TESI Program Information

Program goals

The goals of the TESI Program are to:

  • Support Memorial educators as they engage in professional learning through data-driven inquiry-based projects
  • Foster a culture of teaching innovation and inquiry at Memorial University
  • Enhance the learning experiences of Memorial’s students
  • Support SoTL knowledge mobilization amongst Memorial educators and the broader learning community

Through the program, participants will:

  • Have an opportunity to engage with peers who are keenly interested in teaching and learning
  • Learn about SoTL processes and increase their understanding of the methodologies and procedures commonly used to conduct SoTL inquiries
  • Be able to articulate and identify ethical issues in conducting SoTL
  • Learn to design and implement independent SoTL projects
  • Reflect upon their projects and generate new ideas on how they can build upon their SoTL interests
  • Participate in the dissemination of their project’s findings and contribute to our collective understanding of teaching effectiveness

Core activities

The TESI Program consists of six core activities that are designed to maximize participant engagement and learning. All participants are expected to participate in and complete all six activities.

1. SoTL Foundations Institute

Completed over the course of five workshops, participants will be introduced to The Principles of SoTL, The SoTL Process, Engaging in Ethical SoTL, and Preparing a SoTL Project Proposal. The purpose of the institute is to take the participants inquiry ideas and develop them into project proposals. At the end of the institute, each group will have completed a final project proposal which will be submitted to the project facilitator for feedback. Finally, the proposal will be used to obtain ethics approval or an ethics exemption. Each workshop will be held virtually unless conditions allow for in-person or hyflex (i.e., synchronous in-person and virtual) sessions. (Estimated time: 10 hours total, 2hrs/workshop)

2. TESI Community of Practice

Participants are expected to participate in a community of practice (CoP) throughout their participation. The community will meet approximately once a month from January to June of 2023 and may be extended upon the will of the participants. During these meetings, participants will have an opportunity to talk about their projects, share their experiences, and give and receive advise from their peers. Each session will also include discussions on topics of interest to the community. Finally, each project team will be expected to give a presentation during at least one of the meetings on either their project’s literature review or the methodology they adopted to answer their inquiry questions. Each meeting will take place via WebEx unless conditions allow for in-person or hyflex meetings (Estimated time: 9 hours total, 1.5hrs/meeting)

3. Facilitator Consults

Each project team will meet with the program facilitator three times during their participation. The goal of these consults is to provide participants with one-on-one support and offer them the opportunity to discuss and reflect on their project. The facilitator is available to meet more frequently on request. (Estimated time: 2-3 hours total)

4. Project Implementation

During the project implementation stage, each team will work independently to implement their inquiry project. During implementation, the program facilitator will be available to offer support when requested. Likewise, the TESI CoP sessions will provide opportunities for addition supports through collaboration and dialogue with the other community members.

5. Project Dissemination

Participants are expected to disseminate their project and findings. Below are a few options that participants can pursue:

  • Host a faculty Lunch & Learn session where they present their project
  • Present during Memorial’s Research Week
  • Present at CITL’s annual Teaching and Learning Conference
  • Create a conference style poster and hang it in their faculty/school building
  • Facilitate a session through CITL’s Instructional Series
  • Submit a manuscript to a journal of their choosing
  • Present at a local, national, or international conference of their choosing

6. Documenting the Process

Participants will be expected to reflect on and document their experience at two different points during the program: 1) Complete a Project Proposal outlining their project and submit it to the program facilitator before implementing their project and 2) complete a Final Reflection and Summary Report once they have completed all the program’s other core activities. (Estimated time: 4-5 hours total).

Eligibility requirements and expectations

All requests to participate are accepted on a first come, first served rolling basis until all allocated program spaces are filled. To participate, project leads and co-leads must meet the eligibility requirements and agree to fulfil the participant expectations.

Eligibility requirements

  1. All full-time educators (tenured, tenure-track, limited-term faculty, and laboratory instructors) from all Memorial University campuses and institutes are eligible to participate in the program as a project lead or co-lead. One or more full-time educators may submit a project idea together; however, only one person may be designated as the project lead with the others being designated as co-leads. Other Memorial staff members (e.g., sessional educators, adjunct professors, and administrative staff) are encouraged to participate as project collaborators. Graduate and undergraduate students may participate as paid research assistants. Note that limited-term faculty members’ projects must be completed before the end of their appointment.
  2. Submit a completed Expression of Interest Form outlining their project idea. Note that only projects that focus on improving teaching and fostering student development (e.g., learning, motivation, wellbeing, skill development) will be accepted into the program.

