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Technological change continues to influence life and work on campus and beyond. UNCCH instructors are using technology to explore new opportunities to engage students, to lower barriers to student access, and to make their own teaching practices more satisfying and effective. The Center for Faculty Excellence (CFE) works with faculty members to explore the appropriate and effective use of digital technologies, in partnership with other campus organizations such as ITS-Teaching and Learning, OASIS, and University Libraries.

In 2017, Lenovo decided that CFE would receive approximately $400,000 over the next four years to support instructional innovation on campus. The funding is part of the University’s renegotiation of the Carolina Computing Initiative contract with Lenovo. As a result, CFE announced a competitive grants program in 2017 and made the initial round of awards in 2018-19, and a subsequent round of awards in 2019-2020.


2020-2021 Call for Proposals

Coming soon!

Prior Grant Awardees

This project involves training undergraduate and graduate students to strategically mix media elements for scholarly purposes by employing the technologies Adobe Spark Pages and Muse. In this project, The Digital Muse will create five modules to guide students toward employing these new composing tools in ways that are not only rhetorically sophisticated but also transformative of familiar academic modes. Modules will include assignments, resources, sample projects, and screen-based instructional videos.
PIs will develop a series of onsite and online workshops that offer strategies for successfully integrating augmented reality and virtual reality into curriculum. Workshop goals will include an introduction to enhanced reality environments and technology, increasing awareness about available AV/VR content (e.g. effective use of VR field trips for learning, use of AR/VR in STEAM-related content areas), and an orientation for faculty interested in creating their own VR content.
This project in applied language revitalization will integrate parallel text concordance software to strengthen capacities for language acquisition, produce original linguistic data about the Cherokee language, and empower students to compose their own stories in Cherokee in the Cherokee course series. Computer-assisted translation tools will also allow students to engage in much-needed translation work. Parallel text concordance software, such as AntPConc, can identify sentence-structure conventions that are unique to the Cherokee language. Through long-term collaborations,this project will yield a foreign language “text reader” and radically reduce translation time.
The Lightboard installation at the Health Sciences Library will provide a core tool for creating instructional videos in courses that are whiteboard-intensive. This technology is particularly useful for courses where formulas,diagrams, or whiteboard drawing are used extensively. Additional imagery (e.g., maps, code samples) can be incorporated into presentations with the video editing software being requested as part of this proposal. The Lightboard studio will be a shared resource for all courses and instructors, TAs, students and staff for whom it might be helpful. It will be located in and integrated as a service of the Health Sciences Library(HSL) and be a centrally accessible and reservable studio-type space
This project will integrate mobile technology and 3D anatomy visualization into the School of Medicine human anatomy courses taken by over 400 students yearly. This project will utilize the computer-based software platform BodyViz that permits virtual visualization of complex anatomical relationships and correlative diseases processes blended together to create ultra-detailed 3D digital images of the human body. The use of BodyViz revolutionizes the current medical curriculum by transforming MRI and CT scans into interactive 3D visualizations that allows for the coupling of the pathology and pathophysiology of real medical conditions in 3D with the anatomical subject students are studying.
This project will use photogrammetry software, 3D modeling programs and video game engines to develop 3D models and virtual reality (VR) modules that will digitally transport students to religious sites in Nepal. This VR immersion allows students to explore sacred spaces (monasteries, pilgrimage sites) and ritual objects (prayer wheels, statuary) in the first person and empower them to encounter Buddhism in hands-on ways that appeal to diverse learners and inspire active learning.
This project is centered on the expansion of Augmented Reality/Virtual Reality(AR/VR)offered within the Health Sciences Library as part of the Digital Health Program. Through this project greater access to these technologies will be facilitated for purposes of instruction, research and practice for students, faculty and staff in the health affairs. Year-round consults will be offered and proposals for use of the technologies will be solicited.
This project will create an e-book as an Open Educational Resource to update the 2012 edition of the book ‘Local Government in North Carolina’ by Gordon Whitaker. A new podcast will extend the book with interviews and stories about everyday activities in local government. Augmented reality layovers, implemented with Aurasma will add playful elements to the text, can be used to generate webquests, and connect to video or audio material. This new innovative resource is designed for use in K-12 civic education, School of Government classes, Citizen Academies and more.
This project aims to provide a 3D interactive learning experience for dental students that will allow them to learn how to identify dental features associated with malocclusion using sample patient cases and learn about the history and application of the Index of Orthodontic Treatment Need (IOTN). Students will be able to visualize and manipulate the 3D facial and intra-oral images just as they would with a live patient and learn about malocclusion. Students will be able to take measurements on the 3D images and make notes on a personal virtual notepad,facilitating more engaged dental training.
This project will use a computer program built around adult learning theory of problem-centered learning to create and maintain an interactive learning conference for medical students and pediatric residents. This computer program would allow a single user to run an interactive educational conference for the medical students and pediatric residents based on the conference style “Pick 5,” currently being deployed by the UNC pediatrics department.
This small grant will provide headsets to facilitate group work for courses taught in DE 104 connecting on-site instruction for UNC-CH students with the dual language students off sitein Chatham County schools. ROMS is piloting its first hybrid UNC/distance course, SPAN 338, and the primary challenge is difficulty in audio clarity during group work involving on-site students and students in the distance classroom. Because their approach to teaching is student-centered, group work is a critical component of classroom instruction.
