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Summer Institute by Olin College

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

The Olin Collaboratory Summer Institute has provided participants from around the country and around the world with the opportunity to conceive and catalyze change in engineering education.  The 2019 Summer Institute will be held June 10-14 on our Needham campus.

Designing Student-Centered Learning Experiences is a weeklong interactive workshop for faculty teams engaged in a curricular change effort at their own institution. Through participatory workshops, immersive design exercises, and presentations from experts, teams of faculty learn about, experience, and practice effective, engaging teaching approaches for new and meaningful STEM curricula. Through the Summer Institute experience, they aim to create a learning environment for participants that 

  • Embraces creativity, prototyping, iterating, and dreaming big,
  • Introduces a set of tools, concepts, and language about student-centered experience design,
  • Promotes exploration of participants' contexts in new ways and provides insight into what we do here at Olin, and
  • Builds community among educational change agents.

Together with others from comparable institutions, the team develop concrete action plans for curricular change. Sessions are highly participatory and challenge individuals and teams to continually consider new ideas and put novel approaches into practice. Institute attendees acquire a new lens through which to view their projects, an expanded repertoire of techniques and solutions, and concrete steps to take their plans forward.

Past attendees have ranged from provosts and deans to new faculty members and everyone between. All participants should be prepared to spend the full week deeply engaged in this demanding program. Applicants must apply in teams of at least three and describe a project (in the opportunity identification, planning, or execution stage) at their home institution. Teams are also required to do preliminary homework, such as interviewing students from their own institution; this work provides a background to the week's activities.

The fee for the program is $13,000 for a team of four, and $3,000 for each additional member, up to a maximum of six total. All sessions will take place on the campus of Olin College of Engineering in Needham, MA.  Applicants typically come to Summer Institute with some amount of financial or other practical institutional support and buy-in for the project. While many teams secure funding through their university, teams might consider incorporating funding for Summer Institute into their grant proposals. For example, Summer Institute could serve as a kick-off event for an educational-focused grant or a professional development opportunity for the principal investigators during the term of the grant. Click here for more logistics.  The application may be found here.