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Helping Faculty Articulate - Supporting Creative and Interactive Course Design in the School of Dentistry

  • Michael D Wolcott, ,

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.

EXCITE: Expanding Carolina’s Immersive Technology Ecosystem

  • Lynn Eades, Librarian, Health Sciences Library
  • Brian Moynihan, , Health Sciences Library
  • Nandita Mani, Director, Health Sciences Library & AUL, Health Sciences Library

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.

Technology-Enhanced Opportunities for Experiential Learning of Research Methods for Human Development and Family Studies

  • Roger Mills-Koonce, ,

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.

The Greenlaw Gameroom: Transforming Greenlaw 316 into a Gaming Classroom

  • Courtney Rivard, ,

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.

3D scanning, photogrammetry, and CAD for multiphysics simulations of tissues, organs and organisms

  • Laura Miller, ,

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.

Collaborative Workflow Development for Teaching Using Holographic Displays

  • Vincas Steponaitas, ,
  • Yueh Lee, ,

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.

Web-based Interactive Interprofessional Modules Advancing Fundamentals of Population Health and Health Policy while Fostering Interprofessional Communication

  • Sarah Smithson, ,
  • Yee Lam, ,

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.

Revolutionary Teaching: Exploring Latin American Insurgencies through Live Documentary

  • Miguel La Serna, ,

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.

Electronic Laboratory Notebooks for New Neuroscience Methodology Laboratory Courses

  • Sabrina Robertson, ,
  • Rachel Penton, ,
  • Kelly Giovanello, ,

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.

The BeAM Toolkit: Supporting Blended Learning Modules with Digital Technology

  • Anna Engelke, ,
  • Kelly Hogan, ,

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.

The Sky’s the Limit: Promoting Innovative Drone Technology in Environmental Research and Teaching

  • Susan Cohen, ,
  • Geoffrey Bell, ,

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.

Romance Studies/Chatham County Dual Language Program

  • Glynis Cowell, ,

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. 

Making “Pick 5” Come Alive: An Innovative and Interactive Approach to Pediatric Resident Educational Conferences

  • Eric Zwemmer, ,

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. 

Using Digital Technologies to Identify Need for Dental Treatment

  • Rishma Shah, Assistant Professor, ASOD Orthodontics

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. 

Local Government in North Carolina: Open Educational Resources (OER) E-Book and Podcast

  • Stefanie Panke, Instructional Analyst, School of Government
  • Rick Morse, Associate Prof of Public Adm & Gov, School of Government

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. 

AR/VR Expansion for the Digital Health Program

  • Brian Moynihan, , Health Sciences Library
  • Nandita Mani, Director, Health Sciences Library & AUL, Health Sciences Library

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 

Developing 3D models and Virtual Reality Experiences for use in teaching Himalayan Buddhism

  • Lauren Leve, Associate Professor, Religious Studies

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. 

Integrating 3D Virtual Anatomy at UNC School of Medicine

  • Richard Hobbs, ,
  • Ed Kernick, ,
  • Kurt Gilliland, Associate Professor, Cell Biology and Physiology

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. 

Clear as Glass: Using Innovative Lightboard Technology for Online Instruction

  • Barrie Hayes, Bioinformatics & Research Data Librarian, Health Sciences Library
  • Fran Allegri, ,

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. 

Leveraging Digital Technologies for Cherokee Language Learning

  • Michelle Robinson, Associate Professor, American Studies
  • Ben Frey, Assistant Professor, American Studies

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.

Engaging Students and Faculty with Augmented and Virtual Reality for Learning

  • Derek Creason, ,
  • Lisa Dawley, ,

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.

The Digital Muse Meets the Scholarly Essay: Daniel Anderson & Grant Glass

  • Grant Glass, Graduate Teaching Fellow, English and Comp Literature
  • Daniel Anderson, Undergrad Ed Dist. Term Professor, English and Comp Literature

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 .