Call for Proposals: CPE Innovation Fund for Online Courses

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CPE is excited to announce the 2017 Call for Proposals for funding for new online courses and programs is open.

CPE is providing support through a selective process for new online course development and/or course conversion. If you are interested in submitting a proposal for funding, please review the following guidelines, and submit your RFP (with department chair and dean sign-off) by November 1, 2017.

Purpose of the CPE Online Course Development Fund

  • Support new online program and course development & conversion with long-term potential
  • Assist Schools/Colleges in capitalizing on possibilities to generate revenue
  • Encourage best practices in online course development

Who is eligible?

UMass Amherst

  • Faculty, lecturers, librarians and staff,
  • Visiting lecturers and instructors,
  • Graduate student teaching assistants/associates with faculty sponsorship.


CDF applications need to be vetted and approved by the Department Head, Dean or Designee

  • Course must be offered for the first time during summer 2018 through spring 2019.
  • Course is fully online.
  • Course will be developed and taught in Blackboard Learn offered through CPE.
  • All those involved with building or teaching the course will complete Blackboard Learn training over four weeks through CPE eLearning (Summer 2018 course receives January 2018 training; Fall 2018 course receives May 2018 training; Winter/Spring 2019 course receives Sept 2018 training).  Additionally they will meet all deadlines related to initial consultation, training, course building, and course revision.
  • Course will adhere to quality, Universal Design, and accessibility standards outlined in the course quality rubrics.
  • Course content to be reviewed by departmental designee while quality standards will be provided by eLearning. 

Awards for course development or conversion *

  • $5,000 for development of a new 3-credit or 4-credit course
  • $3,000 for conversion of an existing 3-credit or 4-credit course

* Compensation for teaching will be paid separately according to Department/College compensation schedules for CPE classes.

Course Development Funds will not be used for

  • Courses to be offered only once, or occasionally
  • Updates/revisions of existing online courses
  • Hybrid or technology enhanced face-to-face courses
  • Non-credit courses
  • Purchase of equipment, or software

Application Review and Award Process

Only applications received by the deadline, November 1, 2017 that meet the eligibility criteria will be considered.

Preference in awards will be given to courses that are sustainable and

  • Will be offered as a component of a new degree or certificate program.
  • Have potential for high enrollments (e.g., courses at maximum capacity or with waiting lists).
  • Will be offered on a long-term basis.

Implementation Process for Awards

  • Announcement of funding awards will be made by November 21, 2017. 
  • CPE will initiate a Memorandum of Understanding between the developer/converter, reviewer, Department Head, Dean or Designee and the Vice Provost of CPE, which outlines course(s) included, timelines, payment amounts, roles and expectations of each party.
  • CPE will award compensation in three installments upon completion of:

1) Online training by the deadline;

2) Course build by the deadline; 

3) Course revision by the deadline and final sign-off by CPE.  Revisions will be based on quality, Universal Design, and accessibility standards reviews by eLearning, a departmental representative, and an ADA compliance reviewer.   

For More Information

How to Apply

Please email your completed application to no later than November 1, 2017.  Any questions can also be directed to

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