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UNC CFE and Lenovo

Technological change continues to influence life and work on campus and beyond. UNC-CH instructors are using technology to explore new opportunities to engage students, lower barriers to student access, and 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 Educational Technologies, OASIS, and University Libraries.

2022-2023 Call for Proposals   

The Center for Faculty Excellence (CFE)/ Lenovo Instructional Innovation Grants Program invites applications from faculty who seek to enhance teaching and learning by implementing teaching innovations at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNCCH) during the 2022-23 academic year. 

Proposals could address any number of factors where one might leverage instructional technologies, digital learning tools, or pedagogical approaches to enhance student learning and success. Prior projects have been developed in partnership with various campus or school-based professional staff (OASIS, ITS Educational Technologies, Libraries, ITS staff in a UNCCH school). Previously funded project descriptions and outcomes are posted on the CFE website. Digital technologies continue to evolve, and with them opportunities to re-imagine nearly every aspect of teaching and learning. 

This grants program is designed to support faculty who want to explore teaching innovations using instructional technologies and pedagogical methods that engage and challenge students to learn, lower barriers to student access, or make your own teaching more engaging, satisfying, evidence-based, and effective. We seek to support projects and outcomes that can be relevant and shared with other instructors or that contribute to new knowledge related to effective teaching. 

Focus Areas And New Funding Levels 

Proposals are welcome that enhance any aspect of teaching and learning with undergraduate, graduate, or professional students at Carolina. While this call is open to projects of any nature, those projects related to Data Sciences, Gaming (video gaming, board gaming, or other ludic pedagogy), or pedagogy in the metaverse may receive special consideration. A key change to this year’s call for proposals is that we have two levels of funding available and will permit awards up to or in excess of $75,000. Tier One awards will be less than $20,000, and Tier Two will be $20,000 or greater. Because of limited overall funding available, any award at this amount must be well-developed and competitive. Any project proposed at the $20,000 or greater level will require a two-step application process outlined below (see: Proposal Submission Process).

Any eligible faculty member or instructor interested in developing a proposal should review the following information and contact the CFE with questions.

This grants program began as part of the Carolina Computing Initiative (CCI) that ensures Carolina students have easy access to high-quality and affordable technology. In 2017, Lenovo made a multi-year commitment to provide an annual rebate from CCI sales to support this grants program administered by the Center for Faculty Excellence. Thirty-three (33) projects have been funded across three funding cycles that have supported classroom innovations, campus infrastructure, interdisciplinary projects, and AR/VR/XR or other emerging technologies in teaching. Please review the Prior Grant Awardees listed below. The CFE and partner organizations including ITS Educational Technologies, OASIS, Digital and Lifelong Learning, and University Libraries are excited to continue this opportunity to support the work of faculty or instructors who are exploring new ways to educate, engage, and empower Carolina students in any school or program of study.  

The goals of the grants program for 2022-23 include: 

  1. Empower faculty members and academic units to advance instructional innovation goals via applications of existing or new instructional technologies or digital tools, 
  2. Increase faculty awareness and instructional uses of digital solutions and/or emerging technologies in teaching courses at Carolina. 

Faculty members or instructors in any school or department at UNC-Chapel Hill are eligible to apply. Individuals or teams can submit proposals. Students (graduate or undergraduate) can be named as collaborators on team proposals. The Principal Investigator (PI) must be a faculty member and cannot be funded as a PI or Co-PI on more than one proposal for the current year’s grant cycle. 

Grants can be used to enhance any form of instruction or learning at UNCCH. Proposals do not have
to be linked to a credit-bearing course. Applicants have broad discretion to consider a wide range of instructional or learning goals that technology can support. We encourage applicants to review the summaries of previously funded CFE/Lenovo projects for examples of how their proposals might build upon existing campus resources or infrastructure or how they might address unique instructional innovations.  

A strong proposal will note how the project aligns with the strategic initiatives outlined in Carolina’s strategic plan, Carolina Next: Innovations for Public Good, the new IDEAs in Action general education curriculum revision, or the Quality Enhancement PlanApproved projects should be ready to initiate by or before the Spring 2023 semester. 

