FAQ

Below are a set of questions that we believe you may have regarding this fund. Please send additional questions to  altfund.ok@ubc.ca. We will answer you and update this list regularly with the information as appropriate.

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Updated August 23, 2021. (LOI due date change for holiday)


Q: What is the ALT-2040 Fund?

A: The ALT-2040 Fund is the short title for the Aspire-2040 Learning Transformations Fund.

The ALT-2040 Fund is a strategic initiative managed through the Learning Services portfolio of the Provost’s Office, in partnership with the Deans Council and UBC Okanagan’s centrally positioned units that provide support for teaching and learning (e.g., Centre for Teaching and Learning, Okanagan Planning and Institutional Research, UBC Okanagan Library, IT, Media & Classroom Services). Questions related to the ALT-2040 Fund may be directed to Michelle Lamberson, Director, Flexible Learning Special Projects, UBC Okanagan (michelle.lamberson@ubc.ca) and/or altfund.ok@ubc.ca.

Q: Wait, what happened to the ALT Fund?

A: The Aspire Learning and Teaching (ALT) Fund was established in 2015 to support the transformative learning recommendations of the Aspire Vision by encouraging academic program innovation. In Fall 2019, the fund’s scope and guidelines were significantly restructured to encourage a wider range of projects and create a bridge from Aspire to Outlook 2040. To signal this change, the fund was renamed to the Aspire-2040 Learning Transformations (ALT-2040) Fund.

Q: Is the Open Education Resources Grant program now part of the ALT-2040 Fund?

A: Indeed it is! The 2020-21 Open Educational Resources (OER) Grant was a pilot program jointly funded by a BCcampus grant and the Office of the Provost and Vice-Principal Academic at UBC Okanagan and was administered by the UBC Okanagan Library. The program, with nine funded projects, was very successful. To advance its long term sustainability and streamline administration, the funding opportunity was merged into the ALT-2040 Fund as the distinct stream. Oversight of the Open education resources (OER) focus stream will remain with the UBC Okanagan Library. See below for more information about scope.

Q: What are open educational resources (OER)?

A: Open educational resources are “teaching, learning, and research resources that permit free use and repurposing because they are under an open-copyright licence or because they reside in the public domain and are not copyrighted” (BCcampus Self Publishing Guide). Examples of OER include open textbooks, lesson plans, quizzes and test banks, videos, animations, and simulations, class handouts, interactive activities and tools (apps, for instance), PowerPoint presentations.

OER developed with the ALT-2040 Fund must be shared with an open copyright license (e.g., Creative Commons) to allow for re-use, remix, revision and redistribution of the content for educational purposes (see guidelines, Sharing and Re-use  for more detail).

Q: What are open educational practices (OEP)?

A: Open educational practices, or open pedagogy, is “the use of open educational resources (OER) to support learning, or the open sharing of teaching practices with a goal of improving education and training at the institutional, professional, and individual level” (BCcampus, What is Open Pedagogy?).

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Q: Who is eligible to apply for ALT-2040 Fund projects?

A: The Lead Applicant of an ALT-2040 Fund proposal must be a full-time, continuing faculty member of the University of British Columbia Okanagan Campus (includes Librarians) or a full-time lecturer with a term appointment that remains active through the length of the project (June 2024 for OER focus stream and Program and learning experience stream projects, and June 2025 for Program development and redesign stream projects). Applicants are advised to confer with their Department Head or Director about their involvement in any project and obtain their support (for information on support letters, see Budget considerations, below).

Q: I already have an ALT-2040, ALT Fund or OER Grant now – can I apply for another?

A: Lead applicants may not normally hold more than one grant concurrently. Co-applicants and other team members can be involved in more than one active ALT-2040 Fund project at a time. An exception may be made to concurrently hold an OER focus stream grant and a grant from one of the other streams where there is no discernible overlap in the projects. Exceptions should be discussed in advance with the ALT-2040 Fund manager and documented in the proposal.

Q: What types of projects will the ALT-2040 Fund support?

A: The ALT-2040 Fund supports program development, curriculum transformations, student experience enhancement and educational resource development that accelerates the curricular vision expressed in Outlook 2040.

There are three project streams in 2022:

  1. Open Educational Resources (OER) focus stream
  2. Program and learning experience enhancement stream
  3. Program development and redesign stream

For an overview of the key differences between streams, please see Key Differences between ALT-2040 Fund Streams.

Q: How do the three streams differ in scope and focus?

A: All projects must meaningfully transform UBCO students’ learning experiences with an implementation focus and scope consistent with the funding stream. Preference is given to projects that align with one or more of the guidelines, ALT-2040 Priority Focus Areas, 2022.

The scope of an OER focus stream project can be a course or resource (e.g., an open textbook), whereas projects associated with the other two streams must address a program-level opportunity or challenge.

Applicants to the Program and learning experience enhancement stream and the Program development and redesign stream should be able to articulate (and demonstrate) how they will evaluate) the program-level impact of their project. Note that large OER development projects that have a clear program-level objective (e.g., significantly reduce educational materials costs and student learning outcomes in all first and second year courses of a program) may fall within the Program and learning experience enhancement stream.

Q: Are there differences in application process between the three streams?

A: Yes.

