INSPIRE is the Initiative for New Scholarship, Pedagogy, Innovation, and Research in Education. INSPIRE is a university-wide, interdisciplinary effort to improve the quality of the academic experience for all of our students. INSPIRE involves faculty and support staff from academic and non-academic areas dedicated to discovering and sharing new approaches to engaging students in valuable, high quality learning experiences. Ongoing efforts to better use technology, assessment, innovative teaching approaches, collaborative course reviews, and professional development constitute the core of INSPIRE activities.
INSPIRE emerged from recent years’ activities of the Online Learning Council (OLC). The Provost charged the OLC to focus on discovering new, or leveraging existing, methodologies to improve the quality, accessibility, and scalability of online courses as well as the persistence of, and support services and engagement opportunities for online students. During its early work, the OLC quickly learned that methods and techniques for making improvements in these areas can be leveraged equally effectively in face-to-face and hybrid courses as well. Hence, the OLC expanded its mission and focus on technology-enhanced experiences in all courses and services across all delivery modes.
INSPIRE members provide collaboration, mentoring, and assistance in course review and course development; they develop online materials to assist faculty in many aspects of their teaching; they conduct workshops and trainings, and sponsor showcase and experience-sharing sessions, both general and customized. INSPIRE members both evangelize among their colleagues regarding ways to improve teaching and the resulting student experience and encourage them to showcase and share their own successes (or challenges) in using emerging methods, innovative strategies, and technology-based enhancements.