Signature Pedagogies - Coastal Carolina University
In This Section

Signature Pedagogies Graphic

Signature Pedagogies Learning Communities
Call for Applications

Aim of the Program
About Learning Communities
Guidelines & Expectations
Guidelines for Applications


The Center for Teaching Excellence to Advance Learning (CeTEAL) announces the Signature Pedagogies Faculty Learning Communities (FLC) for Summer 2021 through Spring 2022. The Signature Pedagogies FLC program encourages faculty to explore their teaching and reflect on disciplinary pedagogies. Faculty members will have the opportunity to research current literature to identify best practices and innovative pedagogy within their discipline. Successful recipients will participate in a multidisciplinary learning community, design, and implement a classroom research project, and disseminate the results to the CCU community and beyond when the project is complete. Fifteen spaces are available in the program. Two learning communities will be created with seven or eight faculty members. The deadline for submission is Friday, April 16, 2021.

Aim of the Program 

The Signature Pedagogies program will support faculty members’ efforts to examine their own teaching practices and current practices within their disciplines with the ultimate goal of improving student achievement. Faculty members will take part in a learning community over the course of a summer and two academic terms.

Applications are strongly encouraged that study implications for teaching within the core curriculum, interdisciplinary courses, and/or innovative teaching experiences and methods. Faculty may also consider how different delivery methods affect signature pedagogies. Through in-depth, contextualized, and evidence-based study, faculty members will examine the pedagogical literature in their field, design and implement innovative learning experiences, and share their results with the CCU community and beyond.

Upon completion of the Signature Pedagogies program, faculty will gain: 

  1. A community of colleagues from other disciplines who share an interest in improving student achievement through classroom research,
  2. An introduction to classroom research and scholarship of teaching and learning,
  3. An understanding of the research in current discipline-specific pedagogy and high-impact strategies for their classroom,
  4. Strategies for classroom research (scholarship of teaching and learning),
  5. Funding for a research project that can serve as the basis for an intellectual contribution to their field such as a conference presentation, journal article, grant or scholarly contribution appropriate to the faculty member’s discipline
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When faculty improve their teaching practices, student learning is improved (Condon, Iverson, Manduca, Rutz and Willett, 2016). Every discipline has unique practices—methods for teaching, ways of thinking and professional practices, which define how a discipline prepares students—called signature pedagogies. This program uses a faculty learning community structure to examine how signature pedagogies can improve student achievement at Coastal Carolina University.  

Today’s students must be able to move beyond memorizing course basics; they must be able to think critically. Providing students with the opportunities to practice the thinking, the problem solving, the knowledge creation and the “doing,” within and across disciplines, will prepare them for the future. How do faculty prepare students within a program or a major to think, act and know as an expert in the field? Stated another way, how do faculty teach students to think like a scientist, a historian, a business manager, teacher or person within their discipline? Further, how do faculty encourage students outside of a program or major to value and apply discipline-based thinking, acting and knowing after one or two courses? The Signature Pedagogies Learning Communities Program will focus on improving curriculum, instruction and assessment practices through a disciplinary lens, which can have a high impact on student achievement.  

In defining signature pedagogies, Schulman (2005) considers three dimensions: surface structure (operational acts of teaching and learning), deep structure (disciplinary assumptions about teaching and learning), and implicit structure (professional values and dispositions).

Using Schulman’s framework of signature pedagogies, this program will challenge faculty to consider:

  1. How they teach and how students learn in their courses?
  2. What disciplinary assumptions inform teaching in the discipline?
  3. What are the disciplinary values, attitudes, and dispositions taught to students?
  4. What is evidence of student learning within the discipline?

Developing the conditions and experiences under which students can engage in disciplinary habits of mind, even in courses outside of a major or program requires faculty to explore their own teaching to formally reflect on and question disciplinary pedagogies. This program proposes a faculty learning community structure for faculty to examine signature pedagogies at Coastal Carolina University.

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About Learning Communities

A faculty learning community (FLC) is a group of faculty who work for the length of one year to examine one Topic, in this case, signature pedagogies, from a multidisciplinary perspective. Members engage in disciplinary-based educational research, examine pedagogical literature within their individual disciplines, and participate in the larger conversation of their learning community. 

These multi-disciplinary learning communities will participate in a set of activities designed to create a shared experience for exploring signature pedagogies. Participants will develop individual classroom research projects that result in an intellectual contribution. Learning communities provide a framework for sustained faculty development and have several advantages such as:

  • Building community and increasing collaboration across campus while honoring disciplinary expertise,
  • Encouraging faculty to reflect on teaching and learning individually and with colleagues,
  • Creating an awareness of scholarship of teaching and learning,
  • Encouraging reflection on classroom practices,
  • Producing intellectual contributions to be disseminated (Cox, 2004).

The project period begins officially the Summer and Fall 2021 and Spring 2022. All research, activities and reports must be completed by June 2022. Learning Community participants are encouraged to present the results of their Signature Pedagogies Classroom research study, as part of a CeTEAL session.  




