The Tufts Innovates! seed grant program seeks to spark imaginative ideas to enhance learning and teaching, including approaches that integrate research and are interdisciplinary. These innovative proposals are expected to catalyze sustainable initiatives across schools and programs, and may lead to other internally funded programs or externally funded grant opportunities.
Grants may be made to Tufts faculty members, students and staff, with a Tufts faculty member as a lead principal investigator. Seed grant awards are expected to range from $500 to $50,000. Funding decisions are through a peer review process including faculty and administrative staff, and based on several criteria, including degree of educational innovation, potential impact on learning by Tufts students, likelihood for sustainability, and viability within departmental, school and/or programmatic frameworks.
Seed Grants for Academic Years 2012, 2013 and 2014
The Tufts Innovates! Seed Grant Program has made 25 grants with 6 new projects being awarded in April 2013. These projects begin implementation in June 2013 and will continue through the 2014 academic year. They join the Innovates! projects for 2011-2013 in enhancing our students’ educational experiences across Tufts University for years to come.
We thank the many faculty and staff who submitted excellent proposals, not only making this year’s decisions particularly difficult but also indicating the widespread commitment to enhancing teaching and learning at Tufts.
Tufts Innovates! seed grants for 2013-2014:
Integrating Clinical Skills Video Modules into Core Veterinary Laboratory Courses
Principal Investigator: Amanda Abelson, Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine
To develop a suite of clinical skills video modules, accompanied by online assessment exercises,
for the small animal laboratory classes at the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine.
The development of the video modules will combine best practices in multi-step teaching of
clinical skills and effective online instruction. These modules and exercises will be integrated
into the three small animal clinical skills laboratory courses required of all 1st, 2nd and 3rd year veterinary students.
Using Digital Humanities to Develop Citizen Scholars
Principal Investigator: Ioannis D. Evrigenis, School of Arts & Sciences
To engage undergraduate and graduate students in the interdisciplinary development of a
multi-lingual, annotated digital edition of Bodin’s Six livres de la republique. This edition
will enable users to electronically access the three existing versions alongside a contemporary,
searchable translation of Bodin’s work, which is recognized widely as having an enduring
influence over key current political concepts. In spring 2014, a Political Theory Methods
seminar will incorporate the work that has been done on the new digital edition up to
that point. This project will combine active citizenship with serious scholarship,
train the next generation of citizen scholars, and offer our students the rare opportunity of
making genuine contributions to knowledge in areas that are often considered beyond their reach.
Philosophy 91 – Ethics Bowl Boot Camp and Inaugural Tufts Ethics Bowl
Principal Investigator: Erin Kelly, School of Arts & Sciences
To emphasize and teach ethical reasoning in a cross-disciplinary, problem-based approach,
engaging students in applying ethical theories and concepts to complex, detailed cases that are
ethically challenging. The special topics course will use cases prepared for The Ethics Bowl,
a national and regional ethics competition. The project will include the first
Tufts Ethics Bowl competition, a day-long event open to all students, in October 2013.
The winning team of the Tufts competition will proceed to the regional competition,
and if successful there, to the national competition. The course and the Ethics Bowl
will help to foster a campus culture that encourages ethical inquiry, critical thinking,
and active citizenship.
Optimizing the use of New Media in the Connected Classroom: New Tools and
Instructional Design for Deeper Learning at Tufts
Principal Investigator: Kris Manjapra, School of Arts and Sciences
To develop, document and disseminate a suite of instructional design and digital tools
to facilitate a long-distance “connected classroom” experience between Tufts students and
BRAC University students in Bangladesh in spring 2014. These tools will have immediate potential
for broad application across disciplines and schools at Tufts. The connected classroom will
pair classrooms at Tufts and BRAC-U using videoconferencing, webconferencing and multimedia
courseware to create a synchronous co-taught History course. Students will engage in
collaborative learning across global distance. The project will include the development
of (1) the ability to port the prototyped Interactive Video Player to and from the
Tufts Digital Library, (2) sharable instructional documentation for Multilinear Video Essays,
(3) online tutorials and in-class instructional materials on informed and responsible
research on the Open Web tailored for Tufts students, and (4) an assessment strategy using
the new E-portfolio Trunk tool to record the attitudinal shifts among students who take part
in the long-distance connected classroom.
Patients without Borders: using Distance Learning to Connect Cummings Students
with Veterinary Practice in Morocco
Principal Investigator: Melissa R. Mazan, Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine
To develop expertise and understanding of the global context of veterinary medicine by using
videoconference real-time ward rounds for working equids in a charity hospital in Morocco,
paired with internet based interactive multi-linear learning modules to learn the principles,
practice, and cultural context of veterinary practice in a developing country. The project will
address distance learning comprehensively by (1) including primary training in working equid
diseases and health problems rarely seen in Grafton, (2) improving videoconferencing and
application sharing capabilities, and (3) expanding our students’ understanding of the relevant
cultural and economic background. Seventy-five percent of the 4th year students are expected to be
involved in the new studies; by the second year, all 4th year students will have exposure.
This project will create a prototype for enabling students to have authentic training in
global health, without mandating international travel.
Jumbo ML: Smoothing the Path to Mastery of Modules for
Beginning Computer Science Students
Principal Investigator: Norman Ramsey, School of Engineering
To promote student learning of essential programming principles through the development of
a new computer language. The aim of developing Jumbo ML will be to remove obstacles from students,
so they can solve bigger, more challenging problems. Jumbo ML will first be used in spring 2014 in
Computer Science 15, a beginning computer science course taken by hundreds of students.
