In the fall of 2017, 22 proposals were submitted to the Innovations in Teaching with Technology Awards. The Academic Technology Advisory Council awarded a total of $96,390 for the following seven proposals.

Learning to Build Tomorrows Computing

Brandon Myers, Department of Computer Science, received $2,702. Computer Science, faces the challenge of upgrading our curriculum to train a new kind of professional. While previously students learned to develop software applications that run on established hardware, now they must think critically about both software and hardware. And, to learn to develop software and hardware together--a very different skill--students will need new tools. We propose the use of a development board and software tools for learning the design, development, and assessment of application-specific processors.

Content Rich Interactive Student Evaluation Platform

Hans Johnson, Department of Engineering, received $24,514. The need to evaluate students on open-ended design questions with potentially infinite correct responses poses a significant logistical challenge as the faculty-to-student ratio within the College of Engineering increases.

This project will provide instructors with a platform that allows delivery of content-rich evaluation questions in STEM-based courses. This project involves developing and deploying content generation tools, exemplary content-rich templates customized to the engineering curriculum, faculty training materials, and rapid individualized student feedback interfaces.

Building Blocks to Design, Create and Facilitate Self Directed Learning (Phase 2)

Nathan Swailes, Department Anatomy and Cell Biology, received $17,000. BuildingBlocks is a powerful course design tool that was originally created as a solution for delivering histology laboratories to Health Science students in a flexible and self-directed manner.

The students indicated that there are elements of both the Builder and Player that, with improvements, would make the experience better. While content creation and course building was the primary focus in Phase I, now the learner’s experience needs to be addressed and enhanced in Phase II.

Introduction to Drone Technology & Streamlining 3D Modeling Experience

Denise Szecsie & Peter Chanthanakone, Department of Computer Science received $15,000. We are asking for funding to purchase several programmable drones to support interdisciplinary collaborative learning in Computer Science.

The primary use for these drones will be to support a new project-based course giving students hands-on experience working with drones while teaching core computational concepts. A secondary use of these drones will be to develop a new first-year seminar to introduce students to the basics of programming drones.

Integrating VR into Classrooms

Joeseph Kearney, Department of Computer Science, received $9,000. Virtual reality (VR) technology is advancing at a furious pace. 

This proposal seeks funds to purchase virtual environment technology to be used in three existing courses and one course that is being planned for the future. In addition, the technology will be used for individual and group projects through the honor’s program and ad hoc project courses. The equipment will supplement equipment already in use that was funding through CLAS Student Computer Fee awards.

Enhancing Public Health Training

Rima Afifi, College of Public Health, received $10,000. Our aim is to leverage technology to create a platform to connect public health students across continents, thereby providing novel perspectives and deepening discussions of health equity.

Drawing on qualitative and community- engagement practices, photovoice is an image-elicitation and groups dialogue technique that is used to deepen understanding of issues and concerns. It is unique among image-elicitation techniques in that all the images are participant generated.

The innovative application of technology in this case is the synergistic interaction of various technological platforms to enhance the transformative learning potential of this independent study.

Guided Tinkering

Geb Thomas, Department of Industrial Engineering, received $18,174. The proposed project will develop a software tool that draws on game-like elements to help students learn about relational databases through guided tinkering.

By ‘learning by tinkering’, we mean the process of learning by exploring, modifying and manipulating authentic relational database problems. Our guided tinkering approach will use a gamified interface to structure, support, and scaffold students’ problem-based learning activities around relational databases.

This interface uses just-in-time feedback to authentic problem scenarios, among other elements, to complement and support other ‘sandbox’ learning activities.