Deadline for 2018/19 applications: Friday 8th March 2019
Contact LTI Support for more information or to discuss your idea

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:

Tags: co-production, co-creation, digital storytelling, visual storytelling, visual methods, visuality, visual social sciences, bricolage, open data, social media, social web, social learning, student research, audio-visual media, heutagogy, synergogy, assessment diversity.

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.

Tags : games, gamification, playfulness, innovation, game theory, simulations, game-based learning

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.

Tags: online learning, blended learning, independent learning, learning community, MOOCs, SPOCs, SNOCs, DOCCs, flipped classroom, multimedia

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.

Tags: e-portfolio, e-marking, e-feedback, peer-review, self-assessment

Examples: introduce e-portfolios, peer review, or e-marking and feedback tools in formative or summative assessment.

Tags: learning spaces, groupwork, blended learning, problem-based learning, immersive teaching, classroom technologies, flipping

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.

Tags: social media, digital literacy, BYOD, data collection, instant voting

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

Tags: innovation, flipping, learning analytics, blended learning designs, cross-collaboration with other universities; distance collaboration;

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.

Friday of Lent term week 8
For 2018/19 applications: 8th March 2019

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.

Funding covers:

  • 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.
  • Sustainability
    • 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.  
  • Transferability
    • How applicable is the proposed approach or intervention to other courses within your department or discipline?
  • Scalability
    • Does the project have potential to work for a greater number of students than those included in the initial pilot?

Before you apply:

  1. Contact LTI to arrange a meeting to discuss your idea. Email
  2. Inform your Head of Department (or Deputy Head for Teaching and Learning) of your application. You will need their approval.
  3. 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:

  1. Make sure your proposal considers any ethical issues.

LSE’s Ethics Code:

How to apply:

Fill in the online application form. Refer to our online guide for detailed guidance on how to fill in the form.

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.

SPARK! Agreement

By submitting your application, you agree to the SPARK! grant expectations:

  1. To work in collaboration with the allocated LTI staff member for the whole duration of the project: design, implementation, evaluation and dissemination.
  2. To complete the project within the suggested timescales .
  3. To make every effort to attend a minimum of one dissemination event organised by LTI.
  4. To produce an evaluation report
  5. To contribute to LTI’s efforts of dissemination with LSE’s teaching community (e.g. blog post, interview, etc.)
  6. Your project meets the required School Quality Assurance processes.
  7. 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)

Pro-Director, Education

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 Dates
Deadline for applications Friday Lent term week 8
LTI Review Lent term week 9
Committee Review Lent term week 10
Approval Lent term week 11
Notification Within two weeks of the Committee meeting

If you are successful

  1. You will receive a letter of approval from the Pro-Director of Teaching and Learning.
  2. 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.
  1. After the meeting you will receive a summary of everything and discussed and agreed, including a reminder of the terms of agreement.
  2. 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.