Do you have an idea to innovate online learning? Have you dreamt up projects for digital education you want to try?
Finding the right resources, contacts, and funding to transform your course shouldn’t be an obstacle for higher ed faculty members and support staff.
With seed money provided through the Division of Digital Learning (DDL) Strategic Innovation Fund for fiscal year 2023-2024, we will be able to support faculty seeking new and innovative ideas and projects for online learning.
DCI aims to impact student learning by increasing successful course completion through digital learning innovations at scale through team projects.
UCF faculty and members of the Center for Distributed Learning (CDL) are invited to participate in this initiative to foster an innovation mindset and build a professional community of practice around online education.
History of Online Initiatives at CDL
Between 2018-2022, iLab at CDL oversaw the Digital Learning Course Redesign Initiative (DL CRI).
The goal of this initiative was to impact student learning by increasing successful course completion (reduced DFW rates – D/F/Withdraw), particularly in GEP & STEM courses.
Additionally, we sought to improve FTIC & Transfer student persistence through a strategic course redesign process that leverages the benefits of online, blended, adaptive, and active learning.
Building on the success and momentum of previous innovative projects, and at the direction of the UCF Board of Trustees, the Pegasus Innovation Lab (iLab) will manage this DCI to make strategic investments in curriculum level digital innovation projects.
Our new initiative will remove barriers to student access through the implementation of large-scale digital innovation beyond course redesign. It will also increase program level adoption of personalized adaptive learning (PAL).
Two information sessions about DCI were held at the Faculty Multimedia Center (FMC). Please view the recording(s) from the February 10th or the February 13th session and email us at iLab@ucf.edu if you have any follow-up questions.
Who can apply?
UCF faculty and CDL staff who are IDL credentialed or equivalent before or at the start of the project can apply for funding for their team projects with a complementary support structure. This structure, overseen by iLab, will provide a facilitated professional learning community for online education to help meet your project goals.
Which courses will be considered?
The DCI is completely funded by the Distance Learning Fee. As such, funds will be appropriated for implementation of large-scale innovations in digital learning courses for only the following modalities:
- W (web-based)
- RS (limited attendance)
- V (video course)
Types of Projects
DCI projects may involve the use of the following types of technologies in pedagogically sound course design:
- Personalized Adaptive Learning (PAL)
- Augmented or Virtual Reality (AR/VR)
- 360 Videos/Immersive 360 Online Activities
- Artificial Intelligence (AI) Bots
- AI-enabled content creation and distribution (such as Chat GPT, AI generated art, or AI avatars)
- Gamification or game-based learning
- Building interactive open educational resources (OER) content
- And other digital technologies that may be appropriate
A selection committee will be assembled with representation from those CDL teams directly impacted by the decisions made by said committee.
The process will include three steps:
- The selection committee will review proposals and identify finalists.
- Finalists will be invited to pitch their projects at Digital Learning Day for audience support and input, which will be considered by the selection committee.
- The selection committee will make final selections of 5-6 projects.
As you prepare to brainstorm ideas for a team project, consider the following questions:
- Is there a student success challenge in your course that you would like to solve?
- What problems are you trying to solve and what do students struggle with the most?
- What’s working well in your course that you want to amplify with technology?
Visit the Proposal Requirements page for more information about the proposal and the link to the proposal form.View Proposal Requirements
In addition to the general CDL services that are normally offered, faculty will also be supported through the following:
- All faculty participants will be expected to complete their projects on the same one-year timeline beginning May 2023.
- The iLab will host and co-facilitate a series of cohort workshops to help faculty and CDL staff meet project milestones.
- Applicants will be asked to identify specific CDL resources needed for their proposed projects so they can be provided.
- Project teams will also be encouraged to complete a research component at the course or project level with the support of instructional designers (IDs) and the Research Initiative for Teaching Effectiveness (RITE).
- For PAL projects (depending on the platform), faculty members will be required to complete PAL6000 training with their IDs and the company representative. PAL IDs and assistants will help with course development.
If you do not know who is your assigned Instructional Designer, use the Instructional Designer Lookup Tool.
Incentives for UCF Faculty
Each faculty member will be awarded up to $10,000 for allowable expenses subject to university policies. Funds are transferred to the academic department at the beginning of the fiscal year to be requested/approved through standard departmental processes, which include chair approval. The first half of the incentive funds will be distributed in Summer 2023 and the second half of the incentive funds will be transferred upon completion in Summer 2024.
Allowable expenses include but are not limited to:
- Summer supplement
- Adjunct pay for course release
- Research/travel funds
- Conference participation
Course Assistants: For each faculty participant, an additional $1,500 will be awarded for a dedicated course assistant.
Additional Expenses: Up to $5,000 may be requested for additional expenses with written justification. This would likely be used for equipment, software, or additional course assistants if the standard amount does not cover all projected expenses.
Proposed DCI Timeline
Call for Proposals Opens
Finalists Pitch at DLD Event
Final Applicant Winners Notified
Optional Early Start
Summer 2023 (Required if summer supplement requested.)
Initial Funds Disbursement
Project Work & (4) Required Cohort Workshops
Finish Project Deliverables & (4) Required Cohort Workshops
Final Report (Official Date TBD)
Final Disbursement of Funds