Digital First Impact Grant


Digital First strives to inspire innovative instruction via emerging technologies. The focus of the Digital First Impact Grant is to build creative, pedagogically sound, teaching and learning practices at The Ohio State University via the implementation of student focused mobile technology.

To view information about current and past Digital First Impact Grant projects visit:

The goal of this grant is to provide money and time for a department to implement mobile technology in a small- or medium-sized course (up to 60 students). The Office of Distance Education & eLearning (ODEE) will provide money and expertise, with the expectation that the department will ensure implementation by funding necessary release time for participants, providing a faculty steering committee, and other factors mutually agreed upon to result in a successful implementation. Grant recipients will utilize iTunes U and/or iBooks Author to deliver instructional materials to the mobile devices with Digital First providing ongoing support during the creation of iTunes U courses and/or iBooks. During and after the grant period, ODEE and the recipients will collaborate on assessment with the expectation that both will disseminate project results. At the end of the grant period, the awarded department will be expected to submit their results for publication. In the event of project results not being shared for publication within nine months from the end of the grant period, the awarded department will be expected to reimburse ODEE the awarded grant funds.

Recipients are selected once per year by a committee of Ohio State faculty, staff, and student(s). The review committee requires four weeks for selection decisions.

The application window for the 2014 Digital First Impact Grant is now closed.

Digital First Support

  • Planning
    • Project guidance and management
    • Instructional design expertise
    • Guidance on maximizing ODEE services
    • Consultation with campus experts
    • Training for effective technology use
    • A co-produced project plan
    • Limited visual design production staff may be available
    • Research on additional external funding sources to supplement grant funding
  • Implementation
    • Expert implementation training and pedagogical consultation in areas of classroom technology, audio/video use, usability, eLearning programs, and so on
    • Recipient-centered support and guidance throughout the grant period
    • Timely and responsive communication
  • Assessment/Dissemination
    • A co-produced assessment and completion plan
    • A co-produced description of experience in digital and/or print media
    • A transparent process and outcomes assessment for the campus community

$25,000 from ODEE

Possible uses include:

  • Mobile technology purchases
    • iPads = Approximately 40 iPads at $625/iPad (includes insurance, cases, and/or apps)
    • iPad Minis = Approximately 60 iPad Minis at $415/iPad (includes insurance, cases, and/or apps)

Department Matching Funds

Funds should amount to at least 50% of what ODEE is providing and may take the form of:

  • Faculty/staff release time (documented)
  • Departmental equipment use
  • Departmental funds for additional iPads, computers, and/or carts
  • Other fund source(s)



The 2014 Digital First Grant application window has closed. Please check back for future grant opportunities. 

For more information, please contact us at


To enhance the student learning experience and/or the faculty teaching experience via mobile technology.

  • To increase student engagement.
  • To facilitate greater instructor efficiency.
  • To enable anyplace/anytime learning through purposeful technology use.
  • To document the effectiveness of mobile learning.
  • To redesign an existing course into a dynamic, mobile friendly learning experience via iTunes U and/or iBooks.

Moreover, recipients have the potential to build individual and departmental knowledge and efficacy around teaching and learning with mobile technology.

Other goals include:

  • Connect to university personnel with a wide range of technology expertise.
  • Explore and implement existing or new learning technology in pedagogically sound ways.
  • Collaborate with colleagues to support and learn across disciplines.
  • Contribute to the growing body of knowledge investigating ways technology can impact student engagement, faculty efficiency, and anytime/anyplace learning.
  • Include GAs in the course revision process.

Impact Grant recipients collaborate with Digital First through a four phase process to 1. identify project goals and objectives, 2. receive training on relevant technologies, 3. implement use of technology in the pilot course, and 4. disseminate results.

  • Collaborate with Digital First during the entire grant period (at minimum, once per month)
    • Work with Digital First staff for agreed-upon Digital First design production services through completion.
    • Co-produce a project plan prior to receiving the initial grant payment.
    • Co-produce an assessment and completion plan prior to receiving the final grant payment.
    • Participate in the grant outcome assessment.
  • Faculty release time during training and implementation phase
    • 100 hours of mobile device assignment creation
    • 20 hours of communication
    • 20 hours of reporting/output
  • Departmental steering committee
    • Committee of 6 (at least 3 faculty, GTA, IT staff) meet 5 times during the grant to provide guidance and feedback on process and implementation.
    • Determine next steps during result dissemination phase.
  • Manage personnel and costs associated with the project
    • Locate and hire potential employees in a timely fashion for expertise not provided by Digital First.
    • Oversee expenditures associated with the project.
  • Participate in idea labs to collaborate with other Digital First grant winners
    • Engage in at least one idea lab meeting during a subsequent grant round (i.e., during the following year).
  • Contribute to description of experience in digital and/or print media
    • Provide a final report/document/artifact showcasing project development and outcome(s).
  • Present at a Office of Distance Education & eLearning sponsored event
  • Participate in a subsequent selection committee.
  • Adhere to institutional policies.
    • Obtain copyright clearances, if necessary.
    • Include reasonable ADA compliance, in accordance with Ohio State guidelines.
  • Submit to a peer-reviewed journal about the project within 9 months after the pilot concludes.
  • Recipient departments are required for the maintenance, upkeep, and replacement of the technology purchased.
  • ODEE will help seek additional supplemental funding for the project.

Eligibility Requirements

  • Grant resources will be used to impact an Ohio State course by increasing student engagement and faculty efficiency, and promoting anytime/anyplace learning.
  • Department has not received another Digital First Impact Grant during the past two rounds (i.e., during the last two years). Departments would still be eligble for the Departmental Impact Grant. 
  • Project lead is an Ohio State faculty or instructor with 50%+ appointment.

Application Requirements

  • Application will include a full description of your proposed project.
  • Submit written endorsement from chair, dean, or supervisor (not applicable if chair or dean applies).
  • Submit a 3-minute or less video documenting the central idea and desire for receiving grant funding.
    • The application video should be uploaded to a video hosting website (YouTube, Vimeo, etc.) and a link submitted with application. 
    • Be engaging! This video is your "elevator" pitch to the selection committee. 
  • Submission of an application implies acceptance of expectations, eligibility requirements, and funding stipulations.
  • Click here to access the Digital First Impact Grant Application Form
  • A departmental match of 50% of the funding provided by ODEE.
  • Departmental in-kind support and financial contribution toward the project may take the form of faculty/staff release time, other fund sources, equipment use, and so on, is required.
  • Up to $25,000 will be provided after a project plan is approved by a Digital First staff committee.
  • Funding may be used to purchase mobile technology to be utilized for student learning.
  • Recipients do not receive ODEE production services as part of the grant; however, production services may be purchased with the grant stipend.
    • ODEE staff are available to consult in locating and hiring qualified individuals for production work.
    • Digital Solutions is an on-campus resource that provides cost-recovery mobile application development. 
  • Funding may not be used to reimburse or pay for a graduate student’s tuition and/or fees.
  • Funding may not be used to upgrade a lab space, but may be used to install or upgrade infrastructure necessary for the use of grant-supported technology.
  • Completed work may not be retroactively funded.
  • The Department is expected to submit a journal article about outcomes from the grant project. The Department will be required to reimburse ODEE $25,000 if a journal article is not submitted by 9 months after the pilot period has concluded.