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The Innovative Technology Solutions Fund selected the first set of recipients in early 2018 for the 2018-2019 academic year. A summary of the selected projects for each award cycle can be found below.
Lecture Capture Technology Upgrade
Jeremy Galster, College of Business and Public Policy
The College of Business and Public Policy will be using the ITSF funds to upgrade existing Lecture Capture technologies already in place in order to better serve our existing students and to help attract future students by offering high-quality lecture captures for both distance students and face to face students within Alaska and the nation.
Interactive and Accessible Learning Environment for the Online Master of Science in Global Supply Chain Management Program
Philip M. Price, Department of Management and Marketing
The CBPP Master of Science in Global Supply Chain Management (MS GSCM) program is transitioning from an intensive weekend-structured, faced-to-face format to a 100% online format. A challenge of the conversion from a classroom-based to a fully online format will be to create an academic program that is both highly interactive and accessible. To help meet this challenge, the MS GSCM program will use Innovative Solutions Technology Funding to to create an interactive and accessible learning environment for online MS GSCM students through the use of off-the-shelf WCAG 2.0 AA-compliant simulation products from Harvard Business Publishing, Articulate 360 authoring software to create new interactive content, and online PowerMapper software to check the accessibility and WCAG 2.0 compliance of any newly created or existing online content for the MS GSCM program. The project will work with partners across UAA to create original, interactive, and accessible course content using the Articulate 360 authoring software. These collaborative partners include the Arctic Domain Awareness Center, the Lean Center of Excellence, the CBPP MBA program, and Academic Innovations and eLearning. The project will serve as a pilot program to test simulations and software, share resources and lessons learned with the wider UAA community, and make informed decisions about future purchasing choices to be built into and self-funded by the MS GSCM program.
UAA Robotic Project
Heather Lindsey, UAA Robotics Club
UAA Robotics is an interdisciplinary club with over 70 members who are interested in expanding UAA's access to robotics and mechatronics resources. This project expands UAA's mechanical and electrical manufacturing resources through the development of the Robotics Innovation Lab (RIL). The RIL directly impact students by giving them convenient access to innovative technologies such as a PCB Mill and an industrial CNC Router, which are currently unavailable anywhere at UAA. These technologies, among others, will allow students to prototype and manufacture mechanical and electrical systems on a level that far exceeds UAA's current capabilities.
Accessible Wayfinding and Campus Navigation System (AWCNS)
Heather Swanson, Disability Support Services
This project is for the design, development, and implementation of an Accessible Wayfinding Campus System (AWCNS) for the University of Alaska Anchorage (UAA) campus, which will significantly impact Blind / Visually Impaired (BVI) individuals on UAA’s campus. Using the ITSF funds, Disability Support Service's technology specialist researched and has begun steps to installing an AWCNS.
Imagine Google Maps, but for navigating between classes and buildings.This AWCNS consists of a free app and website accessible to the public that gives real-time, audio feedback to the user regarding their location, as well as any potential hazards they could encounter enroute. Bluetooth beacons will be installed around campus to get this system up-and-running. The maps accompanying the app use high-contrast colors and large print to further aid users. In addition to the audio feedback and low-vision maps, tactile maps will be installed around campus in key locations. Currently, the app is available for iOS users, and is coming soon for Android users.
Not only is this a huge advancement for the BVI community (and anyone who gets lost on campus), but UAA will be a new standard for universities. Few educational institutions have this type of technology, and UAA will be the first to implement an AWCNS of this scale.
Wayfinding at UAA in the News
- UAA Green & Gold - UAA launching accessible wayfinding system - July 20, 2018
- The Northern Light - Accessible Wayfinding and Campus Navigation System comes to UAA - August 17, 2018
- UAA Green & Gold - UAA leads the way in technology for blind and low-vision students - September 3, 2019
- KTUU Anchorage - New app helps visuall impaired students navigate UAA's campus - September 24, 2019
Bloomberg Terminal Software
Robert Stott, College of Business and Public Policy
Bloomberg offers an industry leading software package that is used by financial institutions both in Alaska and around the world. By acquiring this software, UAA students will be able see financial theories in textbooks illustrated with live market data. Keeping students engaged in a learning environment is so important, particularly in finance because all of the course learning objectives, as well as concepts, build upon each other. Being able to do hands-on exercises, learn through live data, and conduct trades through vendor supported games will enhance the classroom experience.
