United States Air Force Academy

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Center for Educational Innovation


cadets in classroom

Our directorates provide services to support faculty members in developing their evidence-based educational practice. These include teaching consultations, mentorship opportunities, project funding assistance, and access to multi-purpose learning spaces. Learn more about our services below.

  • Instructional Design
    Directorate of Instructional Design

    This directorate exists to provide faculty, instructors, and course directors with the support they need to create effective, efficient courses and learning experiences for United States Air Force Academy cadets. The focus is on using instructional systems design methodologies and evidenced-based best practices to inform course development and course revision efforts that are learning focused and underpin cadet success.

    Services available through this directorate:

    • One on one consultations for course creation and course redesign /enhancement.
    • Review of course objectives for alignment with content, learning experiences, assessments etc.
    • Workshops focusing on learner-centered course improvement, effective instructional strategies & leveraging technology effectively.
    • Redesign of your course to leverage the advantages of the flipped classroom
    • Student Instructional Feedback: This CEI facilitated feedback session provides instructors with observations & perspectives from cadets about how to improve the quality of the course at mid-semester. It engages cadets in a brief discussion about what contributes to their learning and specific suggestions they have for improving learning in the course.

    SOTL Lecture Hall

    For instructional design assistance, contact
    Dr. Kim Hosler

  • Educational Technology
    Directorate of Educational Technology

    This directorate supports innovative classroom design and works with faculty to ensure the effective use of technology to deliver learning experiences. An increasingly technological society demands that our faculty members have access to proven (evidence-based) technologies and practices that enhance learning experiences across the diverse areas of study at the academy.

    Services available through this directorate: 

    • Facilitate effective implementation of educational technologies in the classroom
    • Provide F2F and online professional development opportunities for faculty, staff, and cadets regarding the use of educational technologies
    • Identify appropriate and innovative resources for faculty
    • Design research-based learning spaces as requested by departments

    Education Technology

    For tech innovation design and development assistance, contact
    Dr. Bob Bryant

  • Faculty Development
    Directorate of Faculty Development

    This directorate promotes excellence in teaching through carefully designed workshops, seminars, and mentoring communities.  By participating in faculty development activities, faculty not only benefit themselves professionally; they likewise benefit their students by acquiring a broader repertoire of evidence-based, learning-centered teaching practices.

    Services available through this directorate:

    • Teaching observations
    • Consultations on teaching statements, teaching portfolios, and synthesis of relevant materials into annotated evidence files
    • Workshops on evidence-based, inclusive teaching practices
    • Supervising, sponsoring, or facilitating faculty learning communities’ and book groups.
    • New Faculty Orientation

    Faculty Development

    For faculty development assistance, contact
    Dr. Marc Napolitano

  • Academic Assessment
    Directorate of Academic Assessment

    This directorate provides support at the faculty and department level for the practice of evidence-based improvement in student learning. The practice of assessment is critical to the United States Air Force Academy’s accreditation status and provides us with the ability to pursue “excellence in all we do”.

    Services available through this directorate:

    • Consultation on aligning learning objectives and instruction with assessments
    • Assistance with assessment development for lessons, courses, and institutional outcomes
    • Rubric development
    • Teaching observations
    • Analysis of assessment quality
    • Qualitative and quantitative analysis of assessment data
    • Workshops on assessment-related topics, including assessment design, writing effective test questions, assessment techniques, and utilizing assessment data

    Academic Success Center

    For Academic Assessment assistance, contact
    Dr. Calli Holaway

  • Scholarship of Teaching & Learning
    Directorate for Scholarship of Teaching & Learning

    This directorate supports faculty and staff inquiry into innovative and effective teaching practices. Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) represents a growing national and international professional movement that recognizes, publicizes, funds and advocates the scholarly approach to understanding factors that impact student learning.  These factors include specific teaching techniques, incorporation of technology, organization of materials, use of group work, etc.

    Services available through this directorate:

    • Mentorship for the design of new SoTL projects and SoTL research collaborations
    • Assistance with the IRB (ethics review) process
    • Funding for SoTL projects can be used to support the project implementation and/or presentation of the project at a conference
    • Assistance with results analysis and guidance on dissemination (conference presentations and publication)

    SOTL Lt Col Vollmer

    For SoTL assistance, contact
    Dr. Lauren Scharff

  • Funding Support Services
    Funding Support Services

    CEI provides financial support to faculty and cadets in the following areas:

    • ACE funds: This funding is for faculty and staff who wish to pursue teaching conferences/workshops, assessment conferences/workshops, assessment tools such as major field tests, or classroom educational technology innovations.
    • SoTL Research Project Gift Funds: These funds support the implementation and dissemination of research that investigates how to enhance cadet learning. (Proposal required; POC: Dr. Lauren Scharff)
    • SoTL Professional Development Gift Funds: These funds support faculty members’ implementation of evidence-based best practices in teaching and learning. (Proposal required; POC: Dr. Marc Napolitano
    • Cadet Travel Funds: Cadet travel funds support a variety of opportunities for cadet travel in support of their academic development. Funds can be used conducting research and presenting at conferences.
    • International Research Funds for Cadets: This branch of the McDermott Chair gift funds provide support for Cadets to travel internationally to conduct research.

    The amounts of funding available varies year-to-year, and is subject to an application process and mission prioritization.

    Funding Support Services
    Funding Support POC

    Lt Col Patricia Vollmer
    Director of Operations

  • Academic Consulting
    Academic Consulting

    CEI offers professional development observations that are instructor driven. These in-class observations are not meant to be evaluative, but rather offer faculty feedback on areas they want to enrich. This process benefits both the instructor being observed as well as the observer.

    For professional development observations, the observer does not need to have expertise in the discipline of the instructor. Often it is most helpful that the observer does NOT have disciplinary expertise because they are able to provide a perspective more like a student.

    To set up professional development observations, email DF_ALL@afacademy.af.edu

    Student Instructional Feedback Consultation
    Faculty-driven consultations provide instructors with insights, perceptions and  information from their students about how to improve the quality of a course before the end of the course.

    Academic Consulting
    Academic Consulting POC

    Dr. Kim Hosler
    Director of Instructional Design

  • Teaching & Learning Lab
    Teaching & Learning Lab/Faculty Studio

    CEI recently acquired 3349 sq. ft. adjacent to the Center that is being converted into an experimental classroom space – available for wider DF use teaching up to 5 periods/day. In addition, about 852 sq. ft. of that space will be used for multi-purposes – classroom/workshop/collaboration space, and Faculty Studio. The user-friendly Faculty Studio will be capable of providing a wide-range of AV capabilities, including green screen, light board, and conventional video production.