Community Engagement: About this theme

“The University, in celebrating its Carnegie recognition, is beating the drum of collaborative engagement, examining what and how it can, in its policies and in its practices, be more not less. More that is not the result of addition, but the result of “leaning effectively”, realigning, relying upon the relational features of higher education’s full purposes, championing how higher learning is inextricably connected to the civic, to well-being and the forming of greater purposefulness and self-identity, to exploring the larger world and what it will take to live meaningfully in that world.”

Donald Harward, March 9, 2015

Community engagement projects provide students, faculty and staff with meaningful educational experiences. Through academic service learning, community based research, arts based research and civically engaged volunteerism, all partners gain in multiple ways, including content knowledge, civic responsibility, and multicultural awareness.

The workshop will begin with faculty, staff and student examples of community engagement projects that span the missions of the university – teaching, research, artistic expression, and service. Next, the participants will gain knowledge and skill in designing mutually beneficial and scholarly community engagement projects. At the conclusion of the workshop, each participant will be prepared to implement a community engagement project.

Following the workshops, a small group of faculty will be invited to become members of a community engagement learning community. They will each receive a $500 stipend for their participation. The faculty will attend workshops and continue creating and implementing their community engagement project during the 2015 – 2016 academic year.

Critical Thinking: About this theme

“Critical thinking is central to both the National Science Standards [1] and the National Educational Technology Standards [2]. Derek Bok [3] notes that over ninety percent of faculty in the U.S. feel that critical thinking is the most important goal of an undergraduate education. Increasingly, the importance of critical thinking/problem solving skills in the workplace is also being recognized. For example Halpern [4] argues, “virtually every business or industry position that involves responsibility and action in the face of uncertainty would benefit if the people filling that position obtained a high level of the ability to think critically”.”

In M. Iskander (ed.), Innovations in E-learning, Instruction Technology, Assessment, and Engineering Education, 79-82. © 2007 Springer.  Assessing Critical Thinking in STEM and Beyond by Barry Stein, Ada Haynes, Michael Redding, Theresa Ennis, and Misty Cecil Tennessee Technological University. Available online:  

The researchers at Tennessee Tech define critical thinking as having the following domains:

  • Separate factual information from inferences that might be used to interpret those facts.
  • Identify inappropriate conclusions.
  • Understand the limitations of correlational data.
  • Identify evidence that might support or contradict a hypothesis.
  • Identify new information that is needed to draw conclusions.
  • Separate relevant from irrelevant information when solving a problem.
  • Learn and understand complex relationships in an unfamiliar domain.
  • Interpret numerical relationships in graphs and separate those relationships from inferences.
  • Use mathematical skills in the context of solving a larger real world problem.
  • Analyze and integrate information from separate sources to solve a complex problem.
  • Recognize how new information might change the solution to a problem.
  • Communicate critical analyses and problem solutions effectively.

Digital Humanities: About this theme

A keynote roundtable on “Public Humanities 2.0: Cultural Heritage Research-and-Teaching in a Digital Age” will be an opportunity to focus attention on the materiality of digital media and the transformations of both scholarly communication and classroom practices made possible by digital media. Workshops on “Digital Humanities Assignment Design,” “Teaching with Social Media Platforms,” and “Managing Your Digital Image Resources” will offer institute participants opportunities for guided work on their own projects. Additional sessions that complement this theme will be available throughout Summer Faculty Institute 2015.

The “Public Humanities 2.0” track of the Summer Institute is a follow-on to the DH lecture and workshop series that has been co-sponsored by the Interdisciplinary Humanities Research Center, IT Academic Technology Services, the University of Delaware Library, the College of Arts & Sciences, and the Department of English for the last several years.

Digital Storytelling: About this theme

Starting with storyboarding and filming, participants will work through a complete digital story production, finishing with post-production (importing video footage and photos into video editing software, editing the content, and assembling it into a simple digital story).

Engaging Difference: About this theme

The Faculty Engaging Difference Summer Institute (part of Engaging Difference series of activities) is designed to involve ten UD Faculty in an intensive 4-day workshop, and it is intended for those meeting_16-150p-01who have interests in learning about and promoting diversity, equity, and inclusive teaching practices in their classrooms, departments, and throughout the university. The Institute aims to enhance faculty knowledge of issues around diversity, power, and pedagogies that effectively and intentionally engage difference and include all learners. In addition, it will provide time and resources for faculty to create a useful classroom product.

This Institute follows three Engaging Difference Teaching and Learning Conversations (TLCs) throughout the spring semester and is a part of the UD Summer Faculty Institute. Participants will attend shared events such as keynote addresses and meals with all faculty. They also will attend Institute-specific sessions that will delve into specific issues of diversity, an introduction to theories of learning and inclusion, and provide opportunities to plan and practice inclusive and equitable planning, teaching, and assessment techniques. Participants will also will enjoy an exclusive working session with keynote speaker, Dr. Shaun Harper.

For objectives, eligibility, and application, visit the Engaging Difference web page.