Technology Enhanced Learning Innovation Scheme



The TEL Innovation Scheme gives staff the opportunity to develop or experiment with new tools, resources or teaching approaches with the potential to inform practice in their School or disciplinary area. Participation also demonstrates a commitment to enhancement of the student experience.

In 2014/15 the Scheme awarded six grants covering a range of developments from physical computing to gamification. All of the selection criteria and proposal information can be found on the TEL website. One of these is that the proposal must “clearly demonstrate what is innovative about the proposed project and how it will enhance the student experience”

We’re looking for new and original ideas but this doesn’t necessarily mean that the technology needs to be cutting edge. You might have an idea of how an existing digital resource could be used in a new way. Could an app or tool you’ve used in your personal life be framed to enhance the teaching or learning experience?


flickr photo by 3oheme shared under a Creative Commons (BY) license

flickr photo by 3oheme shared under a Creative Commons (BY) license

Innovative Ideas

So with just four weeks to go till the deadline for submissions to the 2015/16 Scheme have you already identified a gap or need but are missing that creative spark? Are you still looking for that light bulb moment? Finding the switch to complete the circuit can be a challenge. You might be considering some techniques to invigorate your innovation.

There are our old friends Brain Storming and Mind Mapping.

If this appeals to you, there’s the analogue solution of flip charts and post-its or alternatively there’s software and apps available to help. Life hack provide a list of 15 best brainstorming and mind mapping tech tools.  The IT Services department at the University of Sussex also have several tools available to staff and students.
MindView (training courses for staff running 6th and 16th November)

Brain Storming works on the premise that ‘No idea is a bad idea’ but let’s face it we’ve all had them.  So what are the alternatives to invigorating your innovation?

One way is to go it alone. This might seem counter intuitive in this landscape of collaboration, cooperation and openness but the power of the individual should not be ignored. Kevin Ashton explores this in his article ‘You are a genius’ for

He reminds us that Steve Wozniak, Steve Jobs’ cofounder at Apple and the inventor of its first computer, offered this advice:

“Work alone. You’re going to be best able to design revolutionary products and features if you’re working on your own. Not on a committee. Not on a team.”

If this works for you and an idea emerges you can always take it back to a group to develop further.  Just be sure to create a structured feedback loop so you can keep reviewing and refining.


ApplyHow to apply

However you arrive at your idea you’ll need to have your submission in by midnight on 30th November 2015, see the SussexTEL website for full details. If you’d like to discuss the scheme further please contact


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We are the Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL) team at the University of Sussex. We publish posts each week on using technology to support teaching and learning. Read more about us.

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