Funding available for development of online courses

The Ministry for Training, Colleges and Universities has issued a call for the 2014 round of funding for online course development through the $4.5 million Shared Online Course Fund.

Universities can apply to the fund, administered by the Council of Ontario Universities, for up to $75,000 per course for designing, developing, or redesigning courses in an online or modular format.

“The focus of this year’s call is collaborative course development and delivery within and between universities and colleges, and this will be heavily weighted in the evaluation of the proposals,” said Nick Baker, acting director of the UWindsor Office of Open Learning.

Universities can apply for funding to develop either complete online courses, or learning modules that might be used across one or more online or blended courses. Full course proposals can be for:

  • High enrolment introductory or foundational courses;
  • Courses that would improve the sustainability of a low-enrolment program across more than one institution (including low-enrolment upper-level, or graduate-level, courses); or
  • Courses to facilitate the development of fully online degree programs.

Modular projects will be considered if they can be used as learning objects across multiple courses, or if they provide learning supports for online students (for example, modules focused on research or writing skills).

“This is a rare opportunity to apply for new teaching and learning related funds from outside the University, and is a recognition that to develop high quality online courses requires significant resources,” Baker said. “It is also a means for the ministry to help universities find ways to improve sustainability and maintain small but important programs and disciplines through collaboration across institutions, which can also enrich learning opportunities for students.”

Preliminary expressions of interest are due October 20, with full proposals due by November 14. All proposals require the approval of the Provost at each partner institution. Submissions will be coordinated through the Office of Open Learning and the Office of the Provost.

Baker urges interested faculty to consider possible collaborators in their disciplines, potentially through existing relationships such as research partners or other collaborations. Possible partners have already approached Windsor in areas including physics, psychology, education, graduate research skills, law, health sciences, nursing, engineering and business.

For more information please, phone Baker in the Office of Open Learning at 519-253-3000, ext. 4925, e-mail, or visit: