Technology for Innovative Learning & Teaching Pilot Project Grants

Guidelines for 2014-2015

The Teaching, Learning, and Technology Roundtable (TLTR) and Instructional Technology are pleased to announce that we will be offering small grants again this year for faculty who wish to pursue innovative and technologically-sophisticated teaching. Grants of up to $5000 are available to fund projects that improve student learning in a course and will serve the larger St. Edward’s learning community. Funds will be awarded competitively by the TLTR for use in the summer 2014, fall 2014, or spring 2015 semesters.   
We encourage those who apply to also consider applying to be an Innovation Fellow for 2014-2015. This fellowship supports faculty who are experimenting with pedagogy in their courses.

Who can apply?  

Full-time, contracted faculty of all disciplines and ranks are encouraged to apply.

What projects are eligible for funding?

TLTR grants are available for a wide range of activities for faculty establishing new approaches to innovation and technology in the classroom. Projects should be related to a specific pedagogical project and not to a faculty member’s professional development. In addition, projects need to be have the potential to be adopted for students in other contexts. Note that projects do not need to focus exclusively on technology use; innovative teaching methods that are supported by technology (such as flipping the classroom) are also eligible.
Potential project categories can include
  1. Equipment purchases. Grants could be used to purchase software, peripherals, and devices such as tablets, digital cameras, or smart boards.
  2. Faculty training. Faculty could attend a conference, seminar, or workshop that will train them in technology integration for the classroom. 
  3. Course release (teaching reassignment) for a single semester. Faculty could receive a single course release to stay within TLTR budget caps. Due to the limited usefulness of a single release, these will be awarded sparingly and faculty would need to show a track record of success for course releases. Note that requests for a course release must be endorsed by the Department Chair and Dean so please contact your Chair well in advance of submitting your proposal.
  4. Committed time with a FRC instructional designer. Faculty could partner with an instructional designer to develop a new course component such as an interactive website-based unit. This type of award will be subject to consideration of the FRC staff’s expertise and workload as related to the timeline and scope of the proposed project.
  5. Teacher or research assistant. Grants could fund a student for a specific set of duties over a defined project timeline.
Hosting an event for faculty development. Grants could be used to organize an event exploring a particular pedagogical style such as hosting an “unconference” for a THATCamp (
Potential projects to be implemented in any of the following semesters will be eligible:
  • Summer 2014
  • Fall 2014
  • Spring 2015

Can I apply for more than one project at a time?

Yes. Faculty are eligible to submit two proposals at a time. Funding priority will go to supporting as many faculty as possible but there is a chance that both proposals will be accepted.

What is the deadline for submission?

Proposals must be received by the Teaching, Learning, and Technology Roundtable (TLTR) by February 24, 2014 (deadline extended). All proposals must be submitted electronically by emailing the proposal document to 

The Proposal Process

The proposal has a length of five pages maximum excluding the cover sheet and letter of support from your dean. You should address the areas below in clear language, avoiding jargon that will not be well-understood outside your field. 

What do I include in the proposal?

Include the following sections in your proposal.
  1. Cover sheet
    • Name, School, Rank
    • Project Title
    • Course or Learning Environment
    • Semester and Year of Implementation
  2. Abstract
    In 250 words or less describe the project, its significance, and its potential for application broadly.
  3. Need statement
    What problem, challenge, opportunity, or other issue causes you to believe that this project is necessary? For example, did some technology, emerging social situation, or rapidly changing environment provide a new context for which non-traditional learning methods could or should be considered? 
  4. Plan for execution of the project
    • Project Design. Explain the project’s overall design as well as more detailed information about the assignments or activities it involves.
    • List of needs. The list could include equipment, travel, support staff, student worker, or other university resources that are relevant to the type of project proposed.
    • Overall project timeline.
  5. Justification of the Plan
    • Innovative teaching with technology. Briefly describe what makes this project new, different or substantially improved on existing practices. 
    • Pedagogical value. Provide a scholarly or research-based rationale for your project.
    • Potential for adoption. Explain how your project may provide a model, strategies, or other valuable information that could guide other faculty in adopting similar approaches. We encourage grant recipients to submit to the Center for Teaching Excellence’s Teaching Symposium as part of sharing the project’s outcomes with others. 
  6. Evaluation and Assessment
    Explain how you will know if the project is successful in improving student learning. Please be specific. What will you measure, and how will you assess the success of your project? If you are planning to report on the project outside of the university setting, recognize that you will need approval from the IRB prior to beginning the project.
  7. Budget
    Detail the expenses that will be incurred during the project. Include a brief justification for each line item.
  8. Letter of support
    Include a letter of support from your dean that emphasizes the broad applicability of your project.

