Do you have an idea on how to support online or blended learning? Are you wondering what it means to propose a pilot idea? Do you want to learn more about our funding possibilities? All Aalto people (teachers, staff, students, etc.) are invited to suggest ideas for developing online learning at Aalto University. This page describes in detail the process of becoming a pilot at Aalto Online Learning: From an idea, to submitting your proposal, to getting accepted and everything that happens afterwards.
Our next Call for Idea Proposals round is during spring 2020. The form will open in February 26 and the deadline for submissions is on March 26.
Start with an idea
Whether you want to solve a small issue, or overhaul a university-wide system, all pilots start with an idea. This idea could involve developing a new or existing course, multiple courses or even a whole major. Or the goal could be to create educational activities, pedagogical trainings or digital services for learning. There are many opportunities to improve education through online means. Check our pilot page to see what other pilots have done so far.
Your idea does not need to be a fully formed proposal at this point. A rough idea and the will to make a difference are more than enough.
From an idea to a pilot
Once you have an idea, submit it during our semiannual Call for Idea Proposals. Fill in the Idea Proposal form and tell us more about your idea and whether you need funding to realise it. Answer the questions as best as you can at that point. It is possible to meet up with the project team before submitting the form to help you define your idea. After the deadline, all proposals will be checked and evaluated by our coordination group.
When your proposal gets selected, we will arrange a meeting to talk about your idea and, if necessary, develop it further together. If your idea requires financial support, we will also discuss different funding possibilities to allow you to fully concentrate on your project. After these meetings, selected idea proposals get accepted as pilots. You can now start implementing your pilot.
The whole decision process may take up to two months, but don’t worry, we will keep you updated about the status of your proposal.
There are two categories of funding you can receive from Aalto Online Learning – seed funding and implementation funding. Seed funding (up to 10.000€) allows you to explore appropriate tools, technologies and online resources for your idea. You should also consider collaborating with existing pilots. During this phase, your idea will become more concrete and you will clarify the schedule and budget for its implementation. After a seed funding phase, you can submit a new proposal to get funding for the actual implementation.
Implementation funding (generally around 10.000 – 50.000€) requires a more detailed plan but enables you to fully realise your idea. The new, augmented and fully formed proposal needs to be accepted separately, but it has a high potential for acceptance.
If you already have a complete proposal, you can submit it with an implementation budget. In this case, fill in the necessary details in the appropriate section of the Idea Proposal form.
After getting accepted
After your idea has been selected to become a pilot, you can start working on it. Depending on your idea, this can mean, for example, starting to make videos or hiring an employee. At this stage, you are also required to fill in a form with the current information of your pilot. This information needs to be updated on a regular basis to report on your process and to show the Aalto Online Learning network how your project is progressing. The information will also be published on our website in the Pilots page. All pilots are required to produce a report at the end of the pilot. The results of your pilot also need to be accessible to all Aalto people to provide examples of previous pilots.
As a pilot participant, you become a part of our coaching network. We encourage our coaching network to attend and give workshops, share best practices and support each other. The biggest event for the coaching network is the Learning@Aalto Gala which we organise together with the other strategic initiatives in the field of education. During the Gala’s demo session, we encourage you to present the great results of your pilot to other members of Aalto University interested in educational innovations.
Is this Call for Idea Proposals different from the previous ones?
For this time, we look especially for proposals for 6-month projects to implement the proposed idea. Before, the project time frame was up to one year.
When will the decisions about the next Call for Idea Proposals be published?
The preliminary estimation for the decisions is around June 2020, latest by Midsummer.
What is the time frame for finishing / completing the pilot work this year?
For this pilot round, we offer funding for the year 2020. This means that pilot work should be completed and the funding should be used by the end of 2020.