Currently Funded Projects


Projects funded in the 2013 round of the ITIF:


Modular Online Framework for Public Education, Undergraduate & Entry‐level Professional Curriculum, & Post‐Professional Certfication

Debbie  Hebert,  Department of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy

We will create a tri-level internet-based course framework, with open and paid modules, modifiable for use with other occupational therapy content. The exemplar content, Cognitive Orientation to Occupational Performance (CO-OP), will be provided at three levels: basic knowledge (public); paid theory/application (free to OT/PT UofT students); certification modules (health professionals).


piPosters: Promoting digital display, re-use and dissemination of academic poster content from educational events

Ross  Barclay,  Continuing Education and Professional Development, Faculty of Medicine

This is a digital display device for electronic academic posters, with a low-cost computer backed and touchless controls. By promoting the conversion of posters to digital form, we hope to increase the quality and content of posters as well as provide new opportunities for sharing and archiving them.


SMARTEST Research Organizational, Goal Planning and Assessment Tool

Shafique  Virani,  Department of Historical Studies, UTM

SMARTEST is an automated goal setting and monitoring system for student researchers that stands for Specific-Measurable-Attainable-Relevant-Timeframed-Evaluation-System-Toronto.  Based on principles of “Task Motivation and Incentives” first established by Locke, SMARTEST will enable students, mentored by faculty and librarians, to establish clear criteria to track progress and achieve success.


Tools for Teaching with CORPORA IN THE CLASSROOM

Naomi  Nagy,  Linguistics

Two increasingly important domains in linguistics are the study of Heritage Languages and the analysis of large corpora of natural language data. Our Linguistics Department has professors who do both. This project improves the necessary instructional infrastructure to scaffold undergraduate and graduate class assignments teaching relevant theory and research skills.


Development of interactive online teaching aids for learning point-of-care ultrasound (POCUS)

Massimiliano  Meineri,  Anesthesia

Point-of-care ultrasound (POCUS) performed by the treating physician is a becoming a widely accepted diagnostic tool for rapid real-time assessment of patient status. A large demand for training in this field now exists. This project will create interactive online teaching modules that can be incorporated into these training programs.


Video-captured, enacted case studies: Creating and sharing re-useable course content across programs

Joan  Peskin,  Dr. Eric Jackman Institute of Child Study, OISE, UT

In order to bridge theory and practice, case studies are an important curricular priority in graduate and undergraduate teacher education programs university-wide. In this project, video-captured, enacted case studies which can be used online in conjunction with discussion forums, will be developed and made


Preparing prospective and incoming health sciences students with fundamental background knowledge – an innovative e-learning project

Marcus  Law,  Faculty of Medicine

UofT health professional faculties accept students from various academic backgrounds.  It is unusual for them to have knowledge across basic sciences, social sciences/humanities, learning principles, and research principles.  To address this educational gap we will develop relevant online courses for prospective health sciences school applicants and new health sciences students.


Developing best practices and a tool kit for the creation of course cartridges using existing Blackboard-embedded content

Peter  Azmi,  Continuing Education and Professional Development, Faculty of Medicine

We propose to develop a standard operating procedure for converting Blackboard-embedded courses into “course cartridges” that can be used on other LMS platforms.  We aim to create interoperability standards for UT-developed courseware, which will assist in the development of new online courses as well as maximize value from current offerings.


Gunda Gunde Manuscript Collection

Paulina  Rousseau,  UTSC Library

Once online, the entire archive of 219 manuscripts from the Ethiopian monastery of Gunda  Gunde  will serve as a unique collection of primary sources for students, researchers, and scholars to study, interact with, analyze, and evaluate Ethiopian history and culture.  The digitized corpus, derived from close collaboration between Prof. Michael Gervers, the Digital Scholarship Unit (DSU), and UTSC’s IITS department, will contribute to active student learning and research.


Innovative Case System and Feedback Tool for Undergraduate Ophthalmology

Jeremy  Goldfarb,  U of T Faculty of Medicine

We propose an innovative and engaging content delivery and feedback system to be included within the new, full service ophthalmology website. Content delivery will be done through an online case conduit utilizing the Virtual Interactive Case System (VICS) as a platform. The current project will also add value to the VICS eLearning platform through a novel feedback tool.


Automated Assessment of Students’ Computer Programs

Anya Tafliovich, Department of Computer and Mathematical Sciences, UTSC

The goal of this project is to develop a general purpose software package for use in assessing correctness of students’ computer programs — a general purpose “auto-tester”. The auto-tester can be used in any course (Computer Science, Engineering, Physics, etc.) that involves programming assignments, exercises, programming labs, etc.


