Call for Proposals Fall 2013 (Expired)

Issued October 28, 2013.

The Provost and the Advisory Committee for Online Education (ACOE) seek proposals for online courses or online curriculum projects that are highly innovative and will contribute to Duke’s goals for online education initiatives.

  • Promote innovation in teaching
  • Contribute knowledge in the service of society
  • Showcase Duke’s academic excellence

See more about Duke’s goals on our About page.

We anticipate supporting 3 to 4 projects, with development beginning in January 2014 and teaching of the new courses beginning in either Summer 2014 or Fall 2014. Projects may be delivered using Coursera or other Duke-supported online tools such as Sakai, iTunesU, WordPress, WebEx, etc.

Supported projects will meet one or both of the following criteria:

A) Highly innovative course model
At least 80% of the course is offered online, and the development or teaching of the course is different from online education models developed so far at Duke.


B) Highly innovative curricular model using online courses/modules
The project will produce a set of linked online courses or a set of linked modules that will be integrated into (or complement) multiple existing courses, with specific plans for use at Duke and prospects for being used beyond Duke.

While not meant to prescribe or limit options, here are some examples of innovative approaches that might be included in an online course or online curriculum project:

  • Incorporate new strategies that could significantly increase student participation in online discussion or peer-to-peer learning;
  • Have instructors from different universities or in different countries co-develop and co-teach the course;
  • Organize a project that will count as a for-credit course at Duke and an open access course beyond Duke;
  • Utilize a collection of modules instead of a full course, or allow individualized pathways through online materials with a culminating assessment;
  • Have students work in online teams to develop and share projects;
  • Create a new course or curriculum by reusing or adapting materials from multiple MOOCs or other online courses; and/or
  • Add a game or simulation element to an online course.

Examples of online innovations at other schools:

  • U Penn’s Wharton School first to offer a sequenced curriculum of MOOCs that are part of core curriculum of their MBA program:
  • MIT offering linked MOOCs leading to a special certificate:
  • Kepler program in Rwanda combining online content from multiple MOOCs and in-person teaching:
  • Harvard and Berkeley offering open online courses that can be used for both large, general audiences as well as smaller, specialized audiences:
  • Online courses with a game element from Penn State (Epidemics: and National Taiwan University (Probability:

Other types of online education projects

Faculty members with an online education project idea that does not fit the criteria for this call for proposals have other options for support. For example, instructors who want to develop video lectures or use online education activities to modify or supplement a campus course can take advantage of consulting about online course planning and development, training on and access to loaner equipment to create course-related videos, and assistance with assessing online course innovation. Interested faculty should email with a brief description of their project idea and a consultant will get in touch.

Project support:

Selected projects will be awarded:

  • $10,000 incentive payment for instructor / instructor team for deposit to a discretionary account
  • A project team that includes:
    • An Academic Technology Consultant to advise on course design and pedagogy and to assist throughout the project
    • An Online Course Associate who will help with creating and uploading materials, testing course activities and assisting with technical and pedagogical issues while the course is underway
    • [For projects that involve video] A videographer and video editor to help create materials, consult on video strategies and provide storage space for course videos and other course materials
    • A copyright assistant to review and assist with copyright clearance
    • A librarian to assist with finding open-access materials for use in the course
    • Assessment consultants to help develop and implement an assessment plan for the project

Note: Project support does not include any changes in course load or teaching schedule. Be sure to discuss your project plans with your Dean.

Application process and timeline:

Below is a timeline outlining the proposal process. Please note that completed proposal forms are due November 22, 2013. Completed forms can be e-mailed to If you have any questions, please contact us.

1) October 28, 2013 – Call for proposals announced and information sessions and consulting begin

Anyone considering a project proposal is strongly advised to attend an information session or meet with a Center for Instructional Technology consultant.

2) November 22, 2013 Initial brief application due

Instructors develop a brief statement of proposed project using the Word template. The Advisory Committee for Online Education will review and advise on initial applications.  A selected number of proposals will be asked to complete an expanded proposal (see Point 3, below).

Proposals selected for next step announced: December 19, 2013.

3) January 9, 2014 – Expanded proposal and sample materials due

Instructors will work with Center for Instructional Technology and Office of Information Technology consultants to develop an expanded project proposal and to create sample materials as a feasibility study. The Advisory Committee for Online Education will review and advise on the expanded proposals.

4) January 20, 2014 – Announcement of projects selected

Instructors should be prepared to begin project development shortly after this announcement.

Feel free to contact us if you have questions.