SpectrumX puts out call for Faculty Course Developers: Deadline extended to Dec. 5, 2022

SpectrumX, initiated by a 5-year, $25M center grant from the U.S. National Science Foundation, is the world’s largest academic hub where all radio spectrum stakeholders can innovate, collaborate, and contribute to maximizing social welfare of this precious resource. In addition to pursuing interdisciplinary and translational research, policy outreach, and industry and government agency collaborations, SpectrumX has a comprehensive plan for educating students and workers at all levels about spectrum use and related topics.

The SpectrumX leadership team invites expressions of interest from faculty members to design and develop courseware for one of three proposed online courses for publication on the Coursera platform. SpectrumX is launching a multi-course specialization (tentatively titled Spectrum Innovation) at the early graduate level in order to attract professionals to the field, upskill current practitioners, and support the broader educational goals of our grant and 29 institutional partners. Our plan is to partition the specialization into courses as follows:

  1. Radio Systems and Applications (Physics, Technology, Use Cases)
  2. Spectrum Regulation and Policy (Government Organizations, Administrative Law, Regulations, Processes)
  3. Valuing and Allocating Spectrum (Data, Economics, Cost-Benefit Analyses)

We welcome feedback on this list in your statement (see below) or informally.

Specifications of the Courseware

Online course development is a complex team sport with multiple partners contributing time and professional expertise, including pedagogy and design expertise specific to online learning. Instructors will work with Notre Dame’s Office of Digital Learning (ND Learning), a professional design and production team, to create high-quality courseware with the following features:

  • A course will correspond to the equivalent of 8-10 weeks of campus instruction at the professional/graduate level.
  • Courses will be designed for asynchronous non-credit offering (e.g. self-paced) with assessments, activities, and materials calibrated to that purpose (including access to help resources and self-service learning supports).
  • Asynchronous content will be relatively evergreen when possible (e.g. a focus on methods and core/enduring concepts rather than live/dynamic topics that will quickly become dated) and designed for a broad range of use cases rather than aimed at a single institution or population.
  • Custom-created learning materials and assets may include professionally filmed lectures (on location or in studio) with post-production editing and multimedia augmentation; lightboard, demonstration, or “worked example” video; animations /motion graphics; demonstrations; written learning materials such as case studies and problem sets; interactive and authentic assessments; interviews with experts; capstone projects and other genres or activities suited to the course topic and discipline. 
  • All instructional media should be developed in a modular, occasion-agnostic and evergreen way so as to enable multiple uses. 
  • External learning materials (e.g. articles, video resources, databases, etc) may be included in a limited fashion and when copyrights and permissions are secured. Required textbooks or paid resources (e.g. paid platforms, homework systems, databases, etc) should not be used.
  • Each course will be developed as part of an integrated SpectrumX series, so collaboration and curricular harmonization are required of each instructor.

Expectations and Considerations

  • Instructors should expect to commit at least 150 hours to this effort, and to work in good faith as part of the development team to maintain design/production schedules.
  • Instructors will gather in person with the ND Learning team to plan an integrated curriculum and sketch out the main elements of each course ahead of design/production. Two days in January 2023 are to be scheduled for this purpose.
  • Instructors must be available to begin the course design process in Spring 2023 and have the capacity to complete the project per a development timeline roughly as follows:
  • Onboarding and Curriculum Integration (2 months)
  • Design Phase 1 (2 months)
  • Pre-Production/Planning (2 months)
  • Production/Filming  (2 months)
  • Post-Production/Editing (2 months)
  • Design Phase 2 (3 months)
  • Quality Assurance (1 month)
  • Work with the design/production team to recruit a production fellow with specialist knowledge of the course material (often a graduate student), who will be a critical support resource for the instructor. Production Fellows are eligible to be paid a $10,000 fee (which may also be used for cost recovery if they are reassigned to this effort),
  • Instructors will create original custom courseware and be featured “on-screen” as the presiding expert; on location or in studio filming options as suggested by pedagogy.
  • Instructors will obtain the consent of their home institution, when necessary, to participate.
  • Instructors will be paid a flat fee of $30,000 for their time and intellectual property in the courseware (see below) payable in three installments.
  • Instructors will collaborate with ND Learning on timelines and processes and adhere to Notre Dame and Coursera standards for design and production quality.
  • Instructors will assist in identifying any copyright or permissions for materials to be integrated (when necessary).


