TLC Educational Grants - Teaching and Learning Commons

Ed Grants body header

TLC Education Grants - FY21

Innovative Teaching & Learning

2021 Ed Grand awardees_accordian

Education Grants Awardees

Funded proposals:

Professor Leo Blanken
Department of Defense Analysis

This project will explore the utilization of a dashboard assessment tool to support the offering of an existing Innovation-Design Certificate for remote student populations. The proposed effort is intended to synchronize the remote students’ coursework and projects with innovation activities being conducted in parallel on the NPS campus. The goal is to validate the management of distributed NPS project-based curricula for hybrid learning while energizing innovation activities throughout the force.

Grant awarded: $15,000 

Professor Marigee Bacolod

This project proposes to harness the technology and configurations of the FLEx classrooms and provide students with hands-on learning experiences in the course “Advanced Economic and Defense Policy Analysis” during Fall AY22. The project will include experiments in integrating policy-focused interactive real-time stochastic simulations that emphasize leadership, critical analysis, and strategic thinking skills. The FLEx classrooms facilitate transitions from lectures to group work and then coming together for student presentations of their policies.

Grant awarded: $15,000 

Professor Matthew Zefferman
Department of Defense Analysis

This project proposes to convert instructional activities in the Department of Defense Analysis game theory course from physical media to computer media and creating new computer-based activities that were not feasible with physical media. The system will include tablet computers for student learning and a laptop to host the server. This system intends to increase student learning time through increased efficiency, student engagement through more realistic demonstrations, and the possibility to explore more complex concepts than were feasible with traditional techniques. Standardized student hardware would also avoid the loss of learning time to technological trouble-shooting.

Grant awarded: $13,600

Michael Guerrero
MOVES (Modeling, Virtual Environment, and Simulations) Institute

The evolution of mainstream VR is still in its nascence and consensus on its strengths and weaknesses are still lacking, especially when it comes to domain-specific applications.  With respect to whiteboards in a classroom setting, a survey of existing whiteboard applications exposes instances that are of poor quality and fail to utilize the strengths that the medium affords. This project aims to create and deploy a usable prototype solution for a whiteboard-like environment in VR; one that is specially tailored for both teachers and students in a way that mimics traditional whiteboards and begins to explore the possibilities that come with not being bound by the constraints of the real world.

Grant awarded: $15,000

Professor Rama Gehris
System Engineering Department

Grading from a rubric is a teaching best practice. The use of a semi-automated Excel-based toolset can help accomplish this in a way that provides consistent feedback to the student and reduces the instructor's cognitive workload associated with handling electronic documents. This project proposes to provide such a tool to support a consistent point scoring system from a customizable faculty-defined rubric. The tool will also provide automated feedback generation based on the rubric, which can then be returned to the student via existing Sakai site features.

Grant awarded: $10,500

Professor Weilian Su
Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

This project proposes to use Microsoft BI, a data visualization tool, to enhance learning, data collection, processing, and analysis of large-scale network traffic. The intention is to enhance classroom experience and improve students’ analytic skills. Students will be able to install a desktop version of the Microsoft BI and access remote database, where preprocessed network traffic information is stored. The ability to visualize, analyze and share data remotely is important for remote and distributed learning.

Grant awarded: $15,000

Nested Applications
EDU Grants - Body


TLC Education Grants, funded via the TLC’s Data Analytics informing Teaching and Hybrid Learning (DAITA HL) Initiative, are designed to support instructional improvement efforts by NPS faculty. Education grants encourage faculty to introduce small-scale, incremental enhancements for teaching and learning at the course-level and also provide opportunities for faculty to experiment and apply educational technologies and new methods.


Faculty may submit a proposal request up to 15K to investigate and advance blended and hybrid learning practices at NPS during FY21. Education grants are not intended to replace equipment that is provided by schools and departments.


All faculty and full-time instructors who are actively teaching at NPS (MilFac, tenure-track, tenured, and non-tenure track) are invited to submit proposals.

