EI Online Course Development Grants

New in 2017, the EI Online Course Initiative offers faculty and instructors the opportunity to apply for Online Course Development Grants through an annual call for proposals during the fall semester. The grants provide support for online course development for courses taught during any term (fall, spring or summer). Faculty and instructors will receive tools, training and resources, and be paired with an instructional technologist as part of the design, development and production process. Grants are typically $15,000 each.

Pre-proposals were due Monday, October 9, 2017. More information about the goals, proposal criteria, awardee commitments and how to submit a proposal can be found below.

If individuals or units are unable to submit proposals during the annual submission period, they can still apply for support through the EI Online Course Initiative’s open submission process.


  • Support high student enrollment – The course/program should project high student enrollment and/or address a curriculum need currently unmet
  • Expand access to traditional students and attract new student audiences – Create courses/programs that expand access to traditional students or attracts new student audiences such as pre-college students, visiting students from other universities, international students etc.
  • Provide enhanced learning experiences for students, particularly in their majors/career fields

Pre-Proposal Requirements

All pre-proposals must:

  • Show departmental and school/college commitment – The course/program will be supported by its academic department and school or college. A faculty or academic staff member may lead the effort but there must also be departmental support, and the project must align with the department’s longer-term strategies and goals. Pre-proposals will be submitted to the school/college dean offices for review and ranking.
  • Demonstrate student demand – The course/program should project high student enrollment and/or identify a curriculum need.
  • Provide learning outcomes and an assessment plan – Every course/program should develop a course syllabus including student learning outcomes and a plan for assessing student learning.
  • Describe departmental commitment to consistent course/program offering and appropriate maintenance – The academic department and the school/college is responsible for ensuring consistent course/program offerings and proper maintenance (e.g., update materials, version control, continuous improvements, and technology enhancements).

Awardee Responsibilities

Awardees will also be responsible for:

  • Collaborating with assigned instructional design team – Online design, development and production staff time and expertise will be provided to awardees. Instructional design staff will work with instructors to achieve course development goals, align with instructional design standards, meet web accessibility standards, and comply with copyright policy. *Note: based upon experience, 50-100 hours is the average length of time instructors spend to develop an online course that meets web-based instructional standards. Additional time will be required to participate in relevant training as needed (see below).
  • Participating in online course design and facilitation sessions – Awardees who have not previously participated in: TeachOnline@UW, Blend@UW or the Madison Teaching and Learning Excellence (MTLE) program, will have the opportunity to participate in online design and facilitation sessions (no more than 20 hours over the course of a calendar year).

Funding Details

Applicants will be asked to provide a brief summary of how funds will be used. Funds should be expended by June 30, 2018 and cannot be used for PAs/tuition remission.

Submit a Proposal

Pre-proposals were due Monday, October 9, 2017. All pre-proposals must be submitted electronically via Qualtrics.

Approval Process and Timeline


  • Monday, October 9 – Pre-proposals due
  • Friday, October 13 – Pre-proposals sent to respective associate deans for review
  • Week of November 6 – Applicants of select pre-proposals invited to submit full proposals
  • November 6-30 – Consultations with instructional and/or curricular designers
  • Monday, December 4 – Full proposals due
  • Week of December 18 – Awardees notified


  • Spring/Summer 2018 – Course development
  • Fall 2018, Spring 2019, Summer 2019 – Course launch


Please direct questions to Caitlin O’Brien, EI communication coordinator.