in ALTC activities can assist faculty with the achievement of teaching excellence and can also enhance scholarship activities and is a great way for individuals at any rank of level to contribute to university service to others.
    The Applied Learning Teaching Community Webpage
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  • What does the ALTC offer for Faculty & Staff?
    The ALTC hosts a number of workshops and events each semester, numerous opportunities for faculty & staff to network with other applied learning practitioners, resources for applied learning and project development, feedback on your ETEAL project, and so much more. The ALTC provides faculty & staff with great opportunities to learn more about applied learning best practices and the chance to share their own experiences, challenges, and insights into applied learning. You can find more information on the opportunities and events offered through the ALTC on our Events Page or the ALTC Page.
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  • What is the Summer Institute? When does the Summer Institute happen?
    The Summer Institute is an applied learning conference hosted here at UNCW and open to all UNCW Faculty, Staff, and Administrators. The Summer Institute is a great place to hear about the latest teaching techniques and best practices in applied learning, hear about the applied learning projects going on across campus, form new collaborative partnerships, and so much more. See our Summer Institute page for more information.
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