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CFE Lenovo 2022-2023 Projects

The 360° Content Exchange

The 360° Content Exchange is a platform to support the use of 360° content (e.g., images, videos, and objects) for teaching and learning. The Exchange will allow users to access a large collection of 360° content along and pair that content with instructional ideas, so users can easily find the content they want to use and implement it with fidelity in the classroom. This project is currently in its prototyping phase, where the website for the Exchange along with a limited amount of content will be loaded into it. Next, user testing will commence to ensure the approach used by the Exchange resonates with users. At that point, additional content along with instructional ideas will be added to the Exchange, so its robust, usability, and scalability will increase, along with a way for users to upload their own instructional ideas and 360° content.

Todd Cherner School of Education

PI: Todd Cherner, School of Education


A Class for Creating Digital Tools to Promote Adolescent Thriving

Psychology 518H: Creating Digital Tools for Positive Youth Development is an upper-level course in which students will learn about the interdisciplinary field of Positive Youth Development and create a digital tool to improve health, well-being, or developmental outcomes for youth through an intensive semester-long project. Students will use designed-based tools and the empirical literature regarding Positive Youth Development to develop prototype interventions to support positive outcomes – whether apps administered via smartphone, website, or virtual reality.

andrea hussong

PI: Andrea Hussong, Psychology and Neuroscience


Digital Media Suite for Improving Science Communication Skills

With the creation of the Carolina Biology Education Research (CBER) Lab, Drs. Hastie and Ott sought to use the Lenovo award to create a space to facilitate more science communication projects—an area where there is a lack of training. This digital media lab builds on a successful TikTok Biology project that connected students with Dr. Raven the Science Maven and allowed them to highlight class topics and marginalized scientists in fun, effective short videos. Now, with advanced video editing software, cameras, green screens, and more, the space will be used to generate more student projects and collaborations with other departments that will be used to assess student learning with peer generated content and to examine student perceptions of science communication, not only between scientist, but also between scientist and the public. If you are interested, please reach out to Dr. Hastie or Dr. Ott.

Eric Hastie and Laura Ott Biology

PIs: Eric Hastie and Laura Ott, Biology


Islands in the Sky

The “Islands in the Sky” project is a collaborative effort among the Carolina Drone Lab (CARDNL) research unit within the UNC Institute for the Environment, UNC Facilities, and UNC Sustainability to gather both ground-based and aerial data to better inform green roof performance and management practices on UNC Chapel Hill’s campus, and to produce updated publicity materials for these under-appreciated green spaces. The project aims to field-test uncrewed aerial platforms as a management tool for green roof installations and to ultimately develop a workshop on implementing drone-based vegetative assessment projects, which will then be adapted as a lesson plan and data set that will bring interactive field data collection and analysis into the classroom. On the ground, several student interns will work directly with UNC Facilities to conduct manual surveys of vegetation present on the green roofs, while in the air, these interns will learn to plan and operate drone missions on campus using several aerial platforms and sensor types, gain experience processing this aerial data using photogrammetry software, and utilize ArcGIS for presenting and managing their data. No comprehensive vegetative assessment has ever been conducted for UNC’s green roofs, meaning that the results of this work will uniquely inform changing management practices for these green roofs in the future.

Susan Cohen ENEC

PI: Susan Cohen, UNC Institute for the Environment

Peggy Mullin, ENEC

Project Lead: Peggy Mullin, UNC Institute for the Environment


Improving Social (Data) Science Undergraduate Training Through Technology and Gamification

This project develops new core course materials for POLI281 – Data in Politics I. POLI 281 introduces students to the fundamentals of quantitative data management, description, and analysis.  While Poli281 has been a successful course, many students still struggle with the abstract nature of the skills, and with developing the strong foundation they need to use quantitative data in their own lives and careers. Our project will reorganize the course into set skill modules; develop a set of low-stakes evaluations to better gauge student progress and trouble-shoot areas of concern; and—most critically—create a new system of homework projects based on capture-the-flag-style computational challenges. Our goal is to improve data literacy for all students, regardless of backgrounds, and ensure that all UNC students have the tools they need to succeed in an increasingly data-driven world. 

lucy martin

PI: Lucy Martin, Political Science


Efficacy of tablets as a teaching tool for faculty at the UNC Adams School of Dentistry

I believe that the use of iPads during lectures and pre-clinical activities enhances student participation and success. The dental field requires a great understanding of the structures and processes that occur in the oral cavity and throughout the body. Learners must utilize their understanding of this knowledge to restore the form and function of teeth. With a heavy emphasis on structures, processes, and aesthetics in dentistry, slides and lectures are limited in describing the nuances involved. With the use of iPads, faculty will be able to bring diagramming to their lecture slides in lecture halls and move around the classroom to assist learners in small group activities.

fernando astorga

PI: Fernando Astorga, Adams School of Dentistry


Augmented Reality Technology as an integral part of 2D and 3D Animation courses

Students will learn to make Augmented Reality animations as part of both the 2D and 3D animation course in order to prepare them for jobs in animation across industries (advertising, gaming, and art).The two animation classes include animation storyboarding and conceptualizing, pencil testing and timing animation, animating simple sequences. As part of these classes, I am proposing to add a new module: An Augmented Reality (AR) project using Spark AR. Students will import their 2D and 3D animations or models into SparkAR and create interactive AR. These interactive stories will be showcased online with a link to their AR projects.

sabine gruffat

PI: Sabine Gruffat, Art and Art History


VR Piazza Italiana: Learning Language and Culture Through Presence and Embodiment

Piazza Italiana is a live-in, literally, textbook for beginners Italian. It foresees the time in which a great deal of learning will happen in the Metaverse. Students access WebXR/VR spatialized environments, at present a gelato shop and a market place custom built in Mozilla Hubs, where they practice their lesson’s topics immersed in a social VR task-based scenario that leverages haptics, kinetics and 3D objects to enhance a sense of presence and cultural belonging. Along with the environments, we are developing instruments to test student receptivity and motivation and how effective they are in helping students achieve the linguistic and cultural learning objectives of their course. We are piloting in two basic phases, with different cohorts, carried out in Fall 2022 and Spring 2023. The questions we pose and answer forthcoming will undoubtedly guide our and others’ future work in this field.

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PIs: Lucia Binotti and Amy Chambless, Romance Studies