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4 Penn State Projects to Explore Online Innovation in Teaching and Learning

Penn State researchers are investigating ways to enhance teaching and learning through online innovation, thanks to funding from the institution's Research Initiation Grant Program. The program, run by the university's Center for Online Innovation in Learning (COIL), provides seed money each fall and spring semester for preliminary evidence gathering, so that researchers can then pursue external funding for larger studies.

COIL awards up to $40,000 per project based on innovation, potential to enhance learning, feasibility, cost-effectiveness and other factors. According to the program Web site, special consideration is given to proposals that:

  • Align with COIL's research priorities of personalization and student retention;
  • Demonstrate considerable promise for enhancing learning through online innovation;
  • Demonstrate the potential to stimulate significant proposals for external funding;
  • Include collaborative efforts among faculty and staff from different departments, units, colleges and campuses at Penn State; and
  • Include collaborations with other institutions that enhance the value of the research.

COIL's fall 2015 grants went to four projects:

"We received a great batch of strong proposals, from an expanding community of faculty, staff and student researchers working to enhance learning," said Kyle Peck, co-director of COIL, in a university statement. "These projects emerged from a peer review process, edging out other worthy proposals. It's exciting to see the momentum developing and Penn State increasing its contributions in this area."

About the Author

About the author: Rhea Kelly is executive editor for Campus Technology. She can be reached at [email protected].

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