Faculty Funding Opportunities from LTLC

The Library, Technology and Learning Committee (LTLC) administers three funding opportunities for faculty.

Academic Innovation Funds

LTLC awards a small number of grants for projects that use technology to achieve innovative pedagogical goals. LTLC makes decisions about funding for projects based on the proposed use of technology for teaching, learning, and/or innovative pedagogy. The committee also looks at the project’s breadth of impact, and the college’s ability to support and sustain the project. The committee gives preference to projects that:

  • Directly support an element of the Compass curriculum, such as the use of innovative technology in a connected FYE, a sophomore experience course, or a LEAPS program.
  • Explore the use of new technologies in Wheaton’s classrooms or present innovative pedagogy that uses technology (preferably both).
  • Most clearly and realistically delineate their goals, budget, and timeline.
  • Extend the farthest beyond a single faculty member’s classroom/extracurricular student engagement.
  • Engage most fully and realistically with available resources, e.g. liaison support, from Wallace Library


  • Funds cannot be put toward faculty stipends, student or employee wages, or travel to conferences.
  • You are welcome to use funds to purchase hardware, software, electronic resources, subscriptions to online services, and/or to pay for services related to a project (e.g. digitization, licensing of content, or outside speaker fees).
  • Award recipients must submit a detailed report indicating how the funds were used and plans for sharing their teaching innovation with the rest of the community within one year of when the funds are disbursed.
  • A consultation with an R&I Liaison and/or Archives & Digital Initiatives Librarian is required as part of the application process.

If you have questions about how to apply for these funds, please consult with an R&I Liaison and/or Archives & Digital Initiatives Librarian or a member of LTLC. You can also view past Academic Innovation Fund recipients. To apply for Academic Innovation Funds in Fall 2021, please complete an application by 5:00pm on Monday, November 8, 2021. Note: To access this Google Form, you’ll need to provide your Wheaton wID and email password.  

Open Educational Resource Stipends

LTLC offers a funding opportunity for faculty members interested in replacing their textbooks in a course with Open Textbooks or other OER. Replacing your textbook with an open textbook or another OER has a number of advantages, the most visible of which is creating a more equitable classroom by removing financial barriers for students. We encourage you to consult with an R&I Liaison for additional resources. SPARC provides a useful definition of OER and explains the OER initiative. Stipulations:

  • OER adoptions must take place in the current semester or either of the two semesters/Winter Session/Summer Session immediately following the application.
  • Applicants are encouraged to have identified possible sources prior to submitting an application.
  • Award recipients must submit a report detailing what materials were adopted and how successfully the OER materials were implemented by the end of the semester in which the materials were adopted. Due dates for the 2021-2022 academic year are December 17, 2021 (for fall semester), January 25, 2022 (for winter session), and May 14, 2022 (for spring semester).
  • Funds are distributed after the course using the OER has been successfully completed and the report has been submitted.

Additional information including funding amounts can be found on the application form. NOTE: Priority will be given to applications that directly support the adoption, remixing, or authoring of OER for an element of the Compass curriculum, such as two or more connected FYE courses, a sophomore experience (SE) course, or a LEAPS program.

If you have questions about how to apply for these funds, please consult with an R&I Liaison and/or Archives & Digital Initiatives Librarian or a member of LTLC. To apply for an OER Stipend in Fall 2021, please complete an application by 5:00pm on Monday, November 8, 2021. Note: To access this Google Form, you’ll need to provide your Wheaton wID and email password.  

Research Computing Funds

LTLC offers small grants to fund the purchase of hardware and software for faculty research projects once a year, in the spring semester. We invite applications for funds for computing needs that will facilitate your research projects, including:

  • mobile devices,
  • laptop and desktop computers, and/or
  • software and other computing resources.

Priority will be given to:

  • Research needs that cannot be met through other funding sources.
  • Equipment that facilitates new or ongoing research that will lead to the timely dissemination of results.

All funding must be spent by June 1st of the fiscal year in which the application is made. Additional information including funding amounts can be found on the application form.  

Academic Innovation Fund Recipients

Spring 2021

Rolf Nelson: For our course entitled "The Mind: Psychological and Philosophical Perspectives" (FYE in Fall 2021),  Nancy Kendrick and I plan on producing a podcast with psychologists and philosophers. We would like to have them answer (or attempt to answer) some basic, fundamental questions in the fields -- the same ones that students will be grappling with. We hope that this will engage students in hearing different perspectives, and also hearing directly from scholars who are experts in their areas. Purchased podcasting microphones and mixer.

Fall 2020

Mary Beth Tierney-Tello: In redesigning courses, I discovered a need for software and licenses in order to maximize students’ contact with the target language: VoiceThread allows oral practice through the use of video forums; Movavi allows conversion of video content to accessible files; and Padlet allows for in class collaborative work.

