The ALT- 2040 Fund builds on the successes of the predecessor ALT Fund to accelerate curricular transformations envisioned in Outlook 2040. Selection of funded projects is guided by the transformative learning strategies of UBC’s Strategic Plan and alignment with the Priority Focus Areas identified in each call. Special consideration is given to those projects that advance the academic program priorities identified in Outlook 2040 and UBC Okanagan’s Declaration of Truth and Reconciliation Commitments and recent university statements/commitments related to anti-racism.
The Aspire -2040 Learning Transformations (ALT-2040) Fund will implement a modified call and process for 2021. Our goal is to encourage innovations that can be implemented in a timely way to support our current students and create a lasting foundation to the future. Some key characteristics of this year’s funding call are:
- Up to $30,000 may be requested to implement strategic innovations within and across existing academic programs.
- Single stage process, January 15, 2021 deadline.
- Maximum of 2 years of funding, with a requirement that a meaningful component of the project is implemented in the 2021 academic year.
- Funds available by late February 2021; funds expire March 31, 2023.
Projects should significantly benefit UBCO’s ability to provide an engaging learning experience for students in the 2021-22 timeframe and have a long term, sustainable benefit to academic programs . Projects that result in cost savings for students and include students in meaningful roles within projects are particularly encouraged.
Four priority focus areas are identified for 2021:
- Projects that address curricular challenges and/or advance opportunities (e.g., skills acquisition or knowledge gaps) arising from the shift to remote learning by developing modular, innovative learning opportunities (curricular bridge modules, credit or non-credit non-degree credentials) that can be delivered in flexible ways (e.g., credit or non-credit mini-courses, summer intensives delivered fully online or blended learning as the situation permits).
- Creation of significant resource collections of digital assessments or digital content that align with disciplinary needs and reduce costs for students within one or more high enrolment courses. Partnering with students to create resources is particularly encouraged.
- Instructor or Teaching Assistant training/educational programs that build on current fundamentals training provided centrally and focus on building/enhancing disciplinary or interdisciplinary teaching skills and practices. Any developed program should be designed to award a UBC Okanagan non-credit credential.
- Creation or integration of open educational resources to make education more affordable and accessible to students. Projects that demonstrate a commitment to significantly reducing textbook and affiliated (e.g., homework systems) cost over the entire span of an academic program are strongly encouraged.
- The project begins implementation in the 2021 Academic Year (AY) and identifies clear, measurable outcomes and benefits to students enrolled in AY 2021.
- The project aligns with the ALT-2040 Fund Priority Focus Areas and advances the transformative learning strategies identified in UBC Okanagan strategic plans and commitments (e.g., Outlook 2040, UBC Okanagan’s Declaration of Truth and Reconciliation Commitments, recent statements/commitments related to antiracism).
- The project has a demonstrable impact at the academic program level.
- The project uses innovative (new, novel or significantly improved) educational strategies, pedagogical approaches, techniques or tools that have a strong potential to produce a demonstrable gain in student outcomes and/or the student experience.
- The project benefits a significant number of students or a high percentage of students within an academic program directly (e.g. enhancement of curriculum, services, and resources) and/or indirectly (e.g. training of faculty and staff in new pedagogies or learning technologies).
- The project uses outcomes-based criteria to determine success; the criteria and the methods by which data are to be collected are clearly outlined in the proposal’s evaluation plan.
- The proposal provides a clear rationale, methodology, objectives and work plan.
- The project is feasible; the objectives are achievable within the proposed timeline and budget.
- The proposal articulates demonstrable short and long term benefits.
- The budget is appropriate, with a clear justification of associated costs. The project budget includes meaningful additional funding and/or in-kind resources (preferred, not required).
- The proposal describes how students were consulted in the preparation of the proposal, and how students will be involved in the development and implementation of the project. Projects that result in cost-savings for students and engage students in meaningful roles within projects are particularly encouraged.
- The Lead Applicant must be a full time, continuing faculty member of the University of British Columbia Okanagan Campus. Students may be co-applicants.
- The Lead Applicant cannot hold more than one ALT-2040/ALT Fund grant concurrently. Co-applicants can be involved in more than one active ALT-2040/ALT Fund project at a time.
- Projects for which the primary purpose is program evaluation for accreditation or similar purposes are ineligible. Projects that focus on implementing recommendations from a review process are eligible.
- Projects for which the primary purpose is research are ineligible. Research may be conducted as part of the project (see ethics, funding comments under “Other Considerations and Reporting”).
- Projects for which the primary target audience is not UBC Okanagan students are ineligible. Funding must be directed toward the benefit of UBC Okanagan students. Projects that are focused on developing non-credit credentials must be connected to one or more credit programs. Standalone, revenue-focused, non-credit, continuing education programs are ineligible.
- Teaching and learning materials created through the ALT-2040 Fund must be made available for re-use within UBC. Awardees will be encouraged to license any learning materials developed under an appropriate Creative Commons License and to share the materials more widely through UBC’s digital sharing channels (e.g., UBC’s Canvas Commons, UBC Wiki, cIRcle, UBC’s YouTube Channel).
- Proposals associated with Priority Focus Area #4 (Creation or integration of open educational resources …) must assign an open copyright license (e.g., Creative Commons) to resources developed which allows for reuse, remix, revision and redistribution of the content for educational purposes. If students develop teaching and learning materials as a part of their coursework, appropriate communication and permissions must be provided.
- The ALT-2040 Fund may not be used for conference registrations, conference travel or other types of dissemination costs, though these types of costs may be allocated as in-kind contributions.
- Equipment and infrastructure costs are not eligible for funding, though they may be allocated as in-kind contributions.
- Funds cannot be used to purchase external consulting or other types of services where the expertise is available within UBC at a reasonable cost and in a timely manner.
- The applicant(s) should consult with any and all central service or operational units that are expected to contribute to the project. 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).
- No teaching buyouts will be funded from the ALT-2040 Fund in 2021; a department-provided buyout may be allocated as an in-kind contribution.
- Where research is included in a proposal (note the eligibility considerations regarding research outlined above), the budget must clearly identify research related expenses. If a proposal is funded, the funds that support research must be transferred into a Research account; in this event a research project information form (RPIF, here: https://ors.ok.ubc.ca/forms/) will need to be submitted to the Office of Research Services. Where human subjects are involved, the research must have received ethics approval prior to transfer of funds.
- Unspent funds revert to the Provost Office at the end of the funding period.
- A report, including a summary for public dissemination, is required at the end of the first year of funding (February 2022).
- A final report, including a comprehensive summary for public dissemination, is required of all projects (May 2023).