The Open Language Learning Textbook

Teresa  Lobalsamo,  (Italian unit) Language Studies, UTM

The Open Language Learning Textbook allows students and instructors to work through lessons and activities simultaneously, during lecture, tutorials or office hours, without additional cost to students. The interactive textbook will be used in first year French, Italian, and Spanish courses in the Department of Language Studies (LS) at UTM.


Interactive Website for Facilitating Accelerated Student Vocabulary Acquisition Across Disciplines

Elaine  Khoo, Centre for Teaching and Learning, UTSC

Creation of an interactive website allowing ESL students in all disciplines to acquire and practice using core academic vocabulary needed for the level and volume of reading of university courses. Provides students, instructors and writing centre staff with a practical tool to support students with rapid, targeted enhancement of academic vocabulary.


The use of tablet devices to enhance learning and collaboration in the Life Sciences Laboratory Classroom

Ahlia  Khan-Trottier, Biochemistry

Tablet computers will be integrated into a Biochemistry laboratory course curriculum to enhance student learning and collaboration by providing direct access to online resources, the ability to actively share and discuss results, and promoting impromptu instructor-facilitated dialogue in the lab as experiments are conducted.  Tablets would also serve as a platform for delivery of reusable course content.


Building bridges; strengthening math competencies of non-math students

Maria Wesslén, Mathematical and Computational Sciences, UTM

We will create a series of videos on core mathematics, statistics and data management topics to help students gain numeracy skills required in their courses. Many instructors find their students lack fundamental skills, and we find these are required by a number of different courses across various departments at UTM.


Quizzical 2.0

Dan Riggs,  Biological Sciences, UTSC

We propose to develop a student authored, on-line multiple choice question writing and learning tool called Quizzical.  Quizzical will assist in building a question bank that students can access and use for self testing.  A key feature is a statistical interface that allows students and faculty to measure engagement and progress.


A National Paediatric Haematology/Oncology Laboratory Education Resource

Meera Rayar, Paediatric Hematology/Oncology, Hospital for Sick Children

Paediatric Hematologist/Oncologists (PHO) are required to have an understanding of laboratory tests for diagnosis/management purposes. Our project will create an electronic, cased-based laboratory educational resource that will be accessible to Canadian PHO trainees. PHO staff/trainees can work with an administrator to create new modules, thus allowing for a self-sustainable curriculum.



Projects Funded in the 2012 Round of the ITIF


Smart Device Use Across the Curriculum: From Classroom to Clinical Practice Point-of-Care
Maureen A. Barry, Lawrence S. Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing
E. Vandeven-Soble, Lawrence S. Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing

The goal of this project is to actively engage undergraduate nursing students in their learning and ultimately in their clinical practice by enabling them to use smart devices to gather multiple sources of evidence/information in the classroom, clinical and simulation laboratory setting.

Multimedia Lectures with VedaVox Web Course Platform
James Colliander, Department of Mathematics
Kumar Murty, Department of Mathematics

The Department of Mathematics is developing an online series of multimedia lectures synchronously intertwined with slide decks and hypertext elements, including short online assessments. These lectures will be built using the VedaVox Web Course platform, which is itself built on the KBasix Content Management System, all developed by DoM.

Wiki technologies to enhance the student experience for active and collaborative learning in Pharmacy
Natalie Crown, Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy
Tom Brown, Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy

A wiki with enhanced capabilities will assist in providing student feedback on both quantity and quality of participation in asynchronous collaboration. It will help create a safe in-class learning environment for active student engagement.  This technology is scalable for different size cohorts and has potential application for interprofessional education.

Continuing Education for Online Diagnostic Imaging for Physical Therapists
Cathy Evans, Department of Physical Therapy
Sharon Switzer-McIntyre, Department of Physical Therapy

This project will involve the development of an online continuing education founded on principles of active and collaborative learning for Canadian and internationally-educated physical therapists (IEPTs) who wish to develop the knowledge and skills necessary for the appropriate and effective utilization of diagnostic imaging in the management of musculoskeletal conditions.

Modularization for a Student’s Introduction to the Practice of Statistics
Alison Gibbs, Department of Statistics
Paul Hamel , Health Studies Program
Bart Harvey, Human Biology Program
Patrick Brown,  Dalla Lana School of Public Health

We propose a fundamental shift in introductory instruction in statistics in Arts & Science. Our model embeds online modular lectures on statistical methods within discipline-specific active-learning course sections. These multimedia lectures exploit the potential of new online technologies to enable collaborative, cross-disciplinary virtual team-teaching that provides a meaningful, resource-efficient, and engaging introduction to statistical practice.

