The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Center for Faculty Excellence (CFE) announced their selection of 11 faculty as recipients of the 2018-2019 CFE/Lenovo Instructional Innovations Grants Program. The UNC-Chapel Hill CFE selected a proposal from Rishma Shah, BDS, MS, PhD, assistant professor in the Department of Orthodontics at the UNC-Chapel Hill School of Dentistry, titled, “Learning Through Digital Technologies How to Identify Need for Dental Treatment.” Shah is a part of the first round of proposals for the four-year CFE/Lenovo Instructional Innovation Grant Program.
Shah’s proposal aims to provide an interactive online learning experience for dental students beyond existing video learning methods. The project will feature an online learning module that will allow students to visualize and manipulate three-dimensional (3D) facial and intra-oral images as they would a live patient, and better learn about dental misalignment or malocclusion. The students will learn how to diagnose and categorize the level of orthodontic treatment need for different patients.
“The landscape of healthcare recording, analysis and delivery is rapidly changing with technological advances,” said Shah. “It is now possible to access digital patient records from anywhere in order to accurately diagnose dental disease and provide treatment options. The digital records can also be used to educate patients on their condition, and support and enhance the education of the next generation of dentists.”
The proposal is significant in better equipping the future dental student with up-to-date skills in current and emerging technologies, removing barriers to access oral health education and allowing faculty to meet the challenges placed on them in the modern day academic setting through innovative teaching and learning experiences. Shah hopes that the success of this project will allow for more interactive online modules covering other oral health care topics to be developed.
The CFE/Lenovo Instructional Innovation Grants Program works with faculty members to explore the appropriate and effective use of digital technologies, in partnership with other campus organizations such as ITS-Teaching and Learning, Outreach and Support Intervention Services (OASIS) and University Libraries. In 2017, as part of UNC-Chapel Hill’s renegotiation of the Carolina Computing Initiative contract, Lenovo announced that the CFE will receive approximately $400,000 over the next four years to support instructional innovation on campus.
The CFE emerged from the successful Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL) in 1987. In 2008, as faculty development needs grew, the CTL was redesigned to serve broader goals and became the CFE. Today, the CFE is UNC-Chapel Hill’s pan-university faculty development center, aimed at enabling faculty members in all disciplines to reach their goals in teaching, research and leadership throughout their careers.