Acquiring this software is the first step in a long-term plan for the College of Business and Public Policy (CBPP). The Bloomberg software will not only be implemented in the classroom but also will be an instrumental piece in the development of a student investment fund. With the proper software tools and guidance from faculty, UAA students will be able to actively trade and monitor any future investment funds CBPP creates with donor support. This same model is used with profound success at the School of Management in Fairbanks. By supporting this proposal you will not only be helping students in the classroom but also preparing them for high profile jobs and careers.
Textbook Affordability Week 2018
Veronica Howard, Psychology Department
Textbook costs play a major role in the cost of a college education, and the high cost of textbooks directly undermines student success, access, and affordability -- central values of UAA's 2020 mission. While low-cost alternatives to many textbooks exist, adopting affordable textbooks can be challenging for faculty. Worse, students may be unwilling to advocate for lower cost textbooks if they believe they have no power over faculty choice. This project aims to increase awareness of alternatives to traditional commercial textbooks and methods to reduce textbook costs through a week-long, campus-wide campaign of educational events called "Textbook Affordability Week".
Textbook Affordability Week resulted in multiple events, outreach programs, and educational programming for over a year. This dramatically increased the profile of OER and affordable textbooks on campus. As of Fall 2018, the new Vice Provost for Student Success selected textbook affordability as one of her four key initiatives for the year. The UAA provost earmarked funds to support a summer 2019 intensive faculty training cohort called the Textbook Transformation Fellows. Over 30 faculty applied to participate and transform their courses, a larger applicant pool that any other summer intensive in recorded history. New OER adoption has reached approx. 4,800 students, yielding an estimated savings of $450,000 at UAA. As a direct result of this project, the Provost authorized initial funding for the 2019-2020 Textbook Transformation Fellows and UAA was awarded with a $474.9k grant from USDA in support of the Alaska Open Education Initiative.
Pilot Project to Install Laptop Collaboration Stations at the Consortium Library
Mike Robinson, UAA/APU Consortium Library
Install laptop collaboration stations in 5 of the 19 group study rooms at the library. The group study rooms are extremely popular with students who want to study or work on projects together. Currently the study rooms contain no technology other than white boards although students can checkout laptops for use in the rooms. The collaboration stations allow students to easily share their laptop or tablet screen onto an LED display.
Teaching and Learning Technology for UAAs New Front Door
Shannon Gramse, College Preparatory and Development Studies
This proposal creates dynamic, technologically-rich teaching and learning environments to support UAA's new academic front door and positively impact every student. It brings nine classrooms up to modern standards, creates exciting new options for student/faculty engagement and collaboration, and encourages seamless connections between classwork and proven learning supports. This proposal supports student success in essential coursework and thus is a crucial step toward enacting UAA's 2020 values and goals.
Integration of Cutting Edge Lighting Technology into Live Performance at UAA
Daniel J. Anteau, Department of Theatre and Dance
Through this project, the Department of Theatre and Dance is investing in twelve cutting-edge
stage lighting instruments (Automated fixtures) and integrate them into live performance.
Live performance is one of UAA's major gateways to the community. Every year thousands
of community members visit campus to watch live performance events such as theatrical,
or dance performances. These performances integrate hundreds of UAA's students, from
a wide variety of majors, to create these productions in all of their various stages.
With the addition of a new state of the art automated lighting, the impact of this
new technology will be felt by students and community members alike.
As it stands, it is currently impossible to turn on the television, or attend any large-scale entertainment event where automated lighting fixtures are not utilized. Utilizing this technology is an essential part of training and working in the live performance field and will enhance the instruction opportunities for educators while providing real-time learning achievements for students. With the addition of these automated fixtures, it will raise the bar in terms of what the audience will be exposed to while attending live performance events on campus. This translates into UAA positioning itself as a university of first choice for future students, as well as elevating live performance for the Alaskan community to relish.
Cutting Edge Lighting Technology in the News
- UAA Green & Gold - New state-of-the-art wireless luminaires to enhance lighting design for UAA theatre and dance productions - March 29, 2018
The UAA Robotics Project
Heather Lindsey, UAA Robotics Club
UAA Robotics is an interdisciplinary club with over 70 members who have been focused on building Mars-style rovers for the international University Rover Challenge. This project encompasses three mini-projects: development of a testing module, enhancing our competition rover, and increasing student access to technological resources which will be completed in parallel. UAA Robotics supports innovative technology solutions which provide the maximum possible benefits to all UAA students by encouraging student involvement in robotics, providing professional connections within the community, and complementing the UAA curriculum.