Kent Shaw: I want to use the project management software Notion.so for ENG 240: Identity, Genre, and Poetry course. This would be used to flip the class, as students and I work together to assign the readings and deadlines. Additionally, the Project Management software would also have a Wiki component to collect the knowledge gained.

Will Mason: Purchasing MIDI controllers for Music 103 music technology. These controllers give students different ways of interacting with the software I teach, which is useful not just for developing their creative work but also for reflecting on how we interface with computers (and on alternate ways that we might interface with them.) 

Spring 2020

Amy Beumer: This project allows students to provide real time feedback and anonymous questions in class from their phones or any internet enabled device. The LTLC grant funded the purchase of Socrative, an online response system.

Jeffrey Cashen and Del Case: This project will allow students to use an industry standard music notation tool for writing music and doing homework. The LTLC grant funded the purchase of 16 perpetual licenses for Sibelius, and upgrades to 5 previously-purchased perpetual licenses.

Fall 2019

Lisa Lebduska: This project will result in the creation of writing-focused instructional videos that offer lively and adult references, a quick pace, and an introduction to MLA citation. The LTLC grant funded the purchase of Camtasia, a screen recording and video editing software tool ideal for creating these kinds of learning objects.

Spring 2019

Jonathan Walsh: This project allows students to create podcasts about current French events and human interest stories, in French. The LTLC grant funded the purchase of 3 Blue Yeti USB microphones, allowing students to record their podcasts at a high sampling rate.

Leah Dyjak: Beyond the Screen: Images in Public Space This project will explore the impact of large format images installed in and around campus, made by Wheaton students specifically for public installation. The LTLC grant partially funded the purchase of a large-format printer, paper, ink, and hard drive large enough to handle large image files.

Fall 2018

Will Mason: This project enables students to do live interactive performances of music and multimedia work. The LTLC grant funded the purchase of the Ableton Live software, increasing Wheaton College's suite of music software.

Spring 2018

Domingo Ledezma: The role of Virtual Reality (VR) in the digital humanities classroom: teaching & learning experiences. The purpose of my project is to continue improving VR assignments for better understanding sixteenth and seventeenth centuries Spanish American narratives of voyages and navigations. VR experiences are characterized by their near-total immersiveness inside a multimedia, computer-generated environment. For example using VR experiences students in my course visit and explore ‘inside’ Google Earth VR specific itineraries in the Amazon river related to the narratives they are reading and studying.

Hsin-Wei Su: The flipped classroom model as a new teaching approach has been widely used to teach various courses in both the K-12 system and higher education settings. However, there has been surprisingly little research concerning the effects of this model on second/foreign language learners’ studying outcomes. The Flipping Chinese! project proposes to redesign and deliver a more innovative Chinese course in Wheaton college.

Spring 2017

Matt Gingo: Children’s social interactions in play-based settings provide a window into key elements of social-emotional and social-cognitive development. Studying these behaviors in naturalistic and semi-structured play settings enhances student learning outcomes in developmental psychology courses. By recording children’s social behaviors in play-based settings students in our developmental psychology courses are able to capture and store their observations of children for future review, categorization, and analysis.

Donna O. Kerner: Funds are requested to purchase an iPad Pro for use in a faculty-led digital field course, Anthropology 215 Tanzania: Education and Development.

Fall 2016

Mark LeBlanc: Publishing written material on an eBook is about to be a much more common part of the writing experience, yet faculty and students have few opportunities for porting their work to the latest eBook devices. This proposal seeks funding for one(1) Kindle Fire to enable faculty and student writers to see their works on a physical device prior to exporting their work to an eBook outlet.

Karen McCormack: In my seminar, students will be conducting interviews with residents of local assisted living facilities to explore how older adults have or have not adopted new technologies. We will be examining how new communication technology shapes social networks and persistence of relationships.

Bob Morris: Innovation funds will allow me to develop new methods of video creation for extending student learning out of class time and lab time. In addition to creating Wheaton-branded instructional videos for use by students at Wheaton and around the world, I will develop protocols for video creation usable by any Wheaton professor interested in trying blended learning in their courses.

Nancy Scott: I am requesting support from the Academic Innovation Fund to support a new course on Leadership, to be launched in the spring of 2017. Students’ learning will be significantly enhanced by a hands-on pedagogy that uses specialized Lego kits.

Spring 2016

Mark LeBlanc: This proposal seeks funding for hardware for a course that will combine practice with startup experiences, mobile app development (e.g., learning Apple’s new Swift language), machine learning algorithms, and the newest wearable medical devices, e.g., the Embrace watch from Empatica.

