Presidential Chair Fellows - Resilience Grant

The Presidential Chair Fellows Resilience Grant Program provides an opportunity for a team of two or more faculty members -- from a department or across departments -- to examine, develop, improve, and transform core areas of the undergraduate curriculum. For the upcoming grant cycle, we are soliciting proposals where faculty will engage in intentional design of student learning opportunities that address a specific need or opportunity for enhancing instructional resilience. We are especially interested in supporting projects that will benefit teaching in contexts for which remote instruction is particularly challenging (e.g., projects that improve resilience for laboratory or studio courses).

The purpose of this grant and learning community program is to make funds available to carry out curricular instructional resilience efforts that are meaningful and achievable. The grant program will fund up to four projects, each up to $22,000 over the one-year grant period from August 2020 to June 2021.

PCF Resilience Grant Projects, 2020-2021

“BeArS@Home, A Choose Your Own Adventure Online Laboratory Platform”

Alexis Shusterman, Anne Baranger, Michelle Douskey, Peter Marsden (Chemistry)

BeArS@home brings resilience to UC Berkeley's chemistry curriculum by creating a versatile digital platform for our unique laboratory coursework. Our team of teaching faculty, graduate student researchers, and instructional support staff created online versions of 64 experiments in support of 9 unique chemistry classes, serving 5900 students across 4 semesters. We will present an initial assessment of the effectiveness of the BeArS@home platform which has spread to other UC campuses. Our platform not only allows laboratory instruction to continue during a global pandemic, but also increases the accessibility of chemistry coursework to students experiencing illness, family emergencies, etc. for semesters to come.

“Resilience in Geospatial Learning”

Clancy Wilmott, Jeffrey Chambers, John Isom (Geography)

This talk discusses the promises and pitfalls of teaching geospatial courses remotely, from the technical to the theoretical.  It reflects on a suite of educational research investigating the outcomes of a small survey of students who participated in remote geospatial courses in Fall 2020; the format of available geospatial software and tools; and, best practice in online-only delivered geospatial courses from across the US. Finally, it argues that preemptive course design, underpinned by active technical and theoretical learning, and the educator's choice of software is critical for success in teaching geospatial content in uncertain educational futures.

“Self-Paced Videos for Improving Access in an Introductory Music Course”

Emily Zazulia, Mary Ann Smart, Nicholas Mathew (Music)

Music has always presented an exceptional set of challenges to the classroom instructor. Studying music involves being guided repeatedly through works or performances in real time—sonic experiences that, in turn, stand in a complex relation to the various technologies and visual props that capture and mediate them. Funding from the Resilience Grant Program has allowed us to create initial components of digital tools that place students in active dialogue with musical works and concepts. These materials are intended to be self-directed and self-paced: students are able to consult and revisit them as needed in order to hone their comprehension of new concepts as the semester progresses. Some of the videos we have produced have a built-in component of self-assessment, incorporating questions or exercises that allow students to measure their mastery of material and work to improve it. Students in Music 27 this term got a preview of these materials, which we hope to continue developing for use in future semesters.

“Teaching Dance Under Covid-19 as a Practice of Community, Social Justice, and Wellness”

James Graham, Katherine Faulkner, Latanya Tigner, SanSan Kwan (Theater, Dance, and Performance Studies)

TDPS Dance faculty members Katie Faulkner, James Graham, SanSan Kwan, and Latanya Tigner centered their PCF project around the cultivation of wellness, community, and social justice within the remote dance classroom. Dance practice classes, and the essential in-person demands of learning embodied skills, have been uniquely impacted by the pandemic. Our team has collaborated on developing pedagogical strategies that not only continue high-level skill-building across remote platforms, but that do so in ways that acknowledge the distinct mental health challenges of this time. By inviting guest teachers, devising community-oriented curricula, and designing more equitable assessment strategies, our team has developed more resilient tools for supporting our students both remotely and, ultimately, in person.