The use of instructional technology or digital resources is a requirement for this program, but proposals are not limited to the use of specific technologies or current campus-supported tools.  
For example, some proposals may feature the implementation of emerging technologies such as Augmented/Virtual/Extended Reality (AR/VR/XR), Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning (AI/ML), or Internet of Things (IoT) while others may make innovative use of common, widely available technologies. Prospective applicants are encouraged to familiarize themselves with technologies already available and supported on campus. 

We expect every proposal to develop a plan for assessment of the impact on your project on teaching
or on student learning, attitudes, growth, engagement, or success (with support from CFE) and to disseminate your findings through a white paper, publication(s), and/or presentation(s).  

The CFE will partner with each grant recipient to refine the plan for assessment to evaluate project impacts. In addition, grant recipients are expected to provide brief quarterly reports and to participate in CFE evaluation activities of the overall grant program. If you plan to budget for assessment support within your academic unit, please check with the CFE first to clarify how unit support can complement CFE support. 

Recipients may seek to adopt assessment or evaluation methodologies modeled on the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) to publish or present their findings at disciplinary or teaching conferences. Others may be interested in contributing to a departmental or cross-disciplinary workshop or in participating in the CFE Faculty Showcase on Teaching or conferences beyond Carolina. Grant recipients should include acknowledgement of receiving support from the CFE/Lenovo Instructional Innovation Grants Program at UNCCH in any scholarly products. Staff from the CFE and relevant partner organizations (including ITS-Educational Technologies, OASIS, and University Libraries) often support grant recipients in these scholarly activities. Grant recipients may receive additional support by participating in one of several Faculty Learning Communities (FLCs) hosted by the CFE or other units that relate to innovative technologies used in their projects. Examples include the CFE SoTL FLC  or the XR FLC managed by University Libraries.  

Proposals will be reviewed using the following criteria (not listed in order of importance). 

  • Personal Commitment / Interest in proposal: brief personal statement of your personal interest, investment, and effort available to implement 
  • Proposed Innovation and the Role of technology: Explain the importance and role of any technology chosen to the proposed innovation 
  • Alignment with Learning Goals: Identify and clearly articulate how the innovation will align with the stated learning goals and enhance student learning; as appropriate, note how universal design principles or matters of diversity, equity, or inclusive teaching inform the proposal or project  
  • Impact: Describe the significance within a course or curriculum, the number of participants affected (# of students per semester), or any potential for use in instructional settings beyond UNCCH 
  • Implementation plan: Outline the project timeline and milestones (note that projects funded should be initiated before or during the Spring 2023 semester)  
  • Feasibility: Note how the proposal implementation can be completed within the stated timeframe using existing campus or technical resources or new support to be developed 
  • Technology Support and Sustainability: Consider the shelf-life of any proposed technology innovation noting future updates and any ongoing costs, and consider ongoing leadership, administration, technology support, and partnerships or future funding that may support project longevity  
  • Relevance: Explain how the project builds upon existing or contributes to new, generalizable, knowledge or technologies related to teaching and learning  

Applicants may request funding to cover costs directly related to their proposals including technology, training, faculty stipends, staff, and student salary support. The CFE will provide some assessment and evaluation support for each funded project. Funds for this program are not to be used to support research, travel, or other activities that are not directly related to the proposal implementation.  

Grant awards will range from $500 to $75,000 or higher. Please indicate the expected range in your application as follows: (Tier One) $500 to less than $20,000 (Tier Two) $20,000 or greater. No minimum or maximum has been established for the number of proposals to be funded, but the CFE will allocate an overall funding amount for all projects to ensure longevity and impact of the program. 

We respect every applicant’s time and encourage you to reach out to the CFE contacts with any questions early and prior to your submission. The CFE contacts can clarify whether your project ideas fit within the scope of the program and whether the proposed technology can be supported properly.  

Tier One – $500 – <$20,000 awards (to initiate during next academic year)  

  • One-step Application process: Full proposal due by March 31, 2022 

Tier Two: $20,000 – $75,000 or more awards with rationale and budget justification (to implement over the next 2 academic years) 

  • Two-step Application process: Initial proposal due by Monday, March 21, 2022; CFE to determine whether a Full Proposal will be invited; Full Proposal due April 18, 2022.  