Tessa Lee: I propose to expand, improve, and update the existing online learning platform for students of German (and eventually other languages) that I initiated in the summer of 2013 and implemented in Spring 2014. The purpose of the original project was to make learning German into an enjoyable and more interactive game by adapting grammar exercises and vocabulary quizzes into memory match games and drop-down menus. This project will add animation, special effects, sounds, and visuals to the existing exercises.

Fall 2015

Colin McNamee: Since 2001, Vectorworks has revolutionized design visualization and workflow in the entertainment, architecture, landscape and urban planning industries. This proposal seeks to bring this powerful creative tool and essential professional skill set to Wheaton’s students.

Spring 2015

Matthew Gingo: This project supports students’ research in developmental psychology, and further integrates our developmental research laboratory (The Elizabeth Amen Laboratory Nursery School) with our developmental psychology courses (Child Development; Lifespan Development; Laboratory in Child Development; Moral Development). The laboratory is a privileged space to observe children’s development in a variety of social, emotional, and cognitive domains. By connecting the laboratory school classrooms to our students’ classroom experience through real-time and recorded video observation, learning outcomes and student engagement are enhanced. Funds went toward a computer and extra storage to help with the project.

Ellen McBreen: Senior art history majors will conceive, research, and write a multimedia digital project with the working title, “Critical Concepts in Art History: A Practical Guide by Students for Students.”The senior seminar is ART HISTORY TODAY: A CRITICAL ASSESSMENT. This project will be designed to foster their understanding of the current intellectual and technological factors shaping how art historians practice the discipline, in academia, museums, and other arts organization. Funds went toward speaker fees and web hosting.

John Partridge: Intended to use dictation software to enable him to have deeper and more detailed engagement with student writers when he evaluates their papers. The funds supported the cost of dictation software and upgrade in RAM.

Fall 2014

Patrick Johnson: A starter kit with three iPads, the Apple TV, and required cabling. This kit could be built up over several semesters through additional Tech Innovation Grants or augmented by the existing supply of iPads that are loaned out on an individual basis.

Kelly Goff: Rapid prototyping technology is quickly becoming an essential part of contemporary making in the fields of art and design. 3D printing is novel but not novelty. As a tool, it provides practical possibility and teaches timely skills. As an idea, it presents inspiring new avenues for visual expression and production. This proposal seeks to integrate 3D printing technology into the sculpture studio capabilities.

Donna O. Kerner: Funds are requested to continue the transformation of Anthropology 215 “Tanzania: Education and Development into a blended learning/digital field scholarship course. This ethnographic field course has been taught every summer since 2010 and engaged over sixty students in field research into schools and community development projects in urban and rural East Africa. In 2013 with funds provided from a course transformation grant for blended learning I ran a pilot version of this course with a flipped classroom format that utilized iPads for all course materials and assignments. In 2014 I will be taking 15 students into the field with the plan of implementing the final stages of the blended learning component (language quizzes and digital portfolios for final projects).

Spring 2014

Dipankar Maitra with Jason Goodman, Geoff Collins, John Collins, Xuesheng Chen and Thandi Buthelezi: In this proposal we request funding for the purchase of a “Red Tide” spectrometer manufactured and sold by Ocean Optics. The spectrometer will be used for classroom demonstration, laboratory experiments, and research. The proposed instrument will display real-time display of spectra on a computer, which can readily be projected in classrooms, greatly enhancing learning experience not just in introductory and advanced astronomy classes, but in a variety of classes in the Physics and Chemistry departments.

Matthew Gingo: The development and widespread availability of affordable, usable, high-quality video technology is revolutionizing the practices of psychological and educational researchers. New types of video technology provide the psychological research community with powerful ways of collecting, sharing, studying, and presenting detailed cases of practice and interaction for both research and instructional purposes. Because many psychological research projects now include a substantial video research component, and because use of video in educational applications is growing rapidly and constitutes a broad range of research practices, it is important that Wheaton’s primary developmental and educational research facility, the Amen Laboratory School, be equipped with video recording equipment.

Tommy Ratliff: This project will support the creation of screencasts for two courses in Spring 2014: Math 104 Calculus II and Math 217 Voting Theory. In both classes, the purpose is to push some of the traditional instruction outside of the class meetings so that more face-to-face time can be devoted to a deeper exploration of the major conceptual themes of the courses. The implementation of this project is consistent with a pedagogical approach in many of our math classes of having students complete pre-class assignments so that the class meetings are more meaningful learning experiences for the students.

