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past projects

The Center for Teaching Excellence manages a range of projects for faculty members and students. Use the tabs below to browse through past events.


Action Learning for Research

Thomas Crea

Associate Professor, School of Social Work

Action learning is a concept in which teams pool their knowledge and expertise to solve problems in real time. Action Research is a means of conducting research that pairs researchers and practitioners to develop methods and findings relevant and practical for those attempting to solve social problems. Teaching action research depends on alignment of classroom and practicum schedules, cooperation among group members, and synergistic relationship with field staff. The current classroom model makes it difficult for these three things to occur and can result in reduced student learning. This project proposes that the use of a newly developed learning application will help resolve these challenges and create a more dynamic learning experience for students.

Universal design learning

Boston College UDL

Richard Jackson

Associate Professor, Teacher Education, Lynch School of Education

The purpose of the BC Universal Design for Learning (UDL) project is to develop a comprehensive web space that will build the capacity of the BC faculty, staff, and administration across the University to implement UDL and to help BC become a national model for UDL implementation and leadership. UDL is an innovative educational framework, defined in the Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008, that addresses the variability and diverse learning needs of all students. The project promotes an innovative use of technology through the use of portable devices to gather various perspectives on the needs of learners.


Connecting Youth and Mentors

Mike Barnett

Professor, Lynch School of Education

Mentors and role models can play a significant role in students’ motivation to pursue specific careers as they transition to adulthood, particularly science-based careers. Unfortunately, youth are often insecure about their math and science skills or discouraged by peer pressure from pursuing Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) fields, especially women and minorities. One of the oft called-for recommendations is to expand the capacity and diversity of the STEM workforce pipeline by building better and easier structures to provide mentoring to young people entering the STEM pipeline.


Consumer Insights Panel

Henrik Hagtvedt

Assistant Professor, Carroll School of Management

The Marketing Department is currently working on establishing a Consumer Insights Panel (CIP) at the Carroll School of Management. The CIP is an exciting new initiative that will be an extremely valuable asset to scholars in the Carroll School who conduct behavioral research that relies on human participants.


Corporations Instructional Modules

Brian Quinn

Associate Professor, School of Law

This project is in support of my work to develop a modular approach to the standard 3 credit business associations course. The ultimate goal of this effort is to develop a series of modules, each covering a different topic area, LLCs, partnership, close corporations, start-ups & venture capital, public benefit corporations, corporate social responsibility and mergers.


Digital Innovations in Sound Engineering

John Michalczyk

Professor, College of Arts and Sciences, Film Studies

The Film Studies Program faculty will design a pilot program over two semesters in sound and animation.  For the past several years there has been a consistent interest among film students for more production-related courses to prepare them for graduate studies or a career in the media.

Learn more about Digital Innovations in Sound Engineering


Engaging Boston College Undergraduates

Alan Kafka

Associate Professor, Earth and Environmental Sciences

Mike Barnett

Professor, Lynch School of Education

This project responds to two needs of the university and of society in general. First is the need for students educated in the 21st Century to be able to “think outside the box” and be able to do more than just respond well to testing and having their work only evaluated by professors. Second is the need for science education programs to train future citizens who cannot only communicate about science but also be able to express their ideas through media. The work that we are proposing here directly addresses both of these needs by engaging undergraduate students at Boston College in the development and testing of interactive displays where they will share their scientific knowledge and visualizations with a general and public audience.


Exploring Use of TAO

Michael Russell

Professor, Lynch School of Education

The LSOE’s Educational Research, Measurement, and Evaluation program prepares pre-service educators, master students, and doctoral students to develop assessment instruments. To keep pace with the advances in digital assessment, it is essential that our students have access to tools that allow them to develop and administer digital assessments


MediaKron Special Projects

ATAB invited faculty to submit a proposal for developing a MediaKron project and to join a cohort of faculty developing similar projects. MediaKron is a web-based toolkit for digital thinking and storytelling developed at Boston College for Boston College faculty. In addition to developing a project, faculty have committed to participating in a cohort to collaborate and discuss pedagogical uses of MediaKron and ways in which it can enhance teaching and learning. The cohort will provide a report at the end of the project outlining findings that will inform faculty and student use of MediaKron as it continues to evolve as an instructional tool.


