The Commons
Find practical online/blended course planning strategies. Additional resources will be added as circumstances evolve!
Visit Commons

DIY Microgrants

Girl in Google VR googles

Photo by Joshua Sortino from

What are DIY Microgrants?

The Faculty Innovation Center is pleased to offer our third round of DIY Microgrants for projects and courses in the upcoming academic year (Fall 2020 and/or Spring 2021).  DIY Microgrants are awards that do not exceed $500 and that provide faculty with startup funds to purchase educational technology or software to pilot and/or build technology-enhanced learning experiences for their courses.

How do I apply? What is required for the application?

We've reached our limit!  For the remainder of the 2019-20 academic year, we can no longer accept applications for FIC Microgrants.  Please visit this site again in August 2020 for our new call. 

To help you get ready, here is the information we are requesting:

  1. A list of course(s) and/or projects that will employ the technology
  2. Brief description of your idea for enhancing teaching and learning within your class[es] or projects and how the Microgrant purchase would help you realize this vision. [Max: 400 words].
  3. If you have your own idea then you will need to provide a detailed list of items you would purchase and total cost.
  4. Select how you would "Give Back" to your colleagues at UT, so that we may learn from your experiences and help others and include your project in our database

Who will be able to apply?

Any UT Austin faculty or instructor who has not received Faculty Innovation or Provost Teaching Fellow Grants within the previous calendar year.  Previous DIY Microgrant awardees are eligible to reapply.

What are the preselected options?

We have crafted a list of some common options in order to help expedite the acceptance process. These are based on our work with faculty across UT:

Screencast-o-matic Pro Suite

  • Includes Screencast-o-maticPro 3 year subscription, Yeti microphone, and pop filter - approximately $250
  • For those who are looking for simple and easy to use screencasting software with basic editing capabilities for the PC or Mac. The PC version allows for system audio to be recorded.

Camtasia Software

  • Includes Camtasia Software - $170
  • For those who are looking for a more powerful screencasting software that still is user friendly, but who already have a good microphone.

Camtasia Suite

  • Includes Camtasia software, Yeti microphone, and pop filter - approximately $350
  • For those who need a good quality microphone and software, we reviewed recommendations by audiophiles to find the best dynamic mic.

Bluetooth Beacons

Video on the Go

  • Includes GoPro Hero5 Session camera, SanDisc Extreme microcard 32GB, GoPro External Mic adapter, Rode VideoMicro Microphone, Headstrap and quick-release clip, GoPro Tripod Mount and Shorty Tripod, and Carrying Case - approximately $450
  • For those who are looking to create video from a first-person perspective to help learners see the technique more clearly or going out in the field to record a mini-lecture at an archaeological or geological site.

VR/AR Goggles 

  • Googles range in price from Google Cardboard to Oculus Rift (contact the FIC with ideas in this direction)
  • Faculty or instructors might pilot the use of virtual or augmented reality in the classes or project

What if I have my own idea?

Fantastic! You can also request your own option where you construct your own price list for the edtech you would like to purchase up to but not exceeding $500.  This option will be reviewed by our team as part of the approval process while maintaining the order in which proposals are received.

How will the proposals be evaluated?

This is an open call where submissions are processed as they come in and funds are granted until they are exhausted. Those with their own option will be reviewed according to our evaluation rubric and by our team as part of the approval process while maintaining the order in which applications are received.

What  is the schedule for submission?

Proposals may be submitted through our webform.  Submissions will be processed as they come in and until the funds are exhausted.

What ways can I give back to my UT colleagues?

We believe in paying things forward to the benefit of your colleagues at UT, so we are looking for ways for you to help others enhance their teaching and learning for the success of their students:

  • Write a FIC News Post about what you learned
  • Create a How-to Video for our website
  • Co-present at a Teaching and Learning workshop with the FIC
  • Co-present within your department or college with the FIC
  • Provide examples of your work that could be placed within a Deeper Dive Instructional Guide (Canvas course for those who teach at UT)
  • Be interviewed on camera by the FIC

If I have further questions, whom do I contact?

For further questions, contact Matthew Russell


Microgrant Award Grantees 2019

Elizabeth Catlos

Department: Geological Sciences

Title: Creating Videos on Site (at a dig in the UK) for an Introductory Geology Course

Erin Reilly

Department: Journalism 

Title: Using Bluetooth Beacons for Experimental Storytelling

Jakki Bailey

Department: School of Information Studies

Title: 3D Storytelling with Unity

Deborah Rush

Department: Chemistry

Title: Using Camtasia to Create Flipped Classroom Resources for Chemistry

Nina Young

Department: Butler School of Music

Title: Concerts: Filming in the Electronic Music Studio

John Daly

Department: Communication Studies

Title: Using Camtasia for Supplemental Instruction in Public Speaking Courses

Michael Parent

Department: Educational Psychology

Title: Creating Podcasts for Educational Psychology