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seedlings sprouting in trayThe Office of Open Learning invites expressions of interest for grants to support UWindsor instructors developing open, online, and technology-enabled projects. Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash.

Office of Open Learning calls for expressions of interest for internal grants

After an unprecedented two-year break to support the campus pivot to online and hyflex learning, the Office of Open Learning is once again offering small grants to support UWindsor instructors to develop and enhance the student experience through open, online, and technology-enabled projects.

“This year’s call is really designed to support instructors in imagining what post-pandemic teaching and learning could look like in their discipline,” said Nick Baker, director of the Office of Open Learning. “Many people are interested in building or extending on what they have learned during the pandemic, exploring new was of teaching, trying out a technology they didn’t have time for during the pivot to online, or even thinking about what they might need if they were to design their courses specifically for an online or hybrid approach.”

In order to make it easier for interested people to explore the possibilities, this year’s call starts with a very brief online expression of interest form. Applicants don’t need to have a fully formed idea or a budget in mind to apply.

“Many people have great ideas, but they don’t have time for lengthy forms, they are not sure if their idea might fit, or they don’t have the language to describe it, so this EOI is designed to start a conversation with the open learning team that will help form the ideas into a project,” says Baker.

The grants will support faculty, graduate students, and staff in a wide range of activities, including adapting, creating, or adopting openly licensed learning materials; exploring new educational technologies and innovative pedagogies; creating online, hybrid, and open courses; microcredentials; or even small research and scholarship projects exploring any of these areas.

“One of the things we know as we emerge from the pandemic is that there are a lot of practices from before that were not ideal for many people — both learners and faculty,” Baker says. “We have an opportunity now to decide what we want to return to, what needs to evolve, and what should be purpose built for the world we now live in. We hope to support that work through these grants.”

The expression of interest form is available online at Open Learning Funding and Support: Expressions of Interest and closes Monday, May 23. Email questions to higgison@uwindsor.ca with the subject line “OOL Expression of Interest.”

For more information about the Office of Open Learning’s support for open educational resources and online learning, or questions about the grants, contact Baker by email at nbaker@uwindsor.ca.