New Assessment Tools for Collaborative Online Learning Environment
Jim Hewitt, Curriculum, Teaching and Learning, OISE
Clare Brett, Curriculum, Teaching and Learning, OISE
Kim MacKinnon, Curriculum, Teaching and Learning, OISE
Kathy Broad, Initial Teacher Education, Dean’s Office

This project will prototype and pilot new assessment tools for instructors and learners using Pepper, a research-based peer-to-peer (P2P) online discussion platform used in OISE courses.  P2P discussion can provide opportunities for distributed practice, more equitable participation, increased reflection time, and more persistent access to key ideas. Yet, problems providing meaningful feedback and assessment within P2P discussion can limit its perceived value for both students and faculty. The project will deliver a set of open-access assessment tools that support responsive teaching and active learning in courses that involve peer-to-peer collaboration.

Collaborative Content Creation for Holographic Recordings
Emanuel Istrate, Institute for Optical Sciences

The Institute for Optical Sciences and Physics Department offer a multi-disciplinary course, where science and art students create holograms together, using complementary strengths. We propose an integrated system where students produce collaboratively the digital content, get the instructor’s feedback to ensure a successful hologram and have a high-quality hologram produced.

Vascular Invaders Web-Based Study Aid
Jodie Jenkinson, Biomedical Communications, Biology
Michael Corrin, Biomedical Communications

We propose the continued development and evaluation of Vascular Invaders, a web-based study aid with integrated gaming elements geared towards supporting undergraduate anatomy students understanding of human vascular anatomy. The game quizzes students’ knowledge of nomenclature, vessel supply, and anastomoses with access to an interactive and anatomically accurate 3D model of vasculature.  Currently, one module on thoracic vasculature exists and we would like to expand the game to include vasculature of the head and neck, a particularly challenging area for students.

Classroom Assessment Support for an Inverted Introductory Programming Course
Andrew Petersen, Department of Mathematical and Computational Science, UTM
Paul Gries, Senior Lecturer, Department of Computer Science, Faculty of Arts and Science
Jennifer Campbell, Senior Lecturer, Department of Computer Science, Faculty of Arts and Science

In programming courses, instructors often demonstrate techniques in lecture, but classroom response aids like iClickers are not sufficient to support in-class programming exercises. This project will produce a tool that enables the deployment, real-time monitoring, and analysis of programming activities during lecture.

Enhancement of the Advanced Interdisciplinary Research Laboratory (AIRLab)
Paul Piunno, Department of Chemical and Physical Sciences, UTM
Ulrich Krull, Department of Chemical and Physical Sciences, UTM
Virginijus Barzda, Department of Chemical and Physical Sciences, UTM
Claudiu Gradinaru, Department of Chemical and Physical Sciences, UTM
Bryan Stewart, Department of Biology, UTM

AIRLab represents an exciting new teaching and learning opportunity in which students work together as members of multidisciplinary teams toward the completion of interdisciplinary research projects.  Instructional software and electronic component modules will herein be developed to improve teaching by facilitating AIRLab student learning and permit increased course enrolment.

Creation of the University of Toronto French Proficiency Test (UTFPT)
Jeffrey Steele, Department of  French

The University of Toronto French Proficiency Test will be a web-based tool designed to evaluate second language learners’ French vocabulary, grammar, reading, writing, listening, and speaking. Funds requested here are for test content development (Part A) to be undertaken in parallel with the web interface creation (Part B).

Dedicated Hypermedia for Preservice Early Years Teacher Preparation
Dr. Dale Willows, Program Chair, Dr. Eric Jackman Institute of Child Study, OISE
Dr. Janette Pelletier, Director, Dr. Eric Jackman Institute of Child Study, OISE
Dr. Rhonda Martinussen, Faculty, Department of Applied Psychology and Human Development, OISE

Early years instruction is at the forefront of educational policy. Our project leverages expertise at OISE and digital media to create effective and engaging multimedia resources targeting early learning instruction. We will provide resources to enhance teacher candidates’ ability to engage in evidence-informed early years instruction.


Projects funded in the 2011 round of the ITIF

Digital Innovations for Interactive Teaching and Research Across the Disciplines: The History Engine 2.0 
Christine Berkowitz and Perry Sheppard
History, University of Toronto Scarborough

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.

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

Mairi Cowan
Historical Studies, University of Toronto Mississauga

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.

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

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.

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

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.

T-Zone: Gesture, Touch, Surface, and Interaction 
Rochelle Mazar and Susan Senese
University of Toronto Mississauga Library

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.

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

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.

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

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.

Anthology: A tool for the creation of poetry and prose anthologies online

Sian Meikle
University of Toronto Libraries

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.

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

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.

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

<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.

Building a student-assisted Caption/Wiki for course lecture video
Janice Patterson and Perry Sheppard
Centre for Teaching and Learning, University of Toronto Scarborough

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.

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

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.

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

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.

The Mindfulness Program
Denise Reid
Department of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy

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.