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Brightspace Innovation Program

The Purdue Brightspace team will sponsor a grant program for Purdue Fort Wayne, Purdue Northwest, and Purdue West Lafayette to invest in research and innovation projects that involve Brightspace and promote high quality instruction, improved outcomes for instructors/students, or other new and emerging approaches to teaching. Proposals can span a broad spectrum of innovative teaching and learning projects, and might include, but are not limited to projects that: 

  • focus on the exploration of truly new ideas and concepts; 

  • demonstrate the potential for using Brightspace features and functionality to enhance the learning experience of students;

  • testing new Brightspace features to determine how or when they can be most effective;

  • use pedagogies or technologies currently emerging in the marketplace;

  • involve active learning in new learning spaces on campus or in a digital environment;

  • promote online education including digital experiential learning (e.g. virtual labs);

  • efforts that lead to widespread adoption of an existing Brightspace features and functionality;

  • use student data in Brightspace to enhance student success and retention

These grants will fund costs needed to advance the goals outlined in the grant proposal. Costs associated with needed training are an appropriate expense for the project. Project costs can include summer salary support for AY faculty and staff as well as overload support for faculty, staff, graduate students, and undergraduate wages. Other faculty and staff salary costs will not be provided from the grants. Funding will not support equipment replacement, online course redesign or remodeling of space without the addition of a significant innovation component.

The project may lead to new processes or radical enhancements to current products or processes. If so, then the unit will be expected to continue to support the product or other successful program outcomes after the project is complete. This may be accomplished through product licensing or by absorbing any ongoing operating costs into the unit budget. A statement outlining the anticipated approach should be included in the proposal. Priority will be given to projects with potential impact spanning many courses system-wide. 

Project duration may be up to two years to allow sufficient time to develop and implement the proposal idea and assess the project outcomes. Each grant recipient will be asked to provide a status update on their project in six-month increments as well as provide a final report upon completion. These will include a description of the instructional innovation, project outcomes, an assessment of student learning, and the applicability of the strategy to other disciplines.  The goal of the projects is to find and extend successful strategies to other units. 

Download the Call for Proposal

Download the Budget Template


The Program will have a budget of $25,000 for FY 2021 with grant awards ranging anywhere from $5,000 to the full $25,000. Grants will be effective for up to two years from the proposed start date. Priority will be given to proposals that contain cross-campus collaboration. Additionally, higher value proposals will be expected to contain cross-campus collaboration. Unexpended balances at the end of grant period will be returned.  

The anticipated schedule for program announcement, proposal solicitation, proposal submission, and seminar presentations is as follows:  


  • Round 1 Proposal Due Date November 25, 2020    
  • Round 2 Selection Notification December 4, 2020    
  • Round 2 Presentations December 18, 2020    
  • Award Announcements December 22, 2020    
  • Start Dates (as proposed) January 1, 2020 – December, 2022
  1. Cover Sheet (1 page)  
    1. Project Title  
    2. Project Abstract (50 words or less)  
    3. Project Duration (proposed start and ending dates)  
    4. Amount of total request  
    5. PI/co-PI Information (up to 3 co-PIs)  
      1. Name
      2. Campus address
      3. Email
      4. Campus phone
      5. Signatures of PI and co-PI
      6. Endorsement of each PI’s Department Head
  2. Project Summary (not more than 1 page)  
    1. The Project Summary consists of a project overview, a statement on the research or innovation it seeks to bring to Purdue, and a statement on the broader potential effects of the proposed activity.    
      1. The project overview describes what would result if the proposal were funded, identifies project objectives, and summarizes the methods/approach to be employed.  
      2. The statement on innovation should describe the potential of the proposed activity to advance teaching and learning.  
      3. The statement on broader potential effects should describe the potential of the proposed activity to benefit units beyond the applicant (at Purdue or for education in general).  
  3. Project Description (no more than 3 pages)  
    1. The Project Description should provide a clear statement of the work to be undertaken and must include:  
      1. description of the project and the innovation it seeks to bring to a unit, campus, and/or the Purdue system 
      2. project period  
      3. stated outcomes  
      4. anticipated benefits to students, faculty, staff, campus, and/or Purdue system  
      5. anticipated transferability to other courses and/or units, campuses, or the Purdue system   
      6. proposed timeline for development, implementation and assessment  plans for assessment and evaluation  
      7. plans for ongoing support and institutionalization  
      8. The Project Description should outline the general plan of work, including the broad design of activities to be undertaken, and, where appropriate, provide a clear description of the methods and procedures. Applicants should address what they want to do, why they want to do it, how they plan to do it, how they will know if they succeed, and what benefits would accrue if the project is successful. The project activities may be based on previously established and/or innovative methods and approaches, but in either case must be well justified. These issues apply to both the technical aspects of the proposal and the way in which the project may make broader contributions.    
  4. Budget and Budget Justification (1 page) - (See Appendix A for Template) 
    1. These grants will fund related costs needed to advance the goals outlined in the grant proposal. Costs associated with needed training are an appropriate expense for the project. Project costs can include summer salary support for AY faculty and staff as well as overload support for faculty, staff, graduate students, and undergraduate wages. Other faculty and staff salary costs will not be provided from the grants. 
    2. Proposed budgets cannot exceed $25,000 over the grant period.  
    3. Project budgets need to be prepared with the assistance of your business office.  

Round 1: The proposal review process will include an initial Round 1 evaluation based on the following criteria:  

  1. use of Brightspace
  2. innovation in instruction  
  3. measures and analytics to determine and assess outcomes 
  4. feasibility and timeline  
  5. sustainability  
  6. scope of potential impact (breadth and depth)


Round 2: Applicants whose proposals are selected to advance to Round 2 will be required to present the proposed project to a review team. Final selection of awards will follow the Round 2  presentations.

Oral presentations will be held December 18th. Teams will be asked to make a 20 minute oral presentation to an evaluation panel. The panel will then ask questions for up to 20 minutes. The presentation should address the following questions:  

  1. What are the innovative aspects of the idea for teaching and learning?
    1. What do you want to do?  
    2. Why do you want to do it?  
    3. How do you plan to do it?  
    4. How will you know if you were successful?  
    5. How will you use Brightspace to achieve the results of your proposal?
    6. What unit, campus, and/or institution-wide benefits could accrue if the project is successful.  
  2. What is the timeline for development and implementation? 
  3. What are the plans for ongoing support and institutionalization? 

For programmatic questions, please contact your campus representative:

Fort Wayne: Adam Dircksen (

Northwest: Jessica Orr (

West Lafayette: Margaret Wu (

Proposals should be endorsed by your department head and submitted online as a single pdf to Madia Bickett ( Proposals are due November 25th.