In pursuit of excellence and impact for the public good, the Teaching and Learning Grants, a signature initiative of the Strategic Plan funded by the Office of the Provost, focused on innovative educational projects designed to expand active and experiential learning across the University of Maryland.

"Learning and Innovation go hand-in-hand. The arrogance of success is to think that what you did yesterday will be sufficient for tomorrow." - William Pollard



50 projects brought students out of the traditional classroom setting, enabling them to apply their growing knowledge to real-world scenarios throughout the DC metro area.

46 projects incorporated experiential and project-based learning into General Education courses, allowing students to concretize their learning through relevant, hands-on experience.

102 new external partnerships were established with the local community such as the Hyattsville City Council, Hoober Inc., and the King-Greenleaf recreation center.

This Maryland Today story describes some examples of awarded projects.

Overall, students (n=1,944) expressed an overwhelmingly positive course experience as a result of the innovative and engaging practices designed by instructors and principal investigators.


Funded projects helped to further cement UMD’s reputation as a leader in innovative learning, community investment, and global change. One way in which these projects cultivated UMD’s reputation is by fostering partnerships with government agencies, businesses, or other external community organizations or individuals to advance the common good.

Approximately half of the projects involved working with external partners, and the majority of those were new partnerships.
Through those partnerships, students in different courses worked with the following organizations, among many others.
Selected examples of grant-funded partnerships with external agencies and the types of activities students engaged in with these partners.
Faculty designed courses that incorporated a variety of experiential learning activities. Instructors provided two words that best described their experience with grant-impacted courses.
Instructor word cloud of two-word responses describing a grant-impacted course (n = 38). The larger the word, the more often it was mentioned.
We were thrilled to see that students overwhelmingly described their involvement in experiential learning activities as positive - generally describing their experiences as both challenging and rewarding.
Student word cloud of two-word responses describing a grant-impacted course (n = 1,622). The larger the word, the more often it was mentioned.
For another perspective, students also provided a tweet-length summary of their course experience. To encapsulate students’ responses to this question, we conducted a lexicon-based sentiment analysis.
When grouped by course, out of the 1,368 students who answered this question, 79% (1,078 students) wrote tweets that were classified as positive, while another 14% (192 students) wrote neutral tweets, often describing course content without providing a value judgment.
Additionally, 80% of surveyed students rated their grant-impacted course as good or excellent and would recommend it to other students.
It's perhaps no surprise that all of the instructors rated their course highly and would recommend it to others. ;-)
The percentage of students (in red) and instructors (in gray) that rated their grant-impacted course as good or excellent and that would recommend the course to others.


Many grant-funded projects were scalable approaches and ideas that could be applied to other contexts and disciplines.

Through the selected examples of scalable ideas shown below, we can see that UMD students:

Challenged institutional and structural racism through art and technology-enhanced experiential projects, with a curriculum designed to be utilized across multiple courses. (PI: Neel Ahuja, ARHU)

Connected academic content to real-world experiences, advancing their awareness of, perspectives on, and engagement with social (in)justice in 5 schools and departments. (PI: Ross Lewin, International Affairs)

Engaged in a pilot program and received a microcredential in creating intergroup dialogues focused on DEIJ (Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Justice) that can be implemented beyond the initial three living-learning programs. (PI: Cynthia Stevens, UGST)

Trained to be mental health leaders on campus and in communities. This program has been widely publicized and other universities have inquired for information on replication. (PI: Amy Morgan, SPHL)

Gained a deeper understanding of the quantum realm through an active-learning plus assessment approach in PHYS401. (PI: Carter Hall, CMNS)

Created innovative modeling of information, systems, and interconnection that began to decolonize education and be inclusive of Indigenous communities and Indigenous Knowledge in courses in AGNR, ARCH, EDUC, ENGR, and INFO. (PI: Patricia Cossard, LIBR)

Experienced NET+, new set of active learning activities focused on complex ethical issues in tech, which is being build into several other project proposals and courses on campus. (PI: Katie Hilton, INFO).

Put social identity and pluralism theories into practice through applied assignments and classroom activities, often discussing these issues with students from other doctoral programs. (PI: Patricia Bory, PLCY)

Students and instructors felt that coursework enabled students to create positive impacts in the world and clearly see a connection between their experiential learning coursework and applied, real-world contexts.
Percentage of students (in red) and instructors (in gray) that agreed with statements concerning the applicability of their learning to real-world contexts.


A common theme of grant-funded projects was the incorporation of innovative activities, technologies, or pedagogical techniques into learning.

Innovative practices spanned a wide range of topics, and through the grants, UMD students:

Collaborated in developing the first multilingual tutoring app in an academic innovation that meets the needs of our multilingual and multicultural campus. (PI: Thomas Earles, ARHU)

Engaged with augmented and virtual reality to experience supply chain challenges first-hand. (PI: Humberto Coronado, BMGT)

Photos from Dr. Coronado's VR supply chain management class.

Used electroencephalograph (EEG) headbands to explore the principles of neurofeedback during meditation using open-source materials. (PI: Ana Navarro-Cebrian, BSOS)

Replicated ancient artworks using photogrammetry, 3-D modeling, and 3-D printing to extend their understanding of art history and archaeology. (PI: Emily Egan, ARHU)

Trained to become ethical consumers of big data in healthcare in a Biocomputational Engineering capstone course. (PI: Lan Ma, ENGR)

Implemented a form of applied improvisation group work (Gestalt Theatre) as an active teaching method for teacher candidates, which elicits active student learning and reflective practices through embodied experiences, specifically, improvisation activities. (PI: Angela Stoltz, EDUC)

Partnered to create four distinct live performances with art instillations created by ARCH students and site-specific choreographic/performance projects created by ARHU students. (PI: Patrik Widrig, ARHU)

Encountered virtual teaching displays to learn how to safely maintain tractor electrical circuits. (PI: Bill Phillips, AGNR)

Utilized ChatGPT to create first drafts in order to focus on larger, conceptual questions related to their data journalism projects. (PI: Derek Willis, JOUR)

Grant-impacted courses encouraged creativity and offered innovative activites.
Below, we can see that both students and instructors agreed that grant-impacted course designs incorporated creative and innovative practices.
Percentage of student (in red) and instructor (in gray) respondents that agreed with the statements concerning the innovativeness of their learning.


The grants instantiated wide-reaching impacts across the university.

PIs who completed funded projects came from all 13 colleges, which in turn impacted students, faculty, and courses across the entire university.
One-third of PIs represented tenured and tenure track faculty.
Over 90% of students, instructors, and PIs reported that students engaged in at least one type of experiential activity.
Students and instructors felt that the impacts of these courses were not only deep and meaningful, but also encompassing and inclusive.
Over 90% of both students and instructors reported that instructors created inclusive learning environments, and over 80% indicated that the course incorporated DEIJ-related content.
Percentage of student (in red) and instructor (in gray) respondents that agreed with the statements concerning the inclusivity of their learning environments.
Through this strategic initiative, the university continues to earn recognition as a hub of teaching innovation and community engagement.
Projects contributions to the UMD Strategic Plan Commitments

Below you can access the full report which provides a deeper dive into our reporting, project highlights, and accomplishments that were made through the Provost Innovation Grant funding.

Connect with previous grant participants to learn about their ideas!


This report was prepared by the Academic Technology Experience Team - Megan C. Masters, Ph.D. | Tiffany Pao, MEd | Jonathan Engelberg, Ph.D. | Alia Lancaster, Ph.D.


Connect with us or submit your feedback