ITIF Recipients 2010 to 2011

Dept/Division PI(s) Project Title
History, University of Toronto Scarborough  Christine Berkowitz and Perry Sheppard Digital Innovations for Interactive Teaching and Research Across the Disciplines: The History Engine 2.0

The goal of this project is to transform the current History Engine – an interactive online repository of student research and writing – from a US-based project into a truly international collaboration that supports interdisciplinary teaching and research. The outcome will be a web-based interactive tool that significantly enhances undergraduate experiential education by providing a suite of digital resources that foster applied research and writing skills and expose students to the methods and practice of digital scholarship.

Historical Studies, University of Toronto Mississauga


Mairi Cowan The Travels of the Lute: A digital humanities resource for teaching and learning world history.

The study of World History provides a fruitful paradigm for the understanding of human society and cultural interactions, but poses challenges to both instructors, who must teach outside their areas of study, and students, who must navigate a broad range of material over a very short period of time. Marshalling expertise from diverse disciplines and areas of interest, this project will create a digital multimedia resource to clarify and illustrate “connection” as a central concept in World History.

Faculty of Music Midori Koga Balanced Artistry: Portable Balance Toolkits for use in Music Education and Beyond

This project intends to prototype, evaluate, and produce an inexpensive, mobile toolkit for measuring and increasing awareness of body balance. Many performers struggle with posture-induced tension problems, which lead to injury and hamper the finely tuned multi-sensory processes associated with producing music. Investigators will create a fixed laboratory in which custom software and readily available equipment can be configured to produce a user-friendly and easily distributable tool with which students can effect permanent changes in their postural balance.

Centre for Faculty Development, Faculty of Medicine Marcus Law and Karen Leslie Students and Faculty as Partners in Innovation: The e-Faculty Development Project

Existing teaching methodologies in the health sciences are being enhanced by the availability of a range of new technologies, and yet faculty are often not aware of, or comfortable with, the role of these in teaching and learning. Students, staff and faculty will collaborate in the development of online, digital faculty-development materials that will permit a diverse body of health-professional instructors to access current instruction in technology-enhanced and student-centred teaching, at any time, from anywhere. Students will be recruited to serve as researchers and content developers for the faculty-development modules, learning about instructional design, production, and implementation; this will give medical residents and training health-professionals the opportunity to reflect on their future roles as teachers and faculty themselves.

University of Toronto Mississauga Library


Rochelle Mazar and Susan Senese T-Zone: Gesture, Touch, Surface, and Interaction

This project will involve students in the production of immersive, collaborative, and visual applications to support T-Zone, the University of Toronto Mississauga Library’s experimental touch- and gesture-based computing laboratory. Faculty will benefit from the opportunity to experiment with and consider the potential of a variety of touch-based computing interfaces and gesture-based applications as part of teaching, learning, and research, while students across all the disciplines will gain invaluable hands-on experience with innovative technologies that will shape the future of work, research, and daily life.

Institute of Communication, Culture and Information Technology
Faculty of Information Studies
Rhonda McEwen Mobile Computing for Innovations in Teaching Excellence

This multi-disciplinary initiative will invite faculty and students from across the university to collaborate in the creation of mobile applications to support teaching and learning in ten undergraduate courses. In addition to its immediate impact on the faculty and students enrolled in the classes for which applications are designed, this project will benefit the students involved in application creation, developing valuable experience in project leadership, interdisciplinary collaboration, and design for mobile computing platforms.

Mathematical and Computational Sciences
University of Toronto Mississauga
Sue McGlashan and Shay Fuchs Developing Calculus Clips for First-Year Students

A project to create high-quality, accessible digital animations to illustrate fundamental concepts in calculus. Students will be able to access and review videos, facilitating deeper learning at a comfortable pace, accessible anytime, from anywhere. Digital clips will be made available at no cost to all instructors and institutions, for use in class or as supplementary material.

