The Center for Faculty Innovations in Teaching and Learning (FITL) is a faculty-centered enterprise dedicated to the advancement of educational practice. FITL was created in October 2008 through a $1.92 million, 5-year Title III Strengthening Institutions Grant from the US Department of Education. The grant ended in September 2013; the Center is now being funded by New York University. The mission of FITL is to partner with faculty and staff to promote innovative teaching strategies and technologies for learning at the NYU Tandon School of Engineering.
Over the years, FITL has formed partnerships with faculty and staff to explore and discuss the educational and technological needs of the School of Engineering community. The Center offers services to faculty and staff that include training in state-of-the-art teaching technologies, access to technologies and resources, opportunities for research and design, and collaboration on educational and technical projects. At the Center, faculty and staff consult with specialized staff to receive assistance in efficiently implementing technology in their classroom or work environment to maximize student success. The Center also provides the opportunity for faculty and staff to collaborate on technology-based projects.
During the 5 years of the grant funding, 2008-2013, FITL developed 10 programs, projects and services:
- Smart Classroom Project
- Smart Technologies Program
- Clicker Technology Program
- Technology Training Program
- Laptop Incentive Program
- Technology Loan Program
- Conference Funding Program
- Technical and Educational Support
- Faculty Media Studio
- Student Professional Development Program
It is with enthusiasm that FITL continues to operate the Center today and build on the development of these programs.
Three objectives of the Title III grant were to integrate innovative technology and teaching methods to enhance classroom instruction. From 2008 to 2013, FITL successfuly completed these objectives.
Smart Classroom Project
A major grant objective was to increase the number of undergraduate student classrooms equipped with technology tools for teaching. From 2009 to 2013, FITL upgraded 41 classrooms to Smart Classrooms, now containing technology that enhances the classroom learning environment.
Different types of Smart Classrooms were developed based on student and faculty needs, physical space and the set project funding for the year. The equipment installed in the classrooms included podium computers with technology-supported software, control processors and panels, interactive whiteboards or tablets, tracking cameras, high-quality projectors, screens, amplifiers & speakers, wireless microphones, and other teaching technologies to augment the instruction of the course.
Over the five years of the grant, the number of faculty members incorporating educational technology into the classroom and curriculum increased.
Laptop Incentive Program
FITL administered a Laptop Incentive Program, annually enrolling full-time faculty in a 12-hour training program that introduced new teaching technologies and best practices for incorporating these tools in the classroom.
The goal of the program was to increase the number of faculty incorporating effective technological practices into their teaching. Each participant was awarded a new laptop upon completion of the program to facilitate access to the newest technology and apply this knowledge in their classroom.
At the end of the grant, 78 faculty members completed the Laptop Incentive Program.
Conference Grant Program
FITL annually awarded three faculty members an expense stipend to participate in a professional development conference that promoted the effective integration of technology in the classroom.
Each year, FITL staff research and compile a list of educational and technological conferences taking place in the US. With the greater opportunities to attend conferences virtually, faculty have been able to participate both onsite and online. This allowed FITL to increase the number of faculty who could take advantage of this program.
FITL In Progress
Through partnership with the FITL Center, Tandon faculty and staff actively engage their students by implementing technology-enhanced teaching materials and methods. Past projects of this kind have ranged from developing instructional videos to implementing mobile in-class polling, gamified learning, and more.
Faculty Tech Profile Series
- "Building Relationships and Engagement with Technology in Environmental Sciences: Diane Dittrick." By Lexie Bryan on October 19, 2017.
- "Transitioning from SRS Hardware to Software in the Chemistry Classroom: Janice Aber & Bruce Garetz." By Lexie Bryan on December 1, 2016.
- "SRS in the Calculus Classroom: Hanna Ulman." By Lexie Bryan on December 11, 2015.
FITL Application Development
The Tracker application project began 2012 out of a need to automate some of the manual data tracking and analysis of tutoring activities in the TRIO Scholars Program. It is continually enhanced and is actively used by TRIO students, tutors, and program staff.
This award-winning online tutorial uses a fun, gamified approach to prepare incoming first-year students for the process of registering for classes. Developed in partnership with the Academic Advisement Center, the tutorial is released to these students each June.
Teaching & Learning Projects
5 MetroTech Center
Dibner Building, LC 444
To get to LC 444: Enter Dibner Library on the 3rd floor and take the inside stairs to the upper level. At the top of the stairs, turn right and you will see our door marked 444 in the corner.