An Educational Technologist Can Get a Fulbright Grant?: Go Abroad, Gain Insight, and Share Knowledge

Concurrent Session 1

Session Materials

Brief Abstract

Interested in exploring how online education is structured outside the U.S.? This presentation will describe how the Fulbright Specialist program, which supports projects of two to six weeks in length, provided an opportunity for an educational technologist to support the online educational initiatives at a university in Croatia.


Fritz Vandover, Ph.D., has been a higher education technology professional since the early 2000s, having held positions in instructional technology development and digital humanities project management at Washington University in St. Louis, web project and creative personnel management for higher education clients at The Lawlor Group, and in instructional technology at Macalester College. Dr. Vandover is a graduate of DePauw University, received a Master’s Degree in American History from Washington University in St. Louis, and received a Ph.D. in Higher Education Policy and Administration from the University of Minnesota - Twin Cities. This unique academic background, along with his many years developing and supporting the use of technologies that facilitate learning and scholarship, gives him the unique ability to build relationships and converse with a broad range of stakeholders in higher education: faculty with regard to their pedagogy and scholarship, administrators with regard to strategic institutional initiatives in and beyond the technological sphere, and with technical staff about the dynamics and possibilities for technology in teaching, scholarship, and institutional operations. Active in the educational technology community, Dr. Vandover has served as the Treasurer of the Moodle Users Association and on the steering committee for the Collaborative Liberal Arts Moodle Project (CLAMP) as well as on programming committees for the EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative, the Partnership for Liberal Arts Collaboration and Exploration, and EDULEARN 2016. Finally, Dr. Vandover was awarded a Fulbright Specialist grant in March of 2016 to provide consultation and support for online educational initiatives at the University of Dubrovnik (Croatia).

Extended Abstract

The growth and innovation of online education are occurring across the world, but educational technology professionals in the United States do not have many opportunities to regularly collaborate with peers abroad and collectively share how our institutions of higher education are negotiating this new educational frontier. I was alerted to the existence of the Fulbright Specialist Program, a State Department program to send U.S. faculty and professionals to serve as consultants at academic institutions abroad for a period of 2 to 6 weeks, and immediately recognized it as an opportunity to gain insight and share knowledge with peers abroad.

This presentation will cover the following topics:

  • The structure and application process for the Fulbright Specialist Program

  • My experience finding and proposing a project at the University of Dubrovnik, Croatia (UNIDU)

  • Insight and concepts I learned about current online educational initiatives in Croatia

  • The outcomes of my project at UNIDU

My goal is to use this presentation to encourage educational technology and instructional design professionals to apply for the program, share and grow our knowledge of online education with peers abroad, and support the global scale of our professional community.