University of Toronto Libraries Sian Meikle Anthology: A tool for the creation of poetry and prose anthologies online

Drawing on the archives of Representative Poetry Online and the Library’s own extensive collection of digital resources, this project will invite students and faculty to collaborate in the creation, editing, annotation, and sharing of customized digital poetry and prose anthologies for use in the classroom. By engaging students directly in a collaborative process of text selection and editing, this project will transform the role of the anthology in the teaching of literature, and the role of the student in the university classroom. The open-source Anthology tool will be available throughout and beyond the University of Toronto.

Comparative, International and Development Education Centre, OISE/UT Karen Mundy Developing Access for International Educational Development Professionals

This project will build capacity in the use of remote collaboration technologies among faculty and student participants in flex-mode courses, combining traditional classroom instruction with technology-supported distance instruction and learning. Virtual interaction with remote collaborators is essential for the CIDE Centre, whose main focus is to compare and support education projects in the developing world, and students will benefit from the opportunity to connect with overseas peers, learn from distance faculty, and network with development professionals in the field.

French Studies, University of Toronto Mississauga Andrew Nicholson
Jung-Hwa Rosa Hong
<Language a la carte>: Introducing Interactive Mapping Tools for Teaching and Learning in French Studies

<Language a la Carte> will create a portal service to support the pedagogical use of maps and web-based mapping tools in language studies. Using maps to visualize and articulate the cultural aspects of the language is an important part of second-language learning, and live web mapping tools afford students a low-cost, highly accessible immersion in the language and culture of study. Using Creative Commons Licensing, teaching materials will be made available to other instructors in French Studies, and the project can be readily transferred to other language courses at the University.

Centre for Teaching and Learning, University of Toronto Scarborough


Janice Patterson and Perry Sheppard Building a student-assisted Caption/Wiki for course lecture video

UTSC’s WebOption Lecturecast system serves thousands of undergraduates at the Scarborough campus, providing recorded lectures for review and enhanced learning. This project will augment accessibility, providing automated captioning for each of the 500+ lectures captured annually. Using a wiki model, student contributions will subsequently bring the automated transcripts from 80% to 100% accuracy. Collaborative captioning will provide students with an innovative, active learning mechanism to review and engage more deeply with in-class course material, benefiting not only the viewers of the captioned video, but the caption contributors themselves.

Study of Religion Matt Price
Frances Garrett
Networked Academic Profiles for Student-Faculty

Interlinked online profiles designed to reflect and support academic interests and achievements will facilitate student navigation of their academic environment and interests, and their educational and professional goals. In large and dispersed faculties and departments, this initiative will foster greater access and interaction between faculty and students, and promote a sense of cohesive community focused around a discipline that has relevance in the academy and in the wider world. Based on outcomes of the initial 2-year project in History and the Department for the Study of Religion, the network can be extended to other faculties within and beyond the University of Toronto.

Historical Studies, University of Toronto Mississauga Ajay Rao Digital Storytelling and Diversity in the Undergraduate Classroom

A project to introduce and evaluate collaborative digital storytelling as an alternative to traditional coursework and assessment. UTM hosts a large number of students belonging to communities with a strong oral tradition or a resistance to argumentative writing; nontraditional students, particularly those who navigate multiple languages and linguistic registers in their daily lives, may find more ease and comfort in expressive discourses involving personal voice. The long-term objective is to create a reproducible training tool that will enable digital storytelling to be incorporated into the curriculum in Historical Studies and other disciplines, expanding not only the range of assessment opportunities in the Humanities, but also the range of voices heard in the academy.

Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy


Denise Reid The Mindfulness Program

Instruction in mindfulness-oriented self-care practices are invaluable to students in intensive health, social service, and educational professional programs, but given the demanding schedule and high pace of such programs, personal-development courses can be difficult to access and accommodate. The online delivery of mindfulness courses, using a self-paced approach, the discussion space, and guided meditations, will improve student access to self-care training, providing essential personal connections while imparting valuable skills to combat stress, avoid burnout, and promote feelings of engagement in their education and professional service training.

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