Center for the Advancement of Faculty Excellence (CAFE)

Wall of COOL Application

2024 Application

The Wall of COOL is a CAFE award which recognizes excellent courses that effectively use technology to enhance student learning and success.

The Wall of COOL itself is a super-cool website which showcases the courses selected every year. CAFE's multimedia developers, instructional designers, and student assistants work with the selected faculty to create the Wall of COOL annually.

It's COOL! Most importantly, if you are proud of how you support your students' success via technology and you want to share what you've done so other people can learn from your work, the Wall of COOL is a big way to do that. In speaking with previous Wall of COOL awardees, we've found that faculty value this award because it validates the great work they do with and for students.

Also, the Wall of COOL is a university-level, competitive award. Bragging rights are attached!

The CAFE team takes a first pass at all nominations, looking closely at course materials that you submit or tell us that we can access. Then, previous Wall of COOL faculty awardees and CAFE students – the students are important, because they can reflect on how the course looks from their point of view – have long, lively conversations to decide on the final Wall of COOL courses.

Courses of any format – fully remote (synchronous or asynchronous), hybrid (synchronous or asynchronous), or technology-enhanced face-to-face – are eligible. Any faculty member or faculty team from any college, department, or unit is eligible to submit a course for the Wall of COOL.

Eligible courses for the 2024 Wall of COOL must have been taught in the 2022-2023 academic year (Fall 2022, Spring 2023, or Summer 2023).

Please do not reapply for a course that has previously been recognized on the Wall of COOL, even if the course has been significantly updated since the award.

The Wall of COOL is all about recognition for your outstanding work.

We will take your picture for the Wall of COOL website. We'll interview you and feature the best "artifacts" from your course in a cool video, produced by our friends at MediaVision. We'll ask you to give a short presentation (~5min) at the Provost’s Symposium on Evidence-Based Practice this spring (Apr-19, time TBD). We'll arrange for articles in PolyCentric and the PolyPost, and make sure that your college is aware of your achievements in teaching with technology.

Winners will be notified the week of Nov. 27, 2023.

A COOL course has very good course design, with clear learning objectives, a variety of engaging activities and assessments that align to the objectives, and a variety of instructional materials which are accessible. Many instances in the course demonstrate that the instructor seeks to know and understand their particular students, to use methods that support them, and to provide content that is relevant to the particular group of students enrolled and reflects many diverse histories, cultures, and points of view. The course is very well-organized and learners can easily navigate. If present, new or unusual technologies are skillfully implemented and provide a clear benefit. More standard teaching technologies are used to a high potential. A COOL course addresses the following factors:

  1. Solid course design apart from technology. Your learning outcomes and expectations for your students' performance are clear and easy for students to find. Graded activities and learning activities are aligned with the learning outcomes. The course is well-organized and contains helpful resources.
  2. Clear emphasis on inclusive and equity-minded teaching. Your course actively welcomes all students and supports them to succeed because you've made a serious effort to get to know who Cal Poly Pomona students are and what they need. You reflect on your teaching practices and keep on improving your course to better serve all students. Your course content intentionally explores a variety of perspectives, materials from multiple communities, and contributions from practitioners of diverse backgrounds.
  3. Good faith effort to make your course accessible to all students, including those with disabilities. Although your course materials aren't 100% accessible – that's almost impossible – you have made a demonstrable effort in this area. See our Creating Accessible Materials page for more information about accessibility, and don't hesitate to call CAFE with questions.
  4. Innovative AND/OR practical use of technology for supporting learning. Some people are on the bleeding WOW edge of teaching technology – others take a workaday, pragmatic approach that others can readily adopt. Either, or both, is great for the Wall of COOL!
  5. Bonus factors: Tell us what you're proud of about your course! Are your students constantly engaged and never checked out? Does your course exemplify learn-by-doing? Is it a service-learning course? Are you working as a team with other faculty to spread great practices? Have you increased student success in a course that has previously suffered from low pass rates, or low pass rates among minoritized students? Is your course a down-to-earth GE that serves a lot of students? Is your course a small grad-level class that speaks directly to their professional aspirations? Is your course super-tough, but you've made it possible for students to succeed without lowering your standards? …anything goes here!

The application deadline for the 2024 Wall of COOL has passed, but you can start working on your application for next year.

Also, please join us for our Wall of COOL award celebration in spring to see who won (details coming soon).

If you have any questions email