Participant expectations

The TESI program consists of six core learning activities that are designed to maximize participant learning. All project leads and co-leads (please see the Roles and Responsibilities section for further details) regardless of their research background and SoTL experience are expected to participate in and complete all of the program’s activities.

While it is understood that some participants may encounter scheduling conflicts during the program that prevents them for attending some scheduled activities, it is incumbent on the participants to ensure they work with the program facilitator to arrange accommodations when possible. Please read the TESI Program Core Activities section carefully to understand what is expected of program participants.

Roles and responsibilities

Project Lead

Each project will have one designated project lead. This person must be a full-time educator (e.g., tenured, tenure-track, limited-term faculty, and laboratory instructors) at Memorial University. The project lead is expected to attend all professional learning activities (e.g., SoTL Foundations Institute, TESI CoP) and is responsible for the competition of all administrative tasks (e.g., Final Reflection and Summary Report). The project lead is also responsible for the hiring and supervision of student research assistants.

Project Co-Lead

Each project can have one or more co-leads; however, having a co-lead is not necessary if a project lead wishes to work independently. All co-leads must be full-time Memorial educators and are also expected to participate in all of the program’s professional learning activities. If a project lead must leave or is temporarily absent from a project for any reason, a co-lead may assume the role of project lead.

Project Collaborator

Collaborators can include all other Memorial staff who do not hold a full-time educator position (e.g., sessional instructors, adjunct professors, administrative staff). Each project can have one or more collaborators; however, including collaborators is not necessary. Collaborators are not required to attend the program’s professional learning activities, but they are welcome to do so if they wish to avail of these opportunities.

Student Research Assistant (RA)

RAs work under the supervision of the project lead and must be paid from the project grant. All RAs are required to complete a paid 20-hour RA training program at the beginning of their assignment (note: the funding to cover the RA training will come from a separate program fund and not from the $6000 grant each inquiry team receives). RAs are not required to attend the program’s professional development activities but are welcome to do so if they wish to avail of these opportunities.

Project funding guidelines

Each project will receive $6000 of financial support to support the planning, implementation, and dissemination of their project. A minimum of $4000 must be used to hire student research assistants (RA). This equates to approximately 155 hours of graduate RA time or 230 hours of undergraduate RA time. The remaining funds can be used to support project implementation and dissemination. As a part of the project’s Final Reflection and Summary Report, participants will need to provide details on how the grant was used to support the inquiry project.

Eligible expenses

  • Hire persons external to Memorial with a particular expertise/skill set (e.g., transcription services)
  • Development of data collection instruments
  • Support for data collection and data analysis
  • Computer software (e.g., software to analyze data; evaluated on a case-by-case basis)
  • Teaching materials needed to conduct the project (e.g., cameras, stationary)
  • Food and meals - funds may be used for the purchase of food only for culturally appropriate situations when it is deemed necessary for project completion. Please check with the program facilitator for approval.
  • Incentives for student participation (e.g., gift cards)
  • Dissemination of findings (e.g., conference registration, article publication)

Ineligible expenses

  • Reimbursement or incentives for Memorial staff
  • Support or top-ups for teaching assistants
  • Course releases
  • Computer hardware (evaluated on a case-by-case basis based on project need)
  • Donations
  • Journal subscriptions, professional memberships, etc.

How to apply

Interested participants should email a completed Expression of Interest Form as early as possible to the program facilitator, Keith Power. Please include "2022 TESI Program Expression of Interest Form" in the subject line.

Applications will be reviewed as they are submitted on a first come, first served basis. If an application meets the eligibility requirements the applicants will be notified of their acceptance as early as possible and no later than July 29, 2022.


Centre for Innovation in Teaching and Learning

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Postal Address: P.O. Box 4200, St. John's, NL, CANADA, A1C 5S7

Tel: (709) 864-8000