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Announcing the Educational IT Innovation Grant Awards for 2020

January 22, 2020

Announcing the Educational IT Innovation Grant Awards for 2020

The Educational IT Committee, a part of the University of Rochester IT Governance structure, promotes the use of technologies to support instructional innovation throughout the University of Rochester. By encouraging and supporting faculty and staff efforts in this area we hope to enhance learner experiences and outcomes. We also seek opportunities that lead to the broad applicability of educational IT innovations across multiple schools in order to maximize the potential impact.


To support these aims, in the fall of 2019 we announced our second round of the Innovation Grant program, which provides funding through a proposal process to support faculty and staff in adopting new technologies to their teaching. This program also includes mentorship, support, and connection to existing resources in the institution through the committee.   Once again, we were excited and inspired by the response and interest in this grant program; receiving proposals from every school and a wide range of projects targeting classroom teaching, experiential learning, educational administration, and online learning.

The Educational IT Committee is pleased to announce the following projects receiving an award in 2020:

eTheoryLive: AP Music Theory

The Institute for Music Leadership (IML) and the Eastman Community Music School’s (ECMS) joint proposal, eTheoryLive: AP Music Theory, will focus on the design, production, implementation, and assessment of an online AP Music Theory course. This project will aim to increase the national and international reach of ECMS and IML and will function as a pilot of ECMS’s large-scale online distance learning program, which will provide online individual lessons and academic group classes to K-12 students and adults. The course may serve as a model for future AP-level courses offered by the University of Rochester.


Immersive Virtual Reality (IVR)

Utilizing Immersive Virtual Reality (IVR) in the Clinical Training of Medical and Nursing Students and Health Professionals, a project from the Warner School of Education, the School of Medicine and Dentistry, the School of Nursing, and the Institute for Innovative Education, will support IVR as a pedagogical strategy to develop high-end clinical training programs. This project will be utilizing existing technologies in the Reality Lab @ Miner Library in the Medical Center. The project aims to better train healthcare students and professionals in decision making, critical thinking, and clinical reasoning by integrating the technology of IVR.


UR Launch Pad 

The School of Arts, Sciences, and Engineering, the Warner School of Education, and the overall University Community will benefit from Rettner Hall’s UR Launch Pad Collection project. Rettner Hall, designed as a hub for innovation on River Campus, will update and bolster their equipment collections to improve student, faculty and staff’s access and understanding of digital technology. This lending technology library will give future educators access to new technology in order to encourage innovation in and out of the classroom.


Padlet Backpack

Padlet Backpack, a project from the School of Medicine and Dentistry, the Institute for Innovative Education, and the School of Nursing, will utilize an innovative on-line platform which will encourage students and instructors to serve as collaborators by posting documents, photos, videos, and more to a class-specific board, allowing active engagement outside of the physical confines of the classroom.



The School of Arts, Sciences, and Engineering and the Department of Mathematics will further the use of Webwork at the University of Rochester by hosting a two-day regional Webwork conference in the summer of 2020. Webwork, scientifically proven as an effective teaching tool, relies on a repository of questions and answers which have been curated and selected by instructors. This conference will enable the ongoing development of Webwork and professional development and support of instructors.