Innovation Project Proposals FY16


Digital Research and Design Studio (Justin Olmanson)

Learning and apprenticing via design-based research, prototyping, and making require a technology-rich ecology that is part [collaborative] workspace, part meeting space, and part ideation space. This project help initiate creation of that space. 

Staying and increasing our student’s competitive advantage in the globalized society in which they live encourages us to steep our students with experiences as creative, discerning producers. Whether they are hacking code modifications or making an app, modifying a sensor or making custom electronic wearables, participating on a faculty-led collaborative research team or forming a spin-off student-led digital development team each of these endeavors follow a trajectory that resonates with the core CEHS mission of giving our graduates the power to touch lives and strengthen communities. The digital research and design studio instantiates CEHS values and competencies by cultivating a cross-disciplinary ecology for creativity, vertical engagement, and innovation.


Studying Talent in Nebraska: A Documentary Approach (Ken Kiewra)

The focus of the project was on using the creation of documentaries as a teaching strategy.  Students investigated talent development among five extraordinary Nebraska youth across multiple domains. They conducted extensive face-to-face interviews with and observations of the talented children, parents, and coaches in their natural talent environments, each over a three-day period. This methodology allowed students to determine the roles that parents, coaches, and one’s surroundings play in talent development. A videographer recorded interviews, coaching and practice sessions, talent environments, and interactions among performer, parents, and coaches. The videographer and researchers then jointly created a documentary using edited recordings and narration that tells the story of how talent is developed in Nebraska.


Development and Evaluation of Mobile Device, GoPro Instructional Videos with Student Peer Models to Help Students Understand Basic Food Preparation (Georgia Jones)

This project used an iPad and multiple GoPro cameras to develop a model for creating instructional videos that serve as complimentary course materials.  Video content was developed by the instructor and student peer models.  Production and web sharing of videos was done by CYFS Web and Technology Service Center.

This project provided insight on best methods to produce videos that are completely within a mobile platform and the most effective ways to develop the engagement with students. These methods of producing mobile platform videos in a traditional classroom can be adopted by other instructors and programs. In addition to the videos that were produced specifically geared for these food course topics, a video-tutorial for how to produce these types of instructional videos was developed as a resource for other instructors, independent of the course content. A brief survey was conducted following the tutorial designed to gather information about its usefulness.

Knowledge gained is being shared with other CEHS instructors for how to produce instructional videos using a mobile platform. The interactive web and video-based tutorial that was produced as part of this project for use of the technologies to produce instructional videos is available to all CEHS course instructors, thus making this project replicable throughout CEHS and across content domains.


Learning to Teach Mathematics with Digital Mathematics Curriculum Materials (Lorraine Males) 

The purpose of this proposed project was to provide all secondary mathematics education preservice teachers (PSTs) with experience learning and teaching from a rigorous digital mathematics curriculum. Digital curriculum is becoming more of a staple in K-12 schools across the country. 

In TEAC 451P and TEAC 452P all PSTs engaged in an assignment in which they planned, taught, and reflected on a lesson from a reform-oriented curriculum. This lesson was recorded and posted on VoiceThread. Two teachers were assigned each week to provide detailed feedback on each of the weekly lessons. Previously, the materials provided to the PSTs have been in written form. This project provided funding for all PSTs and Lorraine Males, the methods instructor, to obtain a semester-long subscription in the Fall of 2015 to the student and teacher materials of a new mathematically rigorous and technologically robust digital curriculum called Math Projects from Amplify Learning, Inc. ( This curriculum served as the reform-oriented curriculum that students used for their lessons in TEAC 452P.

Although we know a lot about what teachers do with written curriculum, we know little about what teachers do with digital materials and how they interact with these materials (Stein, Remillard, & Smith, 2007). This project provided PSTs with experience in using such materials so that they can harness the power of these in their future classrooms. In addition, this project provided insight into how to prepare PSTs to use such materials. This has a lasting impact as methods courses could be designed to prepare students to do this challenging work.