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Idaho Technology Incentive grants fund Idaho State University programs

Posted September 30, 2009

Idaho State University received more than $368,000 in Idaho Technology Incentive Grants in fiscal year 2010 from the Idaho State Board of Education’s Experimental Program to Stimulate Research in Idaho.

These grants are designed to integrate technology into curriculums, enhance the rate and quality of student learning, enhance faculty productivity and increase access to educational programs.

“These five Idaho Technology Incentive Grants allow our faculty and staff to develop new, innovative methods to teach our students in a variety of settings,” said Stephen Adkison, associate vice president of academic programming and review. “Several feature collaboration between different departments on campus. All these efforts allow greater flexibility and opportunities for our students.”

ISU received five separate grants, listed as follows:

• “Bioinformatics: A portal to 21st Century Biology Education,” principal investigator, a Michael Thomas, associate professor of biology. The amount of the grant is $68,900.  This project will develop resources targeted for Biology 101 students and enhance their understanding of the nature of science and biomedical research, teach core biology concepts through the lens of human medical and disease genomics, and teach skills in modern bioinformatics and computational biology through inquiry-based exercises.  The project, which involves faculty from all Idaho universities, will publish instructional material through a website and workbook, and offer an instructor training workshop in conjunction with the Instructional Technology Resource Center (ITRC).

• “Introductory Physics Lab Videos on the World Wide Web,” principal investigators, Martin Hackworth, senior lecturer in physics and astronomy, and Dan Dale, professor in physics and astronomy.  The amount of the grant is $26,800.  The objectives of this project are to enhance access to introductory physics labs, create a uniform template for lab procedures, and create a visual guide to introductory laboratories.  The videos will allow students a complete “walk through” of each lab procedure before attending the lab, along with the opportunity to review the lab afterwards.  The courses for which these videos will be developed are PHYS 153, PHYS 111/112, and PHYS 211/212.

• “Mass Communication/Chemistry Podcasts,” principal investigators Ton Hallaq, assistant professor of mass communication and Robert Holman, chair of the ISU chemistry department.  The amount of the grant is $51,400.  This project continues the collaboration between the chemistry and mass communication departments by developing video podcasts for CHEM 111, 112, and 305, which will serve approximately 1,000 students per year.  Students view a podcast and complete an online quiz in preparation for each of their lab experiments.  The podcasts may be viewed on computers as well as mobile video players (i.e. iPods), in order to increase flexibility and accessibility for students.

• “English and Sociology Course Redesign,” principal investigators are chair of the Department of Sociology, Social Work and Criminal Justice Ann Hunter, Professor of English Terry Engebretsen and instructor of sociology and English Nancy Wall. The amount of the grant is  $124,700. This cross-disciplinary project aims to reduce classroom time in two high enrollment courses (SOC 101 & ENGL 101) by integrating curricula from these courses and offering them both in real time and at the students’ convieniene. Blogs, Wikis and live MoodleISU chats will facilitate writing groups and processes, and allow for relevant discussion beyond the classroom with maximum flexibility for students.  Students will be able to earn six credits, three of which will satisfy Goal 12 requirements.  

• “University Health High School (UHHS) – Networking and Early College Opportunities in Health Sciences,” principal investigators Randy Stamm, manager for the instructional Technology Research Center in Boise, and Stephen Wright, adjunct professor health care administration.  The amount of the grant is $96,300.  The UHHS project will offer online early college credit courses for secondary students seeking degrees in health sciences. The social-networking learning environment, based on the Moodle platform, will allow students to communicate with health professionals, meet like-minded students from other high schools, and collaborate with ISU students enrolled in health sciences programs.  It will also create opportunities for secondary teachers, counselors, administrators, and parents to participate in health sciences learning.  The project brings together ISU staff and faculty from the Kasiska College of Health Professions, Early College Program, and the ITRC.