Faculty and staff already offer many Signature Experience courses, such as Special Problems in Art and Design, performance courses in music, domestic field studies, study abroad trips, internships and clinical rotations, authentic research opportunities, honors thesis research and writing, and public affairs service courses.
If you or someone you know has a great Signature Experience story to share, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Include your name, your Panther ID, email address, phone number, and a brief description of the experience (100 words). We will contact you for more information. Help us promote our Panther pride.
– Belena Butler, Clinical Instructor, School of Nursing and Health Professions
Are you interested in developing or adapting a course to make it a Signature Experience? We are offering a mini-grant for course development. Applications will be due on April 16, 2021, and information can be found under Grants and Awards.
As you prepare to create or adapt a course to include a Signature Experience component, the information found below will help ensure you consider any potential legal issues or risk, syllabus content and the approval process for new courses. Click on each title to learn more.
Here are some questions/suggestions to consider as you begin planning a Signature Experience course:
- Have you spoken to your department chair about your interest in teaching a Signature Experience course? Consult department leadership to carve out time and effort in your workload.
- What elements will make your course signature in nature?
- Considering your course goals and objectives, what will you require of the students?
- Will students work outside of class? In what capacity?
- Will specific class time be used? How much time with be set aside for the students to complete the experience? How will time be monitored if required?
- Map student interest – Who would be interested in participating in this course? Why?
- What gap in current offerings will be filled?
- What sort of culminating project will be used? Portfolios? Journals? Reports? Presentation?
By its nature, non-traditional teaching and learning involves unusual experiences on- or off-campus, which might require legal agreements between Georgia State University and collaborative organizations, or might introduce new risks to our faculty, staff or students. To launch conversations about legal affairs and risk management, we designed a survey with key questions about course-based activities you may be considering. The intent is not to discourage creative approaches to education, but to ensure that faculty, staff, and students are protected. Feel free to inquire about any of the questions or for consultation in legal affairs and risk management at the University. Click here to begin the survey.
If you have a Memorandum of Agreement (MOU) or agreement already in place with any outside entity, then please attach it to the form, as directs. Draft MOAs are acceptable. If an MOA will be required but is not yet drafted, be ready to describe the entities and agreements to be arranged. If several MOAs are in place, please prepare to upload all of those available.
Most new Signature Experience courses will be created through the traditional course approval process in your department and school. Faculty interested in creating or altering a course in order to include a signature experience component should initially contact the chair of the department for endorsement. When creating a signature experience component, it is important to realize there may be extra inherent risks depending on the type of experience added to the course. To help faculty be aware of and address risks, we have created the Legal Affairs and Risk Management (LARM) survey. Go to the Legal Affairs and Risk Management section to preview the survey. If issues arise based in the Larm survey, faculty will be contacted by the university-level Signature Experience team and a representative from LARM. If there are no issues, the course will continue through the course approval process. Once a course is approved, notify the Signature Experience team for documentation purposes before it goes into the catalog.
Check out the existing courses by clicking the Find Courses button on the menu. If the course is not listed there, then email
email@example.com with the course number and title, course description, description of the experiential learning component, student learning outcomes related to the experiential learning component, description of the final product and a copy of the syllabus, if possible.
Annual reports of faculty activity are required each year. They provide an opportunity for faculty members to showcase all their valuable contributions to the academic community. Signature Experience courses are especially valuable, so work on designing and teaching them should feature prominently in annual reports. Suggestions and examples for appropriate inclusion are provided below.
- If you taught a Signature Experience course, highlight it under Teaching.
- Scheduled Teaching should prepopulate with the courses you taught in the calendar year. Here you can describe new teaching elements in your course, new pedagogical innovations, non-traditional activities, etc.
- You can also indicate which goal of the strategic plan is targeted by this activity. Signature Experience courses contribute to Goal 1, Initiative 3 (to establish a Signature Experience program).
- Some Signature Experience courses address other goals. Research addresses goal 2. Arts, City and Service courses address goal 4. Global Experiences address goal 5.
Other ways to report Signature Experience-related activities.
- If you partnered with an external organization, enter it under External Connections and Partnerships.
- If you attended a workshop on developing Signature Experiences, enter it under Faculty Development Activities Attended.
- If you interviewed with the Signature Experiences program and were featured on our website (or others), enter it under Media Contributions.
- If your students’ work culminated in a public performance or exhibit, enter it under Artistic and Professional Performances and Exhibits.
- If you and your students made significant contributions to a service organization in metro-Atlanta or beyond, enter it under Service-Public.
Are you working hard to incorporate hands-on, exploratory exercises in your courses? This is the approach to student learning that is front and center in the Signature Experience curriculum.
We appreciate the extra effort required by faculty members who provide innovative opportunities for students in their courses. To recognize and encourage faculty to continue to provide these experiences, a Signature Experience Teaching Award and a Signature Experience Mini-Grant program have been created.
If you are providing innovative experiences in the classroom, we want to recognize your hard work: Apply for the Signature Experience Teaching Award.
Are you interested in developing or adapting a course to make it a Signature Experience? Apply for the Course Development Mini-Grant.
Deadline: April 15, 2022
This grant is offered as part of the Signature Experience initiative to promote experiential learning opportunities in undergraduate courses. The grant supports faculty efforts to develop or adapt professional, hands-on, innovative course experiences that address aims such as increasing knowledge and retention, promoting critical thinking and concept application and developing career-ready skills. The grant can be used to create a new experiential learning course or to enhance an existing course to add an experiential learning component. Several grants are available each year, with a maximum award up to $1,500 per applicant.
Deadline: April 15, 2022
The Signature Experience Teaching Award recognizes outstanding faculty members who lead undergraduate courses that include experiential learning components through non-traditional course experiences, such as professional, hands-on exercises or projects that aim to increase content knowledge, promote critical thinking, apply concepts to new problems and/or develop demonstrable and transferable career skills.
For more grant and award opportunities, check out the Center for Excellence in Teaching, Learning and Online Education.
- Faculty and staff of Special Programs in the Office of the Vice President of Enrollment Management & Student Success are available to help you design new signature experience courses or adapt courses and connect you to relevant on- and off-campus resources. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 404-413-2276 for more information.
- On Perimeter campuses, Mary Elizabeth Tyler Boucebci, the Community-Based Learning Coordinator in the Office of Academic Community Engagement, works with faculty to incorporate service-learning and community-based research into courses.
- For more information on service-learning opportunities, go to the Office of Civic Engagement website at http://service.gsu.edu/.
- For help obtaining internship opportunities, go to the Career Services website at http://career.gsu.edu/.
The Center for Teaching and Learning offers workshops related to experiential learning. Go to their events calendar for information on dates and times.
Interested in learning more about Community-Engaged Research (CEnR)? The Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI program) offers three modules on the topic. Go to the CITI website and log in. Once you log in to the CITI website, look under Main Menu/My Courses. You should be looking at courses under Georgia State University.
Then click on “Add a Course.”
The CEnR modules are presented last in the list of courses.
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