Brad Cohen gives introductory remarks to attendees during the 2018 Ideation Event.

Brad Cohen gives introductory remarks to attendees during the 2018 Ideation Event.

Photographer: Alayna Steele

Faculty, staff, and administrators spent a majority of the event in open discussion to sharpen their ideas.

Faculty, staff, and administrators spent a majority of the event in open discussion to sharpen their ideas.

Photographer: Alayna Steele

Instructional designers from the Office of Instructional Innovation are deep in discussion with attending faculty and staff.

Instructional designers from the Office of Instructional Innovation are deep in discussion with attending faculty and staff.

Photographer: Alayna Steele

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2018 Academic Innovation Accelerator proposals due November 19


On Friday, November 2, 50 attendees gathered at the third annual Ideation Event to discuss their ideas for teaching and learning at OHIO. Participants shared their concepts with colleagues, instructional designers, project managers, leadership, and other OHIO staff dedicated to the AIA initiative. These ideas will be submitted to the Academic Innovation Accelerator (AIA) to potentially receive support.

“The AIA is an opportunity to come together as a community to creatively address some of our most intractable challenges and dare to set audacious and achievable goals that advance OHIO’s top priorities,” said Brad Cohen, senior vice provost for instructional innovation. “One of the goals of the AIA is to reignite passion for academic innovation and instill optimism that the University will actively support pursuit of innovative ideas. I’m really looking forward to seeing the proposals that emerge from this year’s cycle.”

Cohen introduced the event with opening remarks, followed by Chaden Djalali, executive vice president and provost, and Linda Rice, professor and chair of the English Department in the College of Arts and Sciences. Members of the AIA Advisory and Champions groups then helped participants polish their ideas into more formal proposals for possible support during open discussion time.

“I attended this year’s event to discuss some ideas I have about phase two of my initial project (Advancing Biology Students in the Murky Middle), to determine what interventions would work,” said Christopher Schwirian, senior lecturer and curriculum chair in the Department of Biological Sciences. “I have a lot of ideas, but I have found that attending these events and talking with faculty, staff, and administrators from a variety of fields has helped me brainstorm and refine my ideas. We (faculty) can sometimes be so busy that we get caught up in doing things the way we have always done them, and I feel this event is great for getting faculty to think of ways they can do better.”

The next step in the AIA process is for applicants to submit 500-word proposals for their new ideas to potentially receive support. Monday, November 19 is the deadline for proposal submissions. Find the details and the submission form at www.ohio.edu/instructional-innovation/aia-submit. The Office of Instructional Innovation (OII) will still accept ideas after the deadline.

Once collected, the proposals will go through a review process. The Advisory and Champions groups will help shape the ideas, identify barriers and risks, and ensure access to the expertise that will be needed to implement the idea. OII will strive to support every idea; the progress of past supported projects is visible on the OII website.

The AIA was created out of a grant through Ohio University’s Innovation Strategy program, which supports creative, interdisciplinary approaches to issues in research, creative activity, teaching and institutional operations.

Read through a recap of tweets about the event. For updates related to the AIA, follow the Office of Instructional Innovation on Twitter at @OHIOinstr_innov or Facebook @OII.OHIO.


The Office of Instructional Innovation (OII) serves as a catalyst to spark bold experimentation and sustainable discovery of innovative instructional models that fulfill the University’s promise of a transformative educational experience. OII provides a variety of services to faculty, staff, and students in support of academic units and online programs, as well as to advance initiatives to further the institution’s mission. Visit www.ohio.edu/instructional-innovation for more information.