Université de Lausanne
Using a Teaching Innovation Fund to foster quality teaching at university level
Summary of Dr. Denis Berthiaume at IMHE “What Works” Conference, Managing Quality Teaching in Higher Education (Mexicali, Mexico, 5-6 December 2011)
The University of Lausanne, Switzerland, launched its Teaching Innovation Fund (TIF) in 2007 in order to achieve two objectives :
The TIF consists of a fixed sum of money (up to EUR 25'000) that teachers can apply for in order to change something in their teaching. Funds can be used over one calendar year to hire staff to help on some specific aspect of teaching with or without the use of educational technology.
Projects have to be both permanent and transferable, according to the objective of fostering institutional change. Therefore, the selection of projects is done by members of the university community (teachers, assistants, students) and takes into account a series of criteria, including the possibility of reproducing the project in a faculty other than the one it originated from, and the assurance that structural measures will be put in place to render the initiative permanent in its faculty of origin.
In the period 2007-2012, 45 projects have taken shape covering aspects such as :
An evaluation of the programme took place in academic year 2011-2012 and showed that both objectives identified above were well met. With regards to the objective of fostering institutional change, several projects have led to the creation of similar initiatives in other faculties (e.g., fieldwork, block courses, peer-to-peer tutoring). With regards to the objective of helping individual teachers develop, a survey of project leaders identified several aspects of the impact the programme had on them, most notably :