Friday, August 27th 2021 Announcements, Digital Learning

New round of seed grants to support design and research of virtual field trips

Faculty, staff, and students across all disciplines are invited to propose concept-proving research and designs that will advance learning in the area of virtual field trips.

by Brooke Donald


Virtual field trips can take a variety of forms, but at their core, they enable learners to engage with a location without physically traveling there.

This seed funding is sponsored by Stanford Graduate School of Education's Digital Learning Initiative which is one of five initial focus areas within the university's Transforming Learning Accelerator. 

Virtual field trips can broaden access to locations and experiences for many students. They also may help mitigate inequities due to cost and accessibility. Advances in technology have greatly improved virtual experiences and reduced challenges associated with creating them. Interactive 360° immersive experiences, for example, can be created using just a cell phone and some simple online tools. These advances open opportunities for educators and students to create virtual field trips that embed locally or personally meaningful contexts.

Goals of seed grant projects
The science and design behind how to structure activities to create engaging and effective virtual field trips is lagging behind technology growth. Virtual field trips have the potential to support learning by increasing learner connectedness, whether to the land, to a phenomenon, or to other people. Highest priority will be given to projects that include both a research and development component, incorporate interactive elements either within or surrounding the field trip, and explore the potential special qualities of virtual field trips.

Proposals Due: September 30, 2021 11:59 pm Pacific
Awards Announced: Week of October 25, 2021
Funds Distributed: November 15, 2021 (pending IRB approval and other criteria)

For more information
Grant information sessions will be held to provide an overview of the project and answer questions from prospective applicants. These optional sessions will be held virtually. All times are Pacific.

  • September 10, at 12 p.m. 
  • September 17, at 5 p.m. 
  • September 23, at 9 a.m.              

Please RSVP for the information sessions by clicking here and a zoom link will be forwarded to your email account. If you cannot attend the information sessions and/or have other questions, please contact Kristen Blair.

Support service
The Transforming Learning Accelerator is dedicated to fostering the science and design of learning, and offers technical, research, and partnership consulting to grantees to aid their work. Grantees can request additional funds to pay for staff expertise in areas in which they may need support.  Examples of these services:

  • Technical and learning design support: Storyboarding, prototyping, user research, instructional design, user interface/user experience design, web/mobile app development, cloud computing resource architecture, software testing and debugging, and media production.
  • Research support:  Research conceptualization and measure design, execution of quantitative and/or qualitative research in the lab or field, data use agreements and storage, guidance for working with Stanford’s Institutional Review Board.  
  • Partnership support: Finding and helping to broker prospective participants and partner organizations outside of Stanford (e.g., middle school science students, community garden partners, etc.).