eCampusOntario has operated a variety of funding programs to support the evolution of online and technology-enabled teaching at Ontario colleges and universities. Each funding program was designed to provide member institutions with an opportunity to test and evaluate emerging tools, technologies and practices in a risk-free context. In keeping with the 2018-21 Strategic Plan, results of all funding opportunities are made available to the public using an open (for example, Creative Commons) license to inspire contribution to the commons and ensure system-wide impact.
Open Textbook Initiative
In June 2017, the Ministry of Colleges and Universities (then known as the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities) announced a $1 million investment to support the development of Open Educational Resources at Ontario colleges and universities. The Ministry provided funding to increase the presence and use of open textbooks in a number of priority areas:
- Textbooks for high-enrolment first and second-year courses
- Original French-language content
- Indigenous studies content
- Trades and technical skills content
- Content supporting the settlement of immigrants and refugees
Digital Inclusion Research Fund
In May 2017, eCampusOntario, in partnership with the Ontario Digital Service (ODS), released a Call for Proposals to support research highlighting and examining potential benefits and high-impact outcomes of intervention strategies for digital inclusion. Funded projects each addressed one or more areas in digital inclusion, including access, adoption, and application.
New Program Development Fund
In July 2016, eCampusOntario released its first funding call to support the growth of fully-online programs at its member institutions. The fund supported projects that addressed one or more of the following goals:
- To provide online learning opportunities in new or future areas of demand;
- To support new online delivery options for credentials;
- To support multi-institution collaborative development that might; facilitate student mobility, and addresses an area of demand, including interdisciplinary approaches.
A total of 39 projects were funded, and 28 of those projects were collaborative programs between different colleges and universities.
Open Content Initiative
The 2016 Open Content Initiative call was released in July 2016, at the same time as the New Program Development Fund. This funding program marked the first call eCampusOntario held for the creation and adaptation of Open Educational Resources (OER). A total of 61 proposals were received and 24 projects were funded.
Research and Innovation Fund
In September 2016, eCampusOntario released a Research and Innovation call for proposals to support leading-edge Ontario research in the following areas:
- Pedagogical approaches;
- Quality and evaluation;
- Business models, resources, costs, faculty support;
- Connecting programming and labour market needs;
- Accessibility and digital literacy.