Request for Proposals: Redesign of Conventional Courses to Use a Blended Learning Approach

What courses are eligible for the Blended Learning Initiative?

Eligible courses include upper- or lower-division Mountain Campus courses that typically have enrollments of at least 60 students per term across all sections of the course. Courses taught only online, and in-person courses taught through Extended Campuses, are not eligible. Academic leaders (deans, associate deans, chairs) will collaborate with faculty and university administrators to identify courses that will likely benefit the most from a blended learning approach as defined by NAU. Participants in this initiative must make a commitment to sustain, assess, and improve the blended courses over time.

Who is eligible to submit a proposal?

Faculty may submit proposals if they

  • teach at least one in-person section of eligible Mountain Campus courses
  • have the support of their department chair and dean
  • complete a workshop on blended learning and proposal preparation
  • agree to the policies and practices described on the course development agreement page
  • agree to pilot at least one section of the blended course in Fall 2014*
  • get agreement from all instructors of all in-person sections of the course to teach the blended version of the course no later than Fall 2015.**

Faculty teaching assignments for Fall 2014 or Spring 2015 should allow for pilots of blended courses.

*Note:The department can negotiate a longer time line for submitting a proposal and developing the blended course but agrees to replace all in-person sections with the blended course no later than Fall 2015. Participants still need to complete the Blended Learning Workshop, which can be offered again at a later date by arrangement with the department. Contact the Office of the Vice Provost for Academic Affairs for more information.

**Note: Some demonstration projects in which not all instructors agree to teach the blended version may be considered if the projects have potential to have a positive impact on the department's future course redesign strategies.

What funding is available for this initiative?

The Office of the Provost has established a Technology Innovation Fund that will pay selected faculty and departments to redesign eligible courses.

Departments will designate one or more faculty members to lead and coordinate the redesign effort across multiple sections of each course. Each lead faculty member is eligible for up to a $5,000 stipend. The amount of the stipend will be negotiated as the award is finalized.

If two or more faculty members participate in the redesign effort for a single course, the department chair chooses how to allocate the development stipends equitably among the participants.

Departments can apply to redesign more than one course, and a separate faculty stipend is available for each accepted redesign proposal.

Departments may also apply for funds to support the purchase of technology (for example, computers, tablets, software, etc.) that is directly related to the proposed course redesign.

Payment Schedule

AmountWhen Faculty Stipends Are Paid
20% of the agreed-upon stipendUpon completion of a workshop on blended learning and proposal preparationand submission of a completed proposal and notification of proposal approval
40% of the agreed-upon stipendUpon completion of teaching the first pilot section of the blended course and completion of a course quality review and submission of a report on further course design refinements needed and a draft of a brief instructor's guide
40% of the agreed-upon stipendUpon completion of teaching the refined blended course and submission of an instructor's guide and completion of a presentation at one of the following events:

Faculty can expect to receive the stipend payments approximately three pay periods after the payment criteria have been met.

Courses that also achieve certification through NAU's First Year Learning Initiative are eligible for an additional stipend.

What is the time line for this initiative?

The time line for previous rounds of funding is available on the Funded Projects page. The schedule below is for the current (4th) round of funding.

October 24-25, 2013Southwest Institute for Learning with Technology (SILT): Blended Learning at NAU

High Country Conference Center, Drury Hotel, Prochnow Auditorium

Conference Session Schedule

Round 1 of request for proposals announced

Friday, November 1 - Friday, December 6, 2013Workshop on blended learning and proposal writingA blended course for faculty that
  • gives faculty experience as a student in a blended instruction environment
  • models good practices in blended learning
  • provides examples of blended learning designs from various disciplines
  • steps faculty through the thinking and activities necessary for them to write a solid proposal and create at least one module of their redesigned blended-learning course in Blackboard Learn

Faculty receive 20% of the agreed-upon stipend after they

  • participate in the in-person and synchronous online meetings (with accommodations for schedule conflicts).
  • submit a finished blended-learning course redesign proposal, which is due at 5 p.m. on January 8, 2014, after the workshop ends.
January 8, 2014, 5 p.m.Final proposals dueAll proposals must be submitted online via the submission form. Printed proposals and emailed attachments will not be accepted.
January 9-16, 2014Review committee evaluates proposalsCommittee members will contact faculty and chairs for clarification of proposal details or additional information as needed.
January 17, 2014Review committee notifies faculty and chairs about proposal decisionsFaculty whose proposals are accepted will be assigned a support team from the e-Learning Center, including an instructional designer, an instructional technologist, and a media designer who will help faculty evaluate, develop, and implement media resources, library resources, online resources, and collaboration/communication technology to support the course design.
Spring & Summer 2014Faculty build out pilot versions of blended courses in Blackboard LearnFaculty receive ongoing support as needed from the e-Learning Center's staff
Fall 2014Faculty teach pilots of the blended coursesWhile teaching the pilot courses, faculty keep a journal documenting what works and what doesn't work in the blended courses and then use that information to submit a report on planned refinements to the course.

Course design & materials also undergo a quality review facilitated by the department chair and supported by an instructional designer as needed, with feedback and suggestions given to the faculty on possible refinements that could improve the next iteration of the blended course.

Faculty also submit to the department chair a draft of an instructor's guide that makes explicit the decisions made about the course design along with helpful hints and tips for other instructors who will teach the course.

Faculty receive 40% of the agreed-upon stipend after they

  • teach the pilot section of the blended course
  • complete a course quality review
  • submit a brief report on further course design refinements needed
  • submit a draft of a brief instructor's guide
  • submit a journal detailing the time spent developing and teaching the pilot section.
Prior to next offering of the course (depending on class schedule)Faculty refine course designs based on outcomes of the pilot.Faculty use their reports on the pilot courses and results of the quality reviews to revise their course designs, finalize their instructor's guides, and update their course shells in Blackboard Learn.

Faculty course designers include their revised instructor's guides in the master course shells to assist additional instructors of the course.

Spring 2015 or Fall 2015 (depending on class schedule)Multiple faculty teach multiple sections of the refined blended courses.Faculty assess student learning within and across sections.

Faculty also present at one of the following events:

Faculty course designers receive their final 40% of the agreed-upon stipend after they

  • teach the refined blended course
  • embed a revised instructor's guide in the course master shell in Blackboard Learn
  • complete their presentations at one of the events listed above
FutureOngoing course refinementFaculty who teach the same blended course continue to share information and suggestions on how the course design and the master course shell in Blackboard Learn could be improved.

How will course redesign proposals be evaluated?

See the Evaluation Criteria and the Proposal Template.

How are proposals submitted?

Proposals must be submitted online via the submission form. You must have an NAU Gmail account to log in to the form. If you completed the assignments in the Blended Learning Workshop, you will have already set up your NAU Gmail account. See the Proposal Template to become familiar with the kinds of information required in the proposal.