Frequently Asked Questions

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About the ALT-2040 Fund

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 and/or altfund.ok@ubc.ca.

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.

Yes, 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-President 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.

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 the guidelines page for more information on sharing and re-use).

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?).

Developing a Proposal

The lead applicant of an ALT-2040 Fund proposal must be a full-time, continuing UBC Okanagan faculty member (including librarians) or a full-time lecturer with a term appointment that remains active through the length of the project. 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 the ‘Budget Considerations’ tab below).

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 overlap in the projects. Exceptions should be discussed in advance with the ALT-2040 Fund manager and documented in the proposal.

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.

As of 2021, there are three project streams:

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

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 ALT-2040 Priority Focus Areas.

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 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.

Yes, please be aware of specific deadlines depending on the funding stream you are applying for:

  • The Program development and redesign stream is a two-stage application process, requiring a Letter of Intent. If the LOI is accepted, the proposal will be due at a later date.
  • The Program and learning experience stream is a single-stage application process.
  • The OER focus stream is a single-stage application process.

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. Projects 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.

Budget Considerations

There is no set minimum funding.

  • 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.

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, OPAIR, 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

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.

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.

The Program development and redesign stream is the only stream eligible for a teaching release.

Yes, you can request travel funds (exclusive of dissemination activities e.g. conference travel) 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 LOI and proposal. Dissemination costs may be included as in-kind contributions to the project.

Examples of eligible travel expenses:

  • Travel to support collaborative work between campuses
  • Travel to collect field samples
  • Travel to shoot video at a relevant external location

A letter of support from a department head/director should include the following:

  • 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.
  • For projects that require a longer term commitment of resources (e.g., additional TAs needed ongoing), then the letter of support should include a statement that acknowledges the longer term commitment, and that the Faculty is committed to continue this investment if the project 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 the letter of support is for resources provided by a service unit, then the director of the unit (or designate) should indicate that they are aware of and agree to provide the identified resources.

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

Submitting a Proposal

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.

No, late applications will not be accepted.