To submit your application, please select and download the appropriate CFE/Lenovo Application Template below. Follow the instructions on the template to submit via email by the deadline. 

Tier 1: $500 – <$20,000

Tier 2: ≥$20,000

When completed the Application can be uploaded at 

Please see the Spring 2022 Timeline below for deadlines and details. 

  • Call for Proposals opens: March 1, 2022 
  • Deadline for Tier Two Letter of Intent/Initial Proposal: Monday, March, 21, 5:00 PM (EST) 
  • Deadline for Tier One Full Proposal: Thursday, March 31, 5:00 PM (EST) 
  • Deadline for Tier Two Full Proposal: Monday, April 18, 5:00 PM (EST) 
  • Review Committee decisions: by April 22, 2022  
  • Funding released: (depends upon the funding amount)
    In general, we plan to release the first half of approved funding during Summer 2022 (after July 15, 2022), and the second half in January 2023. If needed for summer effort, we may be able to release funds in May 2022. We will obtain your departmental business contact information if accepted and approved for funding.  
CFE staff members or colleagues from related units (ITS Educational Technologies, OASIS, University Libraries) involved in the CFE/Lenovo projects are available to discuss proposal ideas and respond to questions about the Call for Proposals.

Program Contact:

Matthew Belskie, CFE/OASIS (Office of Arts and Sciences Information Services) Liaison

or please contact:

Dr. Doug James, Associate Director for Faculty Development in Teaching and Learning, CFE (Center for Faculty Excellence)

Current Grant Awardees


This project set out to create flipped modules for teaching the Business Model Canvas. Following the “Own It, Learn It, Share It” framework for instructional design, each module begins with students “owning it” by constructing a connection with the topic and their idea for a venture. Next, student “learn it” by viewing a video that explains that topic, which is reinforced with a virtual reality experience that utilizes 360-degree videos. That experience is intended to demonstrate the topic in an authentic setting. For these modules, that setting is UNC. Finally, to “share it,” students make a presentation about the application of the topic to their venture via PitchVantage, a platform that uses artificial intelligence to provide students feedback about their presentation.

This project aims to develop Mandarin Talk, a Mobile app that visualizes pronunciation methods, tongue positions, and tone pitches of Chinese pronunciations. The target courses include two elementary level Mandarin Chinese curses: CHIN101 Elementary Chinese I, and CHIN 102 Elementary Chinese II. Mandarin Talk is designed to provide students high-quality practice with immediate feedback. With the assistance of technology, this app makes effective pronunciation demo and hands-on practices available to all students at no cost. It is hoped that this app will help teachers compensate for large class size, lack of teaching assistants, and possible continued remote teaching. With the help of technological innovation, this app can promote educational equity by providing under-staffed public university students with equally fine instruction on pronunciation without being disadvantaged by economic disparity.

In order to deliver high quality and safe patient care, all health care providers must be skilled in interprofessional communication and collaboration, problem solving, and critical thinking. Sloppy Mountain Medical Center is a team-skills-challenge activity modeled after the popular “escape room” activities, except that it is played entirely on-line. The theme of this activity is grounded in interprofessional health care delivery and takes place in a simulated hospital setting.

Using the Lenovo grant, I redesigned the N352 (Pathophysiology and Pharmacology Part II) with 2D illustrations and animations. I implemented this in Fall 2021 and currently working on to apply for IRB application to survey students

The 3-year sequence of medical device design classes are a core requirement of the biomedical engineering undergraduate program. These classes teach students the principles of medical device design from the initial stages of problem identification through to development of a solution prototype. As part of these classes, students currently learn a range of technical skills such as computer-aided design and rapid prototyping which they use in their senior year class to design and build a medical device to solve a healthcare problem. The purpose of this project is to introduce VR technologies to students in the program so that they can use them as tools for prototyping their device designs and for communicating their concept ideas to their clinical mentors. Developing skills to use VR in engineering design will complement the students’ other design tools and enable them to be at the forefront of this emerging field. The aims of the project are to teach BME students how to create a virtual environment simulating the healthcare setting in which their device will be used. They will then import their medical device CAD model into the environment and interact with it to assess need qualities such as user interface, aesthetics, ergonomics, mobility, and, where possible, functionality. Students will be able to invite clinical partners to take part in user feedback sessions and design reviews in the VR environment. The design communication opportunities afforded by using VR will allow for much improved clinician or patient feedback prior to physical prototypes being created. Ultimately this should enable more user-focused device designs being developed to solve unmet healthcare needs.

