Innovation Communities Repository

Faculty engage in short-term Innovation Communities to advance institutional core themes through innovative curriculum or pedagogy. These communities of practice are sponsored by the Center for the Advancement of Teaching and Learning at SOU. For more information, contact the Center staff at

Culturally Responsive Teaching

Culturally Responsive Teaching (CRT) recognizes the importance of including students' cultural references in all aspects of learning (Ladson-Billings, 1994). As CRT was initially developed in K-12 contexts, research into its application in higher education is needed. A group of faculty explored existing research in CRT, examined their own curriculum and instructional practices, and developed and experimented with new CRT-informed practices.

Interdisciplinary Writing Certificate Transforms General Education

Many of us would find it challenging to try to create a curriculum that is truly interdisciplinary or transdisciplinary in nature. This project addressed the challenge of making general education more relevant through an Interdisciplinary Writing Certificate. This project lives at the crossroads of several innovation targets: general education redesign, professional relevance, ePortfolios, division reorganization efforts, and better nurturing essential skills that many students (and their employers) wish they had upon graduation.

Real World Assessment

The Honors College developed a comprehensive assessment strategy that incorporates the existing curriculum, co-curricular activities conducted within COVID restrictions (online, non-traditional, and socially distanced experiences), a new capstone portfolio requirement, ongoing diversification efforts, and the new challenging teaching environment of online and hybrid teaching.

Sustainability Across the Curriculum

Following the development of national recommendations and guidelines for integrating sustainability into the classroom, a cohort of 10 faculty from BCE formed an Innovation Community to identify ways to implement the concepts in their courses. Participants committed to substantially changing their course’s curriculum and/or pedagogy to incorporate a commitment to sustainability.

Sustainable Compassion for Educators

This Innovation Community convened faculty to study the theory and practice of Sustainable Compassion Training (SCT), a system of compassion- and mindfulness-based meditation practices adapted from Tibetan Buddhism for a western, secular audience and informed by social psychology, developmental psychology, cognitive psychology, and neuroscience. The project featured a one-day retreat and a workshop series for interested faculty.