The 4-VA Grants Program at Virginia Tech is intended to advance the mission and goals of 4-VA within the context of Virginia Tech to achieve the following:
Increase the research competitiveness of partner universities for external funding
Increase opportunities and enhance the success rate of students in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) courses and programs
Define instructional models, including the clear definition of instructional costs
Significantly expand access for all Virginians to programs, preparing them for rewarding careers
To support 4-VA’s goals of defining instructional models, expanding access, and improving STEM success, 4-VA has chosen to fund course redesign grants. Course Redesign grants support the redesign of courses, or specific course elements, in STEM, a foreign language, or a closely related field and require the support of the applicant’s department and college. In the 2018-2019 cycle, priority will be given to courses that provide opportunities for real world simulations, instrumented learning, or learning analytics applications.
Implementation might take any of several forms but at a minimum will include a hypothesis-driven instrumentation of a learning activity. This must be done in such a way that analytical, empirical assessment of teaching and learning activities leads to an improvement of the learning experience or course. For example, a hypothesis on a improving students’ comprehension of a difficult concept or reducing students’ common mistakes will be gathered and assessed through analog or digital means and used to improve the learning experience or the course.
Successful project proposals will include a 2-year commitment. We anticipate that grantees will be deeply involved in a hands-on, team based design process. The first year may primarily involve taking baseline measurements, the agile development of an “instrumented” module, and assessment planning. The second year may focus on the delivery and assessment of the “instrumented” module. Throughout the process, grantees may expect to have dedicated team members to assist with development and support.
Given the lack of common language and familiarity with these concepts, it is suggested that interested faculty reach out to the 4-VA team to discuss and refine ideas for proposals.
Once the proposal is submitted, the Campus Coordinators work with a small group of faculty reviewers to review submitted grant proposals (Rubric used by our reviewers).
The Campus Coordinators compile the suggestions and feedback from reviewers and use the information to guide recommendations for grant receipt
The Campus Coordinators then submit all received proposals—including recommended grantees—to the TLOS Stakeholders Committee to approve the recommended grants
Upon approval, recipients and Department Heads must sign a Memorandum of Understanding before funds are released.
Funds for approved grants are released to the grantee(s) and grant work is permitted to commence
The Deputy Campus Coordinator and 4-VA Assessment Coordinator work with the grantees throughout the year(s) to monitor progress and document outcomes.
Proposed work may be to develop reusable course modules, or full courses.
Recipients must attend Instructional Design and Accessibility trainings as well as work closely with Learning Experience Design and Assistive Technologies in order to pass quality assurance and accessibility reviews.
Upon completion, the (re)designed course must pass a quality assurance review and an accessibility review.
4-VA Awardees are not eligible to receive additional TLOS grant funds for the proposed work.
Active dissemination will be a major project outcome. At minimum, funded projects will have a defined, continuous dissemination plan for the 4-VA community. This includes participation in assessment activities as well as generating mid-term and annual reports.
4-VA at Virginia Tech expects to offer anywhere between 2 to 4 course redesign grants during the 2018-2019 academic year. The expected amount of allocation for each grant is between $50,000 and $100,000.