The Selection Process

Grant recipients will be decided upon by the TLTR Grants Selection sub-committee. This sub-committee will be comprised of at least 3 faculty members, 2 instructional technology staff members, and the CTE director.  The Selection sub-committee follows an established review practice: 
  • Copies of the proposals are circulated to all members of the sub-committee for review. Sub-committee members read each proposal and rank them, adhering closely to the proposal categories.
  • The sub-committee then meets and holds an in-depth discussion of the top-ranked projects, leading to a final consensus decision based on both the scoring and the discussion.  
  • Particularly large or complex projects will be reviewed by the entire TLTR committee and may require a presentation from the applicant to the TLTR committee.

What criteria will I be evaluated by?

These grants were created to enable faculty to pursue innovative teaching that improves student learning in the classroom and the larger St. Edward’s community. Therefore preference will be given to applicants that most clearly demonstrate the project’s innovative nature, pedagogical value and potential for adoption. In addition, your ability to explain your project in terms of the need it fills and your plans for the project’s execution and assessment is crucial to the committee’s ability to evaluate your project. Thus, carefully written proposals stand a better chance of success. 

The Timeline

Early December 2013 Release call for proposals.
February 24, 2014 Proposals due.
March 31, 2014 Grants are announced. All faculty who submit a proposal will be contacted by the TLTR subcommittee.
April 15, 2014 FRC & CTE staff help grant recipients develop final, detailed pilot plan, including final budget, timeline, equipment specs, and pedagogical design.
May 1, 2014 Pilot funds disbursed.
October 2014 Co-chairs will check in with grant recipients for project updates.
November 2014 Grant recipients report to TLTR committee on current state of the project. TLTR provides formative feedback. 
June 1, 2015
Grant recipients report final results of the funded project to TLTR chairs.

Previous Pilot Projects


Rich Parsells - Master of Arts in College Student Development Blended Learning Adjunct Support

The Master of Arts in College Student Development (MACSD) gained approval to move all course offerings, starting with those scheduled for fall 2012, from weekday evenings to Saturdays. Courses are now offered in a blended delivery format where students attend two Saturday courses which are offered in the morning (9-11:50am) and the afternoon (1-3:50pm), on alternate weeks, with the other weeks being web-based instructed (i.e. blackboard activity). The program director is the only full-time faculty assigned to this graduate program, and he currently instructs two of the courses; the remainder of the courses are instructed by adjuncts.
All of the instructors have varied backgrounds in the understanding of blended course pedagogy and the use of blackboard and other related technologies. We propose that approximately four workshops, sponsored and instructed by the staff of Instructional Technology, be provided for the faculty of the MACSD. These workshops would consist of a detailed overview of the features of blackboard and other available technologies, and provide reading material that covers both learning theory and practice issues for blended instructional formats. Our intent is to improve the quality of student engagement and learning through the enhancement of the instructional methods employed by the faculty of our blended weekend program.

Judy Leavell - Education e-Book Reader Project

As background for our need, Westlake High School students read many books in e-book format. E-books are used with elementary school level guided reading group lessons in Boerne ISD. In some areas of the country, educator policy makers are advocating use of e-book materials in schools, sometimes to the exclusion of paper print materials. While some embrace the concept, there are also some difficulties such as students' complaints of not being fully conversant with the operation of a particular device, not being experienced in allocation of technology resources for pedagogical purposes, or having concerns about negative instances of eye fatigue and its effects on engagement. This project would equip SEU education majors to fully use the advantages and possibilities e-book format offers, while analyzing potential limitations or challenges through self-analysis. The idea is to have e-book/e-material equipped devices that would allow economic storage of central yet extensive text materials used for a class. The stored content can also have application in other courses, allowing transfer and connection of content and skills. For example, children's literature is taught as a class but selections of children's literature are used in other classes in the program (on the SEU campus and in the field). The storage of materials allows a more fluid transfer of connections. Adequate training to equip students to use the features of the device would be provided. Once aware of the possibilities, the students would be expected to use the device enough to develop greater skill and efficiency. Along this journey, students will keep digital diaries documenting their progression. With basic skills in place, students will explore issues of alternative pedagogical uses in a classroom. The goals are to increase skill and frequency in the use of electronic book content while reflectively analyzing skill and process effects.
Objectives are:
1) increase exposure to and use of e-book materials to the point of skilled capabilities.
2) conduct on-going analysis of individual response to this skill development.
3) apply planning for pedagogical differentiation for learning within a class and across classrooms and locations. 

Miguel A. Niño - Spanish Subjunctive Grammar Tool

The idea I am proposing for a Technology Pilot is the use of computer-based multimedia learning environment for the teaching of the Spanish complex sentence in the acquisition of the Spanish subjunctive mood. The use of words, sounds (voice recorded or music), videos, graphics and animation will be brought together to explain to third semester students via the linguistic cognitive approach the sequencing of the Spanish syntax. Hopefully, this visual tool will help them better manage the abstraction of the Spanish complex sentence by focusing primarily on the subjunctive mood. 