The goal of this project was to make high quality recordings of lectures, and to streamline the process enough that other tenured faculty would be willing to do the same. This was motivated by students needing to stay home if sick, as well as allowing students access to lectures (edited and with captions) to watch again. I hired an undergraduate to edit the videos and captions, which was essential to the process. In the spring semester, I am teaching a small graduate course and will experiment more with the in room technology in the smaller rooms.

Our project involves the creation of VR experiences which will be integrated into the curriculum of our elementary language classes in French, Italian, and Spanish. Through these experiences, our students will learn to interact in real-world scenarios in order to benefit from a set of learning goals associated with the pedagogy of our discipline as well as our university’s general education curriculum.

We are focused on expanding immersive learning in the UNC School of Medicine curriculum, in collaboration with numerous faculty providers and students across our departments, including current requests for the Neurosciences block (Part of MTEC103 course) to integrate longitudinally with Social Health Sciences Curriculum and Patient Centered Care Course, Radiation Oncology, Orthopedic Surgery, and the Surgery Clerkship Curriculum, Neurosciences Bootcamp (Part of Transition to Residency Course).    

While our goal to expand immersive learning in SOM curriculum spans a variety of use-cases, our initial use case is focused on improving empathy and understanding for the patient perspective, to improve patient-centered care in collaboration with our Trauma Services team.  

In our first semester running the course, we conducted it remotely. Students reported a very positive experience that enhanced their scientific skill set. Due to the remote nature of the course, students voiced their desire for a more hands-on experience, noting the limited computational power of their laptops to process image analysis jobs and the challenge associated with 3-D visualization of a biological macromolecular mechanism (e.g. protein structural changes and the process of lipid droplet biogenesis).

In this course, and through this proposal, we aim to further develop Biol544L, capitalizing on our familiarity with big data microscopy image analysis software that the class will use to analyze image data without bias. We will also capitalize on our expertise in structural biology, and have the class utilize molecular graphics visualization programs to generate models of the macromolecules they investigate and print 3-D flexible models of their system using the BeAM Maker Space to help visualize the process and to aid in presenting their findings to the public.

Thus, we are excited to enhance the class with cutting edge computational tools for data processing, analysis, and visualization, and empower our students with competencies in these areas.

Registered Dietitians are increasingly being hired to manage foodservice programs in hospitals, corporate dining rooms, college and university campuses, school cafeterias, sports and entertainment arenas, and other public and private venues. In addition, they are taking on leadership roles in environments that require knowledge of wellness trends and programming, education of colleagues and staff, education of the public, agricultural and foodservice sustainability trends, government regulation, food labeling, recipe and menu development with chefs, product development, quality assurance, etc. 

Foodservice management is required subject matter for all students studying to become Registered Dietitians (RDs). Approximately 4800 students across the US each year take the exam to become an RD—an exam in which 35% of the content is based on Food Systems and Management of Food and Nutrition Programs and Services. At UNC, the RD curriculum does not afford time to teach this content, so this material—which comprises over ⅓ of the registration/licensure exam—must be learned as a part of a two-week field experience. In addition to preparation for the RD exam, this Foodservice Management Experience provides students with the skills and confidence necessary to perform at entry level in a foodservice management setting; the perspective to choose areas of interest and expertise for those interested in foodservice management careers; and the opportunity to achieve required competency measures established by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND®). 

This project focuses on makerspace faculty development programming within the BeAM Network of Makerspaces at UNC-Chapel Hill. In particular, project leaders will use insights gained from moving courses to hybrid models over the past pandemic year to train faculty in the design and development of flexible, blended makerspace curriculum that deeply connects to their course content. This past year posed challenges for faculty across campus, but makerspace courses faced a particularly unique dilemma: how do you provide hands-on design and making experiences during a global pandemic? How do you design maker course curricula that can adapt for either remote, blended, or in-person learning, while still consistently meeting the same course objectives across all learning modes?


