Online Learning

Enhancing and scaling online learning is a significant focus for campus and the EI Initiative, particularly as both strive to advance personalized learning strategies using technology and to expand access to both residential (“traditional”) and new student audiences.

In partnership with schools, colleges and other campus units, EI aims to help enhance and scale high-quality online learning experiences across campus.

Goals for Online Education

  • Advance excellence in teaching and learning through the Wisconsin Experience
  • Increase flexibility and options for residential (“traditional”) students to study online
  • Expand access and attract new groups of students to study at UW-Madison

Online Learning Initiative

Online Course Development Support Opportunities

Formalized in 2017, the campus Online Learning Initiative provides a single point-of-entry to support the development of online courses. The initiative offers faculty and instructors the opportunity to apply for online course development support at any time during the year, offering both a formal, annual call for proposals, as well as a year-round, open submission process:

  • Online Course Development Grants – Annual Call for Proposals (fall semester)
    The annual call for proposals currently occurs during the fall semester, and offers grants of up to $15,000 each, which include substantial course design and technical support. The grants are typically awarded by the end of the semester, with the work beginning as early as the spring semester. Learn more about the proposal process and criteria.
  • Online Course Development Open Submission Process (year-round)
    Faculty and instructors can also apply for support through an open submission process if they are unable to submit a proposal during the annual fall submission period. No immediate funding is available for proposals submitted through the open submission process, but proposals will still be reviewed and consulted on as they are received. Development resources and/or funding may become available for select proposals. Applicants can expect to hear back within two weeks of submitting a proposal. Download a copy of the proposal form to review and pre-record responses or submit a proposal now via Qualtrics.

Exploration and Inventory of Online Course Offerings

The initiative also partnered with a group of faculty and staff to conduct an in-depth exploration and inventory of 375 online courses offered by UW-Madison. The group used a customized rubric to inventory the courses and interview course instructors. The effort created a framework to:

  • Better understand the university’s array of online course offerings
  • Discuss quality and align expectations with the Wisconsin Experience
  • Pinpoint areas of investment to strengthen its online portfolio and expand student access

Professional Development Programs and Resources

The following programs and resources are available for faculty and instructors interested in blended and/or online learning, course development and enhancing student learning:

Other Funding Opportunities

For those who are interested in receiving funding to support other teaching and learning innovations (that do not include online course development), check out the EI Small Grant Program and the Summer Term Igniter Funds.