Technology News

Pepperdine University Grants for Faculty Innovation in Technology and Learning

(October 20, 2008)


Through the Office of the Chief Information Officer, a new internal grant program has been established with the sole purpose of encouraging and supporting faculty innovation in the field of technology and learning. An important cornerstone of the University's strategy for the alignment of technology and learning is to provide Pepperdine University faculty members with the resources that enable them to integrate technology and learning in creative and innovative ways. To that end, the Office of the President, the Office of the Provost, the Chief Information Officer, and the Deans of the Schools of Pepperdine University have come together to establish an annual internal grant program for Pepperdine University faculty members.

The goals of the grant program are to: a) provide seed funding to faculty members who propose new ways to integrate technology and learning; b) provide a regular mechanism for sharing and communicating faculty member innovations in technology and learning; and c) create an environment where our faculty members can undertake cutting-edge projects that provide evidence of success for determining the feasibility of implementing successful innovations campus-wide.

Funding Opportunities:

Four awards of no more than $10,000.00 each are expected to be awarded during the Fall 2008 round of the program, with recipients notified no later than February 28, 2009. A total of $40,000.00 is available through this grant program during this current round. Funds must be expended within twelve months of receiving an award. The program will provide one-time funding for tools such as hardware, software, training, travel, or consulting assistance. Recurring maintenance for hardware or software is not an allowable expense beyond twelve months after receiving an award. Awards may not be used for faculty or staff salary supplements; however, awards may be used to support salaries for student workers who participate in the faculty member's project. The program is administered by the Office of the Chief Information Officer and the Information Technology Division will provide the necessary human resource, purchasing, and post-award accounting support. Proposals will be ranked and funding determined by a committee consisting of faculty representatives from each of the schools of Pepperdine University.


Full-time faculty members are eligible to receive a grant. Part-time faculty or staff members should partner with a full-time faculty member in order to be eligible for an award. Faculty members are eligible for one award every three years.

Strategic Focus Areas for Fall 2008:

Faculty members may propose projects on any subject related to the integration of technology and learning. However, the following three areas are currently considered strategic:

  • The need to identify low-cost, easy-to-use methods for capturing class lectures and discussions for distribution as podcasts or Web video-clips on sites such as iTunes University or Youtube University. Proposed solutions should be within the reach of broad numbers of Pepperdine University faculty members.

  • The need to identify best practices for hybrid course offerings that include a mixture of class lectures, discussions, and integration with Web-based tools, such as Webcasts, discussion forums, chat rooms, and other new technologies. Issues regarding faculty training, curriculum design, and required on-going support are important considerations for investigation.

  • The need to identify best methods for conducting "interactive classroom lectures" using any variety of technology including clickers, online polls, and other interactive tools. Issues regarding cell phone integration, Powerpoint integration, scability of the solution, faculty training, and the impact of these technologies on curriculum design are important considerations for investigation.

Proposals closely aligned with these three strategic needs may receive special consideration during the Fall 2008 award process.

Application Process:

Proposals must be received by the Office of the Chief Information Officer no later than December 19, 2008 at 5:00 PM. Proposals should consist of no more than five pages and should include the following elements:

  • The names and titles of all faculty and staff members working on the project.
  • A summary paragraph of no more than 200 words describing the proposed project, its goals, and method of investigation.
  • A narrative of no more than three pages detailing the proposed project, method of investigation, goals, and expected outcomes.
  • A narrative of no more than one page that outlines the overall relevance of the project for faculty members at Pepperdine University.
  • A review of current best practices or other relevant information concerning the state of the problem area that will be under investigation (no more than one page). Information regarding practices at other institutions of higher education is especially relevant.
  • A detailed line-item budget for the project.

Responsibilities for Grant Recipients:

After a period of twelve months, grant winners will be expected to: a) submit a journal-ready case study that details their work (these case-studies will be made available to the university as an internally published monograph); and b) present their work at an annual "Learning and Technology" conference conducted at Pepperdine University scheduled at a future time.


Please direct any questions to Dr. Timothy M. Chester, Chief Information Officer for Pepperdine University, by either email ( or telephone (310-506-4501).