Jeff Potratz - Chemistry Prezi Project

Idea: Create a Prezi page that contains (among other items) video demonstrations of the organic chemistry 1 lab experiments that students will perform throughout the semester. Students will access the Prezi page online and watch video clips that are embedded on the page in order to familiarize themselves with the lab before they come to class.
Goal: By watching a 2-5 minute video demonstration of the lab they will perform before they come to class, the students will be better prepared for the lab and more instruction about the chemical principles behind the lab can be discussed rather than mere instructions about how to technically do the lab procedure. Too often students are overwhelmed by learning the new techniques associated with lab experiments and they ignore the scientific principles that are  happening to focus on the task of simply performing the experiment.
  1. This summer I want to video record a student/ and or myself performing organic 1 lab experiments. This video will then be edited by using time lapse features and scene selection. On some sections of the video, text will be overlaid on the video to highlight important ideas. Background music will be playing through the video.
  2. These videos will be embedded on a Prezi page that will also contain other useful information for the students who are in organic chemistry labs. (safety info, info on how to operate the IR instrument, etc)
  3. Next fall all organic 1 lab students will be required to watch the videos before they come to class to perform the experiment. 


Jeff Potratz - Chemistry Website Project

Idea: Create a webpage specifically for the chemistry department that will be updated frequently by myself and perhaps a member of the St. Ed’s student chapter of the American Chemical Society. This webpage is not meant to replace the ‘think’ webpage for the chemistry department, but is meant to be a complementary webpage that will be updated more frequently and where students will go to find out about what’s happening currently in the chem department.
Goal: I want the website to be the first place chemistry students go if they have questions about the department, such as: “Is there a guest speaker coming this Friday?” I want to do research with a faculty member; I wonder what type of research Dr. Altimiller does?” “Are there any grants I could get to research at St. Ed’s over the summer? Any grants to research at other locations?” “When is the ACS student group having the trip to Fiesta Tx? When is the next meeting of the ACS student group? What does the ACS student group do?” etc, etc, etc.
  1. Create an attractive webpage that highlights the department, its professors, has a calendar of events, and lets students look at what research is happening in the department.
  2. Have the webpage fully functional and complete by Fall 2013 so it can be promoted by all faculty and become a great source of information for the students. 
  3. After its completion, the website will be updated by myself and/or a student member of the ACS so the site is current and up to date. Only sites that are current and updated often are truly valuable. If students find sites are not being updated, they stop going to them.
  4. Have the site complement the ‘think site’ which will not be updated as frequently but will still be a valuable resource for students. 

Monica Cicciarelli - Mathematics Tablet Project

Clickers have enabled me to help students be more engaged with class, but are difficult to use without using PowerPoint as the teaching platform. I find PowerPoint to be a poor teaching source for the classes I teach; there is no way to be as actively engaged as working the problems by hand. Small details are lost when students cannot watch the problems being worked by hand, and the ability to see which parts of a math problem take the longest (or shortest) amount of time to work is also lost when the steps are being projected line by line with a click of a mouse.
I have currently been using my own tablet (purchased used on Craigslist for ~$100*) with great success in my Math for Liberal Arts class this semester. I create handouts for the class to print and bring so we may speed up some of the note taking. The focus then becomes working and discussing problems, and not on copying the problem description that we are going to work. I am also able to create graphs and diagrams beforehand that can be projected and annotated during class.
I have been able to help students with 504 accommodations greatly with using a tablet. I save the lectures as a PDF and email them to the students after class. Students are less burdened with getting all of the notes copied and can engage more with the content. (The opportunity to have the notes emailed is open to all of my students as long as they are attending and taking their own notes during class.)

Moriah McCracken, Ryan Hoover - Developing the Writing Online Open Course, a longitudinal support course for writing instruction

We are looking to implement a flipped-classroom pedagogy style in the ENGW Basic Writing classes. The pedagogy will be based on the Writing About Writing curriculum, a new standard that involves students learning complex theories and research about composition in the First Year Writing curriculum in order to gain declarative and procedural knowledge about writing. The flipped approach we propose will be idea for a basic writing class as students will have time to process and work with theories outside of class, leaving class time to be dedicated to discussion and practice. 


Billy Earnest, Teri Varner - iPad-based section of COMM 1306

Tablet computers have the potential to transform the college classroom, whether in Communication Studies or any of a variety of academic disciplines. We propose a pilot section of Introduction to Communication (COMM 1306) that tests the effectiveness of iPads as the primary tool for classroom pedagogy and administration. 
This proposal encompasses the following: 
  • Course: COMM 1306.01 – Introduction to Communication 
  • Semester: Summer II, 2012 
  • Enrollment: 10 
  • Faculty: 1 
  • Equipment: 11 iPads (iPad 2 model, with apps)