Personal Response System Modernization Pilot

Center for Teaching Excellence

The CTE will be conducting a faculty pilot of two software‐based personal response tools, Top Hat and Poll Everywhere, that fulfill a range of faculty use cases. Much like current BC support of virtual communication tools, this selection of personal response system tools would ensure a good fit for a wide range of use cases.


Technology Enhanced Teaching

Mandy Li

Assistant Professor, Educational Research, Lynch School of Education

One of the most widely supported calls for the 21st century is to know statistics. In 2009, New York Times published an article “For Today’s Graduate, Just One Word: Statistics”. This article quotes “I keep saying that the sexy job in the next 10 years will be statisticians.” said Hal Varian, chief economist at Google. As a professor teaching several statistics courses, I would like to contribute to make statistical learning more fun and easy through animated visual display of steps and procedures.


Using Technology to Prepare Leaders

Rebecca Lowenhaupt

Assistant Professor, Lynch School of Education

This project will leverage new technologies to provide innovative and relevant instruction to graduate education for aspiring school leaders in the Lynch School of Education.


Building a Sustainable Culture of Innovation and Practice in the Digital Humanities

Mary Crane

Professor, English Department

This project seeks a sustainable approach to innovation and practice in the way we approach digital humanities research and teaching at Boston College.



Classroom Annotation with Wacom Tablets

Mary Bilder

Professor, Law School

This project seeks to replace static classroom monitors with Wacom Tablets. The Wacom Tablet revolutionizes the teaching experience by enabling the instructor or a student to annotate spontaneously projected documents.


Next generation learning: Integrating science education through robotics

Mike Barnett

Professor, Lynch School of Education

The proposed work here builds upon existing work while expanding into new areas, namely robotics and computer programming.

mindful teacher

mindful teacher

The Mindful Teacher website is a resource for teachers and school administrators interested in the emerging intersections between mindfulness and education. Its goal is to provide a curated collection of regularly-updated content presented in an easily accessible format for educators from around the world.


PNEURAL: Build Your Own Neural Network

Joseph Burdo

Adjunct Professor, Biology

My proposal involves using rigid tubing designed to resemble neurons to build a physical model of a neural network, that I have named PNEURAL (silent P as in pneumatics) to help students grasp the underlying electrical principles of information processing in the brain.

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Excellence in Teaching: Fostering Critical Thinking

The Teaching Committee of the Carroll School of Management wanted to pilot the use of video in exploring themes and modeling best practices around excellence in teaching. The prototype they created presents the theme of critical thinking. It features four Carroll School faculty members and the distinct approaches they take to fostering this skill in their students, with suggestions for using case studies, interactive lecturing, debates and structured discussions in class and online. The video is intended to be of interest for all instructors, and may be used as the focal point for discussion in events for junior faculty members.

Doctoral Program in Social Welfare

Online Courses for the International Doctoral Program in Social Welfare

In AY2013-2014, GSSW launched an International Doctoral Program in Social Welfare, in collaboration with two Jesuit universities in Mexico and with funding from Santander Universities Foundation. The initial cohort includes one student from Universidad Iberoamericana, one from Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Occidente (ITESO) and six from Boston College.

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Beyond Ricci

History professor Fr. Jeremy Clarke, S.J., was funded by an ATIG grant to create a website that would introduce readers to the Jesuitana Collection at the Burns Library. Because Fr. Clarke's expertise is Chinese history, he chose to focus on rare books written about China by Jesuit missionaries and to make digitized versions of several books available to the public online for the first time. The result is an engaging and visually rich resource for scholars, teachers, and students to explore East-West cultural exchange in the early modern period.

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Forgotten Chapters

Prof. Lewis received several grants to curate the exhibition "Forgotten Chapters of Boston’s Literary History," hosted at the Boston Public Library and the Massachusetts Historical Society in the spring of 2012. One of these grants was an ATIG to create an exhibit website to provide mobile content in the exhibit and make the content available online. He used this as an opportunity to collaborate with students, and have them conduct scholarly work in the digital humanities and generate content for both the exhibit and website.

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Virtual Forensics Lab

Nursing professor Ann Burgess received an ATIG grant to develop a unique tool for teaching forensic science through game-based learning. In the past, she simply used manikins and fake blood to create a simulated crime scene for her students to examine, but her goal was to create a richer and more interactive environment for learning forensics methods.







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The web site GenerationPulse is reaching further in its mission to promote awareness and action on behalf of social justice. With the help of an ATIG, faculty director Belle Liang and a team of students from the Lynch School of Education launched a new version of the site last spring.

