About the Initiative

The Provost and deans of the Main Campus have articulated a set of Guiding Principles and Goals that should motivate ITEL projects:

  1. The expectations we place on our curriculum are continually expanding, as is the store of knowledge and range of skills required.
    This initiative is an opportunity to identify, develop, assess and model new ways of using existing and emerging technological resources to enhance student learning to meet these needs.
    1. To continually assess how to make the best use of our instructional resources in order to achieve our ambitions for our students
    2. To create techniques for our students to handle an ever-increasing store of knowledge, to more effectively learn the basics of each discipline and to acquire new knowledge with increased independence
    3. To evaluate options for creating new combinations of self-paced, online strategies for fact-based learning, research-based learning, and intensive interaction for synthesis, appreciating that these experiences will vary within and among humanities, social sciences and natural sciences.
  2. We value faculty-student interaction and high-impact learning as the heart of our educational mission.
    In this initiative we seek to identify, develop and assess changes in faculty roles inside and outside the classroom due to technology-enhanced pedagogies, in ways that are sustainable within the teaching and research expectations of the University.
    1. To optimize use of digital resources and computer-assisted learning strategies to leverage faculty time for more effective student interaction, create more opportunity for high-impact learning and enable faculty to focus on teaching and learning at the cutting edge of their fields
    2. To optimize the integration of emerging tools that help students engage in increasingly sophisticated and independent work with research materials and data
    3. To model and assess the changing role of faculty in interactive, mentored and project-based learning, in both blended technology and online environments.
  3. At the core of Georgetown's mission and history is the call to extend knowledge, actively, into the world.
    This initiative allows us to identify, develop and assess ways to make aspects of a Georgetown education available to wider audiences around the world.
    1. To adapt packages of teaching resources and learning modules for wider publics using the Internet to expand the worldwide impact of Georgetown faculty and their work with comparatively little cost
    2. To evaluate the relative effectiveness of different units of curriculum, including modules of different kinds, courses, sequences of courses and entire programs
    3. To explore the relative effectiveness and institutional benefit (e.g. revenue, reputation) of offering different models and scales of distance and online curriculum to wider audiences.

October 2012

For several years, the Georgetown community has been building capabilities for innovative ways of teaching and learning. During the past 10-15 years in particular, we have experimented with new approaches to strengthen how we educate our students, and the toolset for helping students learn continues to grow.

The expanded toolset for higher education now includes:

  • Rich and growing knowledge of learning environments, including the critical role of frequent and customized feedback, environments that promote the application of concepts to practice, and the potential for social and collaborative learning, including the importance of interaction with diverse perspectives around substantive issues
  • Ubiquitous environments of information, data, and communication
  • New models of technology-enhanced teaching and learning in all forms and with a wide range of tools and modalities
  • Burgeoning environment of online courses and programs that enable institutions to reach new audiences in new ways that also challenge these same institutions to define where and how they may best contribute.

Georgetown is beginning a University-wide initiative that will drive discussion and deliberation of the best way for us to use these new tools to enhance the lives of faculty and students, and to advance priority themes that emerged from a series of self-examinations, beginning in the 1990s that emphasize greater depth in the curriculum and co-curriculum.

Self-studies include the Intellectual life Reports (1997; 2007), A Call to Action (2009), Middle-States Self-Study (2012). Persistent themes and priorities include:

  • Greater depth in the curriculum and co-curriculum
  • Expanded focus on research-based learning and the intersections of the educational and scholarly missions
  • Expansion of interdisciplinary collaborations within the University and globally
  • Expansion of integrative approaches to solving complex problems and addressing enduring questions.

We are beginning the Initiative with a review of current work and new possibilities in meetings across the Main Campus, which will also provide input on what evaluations and pilot projects we should mount. This initiative will entail University investments in faculty time, campus infrastructure, and partnerships with consortia of universities sharing similar goals to gain access to tools that would otherwise be cost prohibitive.

This approach requires that we evaluate the learning effectiveness of each pedagogy we employ and that we actively exchange effective teaching practices and build on success.

October 2012

December 4, 2012

Dear Members of the Georgetown Community:

Earlier this fall, we announced Georgetown's Initiative on Technology Enhanced Learning (ITEL), which will provide new opportunities and enhance institutional support for faculty innovation.

Today we write to you to share the news that Georgetown will fund this initiative's commitment to innovation through three investments made over the next three years totaling $8 million across all of our campuses.

We are making these investments to create new opportunities to enhance the experience of teaching and learning at Georgetown through technology, and we will focus on three main areas:

  • Offering faculty support to innovate in their courses using new technologies;
  • Enhancing existing IT infrastructure to support higher network volume; and
  • Identifying and partnering with a consortium of universities committed to enhancing education both on campuses and online throughout the world.

Over the next three years, the Initiative will support a number of faculty interested in integrating technology into their courses both with financial resources as well as expert support to design and implement new approaches.

The grant support given through ITEL will be awarded to individual faculty members, teams of faculty, and faculty-student collaborators beginning next semester. The grants will support innovations ranging from introducing technology into single course elements to transformation grants, which could include the complete redesign of courses and programs.

We invite all interested faculty members to apply. You can read more about this exciting new initiative here.

A second component of these investments will include strengthening critical aspects of Georgetown's existing IT and faculty support infrastructure. In order to ensure that we can best realize the opportunities presented by new technologies, we will hire more expert staff to expand our current resources to help faculty integrate technology into teaching as well as deepen our work to enhance the availability and reliability of our wireless network.

Finally, as many of you know, we have been exploring opportunities to join a consortium of universities who are committed to enhancing educational opportunities both on their campuses and throughout the world through online technology and large software platforms with tools that support massive open online courses.