The project will include developing a Guide for students using Jumbo ML, specifically organized
around the principles to be taught in the course.
Tufts Innovates! seed grants for 2012-2013:
An Integrated Approach to Teaching Advanced Epidemiology and Biostatistics to Clinical Researchers
Jessica Paulus, Sackler, Tufts CTSI
This project will create a series of case examples and teaching materials
for an integrated approach to teaching Epidemiology and Biostatistics.
Canine Dissection Instructional Audio-Visual Modules
M.S.A. Kumar, TCSVM
Each audio-visual module will show procedures to dissect, identify and understand spatial relationships of structures of a particular region during each anatomy laboratory session.
Creation of Interactive Content to Support More Discussion-Based Instruction in Engineering
Ethan Danahy, SOE
Digital textbook development of interactive course materials for use outside the classroom, thus freeing up in-class lecture time for discussions and hands-on group work.
Developing a New Digital Tool for Hands-On Learning and Collaborative Source-Document Editing
Marie-Claire Beaulieu, A&S
Gregory Crane, A&S; Bridget Almas, Perseus Project; Christopher Barbour, Alexander May, Alicia Morris, Anne Sauer, Tisch Library; Brigid Freymuller, Grad. Asst, A&S
Development of an online tool for students to collaboratively transcribe, edit, and translate Latin and Greek source documents from Tisch Library, creating open-source digital editions.
Engaging Students and Faculty in GPU (Graphics Processing Units) Programming for Scientific Applications at Tufts
Soha Hassoun, SOE
This project engages graduate and undergraduate students and faculty at Tufts in educational and research activities using Graphic Processing Units (GPUs) for high-performance scientific applications.
High-Definition Cinemicrography for Teaching Histology and Pathology
Joyce Knoll, TCSVM
A state-of-the art HD imaging system will be used to create web-based instructor-guided videomicroscope tutorials of normal and diseased tissues directly pertinent to veterinary medicine.
Multidisciplinary Short Courses in Genomic Analysis
Peter Castaldi, TUSM, Tufts CTSI
Lax Iyer, Sackler; Jessica Paulus, Sackler, Tufts CTSI; Joshua Ainsley, Sackler; Gavin Schnitzler, Sackler; Tanya Logvinenko, Sackler, Tufts CTSI; Gordon Huggins, TUSM, Sackler; Donna Slonim, A&S
Development and offering of five short courses to provide researchers with skills necessary to analyze specific types of genomic/proteomic data.
Telling the Climate Justice Story
Jonathan E. Kenny, A&S
Interdisciplinary undergraduate course integrating presentations by guest experts with instruction on becoming effective advocates for climate justice through development of video or other innovative projects.
Tufts Innovates! seed grants for 2011-2012:
Country Management: Strategy, Operations and Leadership in Emerging and Frontier Economies
Bhaskar Chakravorti, Fletcher
Pioneering research and education area in international relations.
Development of video-based teaching tools for clinical ultrasound in veterinary medicine
Dominique Penninck, TCSVM
Olivier Taeymans, James Sutherland-Smith and Ryan King, TCSVM
Unique resource in French and English for local and international training at all levels.
Humanizing the Sciences through Interdisciplinary, Interpersonal, and Ensemble Learning: An Introductory Course for Freshmen and Sophomore Students
Jonathan Garlick, TUSDM
Engaging student learning of the sciences through a humanistic, interdisciplinary lens via collaborative, “ensemble” learning and team teaching.
Junior Design – A Systems Approach
Ron Lasser, SOE
Creating the environment of a Design Studio for systems engineering.
New Course in Environmental Communication
Julie Dobrow, A&S
Improving environmental literacy and communication through the lens of natural and social sciences, multimedia, and primary source material.
Nutrition 101: Using Blended Learning and Educational Technology to Improve Student Learning in a Large-Enrollment Course
Patrick Connell, Friedman
Diane McKay, HNRCA; Kelly Kane, Friedman
Improving student learning in large introductory classes through hybrid learning environments.
Pilot Project in Spanish Language Instruction
Sandra Baer, A&S
Jean Herbert and Laura Rogers, A&S
Transforming language instruction through Universal Design.
Single Statistical Software Initiative (SiSSI)
Kenneth Chui, TUSM
Steven A. Cohen and David Tybor, TUSM
Creating a flexible and user-friendly wiki forum to enhance the learning of statistical software.
Teaching Psychology in a Virtual International Learning Environment
Holly Taylor, A&S
Building a model for virtual international, collaborative classrooms.
The Use of Direct Observation, Feedback, and Video-based Self-reflection to Enhance the Teaching Skills of Residents: A Multidisciplinary Randomized Control Trial at Two Institutions
Laura Snydman, TUSM
Joseph Rencic, Daniel Chandler, Kimberly Dowdell, Lori Lyn Price, Jessica Paulus, Priya Garg, Julia Aquino and Kevin Hinchey, TUSM
Assessment of innovative feedback methods in teaching residents to teach.
Tufts Undergraduate Global Health Resource Network
Edith Balbach, A&S
Mary Bruynell and Dahlia Norrey, A&S Students
Creating a sustainable Tufts undergraduate resource for global health information, networking and awareness.