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Applications Open for Faculty Institute on Creative Research Assignments

By Michael Yunkin on March 23, 2017 12:10 PM | Permalink

The University Libraries will be offering a new Faculty Institute entitled Creative Research Assignments: Looking Beyond the Research Paper. Applications are now being accepted from UNLV faculty for the institute, which runs May 15 and 16 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Selected faculty who participate are eligible for a $1,000 - $1,500 stipend.

Faculty assign research assignments to determine student mastery of course content and skills as well as offer students a glimpse into how scholars share ideas. Students are often asked to complete these assignments in traditional ways by completing papers or delivering a presentation. However, more and more faculty are exploring options beyond these traditional assignments. In this institute, faculty will have an opportunity to learn about other types of assignments – for example, websites, infographics, poster sessions, podcasts, videos – that enable students to increase knowledge and develop skills.

The purpose of this institute is to provide a space for faculty to explore creative alternatives to traditional research assignments that challenge students’ critical thinking skills and support them as they create new knowledge. Faculty who already assign non-traditional work, but would like to incorporate a more robust research element are also welcome to participate.

In this this two-day institute, faculty will create learning outcomes that challenge and strengthen the critical thinking and inquiry skills of students through creative assignments that engage students in research and knowledge-creation practices. Faculty will also explore possibilities for student-learning outcomes assessment in order to evaluate assignments and plan improvements.

Who Should Attend?

Any faculty member with an interest in creating research assignments where students record the process or product of their research in non-traditional ways, or who would like to incorporate a more meaningful research requirement into existing non-traditional assignments are encouraged to apply.

  • Open to all UNLV faculty who teach undergraduate and graduate courses.
  • Graduate assistants who teach are welcome to attend with the support of their program coordinator.
  • Program coordinators are encouraged to consider attending with another instructor in their program.

Learning Outcomes

This workshop will enable attendees to:

  • articulate developmentally appropriate learning outcomes for research assignments that address critical thinking and inquiry skills;
  • construct creative assignment prompts using alternative methods for presenting the process and product of student research; and
  • collaborate with colleagues in order to engage in cross-disciplinary discussions about course design.


Limited to 20 faculty members, selected participants are required to complete the following tasks:

  • attend the two-day Faculty Institute;
  • work with a librarian and other campus partners to create or revise a student assignment that emphasizes research skills;
  • submit a course syllabus and assessment plan;
  • have students participate in the Transparency in Learning and Teaching survey in order to receive feedback on their perceptions of their learning in the course;
  • submit a random sample of de-identified student work from the course; and
  • participate in assessment of the Faculty Institute.

Apply online

Faculty members who are interested in applying for the Faculty Institute should complete the registration form at with your name, course information, and a brief description of the research project that you plan to revise or create. Due to the large number of applicants, the application period is now closed.

If you have questions, please contact Melissa Bowles-Terry, Head of Educational Initiatives, at