Russell Williams: This proposal requests funding for acquisition of IMPLAN, an economic impact analysis software package, for a limited geography. It will be used in Urban Economics, but also has potential use in other courses dealing with economic change. Teacher/student access to IMPLAN will revolutionize the types of assignments that students can be given, and add a powerful new component to an important course, deepening student understanding of urban economics, providing them with insights and skills that are transferable into future careers, and heightening their appreciation for the interplay of technology and interdisciplinary investigation.

Fall 2013

Tom Armstrong: Making and spaces for making speak to what bricks and mortar institutions can excel at providing. Computational Thinking and Information Fluency are now critical components of a liberal arts experience. In this proposal, we are requesting funds to amplify the availability of equipment and skills that let students explore the intersection of the two in support of the Wheaton curriculum.

Donna O. Kerner: This project will transform the ethnographic field-based course, Anthropology 215 “Tanzania: Education and Development” into a Digital Field course, part of leading trend in Digital Scholarship. Digital Field Scholarship has the potential to transform student learning outcomes by enabling students to see broader patterns, produce digital objects for discussion and analysis; acquire foreign language traveler’s fluency in the field setting; and disseminate research results.

Domingo Ledezma: The proposed faculty-student collaboration project focuses on the creation of professional quality e-books as final assignment for the senior seminar in Hispanic studies. Students will work on their projects during the semester using iPad as support hardware; also the iPad will be use to display and share their own e-book project while they are working on. The iPad will serve as well as e-reader for accessing primary text sources for the class, available through Google Books and other Early Modern books repositories.

Spring 2013

Tom Armstrong: We propose equipment and programming additions to the nascent expansion of the Wheaton Makerspace. This expansion, the fiberspace, is a place that enables learning and projects using fiber/textiles. To that end, we request funds to purchase technology components for work that links computational thinking/information fluency with the fiber arts. Specifically, we want to make available to students, staff, and faculty e-textiles/soft circuitry materials and equipment.

Laura Macesic Ekstrom: Student participation in the classroom, although very effective in increasing learning and retention, can be difficult to achieve in large classrooms. Therefore, I propose for the BIO 112,Introductory Biology lecture class, to subscribe to an individualized in-class response technology that works with each student’s mobile device. This will allow for easy monitoring of student comprehension, encourage class preparedness, and provide students with a fast, highly visual way to interact with the instructor and other students.

Mark D. LeBlanc: This proposal seeks to integrate iPad devices into the introductory programming course COMP115 “Robots, Games, and Problem Solving” starting in Spring 2013. This proposal seeks support for assessing potential changes in teaching practices and student learning when introductory instruction in programming changes from desktop/laptop personal computers to touch-screen devices such as the Apple iPad.

Fall 2012

Tom Armstrong: We propose an expanded pilot project to support student-driven experiential learning of foundational, extracurricular computing skills to engage a wider swath of the Wheaton College community: students, staff, and faculty. The main acquisition will be a 3D printer capable of fabricating objects in two colors — a piece of equipment selected for its wide appeal and with possibilities for use across campus.

Tim Barker: All astronomy students will use a Canon digital single reflex camera to image astronomical objects.

Matt Evans and Geoff Collins: A compass, a GPS, a field notebook, a digital camera, a sketch pad, a map, a video camera, an audio recorder; all in one. The ability to synthesize geolocated multimedia field observations, manipulate and correlate them, and share and archive them electronically can all be accomplished using built in and app-based features of iPads. We seek to supplement and change the way we make, record, and present field observations using one hand-held device.

Leah Niederstadt: The proposed faculty-staff-student collaboration focuses on the creation of professional quality digital images of objects from the College Archives and the Permanent Collection for the exhibition 100 Years, 100 Objects, which will be curated by students enrolled in ARTH 335: Exhibition Design during the Fall 2012 semester. The exhibition celebrates the centenary of Wheaton Female Seminary becoming Wheaton College through an exploration of 100 objects that were created, used or donated in, or associated with a particular year from 1912-2012. The images will be used to aid students in selecting objects and designing layouts for the exhibition. They will also be published in an exhibition catalogue, to be created by students in the course, and in an online version of 100 Years, 100 Objects, to be developed by a work-study student(s) hired as part of the proposed project.

Spring 2012

Donna O. Kerner, et al.: “Heart of the Matter,” an initiative aimed at exploring curricular uses of digital storytelling

Tom Armstrong: A pilot project to support student-driven experiential learning of foundational, extracurricular computing skills

Lisa Lebduska: Equipment necessary to shoot and edit educational videos for the writing program website and her writing classes

Tommy Ratliff: WebWork, an online homework system used for calculus classes

Delvyn Case: Music composition software to use with his students

Paula Krebs: e-Readers used in ENG 290, Approaches to Literature and Culture

Vicki Bartolini: The qualitative analysis software, NVIVO, for use with students in the Education Department

Tim Barker:  Observatory control software