Principles, Scope and Criteria

Online Learning Advancement Fund Principles

The Online Learning Advancement Fund (OLAF) was established to support the creation, renewal and expansion of online learning opportunities at UBC Vancouver. Funded projects must meet the following criteria:

  • Supported programs and offerings are either:
    • 100% online: Learners can complete the program without having to visit campus or attend in-person meetings;
    • Comprised of mostly online learning with limited on-campus or in-person components.
  • On-campus or in-person components, if part of the curriculum, might include:
    • An initial kick-off or orientation session (from one day to two weeks);
    • Fieldwork or field trips;
    • A weekly meeting that takes place during an evening or on the weekend;
    • In-person course activities such as guest speakers, student presentations, group project work, a capstone project, etc.

Proposal Scope

OLAF is intended to serve three principal aims:

  • To build expertise and resources for online learning in UBC Vancouver’s academic units.
  • To develop novel online learning opportunities to reach new audiences of students and career and personal learners that may not have the opportunity to attend typical UBC degree programs.
  • To develop sustainable programs that can thrive beyond the OLAF funding window.

OLAF supports proposals for the development of both credit and non-credit learning opportunities for career development and advancement, as well as personal development. Learners might include career and personal education learners, those who have earned degrees, or graduate or undergraduate students at UBC and elsewhere. Preference will be given to non-degree program proposals in support of Principle 2 above.

Learning opportunities can include:

  • Diploma Program
  • Graduate Certificate
  • Post-Baccalaureate Certificate
  • Undergraduate Certificate
  • Non-Credit Certificate
  • Non-Credit Micro-credential
  • Credit or non-credit course sequence or series
  • Non-credit micro-certificate*
  • Professional, Course-based or Thesis-based Master's
  • Undergraduate Program.

*Proposed in the draft Senate policy V129 on Non-credit credentials, pending full policy consultation and approval in Summer / Fall 2020


Proposals must demonstrate how they will address one or more of these principal aims.

Adjudication criteria include:

  • The LOI and proposal provide a clear rationale, methods, and objectives that align with the OLAF scope and UBC’s Strategic Plan as well as the units/department/school/faculty goals and capabilities.
  • The LOI and proposal articulate project outcomes that are well defined and achievable.
  • The LOI and proposal demonstrate evidence of demand for the proposal from students or the market/industry and describes the consultation process.
  • The proposal outlines how this project will build the capacity for online learning within the department/school/faculty.
  • The proposal provides evidence of consultation with stakeholders in the Faculty and University who will be involved in supporting the project (this consultation is essential in projects that involve curriculum or learning technology development).
  • The proposal provides a sustainment plan for project activities, with attention to how the project will be sustained beyond the OLAF funding window. For multi-year projects, an interim report will need to be completed after year 1 to release year 2 funding.
  • The proposal provides an evaluation plan complete with outcomes-based criteria that will be used to determine the project’s success/impact, as well as the methods by which data will be collected and evaluated.