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Walking Ulysses

English professor Joe Nugent received an ATIG grant to develop an interactive map for exploring James Joyce’s novel Ulysses. This unique learning tool plots the journeys of the novel’s main characters through Dublin on June 6, 1904, giving students a virtual means for experiencing what the city was like around the turn of the twentieth century.

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Biology Commons

Clare O’Connor teaches an upper level laboratory course, and wanted to make a collection of methods available online so that it could be shared with her class, as well as colleagues at BC and other institutions. The web site she is creating includes visual tutorials as well as written instructions in pdf form, and links to resources for further study. A further stage of development will include publication of data from student experiments.

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First Hand Exhibit

Shelia Gallagher and Judy Bookbinder of the Fine Arts department developed the Becker Collection website, a unique online archive of hitherto un-exhibited and undocumented Civil War era drawings that offer rich insight into history and culture of the 19th Century America. To enable the public to view these pieces in person for the first time, they collaborated with the university art museum to host an exhibit of selected drawings from the collection called “First Hand: Civil War Era Drawings from the Becker Collection." Gallagher received an Academic Technology Innovation Grant to incorporate technology in ways that would enhance visitors' experience of the exhibit.

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GAA Oral History Project

As it celebrates the 125th anniversary of its founding, the Gaelic Athletic Association is working with Boston College - Ireland on an oral history project to create a record of what the Association has meant to the culture and people of Ireland. The project will collect interviews with everyone connected with the games, from players and coaches to grounds-staff and fans, as well as photographs and other related documents. Highlights from this emerging collection are displayed on a web site, where members of the public can watch video and listen to audio clips and view other content. The site features a different theme each month and includes information about how people of...

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Irish Studies Repository

The Irish Studies Program at Boston College offers courses in history, language, sociology and the arts. Codirectors Robert Savage and Marjorie Howes worked with other instructors to develop a repository where common resources for teaching can be stored, browsed and searched in ways that promote the interdisciplinary vision of the program. Featured content will include images and rare texts drawn from faculty members' collections and the BC Libraries, as well as resources gathered for exhibits and other special events.

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Korean americans and the "Forgotten War"

Ramsay Liem collaborated with several artists, an historian, and a documentary film maker to create a multi-media exhibit of installation and performance art, documentary film, archival photographs, and oral histories that explores memories and legacies of the Korean War. The exhibit traveled around the country for several years, but because he anticipated the day when it would stop touring, he wanted to create an online version that would enable visitors to continue experiencing the exhibit even if it was no longer possible to view it person.

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Student Research on the Becker Collection

Shelia Gallagher and Judy Bookbinder of the Fine Arts department developed the Becker Collection website, a unique online archive of hitherto un-exhibited and undocumented Civil War era drawings that offer rich insight into history and culture of the 19th Century America. To integrate this material into their teaching, they worked with IDeS to develop another version of the site that would enable students not only to learn from the collection but also to conduct original research on the drawings. 

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Global History Archive

The new History Department core takes a global perspective, ranging across continents and centuries, and Core Moderator Franziska Seraphim wanted to find a way for faculty to share material for these courses. The repository she and her colleague Robin Fleming have created, with the assistance of a number of the department’s graduate students, includes texts, images and maps, and can be searched by keywords and browsed through a menu which reflects the structure of the core. Instructors can contribute and comment on items and participate in forums, which will encourage ongoing exchanges about pedagogy and the teaching of history.

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La Muerte de Jesús

After Phil Cunningham and Barbara Radtke worked with IDES to create The Death of Jesus: Four Gospel Accounts mini-course, they collaborated with IDeS again to translate this site into Spanish to serve the large Spanish-speaking audience around the world.

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Spiritual Diversity in Social Work Practice

For a future Independent Study on Spiritual Diversity in Social Work Practice, Othelia Lee wanted to offer her working graduate students the convenience of centralized content in the familiar environment of Blackboard Vista. She organized the content in learning modules, one for each class session, custom designed to open with an introductory overview and image selected to reflect the theme.

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Ad Theologiam

Theology core courses are taught by many instructors with differing approaches, not following a shared curriculum but often touching on common figures and texts. Boyd Taylor Coolman saw the need for a repository that would allow faculty and Teaching Fellows (some of whom are planning classes for the first time) to share readings, images, syllabi and other teaching resources. He worked with Sarah Castricum, Instructional Designer in IDeS and occasional instructor for Introduction to Christian Theology, to develop a site where he and his colleagues could contribute, search for and comment on content.



