Show Me the Money! Funding Your Lecture Capture Solution
Over the past month, we’ve published a blog every day highlighting the power of lecture capture technology. We’ve shown you the research; students not only want this technology to help them achieve their goals, it actually works to improve student outcomes. We’ve also shared success stories about how this solution enables advanced learning methods such as the flipped classroom and how it positively impacts STEM education.
Lecture capture has a proven track record when it comes to improving student performance and increasing retention and course completion rates. Moreover, it is a fundamental educational technology that helps to enhance the reputation and brand of the institutions employing it.
You’re sold. So how do you fund it?
We’ve compiled a list of strategies and resources that can help administrators and instructors find ways to fund such a critical technology investment. We hope these ideas start the conversation and invite you to share your ideas with us. We can all benefit from your knowledge.
Although educational budget cuts seem to dominate the headlines, there are still hundreds of potential resources out there. Just this past year, Delaware State University received a $400,000 grant from the National Science Foundation to implement flipped classrooms for two freshman science classes. The decision to flip the classroom was the idea of members of DSU’s science department, who felt the traditional lecture was no longer working in their classes.
Here are some useful links offering the latest information on available grants to help support your lecture capture initiative:
- U.S. Department of Education funding programs.
- Fund for Improvement of Postsecondary Education.
- National Science Foundation – Improving Undergraduate STEM Education.
- National Science Foundation – Innovative Technology Experiences for Students and Teachers.
- National League for Nursing Educational Grants.
- U.S. Department of Labor – Employment and Training Administration.
- Grants.gov – a single access portal to over 1,000 Federal grant programs annually.
Allocating Budget across Several Departments on Campus
The benefits of lecture capture are not confined to one department. So, it often makes sense for administrators to find multiple funding partners on-campus so that a single budget does not have to bear the full weight. At our recent Active Learning Conference in Denver, Colorado State University spoke about how their Echo360 implementation supports both on-campus and distance learning objectives. Additionally, there was demand for this technology solution from both students and faculty. As a result, the costs were shared by the departments using the system, resulting in benefits for all.
Student Technology Fees
The biggest demand for the technology often comes from students themselves. Once the solution is in place, students will use it to review material, complete homework assignments, and review for exams and tests. Using student technology fees to pay for all or a portion of a technology implementation is much easier to support when demand is high and when the benefits are clear. Colorado State University gets some of the funding for its Echo360 implementation from student technology fees in addition to other sources. These fees are approved by the student-run UTFAB, which manages the allocation of CSU student technology fees.
Donations from Alumni and Local Community
It goes without saying that the alumni base usually contains many of an institution’s most enthusiastic supporters. Additionally, potential donors may exist in the surrounding community, which often benefits economically from its proximity to the institution. Both of these groups are stakeholders in the success of the institution. The benefits of maintaining a high degree of technological innovation are not lost on these groups, so administrators should consider directly asking them for donations.
Funding technology projects is definitely hard work. But, the benefits are clearly there. While it’s not always easy to find monetary resources for new technology investments in the current economic environment, persistent administrators and instructors often find a way. In this era of increased competition between institutions, the real question you have to ask yourself is “can we afford to do nothing?”