2015 Transformation Grant

University of Delaware faculty members are encouraged to apply for a 2015 Transformation Grant to enhance their teaching and their students’ learning with innovative uses of technology. This year’s grant program combines resources from the Center for Teaching and Assessment of Learning (CTAL) and Academic Technology Services (ATS) to accommodate funding requests for faculty time, graduate or undergraduate student time, software, and equipment.

Applicants are encouraged to think big, add new instructional models that are not currently available, eliminate barriers they have identified in their teaching, and help define the next generation of education and technology.

Funding will be awarded on a competitive basis for proposals that best fit the goals and criteria for transforming teaching and learning through the innovative use of technology. Successful proposals will test and assess instructional techniques and technologies that have the potential to establish new practices and resources on campus—and beyond.


I. Two-step proposal process


II. Pre-proposal submission guidelines

A successful pre-proposal will convey the strength of your idea to the review committee in summary form. It’s understood that details will have to be developed for those encouraged to submit a full proposal. Pre-proposals from multi-department, inter-disciplinary teams are encouraged.

For this pre-proposal stage, concisely explain your idea and emphasize its potential to be transformative. The following prompts may be helpful.

Innovation and transformation

  • How is your idea innovative (in your department, on our campus, etc.)?
  • Why is your idea important (in your department, on our campus, etc.)?
  • How is your idea adaptable for wider application beyond the first year of the transformation grant?
  • Are there limitations or challenges that are inherent in taking on your project?

Four themes to consider for 2015-2016

We specifically welcome proposals that address the following issues, although proposals are not constrained to these. The examples demonstrate viable projects for each issue and are not meant to limit your thinking. Although these are large areas of focus, small groups of faculty and departments can make huge impacts on them.

  • Advisement and first-year experience. Possibilities include developing learning analytics for an “early warning system” to provide formative feedback for students, faculty, and advisors; designing and piloting a scalable first-year seminar course where students explicitly document their learning using e-portfolios.
  • Alternative learning materials. Applications are encouraged from faculty members interested in finding, vetting, remixing, or designing alternative learning materials to replace or supplement their current textbooks (for quality, customization, and affordability). Multiple alternatives can be proposed in this area, such as adopting an open textbook or open educational resources (OER), replacing your textbook with a collection of materials available in University Library databases, developing an original open digital case study, getting students involved in designing a textbook alternative, or exploring the potential of interactive and 3-dimensional learning opportunities.
  • Writing to trigger student engagement. Proposals are encouraged from faculty interested in the alignment of writing activities with increased student engagement. Possibilities include, but aren’t limited to: structuring social media to circulate and respond to student writings: creating opportunities for students to be involved in writing projects for clients outside the classroom (e.g. local non-profits); or creating a program for students to document faculty research projects.
  • General education. Possibilities include creating new courses or approaches where students demonstrate their technological competencies while fulfilling general education goals. General education at the University of Delaware prepares students who are able to:
    1. Read critically, analyze arguments and information, and engage in constructive ideation.
    2. Communicate effectively in writing, orally, and through creative expression.
    3. Work collaboratively and independently within and across a variety of cultural contexts and a spectrum of differences.
    4. Critically evaluate the ethical implications of what they say and do.
    5. Reason quantitatively, computationally, and scientifically.
  • Other issues and themes. Faculty are welcome to submit proposals that advance teaching in other ways. Topics of interest on campus include active learning in all forms (problem-based, project-based, design-based, studio-based, team-based).

Faculty will receive feedback on the feasibility and quality of the idea in their pre-proposal. The review may include follow-up questions about the idea or suggestions for partners for a combined proposal.

Evaluation criteria

  • Innovative, unique, transformational. Conveys that it is a innovative or unique project for UD. Has the potential for broader transformational impacts. Clearly indicates how the UD community would benefit. Includes a broad range of stakeholders.
  • Technology. The proposed technology will advance UD in specific ways. Proposed technology will be adaptable by others. Use of technology is aligned with good teaching practices.
  • Outcomes, impact. Learning outcomes are identified and a description about how they will be measured is present. Proposal contains a description about what success would look like.
  • Learning outcomes are well defined and achievable. Grantsmanship (the art of acquiring peer-reviewed research funding)
    Proposal is well written and persuasive. A research question or questions are present. Proposal comprehensively addresses all parts of the request for proposal.


III. Full proposal submission guidelines

Faculty who have their pre-proposal accepted will be invited to submit a full proposal. An accepted pre-proposal is a requirement before submitting a full proposal.

The following prompts may be helpful. Choose those prompts that are relevant to your project idea. Keep in mind that funding is competitive, so a successful proposal will go beyond these questions.

Problem description

  • What instructional problem are you trying to solve?
  • What is the history of this problem (previous efforts at UD and elsewhere)?
  • List all of the stakeholders that need to be involved to solve this problem successfully and their roles (departmental support and buy-in is highly recommended).

Role of technology

  • What application of technology does your project introduce or advance at UD?
  • How does technology improve upon a no-tech approach to your problem?
  • How will the technology for your project be adaptable by others?
  • How is your project positioned to exploit anticipated future technological directions?

Outcomes and impact

  • What learning outcomes will you be able to measure?
  • What impact will your project have elsewhere on campus?
  • How would you describe “success” for your project?
  • What are the economic implications of maintaining and expanding your project (in other words: reflect on how could it become sustainable and scalable)?


IV. Requirements for full proposals

  • Applicants must be University of Delaware faculty. Alternatively, graduate students and staff who are the instructor of record for a course may apply for a CTAL instructional grant to enhance their instruction.
  • Faculty stipend limits are: individual faculty up to $6,000 or teams of faculty up to $18,000, which will be awarded during the summer. Funding does not include fringe benefits for stipends.
  • Proposals are limited to 3 pages.
  • Proposals will include (at a minimum):
    • a statement of the problem
    • how technology is integral to addressing the problem
    • anticipated outcomes with specific metrics for measuring success
    • an implementation timeline, which must conclude by the end of spring semester 2015.
    • a budget estimate that may include: faculty time (summer S-contract), graduate or undergraduate student time, software, and equipment.


V. Conditions of acceptance

  • Faculty will engage in regular milestone meetings with IT and CTAL staff and roundtable sessions with other grant awardees.
  • Faculty and student participants in their project will complete a survey to evaluate the project.
  • Faculty will submit a final report evaluating their project no later than June 15, 2016 ~or~ present their project results at a Winter or Summer Faculty Institute ~or~ make a digital poster presentation online (platform to be determined).
  • Any awarded funds which are not spent by May 31, 2016, will revert to the grant sponsors.


If your proposal does not have a technology component, you may apply directly for a CTAL instructional grant.

Any questions? Contact Faculty Commons.

Pre-Proposals Due: March 2, 2015

Submit a Pre-Proposal