TLC Education Grants Topics

Blended/hybrid learning investigation, experimentation and data collection, and case studies to inform best practices. Topics include, not limited to:

  1. Innovation & experimentation in FLEx classrooms
  2. Formative feedback and assessments of new instructional strategies, such as hybrid learning
  3. Instructional use of technologies for teaching and learning to improve practice, learning data collection, and analytics

How to Apply

Applications are closed for FY21 Education Grants.

Project Report

A brief summary and a project presentation are requested at the project's conclusion: a written report, and sharing results at the TLC faculty forum using a multimedia presentation or poster. Awardees should indicate how the work has impacted teaching and learning, its scalability, and how others may benefit from and advance the work. Projects awarded funding, project reports, and presentations will be posted publicly on the DAITA HL website.

Deadline: no later than September 1, 2021


If you would like to discuss your ideas and review your proposal, contact:

Miriam Alves:
Ali Rodgers:

EDU Grants Accordion 1

Spring/Summer 2019 Award Winners

Department: GSBPP


Describe the specific technology: 

A light board allows an instructor to write notes on a glass board, while maintaining face-to-face contact with students through the glass. The lecture and notes can be recorded or streamed live to distance students. The instructor writes normally, left to right, and the recorded image is flipped so students can view the notes and instructor’s face through their monitors.


Describe how it will be incorporated into the classroom: 

A light board has the potential to enable more engaging and effective discussions in Graduate School of Business Public Policy’s (GSBPP) distance Executive Masters of Business Administration (EMBA) program. The case method is a core element of Masters of Business Administration (MBA) course instruction, and discussion boards (whiteboards) are a key element of the case method of instruction*. Recognizing this, many case teaching notes, for example, include a “board plan.”

In a resident class, I introduce a question related to a case then record, underline, and highlight student comments during class. This serves to acknowledge student comments, encouraging further discussion. As the class session develops, I highlight, summarize, and connect student contributions, often by drawing simple diagrams or models around phrases I have previously recorded. This serves to illustrate for students how the case relates to concepts and theories.

I have been teaching in the EMBA distance program for 3 years. Conducting case discussions in the distance format is challenging. It is difficult to engage students in discussion without gestures, eye contact, and spatial cues. While it is possible to record student ideas, with current technology, students can see only disembodied writing. In my experience, when I switch to writing only, students do as well, and the discussion tends to revert to chatting. Although chats can be a helpful addition to a class discussion, I find that in chats, students do not focus as much on applying conceptual ideas or make as in-depth comments as they do via voice.


Describe the expected benefits for teaching and learning: 

A light board will make it possible to better conduct case discussions in the distance format. Students will be able to see an instructor talking as he or she writes on the board. Explaining the potential of Learning Glass to enhance the effectiveness of instructional video, UCLA’s James Stigler notes, “Our research shows that gesture is critical for learning from online video, yet most videos don’t even show the hands of the presenter. Learning Glass adds a whole new channel of communication between teacher and learner, and increases comprehension and understanding.”

GSBPP’s recent move to Zoom allows better transmission of video, making the use of a light board possible. Zoom works with Learning Glass. Together, these tools will facilitate a richer and more meaningful use of the case method of instruction in distance education.

The feedback will streamline focus and allow for “quick win targets” within NPS' departments and NSAM resources. This prevents having to address the same issue via multiple parties and ensures stakeholders are targeting issues appropriately with their time, manpower, and operational funds available.




Estimated cost of the technology:  $2,990.

Department: Mechanical and Systems Engineering


Goals and Significance of Proposed Travel: 

To establish a resident shipboard electrical design and modeling capability within the Total Ship Systems Engineering (TSSE) program. Specifically, fund travel for Dr. Roger Dougal and one other team member from the University of South Carolina to provide training for faculty and students on the S3D design and simulation software.  Dr. Dougal is the Electrical Engineering Department Chairman, and the Site Director for the Electric Ship R&D Consortium. Additionally, he is the Director of the S3D development group. S3D is the design software that will be incorporated into the TSSE design process.


