Spark! is a grant scheme whose primary purpose is to support digital pedagogies and innovative uses of technology for the benefit of students’ learning. The scheme provides seed-funding to projects that will introduce new ideas, explore innovative teaching and learning practices, and will have a positive impact on student learning outcomes.
LTI encourages the submission of proposals on the general theme of teaching and learning innovation. We also particularly encourage proposals falling under any of the following themes:
Examples: students producing short films for an end-of-course presentation; writing and peer evaluation of blog posts on core concepts; creating research posters and/or infographics.
Examples: using gamification elements such as badges or leaderboards; creating simulations to link theory to practice; using an existing game or creating your own in your course.
Examples: create online learning activities to be used in seminars or for extra practice for students; use video-conferencing in or outside of the classroom.
Examples: introduce e-portfolios, peer review, or e-marking and feedback tools in formative or summative assessment.
Examples: experimenting with different teaching styles and room setups; introducing project-based seminars; deconstructing the teaching hierarchy, i.e. students become teachers.; using technology to open up the space.
Examples: harness the computing power in your students’ bags:introduce BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) into the classroom for data crowdsourcing, collective research, instant voting; introduce agile teaching by using polling; enhance and support digital literacy by integrating social media
Examples: Pushing the boundaries of teaching and learning by experimenting with new trends and teaching experiences. Using online tools to introduce group work across institutions and countries. Replacing traditional lecture and seminars with more flexible and student focused sessions.
Applications close: Friday 24th February
Applications close: Friday 5th May at 12 noon
SPARK! Is a scheme open to teaching staff on the LSE payroll: academics, GTAs and PGTs. Applicants need to be supported by their Head of Department (or Deputy Head for Teaching and Learning). Applicants need to be available throughout the project (including evaluation). Should there be a change in their availability (e.g. sabbatical, maternity leave, etc.), applicants will need to inform LTI as soon as possible to make the necessary adjustments.
- Cost of software licence, technology, etc. for the period of the grant
- Hourly-paid staff time
- i.e. Research Assistant, extra GTA time (particularly covering evaluation costs)
- Conference registration fees (excluding travel)
- Equipment. LTI are offering kits of equipment that can be borrowed for up to a year:
- Filming equipment
- iPad kits: iPad Air or iPad Mini
- Podcasting kits: Zoom H1 digital audio recorder and accessories
Typically up to £3,000 per project.
Funding cannot cover:
- Ongoing software licence, technology, etc. beyond the period of the grant. Applicants should arrange ongoing costs with their department
- Buying out of your own teaching time
- Conference travel fees (these should be arranged by the applicant)
Applications will be assessed against the following criteria:
- The extent that the project should improve/enhance the student learning experience.
- The extent to which the project is innovative within the Department/School.
- We will not fund replications of existing practice within the same department.
- Clear rationale, aims & objectives.
- Appropriate method to achieve the aims.
- Clear set of outcomes and plan to evaluate and disseminate them.
- If there are expectations of ongoing costs or support requirements beyond the initial grant period, applicants should outline how the course/department will meet these.
- How applicable is the proposed approach or intervention to other courses within your department or discipline?
- Does the project have potential to work for a greater number of students than those included in the initial pilot?
Before you apply:
- Contact LTI to arrange a meeting to discuss your idea. Email Sarah Ney, LTI Grant coordinator (email@example.com) or alternatively firstname.lastname@example.org
- Inform your Head of Department (or Deputy Head for Teaching and Learning) of your application. You will need their approval.
- Make sure your proposal meets all the required School Quality Assurance processes (e.g. if USSC/GSSC approval is required)
More information on Quality Assurance at LSE:
- Make sure your proposal considers any ethical issues.
LSE’s Ethics Code: http://www.lse.ac.uk/intranet/LSEServices/ethics/home.aspx
How to apply:
Paper version of the application form for reference
N.B.: Incomplete applications will not be considered. Make sure you fill in the required information for each section, including budget breakdown, timescale and evaluation plan.
By submitting your application, you agree to the SPARK! grant expectations:
- To work in collaboration with the allocated LTI staff member for the whole duration of the project: design, implementation, evaluation and dissemination.
- To complete the project within the suggested timescales .
- To make every effort to attend a minimum of one dissemination event organised by LTI.
- To produce the evaluation report
- To contribute to LTI’s efforts of dissemination with LSE’s teaching community (e.g. blog post, interview, etc.)
- Your project meets the required School Quality Assurance processes.
- Your project is in accordance with LSE’s Ethics Code.
You will receive an email confirming receipt of your application within a week. Please contact LTI if you haven’t received the confirmation.
LTI will review the applications before sending them to the SPARK! Committee members for selection. You may be contacted to provide further information or clarification on your application. However, incomplete applications or applications that do not meet the terms of agreement will not be considered.
Head of Learning Technology and Innovation (Chair)
Director of IMT
Director of Teaching and Learning Centre
Chair of the Undergraduate Studies Sub-Committee
Chair of the Graduate Studies Sub-Committee
LSE Student Union Education Sabbatical Officer
One Senior Learning Technologist from LTI
|Stage||Call 1||Call 2|
|LTI Review||24 February – 8 March 2017||5-17 May 2017|
|Committee Review||8-13 March 2017||17-22 May 2017|
|Approval||Monday 13 March 2017||Monday 22nd May 2017|
|Notification||By Friday 17 March 2017||By Friday 26th May 2017|
If you are successful
- You will receive a letter of approval from the Pro-Director of Teaching and Learning.
- Your allocated LTI staff member will contact you to arrange an initial meeting to discuss and agree:
- the practicalities of the project (design, timescales, resources, evaluation and dissemination plan)
- the roles and responsibilities of involved stakeholders.
- After the meeting you will receive a summary of everything and discussed and agreed, including a reminder of the terms of agreement.
- The project will officially kick off following your consent to everything discussed and agreed with your allocated Learning Technologist. Following that, LTI will arrange transfer of the funds and/or start the equipment loan process as agreed.
If you are not successful
You will receive a letter explaining to you the reasons why your application was not successful and further recommendations.