Quality Enhancement Plan: Building TILEs

Welcome to the homepage for WPU’s Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP), Building TILEs: Building Tangible Immersive Learning Experiences.

Building TILEs is a five-year initiative (2021-2026) that seeks to increase student problem-solving and collaboration abilities by increasing the number of high-impact practices students experience within their learning environments.

This effort directly impacts the curriculum through twenty-one selected courses across all majors and the distinctive internship program.

What is a QEP?

The five-year Building TILEs Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) is a required part of the reaffirmation process directed by the regional accrediting body, Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). The QEP is dedicated to institutional advancement through improving specific Student Learning Outcomes while supporting the mission of the university. Successful QEPs also include broad-based involvement of institutional constituencies (i.e., faculty, students, staff, administration, etc.) and plans to assess changes in these specific outcomes over time. 

Building TILEs emerges from the University’s mission, strategic plan, and vision and seeks to develop graduates who are collaborative leaders who embrace life-long learning and demonstrate commitment to solving problems to improve the world around them.

What is Immersive Learning?

Immersive Learning means actively applying knowledge into practice — both inside and outside the classroom. It is not a one-time thing: every single major and every single class features immersive learning experiences so our students learn in a more meaningful, transformational way.

 Students grow intellectually through mentorship, collaboration, reflection, and learning by doing. Immersive Learning at William Peace University empowers students to become future leaders, global citizens, effective collaborators, and problem-solvers. 

Consistent with the University’s mission to develop student appreciation for life-long learning and help students acquire valuable competencies and skills, WPU embeds Immersive Learning throughout the curriculum maximizing student potential through problem-solving, collaboration, and effective skill development.

While Immersive Learning experiences and teaching strategies are embedded throughout the curriculum, Building TILEs focuses specifically on enhancing and assessing the impact of new Immersive Learning projects in 21 courses across all majors.

What are the intended goals and objectives of Building TILEs?

To develop graduates who meet the lofty goals set forth by the University’s mission and Believe in Peace strategic plan it is evident the entire curriculum must transform. The purpose of Building TILEs is to vigorously integrate HIPs, best practices, and Immersive Learning experiences and teaching strategies across the entire curriculum. 

The explicitly stated goals of the QEP are as follows:

Goal 1: Increase student ability to recognize the value of Immersive Learning strategies, experiences, and/or opportunities.
Goal 2: Increase and enhance student skills through Immersive Learning strategies, experiences, and/or opportunities.
Goal 3: Increase and measure student ability to apply skills developed through Immersive Learning to a professional experience.

In order for WPU to achieve the components set forth in Building TILEs, the Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs) are as follows:

Student Learning Outcome 1: Students will recognize the value that learning occurs in a variety of ways by identifying and participating in different types of Immersive Learning experiences.

Student Learning Outcome 2: Students will demonstrate problem-solving marked by their ability to follow the steps of the problem-solving process in simulated or real-world situations.

Student Learning Outcome 3: Students will demonstrate effective collaboration marked by their ability to effectively work with a peer, mentor (internal or external), or teacher, toward a common goal in simulated or real-world situations.

Student Learning Outcome 4: Students will apply knowledge, values, and skills through Immersive Learning to evaluate and/or resolve simulated or actual real-world situations.

Building TILEs FAQs

  • Student? Here's What You Need to Know

    • Building TILEs expands Immersive Learning experiences and teaching strategies even further to every major across 21 courses including the academic internship course. 
    • Students will be challenged to apply the skills and knowledge gained in their courses to real-world experiences and problems both off-site and in the classroom.
    • Faculty design new Immersive Learning experiences to develop problem-solving and collaboration skills among students – both designated as crucial competencies by employers and graduate programs.
    • Getting out and doing the work of your chosen field is better than being lectured to time and time again!  

  • How did Building TILEs develop?
    Building TILEs emerges directly from WPU’s Believe in Peace strategic plan and initial groundwork laid by faculty, students, and the administration to improve student outcomes and foster the development of future leaders, global citizens, reflective learners, effective collaborators, and problem-solvers.

    In 2018, WPU faculty identified their ideal vision of skills and competencies achieved by WPU graduates: 

    • Self-efficacy, self-awareness, emotional intelligence
    • Critical thinkers, intellectually curious, problem-solvers
    • Ethical and invested citizens, thoughtful decision-makers

    In order to achieve this vision, WPU intends to transform the curriculum to include research-based HIPs and other effective Immersive Learning experiences and teaching practices. The Immersive Learning experiences and strategies empower students to move beyond merely passively receiving information in the classroom. Instead, Immersive Learning creates opportunities for students to develop life-long skills, such as problem-solving and effective collaboration, through engagement with one another and the world beyond the classroom.