Briefly describe a method to share the benefits derived from the travel: 

The TSSE program is robust, enduring, and multi-disciplinary including students and faculty from mechanical, systems, electrical, and computer engineering as well as physics. By establishing this capability resident at NPS, TSSE education will remain state-of-the-art.

Department: Meteorology and Oceanography


Goals and Significance of Proposed Travel: 

Attending the National Weather Association Annual Meeting has a particular focus on operational uses of weather, hydrographic, and oceaographic forecasts. It is a place where National Weather Service employees, broadcast meteorologists, and researchers into forecasting and decision making typically come together to discuss what works and what doesn't in helping decision makers choose courses of action. Examples include deciding when to evacuate due to approaching storms, or when to salt streets before icing. Meeting themes typically are on blending social science with meteorology to properly message forecasts, new product types, and presentation formats, operational forecasting research, and the interplay between different forecasters supporting different customers, while all talking about the same weather. Attending the conference will allow for a better structure of my course, MR/OC 4325 Meteorology and Oceanography for Warfighter Decision Making, from nation-wide expertise in the aims of the NPS class.


Briefly describe a method to share the benefits derived from the travel: 

To write a report of the conference to share with faculty colleagues. A common complaint is the desire to make more connections between classroom learning and operational applications.

Additional Comments: 

Having the opportunity to work with other local meteorologists, I am looking into the feasibility and benefits of re-activating a join AMS/NWA local chapter in Monterey. Participation in a professional organization related to their field of study has potentially great benefits for NPS METOC students.

Department: GSEAS/SE


Goals and Significance of Proposed Travel: 

We propose to host Dr. Len Toncale, Professor Emeritus at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, as a guest speaker at NPS. Dr. Troncale will deliver two seminars open to all of NPS on the following topics: "Integration of Systems Processes Theory (SPT)" and "Would a Rigorous Systems Pathology Add Significantly to an Understanding of Complex Systems Military Failures?" Dr. Troncale’s research and collections provide a rich ground for Masters and PhD students at NPS to study patterns and anti-patterns in nature that can be potentially leveraged in socio-technical and engineered systems. He recently co-authored a journal article with Kristin Giammarco in Systems that provides examples of patterns documented in his system processes theory exposed in Monterey Phoenix -generated scenarios. Of particular relevance to the Navy are the anti-patterns (what he, as a molecular biologist, refers to as "pathologies") that can be identified and purged from system designs.


Briefly describe a method to share the benefits derived from the travel: 

The seminars will be held on 23 and 24 September and recorded for future use.

Department: DRMI


Describe the specific technology: 

The DRMI would like to purchase 10-15 Chromebooks (or equivalent) to present our course materials digitally to our participants, in one of our resident courses. Having our course material presented digitally would allow students and the faculty/staff to interact instantaneously, stay more organized, and give the ability to instantly access a broad range of learning materials.


Describe how it will be incorporated into the classroom: 

Digital course materials will help enhance engagement and enthusiasm among participants, improve faculty-participant relationships and promote 21st-century skills such as technological proficiency and problem solving. It also cuts down on the amount of money spent on paper, ink and binders-we become more, “Green” while reducing our costs of resources and the human capital it takes to prepare the binders.


Describe the expected benefits for teaching and learning: 

One of the main benefits going digital would provide for our international students, would be providing curriculum support and additional information to participants as needed and at their fingertips. It also allows:

• students to receive/submit and view assignments, presentations, and surveys instantaneously

• fosters online collaboration with fellow participants and faculty/staff

• promotes better organization • improves the review processes and gives the ability to provide detailed feedback

• will help make meeting course objectives more interesting and engaging.

This type of cutting edge, interactive and innovative educational experience can help foster the relationships with our allies for years to come. It could also help lay the foundation for the NPS classroom of the future.


Estimated cost of the technology:  $3,000.