  • The Program development and redesign stream is a 2-stage application process. A Letter of Intent is due on October 4, 2021. If the LOI is accepted, the proposal is due on November 22, 2021, 3:00 PM.
  • The Program and learning experience stream is a single stage application process; proposals are due November 22, 2021, 3:00 PM.
  • The OER focus stream is a single stage application process; proposals are due November 22, 2021, 3:00 PM.

Q: Who can I go to for advice on developing my ALT-2040 Fund application?

A: We recommend that you first discuss your ideas with your colleagues in the Department(s)/Unit(s) associated with the academic program(s) or course(s) that you will be enhancing with your proposed project. In particular, you, and any co-applicants, will need the support of your Department/Unit Head(s) and your Dean(s).

UBC Okanagan’s central service units that support teaching and learning can provide advice at all stages. The Centre for Teaching and Learning (CTL) can advise on topics such as pedagogy, instructional design, assessment, learning technology integration and planning. The Office of Planning and Institutional Research (PAIR) can provide feedback and advice on evaluation approaches and methodologies. The Library can provide support on learning resources discovery/development (including open resources) and copyright, licensing and digitization. IT, Media & Classroom Services, in partnership with the CTL, can provide advice on media development, video-conferencing and learning space enhancement or utilization.

You can also request assistance from the Provost Office either by emailing altfund.ok@ubc.ca or contacting Michelle Lamberson (michelle.lamberson@ubc.ca).

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Q: What are the funding and time limits for individual projects?

A: There is no set minimum.

  • OER focus stream projects can be up to 2 years in length and apply for a maximum of $10,000.
  • Program and learning experience enhancement stream projects can be up to 2 years in length and apply for a maximum of $25,000.
  • Program development and redesign stream projects can be up to 3 years in length and apply for a maximum of $100,000.

Q: What kinds of resources can be requested for funding?

A: The type of support you may need is dependent on the nature of your project. The “Budget Considerations” component of the Guidelines outlines some of the key restrictions associated with the Fund. It is important to consult with the central support units (CTL, UBC Okanagan Library, PAIR, and IT, Media & Classroom Services).

Common types of support that may be needed include:

  • Graduate and Undergraduate Academic Assistants (project workers)
  • Instructional and curriculum design support
  • Project management/project coordination
  • Media design and production: web-programming, graphic design, videography, animation, post-production
  • Learning resource discovery/development (including open resources) – learning support materials
  • Learning technology development and support
  • Library consultation – resources, copyright, licensing, digitization
  • Professional development – instructors and Teaching Assistants
  • Evaluation support

Q: Can I ask for equipment from the ALT-2040 Fund?

A: This fund is not an equipment fund; however, equipment purchased by an academic program or supplied by other sources may be considered an in-kind expense if the primary use of the equipment is for the project.

Q: What if my project requires media development?

A: If you are planning to develop learning materials in support of flipped classroom or blended learning activities (video material, screen casts, etc.), we recommend that you consult with the CTL and UBC Studios Okanagan.

Equipment for this purpose may be provisioned from a central pool of media resources for use during the project.

Q: Can I apply for teaching release in my proposal?
A: The only stream which can include a teaching release is the Program development and redesign stream.

Q: I understand that travel associated with dissemination (e.g., conference travel) is not eligible for funding. Can I request travel funds for other purposes (e.g., to support collaborative work between campuses, collect field samples, shoot video at a relevant external location)?

A: Yes, you can request travel funds (exclusive of dissemination activities) as long as the work associated with the travel contributes meaningfully to advancing your project goals in efficient and effective ways. Please ensure that you indicate how you will gauge the impact of the travel-related work in the appropriate parts of the LOI and Full Proposal. Dissemination costs may be included as in-kind contributions to the project.

Q: When should a letter of support be included with a proposal?

A: Any significant infrastructure and/or service commitments must be accompanied a resource commitment letter (may be in e-mail form) from a person authorized to commit resources for the organization (e.g., Head, Director). Overall, the letters are meant to ensure that 1) all resource commitments are identified and 2) there is a commitment to providing those resources.

Q: What format should support letters use?

A: Letters may be in the form a succinct email from the person/unit committing the resources to the Lead Applicant. A PDF of the email can be uploaded to the application system (there are upload buttons for the budget and any support letters). Multiple letters can be merged into one document for efficiency’s sake.

Q: What information should be included in a support letter?

A: If the letter is from a Department Head/Director, then the following applies:

  • The letter should provide a list of the resource commitments identified in the budget, and indicate that they are aware of and committed to providing the resources if application is successful.
  • In situations where a Department Head/Director is an applicant, a “one over” rule applies (email/letter from Associate Dean or Dean, as appropriate).
  • If there is a longer term commitment of resources (e.g., additional TAs needed ongoing), then there should be a statement that acknowledges the longer term commitment, and that they are committed to this investment if the project is successful.

If the letter is for resources provided by a service unit, a similar type of email is needed. The Director of the unit should indicate that they are aware of and agree to providing the identified resources.

Any significant institutional upgrades, particularly any that involve permits of any kind, will require a letter from Campus Planning.

Q: How do I submit my Proposal?

A: All proposals must be submitted through the online ALT-2040 Fund’s application system, which will be accessed through the Apply Now link on the top menu of the ALT-2040 Fund website.

Q: Will late applications be accepted?

A: No, we regret that late applications will not be accepted.

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