Call for Proposals

The Office of Open Learning and the MITx Faculty Advisory Committee offer two types of grants to allow for more flexibility in project type. This request is for proposals from MIT faculty for development and operation of modules and/or exploration with tools or content that leverage the edX platform for global and residential audiences in support of the digital learning strategies of MIT schools and departments.

In this call for proposals, we encourage you to propose teaching using digital methods in ways that are not possible in the traditional classroom, that allow the student to experience learning in new ways, and to be tested on his/her progress in learning with new kinds of assessments. 

The Fall 2019 call for proposals is now open. All proposals will be due by November 5, 2019. Submission materials can be found below.

MITx Modules Grant
  • MIT Goal: Module offerings on the edX platform to be used at MIT and offered globally
  • Who may be interested: Faculty who want to share their course or part of their course on the edX platform for global use
  • Funding: $20-100K
  • Examples: Two 6-week modules based on an MIT course that is transformed into an online experience

 

Express Exploration Grant
  • MIT Goal: Targeted innovations on the edX platform to be used at MIT and offered globally
  • Who may be interested: Faculty who want to try something on the platform but don't want to commit to a long module or multiple modules
  • Funding: up to $20K
  • Examples: A new tool or 1-2 week module covering a topic. Something that can benefit more than one course.

Important Information & Submission Details

Key Dates

  • September 24 through November 5, 2019 - Optional individual meetings with Open Learning staff available on a first-come, first-serve basis, to assist with proposal preparation

    • Please email mitx-grant@mit.edu to request a meeting. Appointments are available on a first-come, first-served basis - we anticipate being fully booked as the submission deadline approaches. 

  • November 5, 2019 - Proposals Due

  • December 20, 2019 - Decisions announced

  • Spring 2020 - Work on projects begins

 

Objectives for Both Grant Types

  • Experiment with research-based learning and teaching practices and describe specifically how student learning will be promoted and measured. If you are interested in conducting a Randomized Controlled Trial (RCT), please contact sherylb@mit.edu for help setting that up.

  • Are modular (definition below) and incorporate other recommendations of the Institute-wide Task Force on the Future of MIT Education.

  • Impact both global (MITx on edX) and MIT residential audiences.

  • Have defined metrics for success and descriptions of how these will be measured.

  • Can be reused across MIT.

  • Additional objective for MITx Modules Grant: Support the digital learning strategy of the school or department.  If the department does not yet have a digital-learning strategy, it is less likely that the proposal will receive funding.  Guidelines to assist with developing a departmental digital strategy are available.

 

Requirements for Both Grant Types

  • The proposal must be submitted by, and the project must be overseen by, one or more MIT faculty members.

  • All course authors must sign the MITx contributor IP Agreement & will be operating within these Revenue Guidelines.

  • The lead faculty member(s) must submit a report that summarizes specific results on student learning and other findings including results of their defined project metrics, within two months of the MOOC end date. If you are interested in conducting a Randomized Controlled Trial (RCT), please contact sherylb@mit.edu for help setting that up.

  • A letter of support from the department heads must accompany the proposal. 

    • For an Express Exploration, you may use this template or write a more detailed letter.

    • For an MITx Modules proposal, the letter of support should demonstrate that the department head is aware of and fully supports the goals of the project. Additionally, it should explain how the project will fit into an existing digital strategy for the department, or is linked to a plan to create such a strategy. Ideally this letter will also address the sustainability of the project beyond the funding period.

  • If the proposal is a re-submission of a previous grant, the lead faculty member must meet with MITx staff prior to submission.

 

Additional Requirements for MITx Modules Grant

  • The lead faculty member(s) typically participate(s) throughout the project although development and teaching may also involve students, postdocs, and others.

  • Projects must identify a department-based project coordinator to oversee the project, as appropriate to department size. Experience has shown that involvement of a department-based coordinator greatly enhances project success and timely completion and reduces the burden on lead faculty. Open Learning provides training, cross-department forums, and a growing digital learning community in which they participate.

 

Proposal preparation and submission

To prepare your proposal, download and complete the following documents. Please note that there are now separate proposal forms for the two types of grants. Please make sure you are utilizing the correct form for your project.

SUBMIT YOUR PROPOSAL HERE

Meetings are available with Open Learning staff to help you prepare your proposal.  Please email mitx-grant@mit.edu to request a meeting.  Appointments are available on a first come, first served basis - we anticipate being fully booked as the submission deadline approaches. We also suggest reading through our Frequently Asked Questions.

 

Award information

  • Funding is provided to support content creation, media production, tool development, part-time TA (if needed), undergraduates, and a partially funded (shared) department-based postdoc or lecturer to coordinate the proposed project.  Funding is determined on a case-by-case basis, and varies primarily according to the length of the module and what pre-existing pedagogical resources (problem sets, video clips, etc.) are already available.

  • The MITx Modules Grant requires a project coordinator to ensure that projects adhere to plans and timelines. The coordinators must participate in the MITx training program and in periodic MITx meetings and conferences. Department-based project coordinators are preferred.

  • MITx support services for instructional design, media training, technical/platform support, intellectual property consultation and clearance, and accessibility compliance are available.

  • MIT’s Teaching and Learning Lab staff are available for initial consultations around assessment.

 

Additional resources

  • Frequently asked questions about the grant process and the course development process

  • Key research-based practices for teaching and learning are summarized here; for advice on how to incorporate them into your proposed module(s), contact: ol-residential@mit.edu. Use this same email address if you would like to develop a residential-only module (which lies outside the scope of this call).

  • Guidelines for creating a departmental digital strategy.

  • Review the MITx MOOC Development Timeline for a general idea of the course development process.

  • See selected projects funded in the prior round.

  • See how MIT faculty are currently using the MITx platform in residential classes and globally/in MOOCs.

  • What is a module? A module is a learning unit or segment that can be studied on its own or in sequence with other modules. We use the definition offered in the Institute-Wide Task Force on the Future of MIT Education: a self-contained unit comprising a set of outcomes, where an outcome is what the student will know or be able to do as a result of a learning experience and is a driver of the instruction and assessment for the module. To this we add that a module developed for the edX platform would be no more than 1-6 weeks in length (total run time or module duration) and result in a unit reusable by other faculty teaching the same course or another course.

For additional questions or clarification, contact MITx at mitx-grant@mit.edu.