EDU Grants Accordion 2

Fall 2019 Award Winners

School: GSBPP

Describe the specific technology: 

Mirror your phone, tablet or computer to the big screen without wires or complicated setups. Reflector allows you to receive AirPlay from iOS (emulating Apple TV), Google Cast from Android, and Miracast from Win10. In addition to showing the device screen on your computer, you can also easily record the streaming video.


Describe how it will be incorporated into the classroom: 

In a classroom setting, the iPad can be used with an Apple Pencil, "Notability" application, and "Reflector 3" screen mirroring software to replace whiteboard, markers, and other dated presentation tools. It provides engaging active learning lectures and learner-oriented in-class examples that can be projected into the big (already installed projector) screen while at the same time the Instructors record the lecture being projected from the iPad screen with voice-over explanations/discussions in real time. These can be posted in Sakai for student review. It's especially useful for harder concepts requiring additional practice. It can also be used for flipping the classroom lecture to record voiceover lecture presentations for student review prior to class. In addition, it can serve as a widely distributed feedback tool for office hour-type questions.


Describe the expected benefits for teaching and learning:

Professor Simona Tick fully supports this as she has personally seen the benefit. Additionally, Professor Marcus A. Ballard is also onboard as he has seen how it could benefit any application based course through the instructional period as well as for future cohorts (everything will be stored in Sakai in a versatile format--in contrast to two-dimensional solution sheets that tremendously differ in quality). It's a small change to the way information is being presented and conveyed from professor to student with great benefit to both.


Estimated cost of the technology: $3,000 +

Department: Space Systems Academic Group


Describe the specific technology: 

Research and development of emerging technologies and their implementation as CubeSat payloads has continued to be a focus of hands-on, lab-based academics within the NPS SmallSat Lab. Testing of these student-built CubeSats in real-world environmental conditions began with the high-altitude balloon project in which large Nomex weather balloons were used to carry student-built CubeSat payloads to near-space altitudes. Since the inaugural flight in 2011, the high-altitude balloon project has generated a high degree of interest from both senior civilian and military leadership as the academic and military utility of such a program is readily apparent. Building upon the success of the program, this study seeks to complement the capabilities of the high-altitude balloon as an academic education tool and military payload delivery vehicle through the development of a high-power rocket program within the NPS Space Systems Academic Group (SSAG). In addition to providing procedures and documentation as to the requirements for establishing a high-power rocket program, this study will detail the design, construction, and proof-of-concept flight of a reusable rocket capable of delivering standard dimension payloads to near-space altitudes. Results from several rocket flights will then be used to explore the academic and military utility of a sustainable high-power rocket program.


Describe how it will be incorporated into the classroom: 

Within the classroom, the high-power rocket program will serve as an additional focus for project-based, hands-on education and research. Such a program will provide real-world engineering and operational experience transferrable to other core space system operations and engineering courses. The first step of incorporation of amateur rocketry within the SSAG will be the design, construction, and proof-of-concept flight of a reusable rocket capable of delivering standard dimension payloads to near-space altitudes. In addition to serving as a complementary high-altitude test platform within the SSAG, knowledge of engineering design and operational procedures acquired through the construction and flight of the rocket will set the foundation for expanding the program. Future curriculum incorporation opportunities include directed studies, additional courses, alignment with current paper-study design courses, and thesis work.


Describe the expected benefits for teaching and learning: 

Lab-based, hands-on education continues to foster critical thinking, teamwork, innovation, and problem-solving skills amongst students and faculty. Through the incorporation of the fundamentals of high-power rocketry into courses, directed studies, and thesis work, students will learn and reinforce educational concepts covering a broad spectrum of engineering and operational disciplines. Mechanics, computer programming, electric circuit design, structures engineering, fluid dynamics, systems engineering principles, interface requirements, and operational coordination are just a few of the many areas of study of rocket design. The knowledge, skills, and abilities garnered from such a program will foster significant learning experiences and facilitate productive research and project-based learning. The end goal of this study and program is to create a lasting educational foundation through conversion of the current paper-study design courses in the SSAG curriculum to lab-based, hands-on learning.