The focus of this project is to design and execute a five-day drone (unmanned aerial system, UAS) course and create online learning modules to provide experience, confidence, and skills for faculty to begin incorporating drone technology into classroom curricula and research applications. Participants will be prepared to obtain their FAA Remote Pilot Certification and will plan and execute a flight operation to collect and analyze geospatial data for a nearby natural system.
The BeAM (Be A Maker) Makerspace program has four campus locations and has grown quickly to over 4,000 campus users annually. BeAM staff have provided face-to-face orientation and training events for faculty and students on all tools via small groups and hands-on individual instruction which is at capacity. PIs will create online orientation and training modules on various BeAM tools (3D printer, laser printer, etc.). The modules will follow evidence-based learning practices, provide learners with longer-term retention and confidence with skills, and solve capacity problems for staff and locations by allowing users to complete initial or updated training prior to BeAM usage.
These faculty help lead the cross-campus, interdisciplinary effort for the new neuroscience major which has grown quickly among undergraduate students. They will offer a new series of four research methods courses to provide hands-on lab experiences to students. Teaching students how to create and maintain Electronic Lab Notebooks (ELNs) is an essential skill for students in the modern STEM workforce in industry, government, and academia. Students will learn how to design neuroscience experiments and will use ELNs to create detailed records of experimental procedures, data collection, results, and conclusions to conduct and report on their research.
This project charters a new pedagogical approach to bring the history of modern Latin American revolutions and culture into the university classroom by using “live documentary” that fuses traditional documentary form with real-time interactions between students, experts, and a documentarian. Students will examine the multiple causes, trajectories, and effects of armed conflicts that swept through Latin America. Students will also engage with the digital humanities to produce their own historical videos via small group projects in which students write, film, and edit short films on course topics. The course will take advantage of resources available in an updated flexible classroom space.
This project will develop interactive, interprofessional modules to address the Interprofessional Education Collaborative (IPEC) competencies (Values/Ethics, Roles/Responsibilities, Interprofessional Communication, and Teams and Teamwork), and to connect students across multiple professional schools and geographic locations. Colleagues in the Schools of Medicine, Nursing, Public Health, Dentistry, Social Work, and Pharmacy will collaborate to design modules that promote team-based care.
This unique collaborative effort between the Curriculum in Archaeology (College of Arts and Sciences) and the Department of Radiology (School of Medicine) leverages the synergistic expertise of the two groups. The Archeology team has developed photogrammetric and photo-overlay techniques that place a realistic “texture” on 3-D objects. This significantly enhances the visualization of objects, transforming them from bland 3-D models to realistic objects that closely resemble the originals. With such visualizations, students can closely examine and even “handle” precious artifacts and fossil casts without risk of damage. The Radiology team has developed an expertise in extracting the 3-D data from different imaging modalities (CT and MRI). These modalities can rapidly scan biological or nonbiological (artifacts) items without risk of damage to the objects. In archaeology, teaching tools will be developed to introduce students to ancient artifacts and hominin fossils using 3-D technology. In Radiology, teaching tools focused on complex 3D anatomy will be developed based on anonymized and publically available CT and MRI data. The Looking Glass Hologram allows the visualization of 3-D digital objects without the need for virtual reality glasses utilizing a light-field display technology. This enables collaborative discussions and interactive teaching without the need for virtual reality goggles that limit the number of people who can view the object, and more importantly, the ability of participants to interact with each other in the learning process.
The purpose of this project is to integrate 3D scanning, computer assisted design, 3D illustration, and multiphysics simulation technology into lessons and semester projects for BIOL 064 (Fall 2019) and into two lab activities for BIOL 226/226L (Spring 2020). The specific technology to be integrated includes Autodesk Fusion, Autodesk Meshmixer, Autodesk ReCap, Adobe Photoshop, and COMSOL Multiphysics. This software will be used to perform simulations of flows around and through 3D models of organs and organisms (BIOL 64) and to simulate diffusion of chemicals and heat in biological structures (BIOL 226L). Students will use Adobe Photoshop for 3D illustration and the creation of images for semester project reports and presentations. The topical focus this particular FYS is to describe organisms living within moving fluids using both mathematical and physical models.
Our project focuses on fostering instructional innovation in multiple literature and composition courses in the Department of English and Comparative Literature by centering gaming pedagogy. The Digital Literacy and Communication (DLC) Lab will offer support for instructors in developing best practices for games-based pedagogy through training, workshops, and most importantly access to gaming equipment and instructional space in the proposed Greenlaw Gameroom. The courses listed below will be taught in 2019-2020 academic year, and the instructors listed have agreed to work with the DLC Lab to integrate games-based pedagogy into their classes.
Human Development and Family Studies is an interdisciplinary field of study examining the biological, relational, and sociocultural influences that shape families and human development across the lifespan. HDFS undergraduates go on to numerous health and helping professions, and rigorous experiences with research methodologies used to obtain valid information about human functioning and evaluate programs aimed at improving lives across ages, contexts, and cultures is critical for their training.  The goal of this project is to build upon a ‘flipped classroom’ by creating three new and highly innovative enhancements that will increase the dynamic and direct learning experiences for  students. These include (1) a series of virtual reality vignettes to provide dynamic and realistic opportunities explore sensitive content, (2) a hands-on experience with bio-behavioral data collection methodologies, and (3) the development of an online searchable repository of video clips from existing online lectures that would allow students to “ask” questions about specific topics and be directed to relevant material.