Prior Grant Awardees

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.

Results: Project completed. Endeavors Magazine covered the project in their presentation Here

(“Taking Research to New Heights.”) UNC’s The Well also covered their progress Here.

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.

Results: Project completed. Development and piloting were completed on modules for Orientation (in person and online in Sakai), the 3D Printer, and Laser Cutter. Given the shift to remote teaching, they also added online modules and digital learning approaches.

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.

Results: Despite the pandemic, Sabrina Robertson has been able to incorporate the ELNs in a neuroscience wet-lab course (Spring 2020); and several of her students in Spring 2020 presented research posters on their lab findings virtually at the UNC Annual Celebration of Undergraduate 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.

Results: Project planning and resources were completed, but course disrupted due to the pandemic and shift to remote teaching. A collaboration with Duke on the project has advanced with Michael Betts who has pressed forward with IRB reviews of assessment of student outcomes. A systematic study is ongoing of the impact of this interactive teaching module on student engagement and student learning.

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.

Results: Given that their project is web-based, it was possible to meet the need for more online learning as clinical rotations in the school of medicine were paused. To address the challenge of creating accurate rosters of students moving from their 3rd to 4th years between 2 courses where the web-based modules are embedded, they have embedded these modules entirely in the 3rd year course.

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.

Results: Most recent updates include the creation of more than 70 models in 3D of their fossil cast collection along with progress on a set of “teaching modules” built around this collection. Completed models can been seen Here. The medical side of the project has shifted towards virtual teaching techniques since the single screen is not compatible with multiple students. To enhance this effort, they have engaged a realistic 3-D patient avatar who understands human speech and responds following a predefined script. A sample of the system at work on Looking Glass platform appears Here. Also, they have developed a low cost 4-D video recording technique that can easily be deployed for both medical and archaeology teaching using off-the- shelf hardware.

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.

Results: Integrating computing and visualization in my BIOL 064 Flows through and around organs and organisms was successful with assessment showing strong improvement and student enjoyment with using COMSOL in particular. While the implementation of the lab in Biol 226 (valve flows) has been delayed due to the difficulty in a remote environment, progress has been made on a paper on the BIOL 064 project to submit to the Bulletin of Mathematical Biology that will include some of the student evaluation data. Finally, a project to make IBAMR easy to install and run as a free alternative to COMSOL has advanced and should expand the impact of the project to colleges and universities that do not have COMSOL licenses.

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.

Results: A phase I update on the project includes this Gameroom promo. A full progress report can be found Here which described an active/playful learning classroom environment that includes furniture, gaming equipment, along with a website and the establishment of one-on- one consultations, multiple gaming classes both remote and in person, and the establishment of the gameroom as a space for research. Accompanying these activities are new successful efforts in communication and outreach with extensive attention to remote learning during the pandemic and future plans for renovations, and assessment tools.

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.

Results: While slowed by the pandemic (pause in video recording in the classroom for the VR portion), updates included progress on background work and planning, interviewing, and scripting in anticipation of returning to classrooms.

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.

Results: With updates of the Project PI to Nandita Mani, and Co-PI to Lynn Eades, the project has led to these presentations:

Moynihan & Eades (2019) “Disability, Enhancement, and Empowerment: Giving Users Superpowers Through Emerging Technologies” at the IDEAL ’19: Advancing Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Accessibility in Libraries & Archives.

Mani, Eades & Batista (2020) “Empowering Teaching and Learning Through AR/VR” at the

EDUCAUSE ELI Annual Meeting.

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.

Results: Due to COVID, unexpected responsibilities in transitioning courses online, and the need to identify a new collaborator, progress on this project has paused.

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.

Results: Project completed. A summary and links to multiple diverse student projects arising from this initiative are found here on .

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.

Results: Project completed. Led an XR workshop in partnership with World View for teachers from the Charlotte Mecklenburg School District. In this workshop, participants interacted with other educators/experts via a virtual classroom environment, Engage VR, installed on their Oculus Quest devices. Also offered a workshop for faculty at Carolina to introduce AR/VR/XR tools. Unfortunately, both PIs have since left UNC.

