Person holding sign in front of face that says innovation and has bar graphs and flow charts

Funded through student technology fees, the Innovations in Teaching with Technology Awards (ITTA) support significant, innovative projects that show the potential to improve teaching and learning throughout the University of Iowa. 

This year's recipients are exploring a range of opportunities from teaching elementary math within virtual reality to delving into the world of ancient Greece using video game consoles.

Virtual Teaching Experience for Education

Anne Estapa, assistant professor of mathematics education, was awarded $21,900 to implement simulated experiences in an elementary math methods course, allowing students to engage in a broader range of teaching scenarios than is typically possible in the current practicum model.

The Edge of Space: Hands-On Space Instrumentation Design

Allison Jaynes, assistant professor of physics and astronomy, and David Miles, assistant professor of physics and astronomy, received $24,073 to support "The Edge of Space: Mission and Instrument Design for Spaceflight," a newly designed course in the Physics & Astronomy Department. Student groups will design, build, test, fly, and analyze data from small scientific instruments that will be flown at the “edge of space” on high-altitude meteorological balloons, through a collaboration with Iowa State University.

Telehealth Technology in Nursing Education

Theresa Jennings, clinical assistant professor of nursing, was awarded $14,200 to support a project that prepares UI nursing students to meet the demands of a rapidly changing healthcare system by including cutting-edge telehealth simulation technology as part of their clinical preparation.

Virtual Reality as a Tool to Enhance Knowledge, Skills, and Attitudes for End-of-Life Care Among Health Professions Students

Kashelle Lockman, clinical assistant professor of pharmacy practice and science, was awarded $13,000 for a project evaluating the effectiveness of an individual, first-person virtual reality (VR) simulation to teach end-of-life care to health professions students from multiple disciplines. VR will be evaluated as a platform to develop and convey empathy for dying patients and their families and bolster understanding of how interdisciplinary teams care for patients at the end of life. 

Text Classification Tool for Flint Water Crisis Email Archive

Louise Seamster, assistant professor of sociology and criminology, was awarded $10,000 to facilitate students’ engagement with digital archives in a new applied research class exploring the role of state and local governments in response to the Flint water crisis. This project aims to develop a text classification tool to expand experiential learning and facilitate direct analysis with primary source materials.

The New Chinese Reading World

Helen Shen, professor in Asian and Slavic languages, received an $8,000 award to seed further funding from the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences to support the redevelopment of an existing comprehensive Chinese reading website. The site has 900 lessons with a built-in reading assessment system, and the project will update the underlying code and develop additional interactive learning components.

Video Games and the Ancient World: Assassin's Creed Odyssey

Debra Trusty, lecturer in classics, received $5,675 to provide students with a better understanding of the daily activities, events, and traditions of the ancient Greek world through the use of Assassin's Creed Odyssey, a video game released in 2018 by Ubisoft, alongside traditional primary and secondary sources. The game accurately reconstructs ancient Greece through the analysis of recent scientific studies and preserved ancient accounts and materials.

Sponsored by the UI Chief Information Officer and the Academic Technology Advisory Council (ATAC), ITTA has provided over $1.5 million to innovative teaching and technology projects since 2002.

Learn more about ITTA