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Becker Collection

A few years ago, Sheila Gallagher began taking a closer look at a box of old drawings that had been sitting in a closet in her parents’ home. The drawings belonged to her great-grandfather, Joseph Becker, and his fellow artist-reporters who worked at Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Weekly observing, drawing, and sending back for publication images of the Civil War, the construction of the railroads, the Irish immigration, the Chinese in the West, the Indian wars, the Chicago fire, and numerous other aspects of nineteenth-century American culture.

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The Birth of Jesus: Two Gospel Narratives

After finishing their first online tutorial, The Death of Jesus: Four Gospel Accounts, Phil Cunningham and Barbara Radtke approached IDeS with an idea for a second mini-course that would enable participants to explore the nativity narratives in new ways. Their target audience for this tutorial included religious educators, liturgy planners, members of scripture study groups and preachers, as well as a general audience of anyone looking to deepen their understanding of the Gospel narratives.

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First-Year Writing Seminar Teachers' Lounge

Funded by a Faculty Summer Workshop Grant, Lad Tobin and Ricco Siasoco collaborated with IDeS to create an online teaching resource repository to support faculty who teach the First-Year Writing Seminar. This site is designed to offer faculty a collaborative space where they can share teaching resources such as syllabi, readings, and assignments and where they can discuss the challenging teaching issues they face.

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Immersive Environment for Research

Faculty members Maya Tamir and Aaron Walsh shared the goal of creating games based in a virtual environment which could be used in psychology experiments. Their collaboration allowed students of 3D Graphics and Virtual Reality technology to further their skills in those fields. Tamir uses the games they produced to conduct experimental research on goal-driven human behavior, and to train students of social psychology through hands-on experience.

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Instructors' Workbook in Clinical Practice

As Coordinator of a multi-section course required for all Graduate School of Social Work students, Robin Warsh was seeking a way to deliver resources for the 8 – 10 instructors teaching the course each fall. Respecting their differences in approach, she envisioned a Blackboard Vista site serving as a repository for lecture material, PowerPoint presentations, video clips and other resources that faculty could draw from as needed and to which they could all contribute.

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20th Century and the Tradition

The Arts and Science Honors program wanted to develop a site that would serve as a common resource for the course "20th Century and the Tradition," a seminar required for all 3rd-year students in the program. Because this course is highly interdisciplinary in nature, the Honors Program needed a vehicle for distributing a wide variety of multimedia course material to both students and faculty.

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C21 Online

C21Online is the online continuing education initiative co-sponsored by the Church in the 21st Century and the Institute of Religious Education and Pastoral Ministry. Dr. Barbara Radtke, Program Coordinator for C21 Online, wanted to expand the continuing education mission of C21Online through the development of a public website and a series of Blackboard Vista courses.

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Clinical Strategies

Inspired by the Center for Home Care site, Joyce Pulcini and her colleagues in the Connell School of Nursing envisioned a web site for CNS students and faculty as well as practitioners in local hospitals and agencies, some of whom supervise CSON students in the field. They also had the goal of providing a Blackboard Vista environment rich in content, communication and assessment activities, for a graduate CNS course with a significant online component.

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Covering Photography

Covering Photography is a web-based archive and resource for the study of the relationship between the history of photography and book cover design. It was created by Karl Baden, who wanted to make publicly available his 1000+ collection of images of classic photos, used and recontextualized in various ways on book covers.  He envisioned a database which could be searched by a variety of categories (author, photographer, etc.) and which could display juxtaposed images of book covers to allow for comparison.  The project is of interest to students of photography (he uses it in the courses he teaches), designers and critics alike, and has received national acclaim.

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Death of Jesus

Phil Cunningham and Barbara Radtke approached IDeS with an idea for an online tutorial that would enable participants to explore the Gospel passion narratives in new ways. Their target audience for this tutorial included religious educators, liturgy planners, members of scripture study groups and preachers, as well as a general audience of anyone looking to deepen their understanding of the Gospel narratives. We created a website featuring interactive commentaries that guide users through each of the five scenes in the four Gospel narratives, supplemented by historical background materials and an introduction to reading the Bible in the Catholic tradition.

