Bluetooth-Enabled Stethoscopes, Lab-in-a-Cube, and Virtual Learning Communities Among SUNY Award Winners

July 27, 2016

Innovative Instruction Technology Grants Boost Access to Top Campus Tools, Practices

Albany – The State University of New York today announced recipients of the 2016-17 Innovative Instruction Technology Grants (IITG). IITG funds campus innovations and initiatives in instructional technology that have the strongest potential to be replicated across SUNY’s 64 campuses. Grants totaled $716,000 this year.

"This competitive grant program continues to position SUNY as a leader in innovative instructional practices while enabling us to take programs that work well at one campus and expand them across SUNY to benefit more of our students, faculty, and staff," said SUNY Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher. "Congratulations to each of the campuses receiving support from this year’s IITG program."

"The IITG grant program has yielded tremendous multi-campus partnerships and new pedagogical tools that can be replicated across campuses," said SUNY Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor Alexander N. Cartwright. "All grant recipients are required to share their project results at SUNY’s annual Conference on Instructional Technologies. It is so rewarding to watch our faculty not only innovate but then collaborate with colleagues from other SUNY campuses to replicate their results and/or continue to improve and build-upon the first project. Congratulations to all of this year’s awardees."

Of the 78 proposals submitted, 35 projects were selected to receive awards across three different funding tiers. Several projects included collaborations by two or more campuses and/or with local organizations and businesses. A complete list of grant-funded projects is available online. A small sampling of funded projects includes:

Research on Best Practices in Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs)
The University at Buffalo (UB) is leading two studies focused on how students interact with MOOCs, and how that interaction impacts learning and retention. This research will assist with new course development at UB, other SUNY campuses and higher education institutions worldwide.

Open SUNY Textbooks and Open Education Resources (OER)
SUNY Geneseo is leading a multi-campus effort to significantly reduce the amount of money SUNY students are required to spend on text books and related resource materials through the faculty-led publication of open access textbooks. Building on previous pilot projects which resulted in 17 available textbooks, SUNY is now engaging faculty, librarians, and instructional support specialists to scale-up lower cost textbooks and related materials.

Virtual Lab Development
One of the remaining challenges to successful online learning programs is the best way to handle courses with lab requirements. Stony Brook University is launching "Lab-in-a-Cube" to explore virtual access to laboratories. "Lab-in-a-Cube" hardware will act as a remote controller to allow students to gain realistic hands-on experiences. This includes elements of "gamification" to engage learners with direct feedback on their performance.

Building Proficiency of Nursing Students using Bluetooth-enabled Stethoscopes
SUNY Delhi will be training nursing students with new stethoscope technology to assist with patient assessment and recognition of problematic heart and lung sounds. This project will help train nursing students to assist with better patient outcomes as the result of more accurate diagnosis. This is an effort that could be brought to scale across SUNY nursing programs.

Development of microprocessor simulation models; and Increasing Student Success in Online Learning
Farmingdale State College is leading two separate projects that will assist Electrical and Computer Engineering Technology students with microprocessor simulation, and a separate project that explores new student support models through virtual learning communities. Both projects have potential for scalability across SUNY.

Expanding Mobile Makerspaces to Enhance Active Learning
Suffolk County Community College is now in the second phase of piloting mobile makerspaces, areas set aside for individuals to explore and create with technology. The new mobile makerspaces will be developed in partnership with academic departments to provide opportunities for active learning using 3D printing and video production in space made available in the campus libraries. The project will assess the effectiveness of mobile makerspaces on student engagement and discovery to serve as a model for the SUNY system.

About the State University of New York
The State University of New York is the largest comprehensive system of higher education in the United States, and more than 95 percent of all New Yorkers live within 30 miles of any one of SUNY’s 64 colleges and universities. Across the system, SUNY has four academic health centers, five hospitals, four medical schools, two dental schools, a law school, the country’s oldest school of maritime, the state’s only college of optometry, and manages one US Department of Energy National Laboratory. In total, SUNY serves about 1.4 million students amongst its entire portfolio of credit- and non-credit-bearing courses and programs, continuing education, and community outreach programs. SUNY oversees nearly a quarter of academic research in New York. Research expenditures system-wide are nearly $1.1 billion in fiscal year 2023, including significant contributions from students and faculty. There are more than three million SUNY alumni worldwide, and one in three New Yorkers with a college degree is a SUNY alum. To learn more about how SUNY creates opportunities, visit

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Holly Liapis
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