The Stanford Transforming Learning Accelerator, a university long-range project, creates effective learning solutions using the latest advancements in technology, data, and the sciences of learning. We collaborate across disciplines and with partners to bring scalable and equitable solutions to all learners.
The Transforming Learning Accelerator seeks to fund projects that can lead to new insights in the emerging area of virtual field trips. Virtual field trips can take a variety of forms, but at their core, they enable learners to engage with a location, often without physically traveling there, in a digitally mediated way. They can be standalone digital experiences or complement in-person experiences, such as preparation or follow-up to a physical field trip.
Virtual field trips can broaden access to locations and experiences for many students. They may help mitigate inequities due to cost, accessibility, or inclusivity. Additionally, advances in technology have greatly reduced the barriers to creation -- interactive 360° immersive experiences can be created using just a cell phone and some simple online tools. This opens opportunities for educators and students to become content creators, embedding concepts in locally or personally meaningful contexts.
We invite Stanford faculty, staff, and students across all disciplines to propose concept-proving research and designs that will advance learning in the area of virtual field trips. We welcome contributions from all fields, including explorations at the intersection of disciplines.
Goals of Seed Grant Projects:
The science and design behind how to structure activities to create engaging and effective virtual field trips is lagging behind technology growth. Virtual field trips have the potential to support learning by increasing learner connectedness, whether to the land, to a phenomenon, or to other people. Highest priority will be given to projects that include both a research and development component, incorporate interactive elements either within or surrounding the field trip, and explore the potential special qualities of virtual field trips.
Examples of project goals:
- Identifying design principles for how to capture some of the benefits of in-person field trips (for example, social connections, sense of place, rich problem solving) in ways that capitalize on the unique benefits of virtual field trips.
- Exemplifying ways virtual field trips can expand access to locations or experiences for underserved learners.
- Exploring ways virtual field experiences can complement physical or in-person experiences.
- Developing models for how students, educators, or community members can become content creators.
- Designing virtual field trips that provide learners the sense of shared adventure common to many physical field trips.
- Embedding digital assets and tools inside of immersive environments to support learning.
- Assessing outcomes of virtual field trips in novel ways.
Content Domain and Target Learners:
Learners can be of any age, from pre-k through adults. Due to a commitment to science education in the source of funding, we expect multiple awards to go to projects targeting science domains. However, any domain will be considered for funding, including those that fall outside traditional academic programs.
The technology to be used is not prespecified. Projects can range from browser-based solutions that enable broad accessibility across devices and internet capabilities to immersive virtual reality or augmented reality solutions. There are many interesting new tools for creating virtual field trips. For example, see Google Streetview, Thinglink, and Pano2VR.
TLA support services:
TLA is dedicated to fostering the science and design of learning, and offers technical, research, and partnership consulting to grantees to aid their work. We are also piloting a new service model to provide more extensive TLA support services to help people engage in “new-to-them” kinds of work at the intersection of research, learning science, and design. For example, an instructor with a great learning innovation may not have experience researching its effects on learning in a classroom setting. Alternatively, a faculty member may have an idea for a new digital learning tool, but not have access to developers to make it a reality. To increase reach, TLA is offering grantees the ability to request additional funds to pay for TLA staff with expertise in areas in which they may need support. If awarded a grant, the specific needs and allocation of support funds of up to $10,000 will be determined through consultation with TLA. Examples of TLA support include:
- Technical and learning design support: Storyboarding, prototyping, user research, instructional design, user interface/user experience design, web/mobile app development, cloud computing resource architecture, software testing and debugging, and media production.
- Research support: Research conceptualization and measure design, execution of quantitative and/or qualitative research in the lab or field, data use agreements and storage, guidance for working with Stanford’s Institutional Review Board.
- Partnership support: Finding and helping to broker prospective participants and partner organizations outside of Stanford (e.g., middle school science students, community garden partners, etc.).
TIMELINE & SCOPE
Faculty and academic staff seed grant project periods must start no earlier than November 15, 2021 and finish by November 1, 2022.
