Funding Innovation in Digital Learning: Catalyst Innovation Program Round 2

MSU seeks new ideas aimed at improving the digital learning experience. Incorporating digital strategies to support pedagogy can enhance students’ learning experiences and offer efficiencies in assessment and analysis. Many digital learning innovations impacting institutional initiatives at scale often start small. Innovations may spring from novel pedagogical approaches in individual courses, as collaborative experiments across disciplines, or the result of student feedback and needs analysis. We recognize the value of providing support and resources to change the student experience for the better. The Hub for Innovation in Learning and Technology is committed to facilitating new ideas and announces the following call for proposals for the Catalyst Innovation Program.

Catalyst Innovation Program

The Catalyst Innovation Program seeks to fund creative and innovative uses of tools, technology, and pedagogical approaches up to $10,000 for the purposes of allowing experimentation in spaces with the potential to enhance student learning experiences.

Please note that these funds are intended to fund software, technology, and/or services but are not able to support salary lines, including faculty, staff, undergraduate and graduate students. We are especially interested in proposals that include one or more of the following criteria:


  • Demonstrate learning, conceptual understanding, or increased content knowledge

Inclusivity and Accessibility

  • Increase access, as defined as “providing the means for all qualified, motivated students to complete courses, degrees, or programs in their disciplines of choice (Online Learning Consortium, n.d.; MSU Learning Design Strategy.)” For example, reduced or zero cost to students beyond tuition, universally designed experiences, and the like
  • Contribute to more equitable and inclusive digital learning experiences and environments
  • Experiences that are universally designed and accessible

Feedback and Adaptivity

  • Increase formative feedback (assessment for learning)
  • Provide learning analytics to educators to enable adaptive or personalized pedagogy
  • Provide mechanisms for student input and collaboration
  • Increase student engagement as defined by your discipline. For example as increased participation, collaboration, peer learning, and so on


Proposals, submitted through Qualtrics, should include a description of the innovation and idea, implementation approach, evaluation and assessment plan, and budget.


The Call for Proposals opens: August 28, 2019

Proposals are due: 5 PM EST, October 31st, 2019

Awards will be announced: December 15, 2019

Once awarded, funding is available through June 31, 2020. 

Selection Criteria

  • Completeness of the idea proposal
    • Clearly explained potential impact on student engagement, mastery, or success
    • Challenge or shift current teaching and learning practices
  • Readiness to implement
    • Plan to implement during the funding period in an existing course or program
  • Opportunity for scale/re-use
  • Assessment and evaluation plan for your project
  • Proposed budget
  • Alignment with MSU Learning Design Strategy
    • Quality
    • Inclusivity
    • Connectivity