  • Faculty member in good standing at a US institute of higher education
  • Professional expertise and appropriate standing in the field
  • Experience (3+ years)  teaching at the graduate level is desirable
  • Experience developing online courseware is desirable
  • Experience with pedagogy and learning strategies is desirable.

Intellectual Property

The courseware is to be hosted on Coursera and aimed at building engagement among recent bachelor’s graduates, early-career graduate students, and professionals through a publicly available, non-credit learning option with high visibility. It will also be available to instructors for their use within for-credit courses at their home institution. A private version of the courseware will be made available to SpectrumX member institutions for enrichment purposes.

Instructors retain rights to the underlying intellectual property in their course, although the courseware itself will be a work made for hire owned by the University of Notre Dame on behalf of SpectrumX. Notwithstanding this status, instructors retain extensive rights to reuse the courseware and the disaggregated assets in their teaching at their home institutions and for use in other non-public and non-competitive contexts. Instructors may not sell, license, or distribute the courseware or elements thereof without the consent of SpectrumX and Notre Dame. Applicants are responsible for obtaining all necessary approvals from their home institution to pursue this work. 

Proposal Content

Proposers should submit:

  1. A Letter of Interest (LOI), not exceeding two (2) pages (excl. attachments), that states the title of the online course for which you are submitting a LOI in the subject line, and describes:
  1. your vision for the proposed course, including a preliminary sense of learning goals suited to the population, genre, and level;
  2. relevant examples of innovative online or in-person curricular projects or learning experiences completed by you;
  3. evidence of the effective impact of such curricular projects/learning experiences, as well as evidence of your efficacy as an instructor; and
  4. your availability schedule in January 2023.

The LOI should be created with the following guidelines in mind: Minimum Arial 10pt typeface, minimum single spacing, minimum ½ inch page margin, and submitted in .pdf format.

  1. A complete CV of the proposer including the full name, position, email address and daytime telephone number of three professional references that can comment on b) and/or c) above.  
  2. Resumes for all team members who will be working on the project (maximum two-pages per team member).
  3. Links to examples of previously developed online courseware, if applicable, to demonstrate your experience and quality of your products.

Proposal Submission

Proposals should be submitted to Anja Fourie at afourie@nrao.edu with CFP: SpectrumX Course: [Insert Title] in the subject line by 5 PM EDT on December 5, 2022.

Any questions regarding this CFP should also be directed to afourie@nrao.edu via email before 5 PM EDT on November 11, 2022. Answers to all questions asked will be provided to all participants in the CFP process by 5 PM EDT on November 14, 2022.

Proposal Evaluation

Proposals will be evaluated based on the following criteria: 

ExperienceDemonstrates experience and appropriate standing in topic field20
Demonstrates experience teaching at the graduate level10
Technical ApproachOutlines clear vision for the proposed course supported by SMART goals15
Feasibility of approach and methodology15
Approach and methodology will deliver coursework that is research- and evidence-based15
Approach and methodology will deliver instructional practices and coursework that is inclusive, bias free, sensitive to students from historically marginalized groups, first generation students and non-traditional students, and provides such students with an equal opportunity to achieve the learning outcomes of the course.10
Proposal PresentationResponsiveness to requirements and general terms and conditions5
Demonstrates understanding of business, values and vision of SpectrumX5
Proposal is complete, clear and logical5
AdvantageDemonstrated success in design of effective online curricular projects or learning experiences15
Demonstrated success in pedagogy and learning strategies15