Student seed grant project periods must start no earlier than November 15, 2021 and finish by November 1, 2022 or end of quarter of graduation if earlier.
Key dates include:
- Proposals Due: September 30, 2021 11:59 pm Pacific
- Awards Announced: Week of October 25, 2021
- Funds Distributed: November 15, 2021 (pending IRB approval and other criteria)
FOR MORE INFORMATION
Seed Grant Information Sessions will be held to provide an overview of the project and answer questions from prospective applicants. These optional sessions will be held on:
- September 10 at noon (virtual)
- September 17 at 5pm (virtual)
- September 23 at 9am (virtual)
If you cannot attend the information sessions and/or have other questions, please contact Kristen Blair, Director of Research, Digital Learning Initiative, email@example.com.
- Explore the potential special qualities of virtual field trips.
- Include both research and development components
- Incorporate interactive elements either within or surrounding the field trip
Faculty Seed Grants $50,000 max, with option for supplement for TLA service support.
The faculty RFP is open to Stanford PI-eligible faculty or teams that include at least one Stanford PI-eligible faculty and can include collaborations with external organizations or institutions relevant to the project. Faculty selected to receive funds will be enrolled as Faculty Affiliates with the Transforming Learning Accelerator, opening the doors to additional engagement opportunities and resources. To support faculty who are new to aspects of technology development and/or human subjects research, applicants may also request supplemental support to be used only for TLA service support (see above). Grant proposals that seek supplemental TLA support services, should include a separate section explaining their potential support needs and whether those are technical, research, partnership, or some specific combination of the three. If awarded a grant, we will work together to determine the specific allocation of support funds through consultation, so please do not include these funds in your budget.
Academic Staff Seed Grants $15,000 max, with option for supplement for TLA service support
Full-time academic staff, including lecturers, may also apply for funding. Academic staff will need approval from their supervisor. To support academic staff who are new to aspects of technology development and/or human subjects research, applicants may also request supplemental support to be used only for TLA service support (see above). Grant proposals that seek supplemental funding for TLA support services, should include a separate section explaining their potential support needs, and whether those are technical, research, partnership, or some specific combination of the three. If awarded a grant, we will work together to determine the specific allocation of support funds through consultation, so please do not include these funds in your budget.
Student Stipends $3,000 max
The student RFP is open to students or student teams that include at least one Stanford student or postdoc and can include collaborations with external organizations or institutions relevant to the project. For students interested in diving deeper into learning design and educational technology, the Digital Learning Design Challenge offers workshops and potential for mentorship and additional funding, and can optionally be paired with the student stipend award.
In addition to the proposed scope of work, awardees should plan to complete the following as part of the terms of the award:
- Participation in the following seed grant recipient meetings:
- Seed Grantee Kick-off meeting – December 1, 2021. One hour, time TBD
- Grantee meetings for collaborative idea sharing and problem solving – February 7, April 4, June 6. One hour, time TBD
- Final Project Report Meeting (faculty grants) – December 2022, Date TBD
- Virtual Field Trips Conference at Stanford – Date TBD (Encouraged, but not required)
- Provide the following written progress and finance reports:
- Brief interim progress report: May 1, 2021
- Final progress and financial report: December 15, 2022
- Share details of the project in the following formats:
- A web-friendly summary of the work
- A talk with Q&A session at a seminar or other session
- A one- to two-minute video summarizing key questions, approaches, methods, and findings. We can help with the creation of this video. (Encouraged, but not required)
- Instructional materials made public through the TLA website and/or other outlets (barring privacy issues that would make this prohibitive)
Allowable expenses include:
- Stanford student or postdoc research assistantships or hourly work
- Stanford faculty summer salary
- Support for research staff and partners (e.g., school staff) to help develop, operationalize, and/or use the research.
- Expenses that support the research - examples include costs related to technology, development, data management, research tools, participant costs, transportation, operations, etc.