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.

Results: Project completed. The database provided students access to reconstructed grammatical forms and sentence frames with which to construct their own sentences. This fulfilled the primary goal to develop a composition tool to expand and accelerate Cherokee language learning by providing tools for composing sentences, short-form essays, and simple stories. These updates advanced instruction in written Cherokee while ongoing work addresses speaking and listening. A new collaboration with computer science dept staff targeted quicker methods of translation from English into Cherokee with a new a neural network-based machine translation system. The research team expanded to include an instructor and graduate of the program. Undergraduate students created a web page to archive teaching materials and tag them for subject matter and use. Students in Computer Science created a mobile phone game to promote speaking and listening practice in Cherokee. Next steps include a student-to-student apprenticeship program, long-form writing and scholarship, and translation initiatives. Assessment initiatives included a focus on student commitment to a communitarian ethos with the intent to publish. Possible additional funding may be sought through the NSF and through graduate student applications for funding.

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.

Results: Project installation took longer than expected due to material orders and campus facilities but was completed in late 2019. Three faculty had begun to pilot the Lightboard in 2020. 

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.

Results: The tool was used in 2020, but in a limited fashion due to the pandemic. 

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.

Results: Project completed, and small additional funds provided to develop additional materials. Featured on the Lenovo Storyhub linked hereA formal publication was accepted, Lauren and Bradley Erickson. “Visualizing and Materializing Himalayan Buddhist Sacred Sites: Pedagogy and Partnership” in Oxford Handbook of Religious Space and Place. Oxford University Press. Also, a website on the project is in progress. 

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.

Results: Project completed, and Wonda VR license extended. Although Brian Moynihan left UNC, Nandita Mani and Lynn Eades continued to oversee and partner with a faculty led XR Faculty Learning Community to promote XR technology use especially in the health sciences. Two publications/presentations were completed: 

Moynihan & Eades (2019), “Disability, Enhancement, and Empowerment: Giving Users Superpowers Through Emerging Technologies,” IDEAL ’19: Advancing Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Accessibility in Libraries & Archives 

Mani, Eades, & Batista (2020) “Empowering Teaching and Learning Through AR/VR”, EDUCAUSE ELI Annual Meeting 

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.

Results: Project completed. Implementation continues with the content revision, updated layout, and the podcast channel is up with first episode under review. A link to the podcast is Here. 

The textbook concept was presented at two conferences and is being published as a journal article (forthcoming):

“Digital Citizenship meets Open Educational Resources: Local Government Open Textbook Project.” In S. Carliner (Ed.)Proceedings of E-Learn: World Conference on E-Learning in Corporate, Government, Healthcare, and Higher Educationlinked Here. 

“Designing for Openness: Multiple Audiences, Formats and Delivery Channels – Local Government in North Carolina E-Book, Podcast and AR Channel.” In Bastiaens, Van Braak, Brown, … O. Zawacki-Richter (Eds.), Proceedings of EdMedia: World Conference on Educational Media and Technology linked Here. 

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.

Results: Prepared online dental modules with release planned for Fall 2020, digital molds work continues as does planning for a paper on user experience via focus groups (didactic and personality focus on learning), and a second paper on knowledge retention. 

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.

Results: Project completed and resource shared in publications and presentations. Osment, M., Anderson, Chandler, Zwemer, Coletti, & Lawrence (2019). “Pick 5: transforming a paper-based group learning activity into an online gaming experience.” In S. Carliner (Ed.), Proceedings of E-Learn: World Conference on E-Learning in Corporate, Government, Healthcare, and Higher Education, Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE) linked Here. 

Lawrence, Chandler, Osment, Coletti , Zwemer (2020) “Making Pick 5 Come Alive.” Selected as one of three oral presentation for Association of Pediatric Program Directors Annual Chief Forum, Virtually presented, 2020 and presented as oral presentation for Council on Medical Student Education in Pediatrics Technology Collaborative, Virtually presented. 

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 site in 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.

Results: Project completed. PI noted more challenges than expected with room noise to include off-site students in language exchange. Some issues identified and addressed with the specific room location and setup. Overall the project was a success and will be continued. 


Program Contact: Matthew Belskie at

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