    The focus on Immersive Learning and the development of skills related problem-solving and collaboration was selected as the QEP because it:

    • Emerges out of the stated initiatives outlined in the University’s strategic plan, Believe in Peace
    • Enjoys wide support from students, faculty, staff, academic leadership, and Senior Leadership
    • Increases the amount of HIPs across the curriculum that have been proven to improve desired student outcomes; and
    • Aligns with learning objectives and can be implemented in every discipline.

  • How is Building TILEs organized?
    The Building TILEs initiative involves all constituencies across the university, yet specific individuals have been identified and committees have been formed to implement, market, and assess the QEP over it’s five-year period.

    Dr. Christopher Born and Dr. Eugenia Treadwell serve as Co-Directors of the QEP. The QEP Executive/Implementation Committee consists of faculty, administration, and student participation. 

    The QEP Assessment Subcommittee is composed of faculty, administration, and staff. The purpose of this subcommittee is to review, provide input, and assist in the analysis of the selected Building TILEs assessments.

    The QEP Marketing Subcommittee is composed of faculty, administration, staff and students. The purpose of this subcommittee is to create the content for the QEP website, develop effective messaging, provide input regarding the marketing and public relations efforts to raise the level of awareness and engagement for QEP initiatives among all University constituents.

  • How is Building TILEs Assessed?
    To measure the impact of Building TILEs on the advancement of problem-solving and collaboration skills among students, we will deploy both direct and indirect assessment tools including student reflections, faculty surveys, course assessments, assignment rubrics, and other nationally recognized tools including:

    • Critical-thinking Assessment Test (CAT)
    • National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE)
    • Problem-solving VALUE Rubric
    • Teamwork VALUE Rubric

  • What is the Center for Immersive Learning? How does it support Building TILEs?
    The Center for Immersive Learning (CIL) provides the financial, consultative, and logistical support for WPU faculty for continuing current and developing new Immersive Learning experiences and teaching strategies in their courses. Faculty submit an IL Funding Request when designing an IL learning experience and work with the CIL Director to determine Student Learning Outcomes and the logistical support (i.e., arranging transportation, buying tickets, etc.) needed. This process allows faculty to focus solely on the learning experiences of the students involved. Specific courses included in Building TILEs have financial support specifically allocated to them to finance new IL experiences.

    The Center for Immersive Learning also includes a newly remodeled physical space on the second floor of Finch Library designed to foster collaboration among students, with peer mentors, faculty, and outside experts. The CIL houses “The Collaboratory,” which is an innovative teaching space with the latest technology, flexible seating arrangements, writable walls, and whiteboard partitions to foster group work and other effective teaching strategies.

  • What is the timeline for Building TILEs?
    Building TILEs will be implemented in three phases launching in Fall 2021 and running through Spring 2026. 

    Phase 1 (Year 1; Initial Implementation): During Fall 2021, the QEP Executive and Assessment Committees consulted with Department Chairs and Program Directors to identify the first six courses to be included in the project in Spring 2022. These courses will be assessed to measure the impact of new Immersive Learning experiences and teaching strategies on problem-solving and/or collaboration skills.

    Phase 2 (Year 2; Expansion): Building TILEs expands to include twelve courses taught over the 2022-2023 academic year. The courses selected will be representative of the majors offered at WPU. These courses will be assessed in Summer 2023 to measure the impact of new Immersive Learning experiences and teaching strategies on problem-solving and/or collaboration skills. 

    Phase 3 (Years 3-5; Full Implementation): The final phase of Building TILEs includes academic years 2023-2026. At full implementation, twenty-one courses across all majors will be included in the project study. The designated courses will be assessed regardless of delivery method; courses and sections in the Traditional Undergraduate program (TUG) and School of Professional Studies (SPS) will be included.

    WPU will submit its Impact Report to SACSCOC in 2027.

  • How can I learn more about Building TILEs or partner with WPU to develop new learning experiences?
    To learn more about Building TILEs or are interested in partnering with WPU in building Immersive Learning experiences or internship opportunities, please contact the QEP Co-Directors, Dr. Jennifer Blush or Ms. Carolyn Blattner at QEP@peace.edu.
  • What does an Immersive Learning curriculum look like that supports the faculty’s vision for WPU graduates?
    We want to:

    • Create an intellectual community that fosters these skills 
    • Set these expectations within each class session as well as in curriculum/programs 
    • Meet students where they currently are, not where we think they should be 
    • Use our Raleigh connection and get students out beyond our campus borders 
    • Travel is truly immersive, engaging with people, cultures, locations, etc. 
    • Students have opportunity to dive deeply into elements of their field; this is facilitated by research as well as other educational opportunities 
    • Mentorships/relationships

William Peace University’s mission is to prepare students for careers in the organizations of tomorrow. Rooted in the liberal arts tradition, the student develops an appreciation for life-long learning, a focus on meaningful careers, and skills for ethical citizenship.