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Call for Course Proposals (2nd round)

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Call for Course Proposals 02

Call for Course Proposals - 2nd Round (PDF) (issued 12/01/15)


The Institute for the Study of Human Flourishing is pleased to announce a grant-funded initiative to provide stipends for new course development and the redesign of existing courses. The Institute for the Study of Human Flourishing is a new interdisciplinary program at the University of Oklahoma whose mission includes research on virtues and flourishing, including means by which virtues can be cultivated in courses. Students’ engagement with college courses, we believe, can lead not only to the acquisition of knowledge and skills, but also can influence the development of virtues like open-mindedness, intellectual humility, compassion, fairness, and civility.  

The Institute takes a broad, interdisciplinary, and pluralist approach to how higher education can cultivate the virtues. A successful proposal might be a new course in anthropology on how virtue develops in a specific cultural setting that assesses the impact of this learning not only on students’ knowledge of the material conveyed in the course, but also on their open-mindedness and respect for other cultures. A new course in communication or information technology might seek to cultivate an awareness in students of the factors behind cyberbullying and its affects on those it targets, and assess how learning this material affects students’ compassion. An instructor of an existing course on immigration could propose to measure how it influences students’ civility, compassion, and sense of fairness.

The course development stipends are intended to support faculty who wish to develop innovative methods for cultivating virtues and assessing the outcomes of these strategies. Ideally, funded courses should be taught during the 2017-18 academic year and thereafter (earlier, if possible, in the case of the redesign of existing courses).  

Up to seven stipends in the amount of $1500 each will be available for new course design.  Up to seven stipends in the amount of $1000 each will be available for the redesign of existing courses. 

Course Proposal Instructions

Proposals are due by March 14, 2016, and should be submitted in electronic format (pdf files) to Dr. Nancy E. Snow ( and copied to Mr. Max Parish (  A faculty committee will review the proposals and inform applicants of decisions by April 4, 2016.

Awards will be of two types: outright acceptances and provisional acceptances. A proposal that is provisionally accepted is akin to a “revise and resubmit” of a journal submission in that changes will be requested and a revised proposal will be reviewed.

A. Proposals should be no more than 3 pages long, excluding syllabi.

B. Successful proposals should include a draft syllabus listing course objectives, readings, assignments, and other course activities that will significantly increase students' understanding, appreciation, and application of virtues and their relations to flourishing. Special focus on the nine Sooner virtues (intellectual humility, love of learning, open-mindedness, self-regulation, perseverance, honesty, civility, compassion, and fairness) will be a bonus. Please include clear explanations of how the course objectives, readings, assignments, and course activities will meet these requirements. If the syllabus is a redesign of an existing course, please include an explanation of how the added material will be integrated into the original course design. Explanations should include information about the course, e.g., a reasonable estimate of when the course will be or has been taught, how many students are expected to enroll, whether the course is open to all undergraduates, whether it satisfies major requirements, is an elective, etc.

C. Successful proposals should include an assessment plan dedicated specifically to measuring students' understanding, appreciation, and application of virtues and their relation to flourishing.

D. Recipients of ISHF course development stipends will be very strongly encouraged to attend sessions offered by curriculum consultant Dr. Jason Baehr who will be visiting OU on April 22, 2016. He will assist in the further development of course design, including assessment plans.  

E. Recipients of ISHF course development stipends will be expected to share assessment data pertaining to the virtues from their courses with the ISHF.  A reporting template will be provided.

NOTE: Undergraduate, graduate, and professional course proposals are welcome.