Apply Now: Technology Innovations for Digital Learning Seed Grant

Published: Friday, March 12, 2021

Do you teach iCourses and want to test out a new technology to improve the student experience? Check out this grant opportunity from Digital Learning.

Digital Learning is funding $5,000 seed grants for iCourse instructors who wish to try innovative new approaches with technology in their classes! 

Are you someone who loves to try out new software in your courses but are always stuck with the "freemium" model that often limits what you can do? If so, we're hoping that we can help out and provide you with the funds that will allow you to pilot a new technology in your classroom. Many of our beloved instructional technologies started off as an idea that someone took a chance on, and we're so excited to offer this opportunity to iCourse instructors to be that next someone. 

In the past, we've seen instructors take this opportunity to try out Slack in their course for creating a space for students to chat and interact with each other. You may have heard of VoiceThread- one of our favorite technologies- but did you know this campus-supported technology started off as a small pilot that was funded through a seed grant like this?

If this sounds like something you're interested in trying, please read through the grant details below. The goal for your innovative idea is to improve the experience of students in the online classroom through using a technology that enhances their learning in some way. You may notice that we call out iCourse instructors for this grant specifically. An iCourse is defined as any class that is taught fully online for students enrolled in traditional, on-campus degree programs here on Main Campus. This is separate from an Arizona Online course. 

Grant Details

Limit on Proposals per Principle Investigator (PI): An individual may participate as PI on one Digital Learning Seed Grant per cycle and may be awarded only a single Digital Learning Seed Grant. Once an individual is awarded a Digital Learning Seed Grant, they are eligible to apply for another one 24 months after the previous award is received.

Next Due Date: April 16, 2021

Award Period: May 17, 2021. This will occur as a single payout to cover the technology purchase cost, up to $5,000.

Eligibility: This grant is for instructors teaching for-credit classes at the University of Arizona (iCourse) during the Summer or Fall sessions of 2021.

Description: Designed to jump-start investment in worthwhile technology innovations that improve the student experience by providing short-term, one-time support. This grant is a single investigator award, providing up to $5,000 in a single payout specifically to cover technology fees on a competitive basis. The funds cannot be used for administrative fees, students, personnel, or anything other than funding the technology.

This award may be granted to multiple applicants.

Applicants should emphasize the expected improvement of the student experience and outcomes through the use of their chosen technology in a course, the reason the chosen technology is a necessity or why current technology options at the university fail to meet student needs, how any barriers the technology creates can be overcome without becoming a burden on the students and instructor, and the estimated number of students impacted. A presentation will be required before a student advisory board during the Fall 2021 semester.

Applications: Accepted through Qualtrics
You will need:

  • A quote for the technology you wish to implement
  • The course[s] subject and catalog number that this technology will be used in
  • Estimated scale of student impact
  • A letter of justification explaining:
    • How this technology will improve the student experience and outcomes and why current technology options at the university do not adequately meet the needs of students.
    • Expected learning curve of the technology and how you plan on overcoming barriers to using the technology.

Apply Now

Questions? Contact Daniel Whitaker at


Guest Author(s):
Daniel Whitaker
Former Instructional Designer, Digital Learning