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Funding, Grants & Awards

Penn State Funds Projects To Enhance Online Learning

Pennsylvania State University's Center for Online Innovation in Learning (COIL) will fund seven new projects designed to enhance teaching and learning through online innovation.

Each year since 2012, COIL's Research Initiation Grant program has provided seed money for projects initiated by Penn State faculty, staff and students that could lead to external funding for larger studies. This year's seven projects, most of which will receive about $25,000 in funding support, examine everything from incorporating electron microscopy techniques into hybrid and online courses to geospatial visual analytics.

"These projects emerged from a peer-review process, edging out other worthy proposals," said COIL Co-Director and Professor Kyle Peck. "It's exciting to see the momentum developing and Penn State increasing its contributions in this area."

In previous years, COIL grants have, for example, helped engineering students develop an immersive virtual reality system to provide distance education students with a tactile classroom experience. Also, researchers have taken advantage of a COIL grant to pilot a computer game they designed to help adolescents on the autism spectrum improve their ability to understand body language.

In awarding the Research Initiation Grants, COIL typically gives priority to projects that enhance learning through online innovation, potentially stimulate additional external funding, and create collaboration among different units of the university and with other institutions.

About the Author

Michael Hart is a Los Angeles-based freelance writer and the former executive editor of THE Journal.

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