This proposal builds on the groundwork laid down in a prior CFE/Lenovo award with the mission to support a number of projects and proposals across the university and foster a thriving ecosystem of immersive technology at Carolina. Faculty interested in integrating immersive technologies into their courses often require technological expertise to understand the range of software and hardware that might apply to their subject. Additionally, they need access to those apps and devices, and someone to teach themselves and their students how to use them. Most importantly, faculty need partners who can help them to determine the best ways to truly integrate these technologies into their courses to enhance student learning and outcomes.

This project will unfold in three key areas: (1) Projects: In-depth partnership with approximately 4 projects throughout the year with a focus on integrating technology into curricula; (2) Faculty Engagement & Consults: Consulting with faculty and students looking to use immersive technology, and give workshops or presentations to select groups about how the technology applies in their field; and (3) Campus-wide Ecosystem-Building: Benefit all of campus through support for community building, awareness raising, and engagement through the AR/VR interest group, student group, events, workshops, online resources, Twitter outreach, providing connections across campus, and introductions. The goal is for library’s efforts to enhance a thriving ecosystem; a community of people engaged in helping each other. We have mapped the landscape of departments and labs on campus supporting VR, including the 3D workshops and VR stations at the libraries which are open to all at UNC.

The overarching goal of this project is to improve course design across the Adams School of Dentistry. The School is undergoing curriculum transformation to promote more active learning and creative solutions to instructional design. This project will help to revitalize the learning experiences of students in courses that were traditionally didactic instruction in both dental surgery and dental hygiene. The project will help faculty integrate the use of Articulate Storyline 3 software, a program designed to help users create instructional content that is widely accessible across digital platforms. Faculty will participate in workshops and be able to loan laptops and AV equipment from the ASOD Academic Support Center to use the Articulate software to create more discussions, assessments, and application-based structure in their courses.


Program Contact: Matthew Belskie at

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