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Global Perspectives on Gender Inequalities

With observers of economic development and the growth of civil society increasingly recognizing the importance of gender issues to these concerns, Karen Kayser proposed a new course on the subject for the Graduate School of Social Work. She wanted the course to have a significant online presence so that it could provide resources conveniently for GSSW students with limited time on campus, and include students at other institutions.

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John Adams

Marc Landy, a professor in the political science department, is the director of an NEH summer program on John Adams. As a collaboration with the Adams National Historical Park, this two-week workshop is designed to provide community college faculty the chance to deepen their understanding of John Adams in the rich historical context of Boston. Professor Landy needed a website that would serve as a marketing tool to spread the word about the program, as a communication medium for those planning to attend, and as a course website for participants during and after the workshop.

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During the fall of 2006, the Law School changed its first year curriculum, moving three large section courses (torts, contracts and property) from a two-quarter format into a one-semester schedule. Professor Judy McMorrow, who regularly teaches the Torts course, approached IDeS to help her devise a system of meaningful feedback that would help students prepare for final exam questions within the constraints of the shortened course.

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Center for Home Care

A collaboration between the Connell School of Nursing and the Visiting Nurse Association of Boston, the Center provides community health training for CSON students and professional development for VNAB staff members. Center Director Adele Pike wanted to establish a way for the two groups to share common resources, and better integrate theoretical and practical information.

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Child Growth and Development

Coordinating the social science core courses Child Growth and Development (PY030) and Family, School and Society (PY031), Professors Penny Hauser-Cram and Jackie Lerner provide a wealth of professional and multi-media material to 8-10 sections and their instructors. They saw the benefit of delivering these resources through a web site so students could continue to refer to them outside class, and have convenient access to the library databases essential to work in the field (one assignment involves writing a research literature review). With the site in place, meetings of all the section instructors can focus on the pedagogical questions of teaching their complex material.

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OB Toolkit

With over 800 students in multiple courses, Michael O'Leary in the Organization Studies Department wanted to create a web-based teaching toolkit containing learning objects (e.g., syllabi, articles, assignments, in and out of class exercises, video clips, etc) for faculty and teaching fellows teaching multiple Organizational Behavior courses. To create the content for the site, a number of learning objects professors typically use in their Organizational Behavior courses were collected, digitized, and uploaded into the site. Users of the site can comment on how they used individual resources as well as add additional resources. As a way to continue to add new content, the site has been integrated with a teaching practicum course.

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Perspectives I

Encompassing multiple instructors and more than twenty sections, this distinctive Boston College program seemed an ideal candidate for a digital repository of shared material. The faculty team also wanted a means of visually representing the relationships among philosophical and religious movements and leaders, and other forms of culture. To protect the resources they were gathering and observe copyright restrictions, the instructors decided to take advantage of the password protection offered by Blackboard Vista and have a course site established in which all Perspectives I students would be automatically enrolled. 

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Professional Nursing II

NU 264 01: Professional Nursing II focuses on the transition from the student to practitioner role. The increased enrollment in this last required nursing course for graduating seniors motivated Judy Vessey of the William F. Connell School of Nursing to move from a straight lecture format to an interactive web-based format in order to meet the course goals of developing critical thinking and practical technology skills for the practitioner. Judy Vessey’s central aim for this site was to enhance the course content and delivery by using a variety of technological applications for class preparation and in-class activities. Web based class material enables students to access them ahead of time, as well as download audio-visuals onto a notebook...

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Roma: Caput Mundi

One of the most challenging pedagogical aspects of art history is to recreate the original context of art and architecture while teaching in the classroom. Through a collaboration between Stephanie Leone, O'Neill Library, and Instructional Design and eTeaching Services, Roma: Caput Mundi was created to facilitate students' understanding of Rome as a physical entity. By navigating the map and interacting with the monuments, students take a virtual tour of Renaissance and Baroque Rome, which helps them to learn about the interrelationships between monuments and the urban environment.

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The Shelley Project

“The Shelley Project” was developed by IDeS and Mark O’Connor of the Arts and Sciences Honors Program with funding from the Davis Foundation. The Flash-application provides a contextual exploration of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein through the art of J. David, Géricault, Delacroix and Turner, and the music of Paganini, Liszt, Brahms, Rachmaninoff, Berlioz, Mozart, Beethoven, Monteverdi and Gregorian Chant.