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NGLC Grants Target Open Courseware, Blended Learning

Twenty-nine proposals from colleges, universities, and education groups received grants this week totaling $10.9 million under a new initiative aimed at fostering academic success through technology.

The initiative, Next Generation Learning Challenges, calls on organizations to tackle specific education-related projects, such as technologies to support blended learning. NGLC is led by Educause and supported by several education and technology advocacy groups, both K-12 and higher ed, including iNACOL, the Council of Chief State School Officers, the League for Innovation in the Community College, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation.

NGLC grants are awarded in batches, or "waves," every six to 12 months. For the first wave, applicants were challenged to submit proposals covering the deployment of open courseware in core subject areas, student engagement, blended education, and early warning systems and analytics to support student retention.

A number of successful proposals covered multiple challenges. Recipients whose proposals focused primarily on student retention and analytics included:

Recipients whose proposals focused largely on the category of student engagement included:

  • Abilene Christian University: Using Mobility To Enhance Inquiry-Based Learning in STEM Programs;
  • Arizona State University: Arizona State University: simSchool: Deeper Learning Modules for Learning To Teach (also includes an analytics component);
  • Carnegie Learning: The Mathematics Fluency Data Collaborative (will also contribute data for analysis to "better understand the parameters that lead to success";
  • Indiana University: Cyber Peer-Led Team Learning: Using Network Computing and Communications Technologies To Support Student Learning and Persistence;
  • Society for the Teaching of Psychology: Bringing the Success of U-Pace to Scale;
  • University of Massachusetts Amherst: Math Fundamentals Tutor to Improve College Readiness and Completion (also includes a retention/analytics component);
  • University of Michigan: Making the Course Fit: Customizing Introductory Science Courses with the Michigan Tailoring System (also an open content component); and
  • Wake Forest University: Scaleable, Cloud-Based, Shared Authoring and Assessment Manager That Outperforms Traditional Textbooks with a More Robust Learning Format and Lower Cost.

Winning proposals in the area of blended learning included:

And those focusing largely on open courseware included:

Further details about the winning proposals for the first wave can be found here.

For the second wave, applicants have been asked to submit pre-proposals for challenges covering assessments and learning content. The pre-proposal deadline for second-wave grants ended last month. Details about third-wave challenges have not yet been released.

The NGLC grant program is open to public and private organizations in the United States. Additional details about current and future grants can be found here.

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