February 26, 2021

Call for Applications

Call for Applications distributed through the Office of the Provost

March & April 2021

Application Deadline

Applications to be received by April 16, 2021

April 16, 2021

Committee meets to review applications

Committee meets to review applications

End of April to Early May 2021

Notification of results

Faculty notified and learnng communities formed

May 2021


Orientation Sessions for FLC members and facilitators to begin the program and set goals

Summer 2018

Formation of Learning Communities, goal setting for Learning Communities

Learning community facilitator will contact members of the learning community to establish goals, initial research for classroom research projects

Fall 2021

Research, Design and Implementation Phase of Signature Pedagogies

Learning community members research the signature pedagogies of their field, design a classroom research project and attend learning community events

December 2021

Mid-year progress reports due

Members of the learning communities each submit a mid-year report of their classroom research project. Facilitators submit learning community mid-year report

January 2022

Continuation of Research, Design and Implementation Phase of Signature Pedagogies Continues

Learning community members research the signature pedagogies of their field, design a classroom research project and attend learning community events

Spring 2022

Open Classroom Project or CeTEAL presentation

Members of the learning community invite faculty into their classroom to observe a Signature Pedagogies lesson or conduct a CeTEAL session on their Signature Pedagogies Classroom Research Project and attend learning community events

May 2022

Individual reports containing classroom research projects due from Signature Pedagogies Learning Community participants

Final reports are submitted and received from individual participants

June 2022

Learning Communities Reports Due

Learning community facilitators submit final reports for Signature Pedagogies Learning Communities

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  1. Eligibility
     a.   All full-time, slotted Coastal Carolina University faculty members are invited to apply.
  2. Commit to the year-long learning community format. 
     a.   Building community and collegiality are paramount to the success of a faculty learning community.
           Therefore, the expectation is that members consistently participate in their community. The grant
           requires investigation into disciplinary pedagogies, consistent participation in the faculty learning
           community, dissemination to peers both within Coastal Carolina University and beyond in an
           appropriate scholarly publication or presentation.
 Learning Community Participant Expectations
  1. Attend an Orientation Session
     a.   Participants must attend an orientation session as part of the Signature Pedagogies program.

  2. Design and Implement a Signature Pedagogy Classroom Research Study
     a.    Identify a course that will be taught in Fall 2021 or Spring 2022 for the Classroom Research
            Study Project. The project will be tied to a course that is scheduled to be taught in Fall 2018
            or Spring 2022

  3. Learning Community Professional Development Activities
     a.    Learning communities will establish their schedule of activities meet the needs of the community.
            Each learning community will set goals, activities and the schedule for the faculty learning community.
            Activities may include monthly working meetings to share research projects updates, discussions of a
            shared text or readings, or CeTEAL sessions.

  4. Prepare an individual report and contribute to the learning community final report (prepared by the
    learning community facilitator) 
Criteria for Awards and Selection Process

Applications will be evaluated on several criteria:

  1. Selected course(s) for the research project,
  2. Impact on CCU student learning within the course,
  3. Potential contributions to a learning community,
  4. Ability to commit to the learning community for the year,
  5. Desire to engage in classroom research and the scholarship of teaching and learning,
  6. impact within discipline-based educational research,
  7. The quality of the proposed scholarly product and its potential contribution to signature pedagogies and the scholarship of teaching and learning,
  8. How this process can serve as a basis for an intellectual contribution to the field such as a journal article submission, curricular innovation, grant applications, conference paper or presentation or types of scholarly contributions appropriate for the discipline,
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Guidelines for Applications and Application Process and Procedures

Applications must be submitted online through the Signature Pedagogies Learning Community application website.

Application Requirements:

Part A. Answer the following questions on the Application website.

  1. Provide a professional bio of 100-150 words.
  2. Describe the nature of your current teaching responsibilities.
  3. In which course will you conduct a classroom research study? List the course number and title.
  4. Describe how participating in signature pedagogies research may improve your teaching and student learning?
  5. Part of the program is a classroom research project that will result in an intellectual contribution. What ideas do you have for this project?
  6. What do you think you can contribute to this community? (e.g. special teaching experience, project management, research methods, etc.)

 Part B. After submitting the application, email the following to  by April 16, 2021: 

  1. Signed copy of the Signature Pedagogies Chair and Dean Support Letter pdf
  2. Copy of the course syllabus for the class in which you intend to conduct the Classroom Research Project
  3. Any other documentation you think may be helpful in the review of your application

Applications should be submitted online and with appropriate signature pages no later than Friday, April 16, 2021. Applications received after this date will not be accepted.  

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Deadline for Applications

Applications should be submitted online and with appropriate signature pages no later than Friday, April 16, 2021. Applications received after this date will not be accepted.

The Signature Pedagogies program will provide faculty with the opportunity to be grounded in the pedagogical literature of their field. This program furthers teaching effectiveness by providing CCU faculty a community of practice with colleagues from across campus to develop highly impactful and engaging instruction. Signature pedagogies extends the teacher-scholar model by promoting disciplinary-based educational research and classroom research. In this program, faculty will reflect on their teaching practice and apply the rigor of scholarly research and teaching and learning become a scholarly activity. Students benefit from faculty who are rooted in their teaching practice and who seek to improve instructional experiences by examining teaching through a scholarly lens.

CeTEAL’s mission “seeks to promote a culture of excellence in teaching and learning at Coastal Carolina University by facilitating the integration of proven pedagogical techniques into the instructional process and encouraging the development of a university-wide community of reflective practitioners.” As such, our goals are to provide opportunities and experiences for faculty to improve their teaching and student learning. The Signature Pedagogies Program will provide a sustained faculty development experience with the proven structure of learning communities in which faculty turn their classroom into a research setting to inform their teaching. When faculty critically reflect on their teaching, apply the framework of discipline-based classroom research, disseminate the results in a public forum, students can participate innovative, high-quality instruction and experiences.


Condon, W., Iverson, E. R., Manduca, C. A., Rutz., C. and Willett, G. (2016). Faculty development and student learning: Assessing the connections. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press.

Cox, M.D., (2004) Introduction to Faculty Learning Communities. In M.D. Cox & L. Richlin (Ed.), Building faculty learning communities (pp. 5-23) New Directions for Teaching and Learning No. 97, San Francisco: Jossey-Bass

Schulman, L. S. (2005). Signature Pedagogies in the Professions. Daedalus, 134 (3), 52-59.