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Fostering a Community of Innovation

Instructional Innovation is working with faculty to build a community of innovators on the UMass Amherst campus. Key to this effort is bringing together faculty who have a shared interest in instruction and innovation in a variety of events that encourage building relationships and connections across disciplines.

Innovate@ Symposia – Team-Based Faculty Development

Innovate@ Symposia are an intensive team-based exploration of instructional challenges and how to address them. Faculty selected to participate in the symposia also continue on as Innovation Fellows who contribute to a campus think-tank on teaching innovations and work to spread the ideas developed in the symposia in their own departments.

The format of the symposia are primarily team-based, with faculty supporting each other as they explore solutions to their challenges and test a variety of possible technological tools. Hands-on work and small group discussions help the participants build their own confidence, strengthen connections with colleagues,  and ensure peer-to-peer sharing of information.

Since summer 2016, faculty have become Innovation Fellows with nearly every school and college represented. Each group of participants explored dozens of technologies and by the end of each symposium had become close-knit groups of collaborators.

Meet the Innovation Symposia Fellows

Digital Brown Bags – An Opportunity for Informal Explorations

Sometimes all it takes is a conversation over lunch to kickstart a new idea. After months of meeting over lunch within Instructional Innovation to discuss new technologies or wrestle with challenging topics, we opened these conversations up to faculty and staff across campus Digital Brown Bag Tech Talks. The format is casual, with enough presentation at the start to get the ball rolling on a specific topic.

If you have a topic you would like to bring up, please contact us at instruct@umass.edu to get on the schedule for an upcoming session.