[The CDF program] is very valuable. We tend to do the same old stuff in our classes—exam, paper, exam, paper, repeat. This only taps into certain sets of skills. While these assignments develop valuable academic skills, students often have much more they can bring to their class experience. For a certain type of student (and teacher!) who feel constrained by the limits of traditional assignments and classroom protocols, the [Creative Discovery Fellows] program is quite freeing in providing institutional support for trying something new.
As the above instructor outlined, the CDF Program has opened up new possibilities and modes of representation and learning that are currently undersupported and underutilized in the classroom. The CDF program was designed to fill a noted gap in how creative tools were used and what types of common training programs were available. The intentions were not simply to enhance a course but to expand and support a faculty member’s understanding and use of new technologies, modes of learning, and pedagogy. While student-centered outcomes often are often highlighted, the CDF program has also had a demonstrable impact on instructor pedagogical practices and enjoyment.
Did the support from the CDF program match instructors' needs?
A core tenet of the CDF program was to provide appropriate support for instructors at a variety of individual levels, so that they could engage in meaningful and impactful creative assignment design and pedagogy. The CDF program offered a constellation of support for instructors (and their students) both during the creative assignment design and implementation phase. On average, instructors reported that the amount of support they received from the CDF program matched the level they desired for their creative assignments. Instructors desired (and received) the most support for framing and implementing their creative assignments and for supporting digital tool usage and student completion of the creative projects. On average, instructors wish they had received more support for assessing their students’ creative projects, though this gap was closed with each subsequent semester of the program.