USM Center for Innovation and Excellence in Learning and Teaching (CIELT) Approved to Advance Course Redesign, Other Innovative Learning Models

Adelphi, Md. (Nov. 5, 2012) -- The University System of Maryland (USM) Board of Regents has approved a new USM Center for Innovation and Excellence in Learning and Teaching (CIELT) that will enable the USM to secure and expand its leadership position in course redesign and other innovative teaching models for the benefit of its students. The Center will be housed in the USM Office of Academic Affairs and headed by an executive director, to be hired after a national search. The board voted unanimously to approve the Center during the board's meeting on Nov. 2, 2012.

The Center will serve as the focal point for the System's efforts to incorporate technology and new learning methods into academic courses. The Center will examine student performance resulting from various teaching methods and serve as a resource for the development of best practices in higher education.

By recognizing the transformational impact of new approaches to teaching and learning and evolving technologies, the USM has become a national leader in the implementation of a variety of innovative teaching and learning models. Measurable examples of USM's success in this area include higher enrollment in redesigned courses, improved results in student learning, and substantial cost savings achieved through redistribution of faculty time and delivery of course material at a reduced expense.

"It is my belief that we are in the early stages of a major revolution in the way a good deal of teaching and learning occurs on campuses," said USM Chancellor William E. "Brit" Kirwan.

Since 2005, USM institutions have redesigned 40 courses. As part of the new center's structure, the USM will be working with Coursera, Carnegie Mellon University, and Ithaka S+R, an academic consulting group based in New York, N.Y., to continue testing new models of teaching.

Under the executive director's leadership, the Center will have a small permanent staff charged with the following priorities:

  • support, coordinate and assess academic innovation activities on the campuses;
  • incentivize faculty, through a Fellows program, to initiate these innovations;
  • apply for and raise external funds for System-wide transformation activities; and
  • disseminate best practices among USM institutions and the broader higher education community.


Contact: Mike Lurie
Phone: 301.445.2719