Estimated cost of the technology: $3,000 +



The faculty adviser for this project will be Dr. James Newman (SSAG Chair). Although the SSAG has been able to help finance the initial, relatively low-cost research flights, this opportunity for additional funds will significantly enhance the reach of the program and extend the learning opportunities to all SSAG students. Funding provided through receipt of this grant will aid in financing the initial high-altitude test rocket and the non-recurring costs associated with the startup of a high-power rocketry program within the SSAG. 

Department: President's Student Council


Describe the specific technology: 

Two survey kiosks each with touchscreen (large); self-contained single piece with supportive base, portable by 3-man lift or cart, hard powered, wifi connected, customizable proprietary software (multi-lingual, various reporting metrics, highest level of administrative control etc..). The software must be extremely user friendly offering a frictionless experience to maximize data collection in a timely manner. NPS will own and control the data collected.


Describe how it will be incorporated into the classroom: 

While this technology is not incorporated into a specific classroom it will quickly process improvement feedback from all areas of the campus-wide teaching environment, learning environment, and overall campus experience. These devices will be placed at the interior front (main) and rear (Starbucks) entrances of library. As the highest foot traffic building on campus they will provide a continuous touchpoint for student, faculty, and staff concerns within NPS.


Describe the expected benefits for teaching and learning: 

This supports the NPS Strategic Plan Theme 3:

  • Institutional Effectiveness
  • Educational Domain
    • Educational Improvement
    • Operations Effectiveness
  • Science and Technology Domain
    • Emerging Technologies
    • Data Science

The feedback will streamline focus and allow for “quick win targets” within NPS' departments and NSAM resources. This prevents having to address the same issue via multiple parties and ensures stakeholders are targeting issues appropriately with their time, manpower, and operational funds available.


Estimated cost of the technology: Example kiosk cost: Avius Survey Monthly Rental $165 per unit. $1,980 per year.



To minimize any customer dissatisfaction with data entry a proprietary software is highly recommended. The majority of these services are provided through kiosk rental. Similar to universities around the U.S., the renting of technology from a reputable company provides NPS a high quality of services delivered. It also provides a transitional period where NPS can refine the needs/wants of the system and eventually use a direct purchase or creation of a solution that meets NPS’s specific needs. The goal is to not to waste money on a piece of dated technology due to LPTA, lower capability, or software that is limited by function. It provides a lower cost graduated step towards a solution that could eventually be built and provided by campus CS/OA departments once NPS’ specific kiosk requirements (if any additional) are identified. The ROI of these devices is both money and time saved by removing barriers to the implementation of the strategic plan.

Contribution to NPS Education: The data could be accessed for cross-discipline research opportunities, classroom projects, or capstones that reflect educational effectiveness and curriculum outcomes. This ties in real world applicability and a chance to model solutions that students will experience in the fleet/force. It also develops enterprise-level problem solving abilities that students will require for command and leadership roles following graduation. The sky is to the limit on departmental involvement and potential learning outcomes with this data.

Example 1: Student feedback identifies a BYOD issue that effects specific coursework outcomes. Student from CS, OA, and an International Student partner with ITACS and collaborate on a solution that is implemented on campus to fix this issue.

Example 2: Faculty identify numerous campus classroom degradation issues that limit effective learning. OA applies data analytics and monitors trends to identify and forecast what future campus learning environments could be more optimum for fix actions before they become a problem.

Example 3: All Students identify an issue with campus in-processing/out-processing timeliness. A social network analysis and process improvement project is generated with the goal of revamping student services TTP's. The staff can then optimize joint in-processing and out-processing to reduce time required and limit service specific bottlenecks or issues in the services provided.

EDU Grants Accordion 3

Summer 2018 - Open Forum Presentations expected to begin mid AY2019






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