A partnership like this will present significant opportunities for Georgetown, particularly in the service of our mission by strengthening our work as a global research university. We expect to make an announcement on this partnership soon.

We would like to express our gratitude to the faculty, staff and students who have contributed to this work through our three-campus ITEL working group, Online@GU, and through the town hall forums with faculty from all of our campuses.

This is an exciting time for higher education and for Georgetown. We look forward to working together as we explore these new adventures and opportunities.

October 5, 2012

Dear Members of the Georgetown University Community,

I am pleased to write to you about a topic that is engaging the higher education community at a very rapid rate – innovative, technology-enhanced learning and online education. From campuses and classrooms to newsrooms and boardrooms, a conversation has emerged over how technology is best employed in the classroom and the impact of disruptors like flipped courses and online education on students and how they learn.

Georgetown is no exception to this conversation and debate. We have an exemplar in our distance-education version of the Master of Science in Nursing, and many of our faculty already are active users of blogs, clickers, and other approaches to fostering interactive learning.

Today we announce a new Initiative on Technology-Enhanced Learning (ITEL). This initiative will both strengthen teaching and learning in on-campus programs and enhance Georgetown's online activity globally. Through ITEL, we will explore experimenting with new approaches to interactive learning, which may include redesign of large introductory courses, deepening student research skills, and possible development of a few online courses.

ITEL begins on a strong foundation, building on a decade of projects large and small. It fits into the Georgetown Learning Initiatives component of the capital campaign, For Generations to Come.

ITEL's work is expressed in a working set of principles and goals that will carry the initiative forward. These working principles and goals are draft in nature and need the feedback of faculty governance groups, individual faculty members, and students. We look forward to providing opportunities for dialogue on this topic as we move forward.

To organize this work and begin a dialogue across campus, I am developing a new Working Group on Technology-Enhanced Learning. The Working Group will be comprised of faculty and individuals from across the University, including students. Their explorations and deliberations will inform our work in this arena and help shape key next steps.

The Working Group will be one aspect of our engagement on this topic. Recognizing that some of our most valuable assets are found in the intellectual resources of our own community, we hope this dialogue will engage our entire community, including senior administrators, faculty, existing faculty bodies, and students. Indeed our community is rich with resourceful change-agents who can help us develop innovative strategies to inform the way our students learn. We will also continue to promote conversation across the University community through such mechanisms as the Online@GU coordinating group, the Provost's blog, and a new website under development.

We will also apply new resources. For example, support for faculty to develop pilot projects or to experiment on a smaller scale will be one target for investment. We will also consider whether to invest in a partnership that connects us both to technology-based infrastructure and to other universities addressing the same kinds of problems and opportunities.

I look forward to keeping you posted on this exciting work and sharing more information in the coming weeks and months. This is a conversation that is just beginning and one that I am certain will inform our work to deliver the best possible education to our students.


Robert Groves, Executive Vice President and Provost

Resources on Campus

    The Center for New Designs in Learning and Scholarship (CNDLS) supports faculty and graduate students in deepening student learning by joining educational traditions with the tools, resources, and opportunities of the 21st century. CNDLS facilitates a number of fellowship programs, hosts teaching and learning web tools for the university, provides workshops on pedagogy, and offers consultations on course design, assessment, and technology-enhanced learning.

  • Gelardin New Media Center
    The Gelardin New Media Center supports the use of multimedia resources for research and scholarship. The Center provides workshops on software and recording equipment as well as consultations and production services.

  • Georgetown Commons
    The Georgetown Commons is a web-based platform that enables members of the Georgetown University community to discover and connect with tools and practices for teaching and learning. Faculty, staff, and students can sign up for blogs, wikis, ePortfolios, and more on the Georgetown Commons.

  • Lauinger Library
    Lauinger Library provides research consultations as well as class-specific instructional sessions.

  • Copyright at Georgetown
    Lauinger Library's guide on copyright at Georgetown University offers guidelines for faculty on using copyrighted material for educational purposes, as well as managing the copyright of your own research products.

  • UIS Help Desk
    The UIS Help Desk provides support for Blackboard and Google Apps (including GU Mail and GU Calendar) in addition to troubleshooting help for the university's technology infrastructure, including internet, telecommunications, and information security.

Readings and Videos

The following readings and videos highlight the current trends in technology-enhanced learning at Georgetown and beyond.

ITEL Awards by Round


Open Tracks

Level I

  • Digital Environments for the Liberal Arts Seminar. Tommaso Astarita, History & Josiah Osgood, Classics
  • Tangible and Embodied Computing. Evan Barba, Communication, Culture & Technology
  • How Technology Can Enhance Writing Instruction at Georgetown. Maggie Debelius, English & Matthew Pavesich, English  
  • National Security Crisis Law: Automated Problem Sets and Web-based Media Outlet. Laura Donohue, Law Center
  • Flipping (Parts of) the Public Finance Classroom. Nora Gordon, McCourt School of Public Policy
  • The Virtual Bridge. Bernie Cook, Film and Media Studies & Lilian Hughes, Film and Media Studies
  • Use of Tablet Computer in Large Lecture Classroom. Arik Levinson, Economics  
  • Incorporating Global Dialogue into Writing and Culture Seminars Using Web-based Conferencing Technologies. Sherry Linkon, English  
  • Using an E-learning Authoring Tool for Developing Self-Directed Learning Modules in the School of Medicine. Taeyeol Park, School of Medicine
  • Blending an Upper-Division German Course. Peter Pfeiffer, German and Marianna Pankova, German
  • Filling the Gaps. Edward Van Keuren, Physics
  • Mind the Gap. Betsi Stephen, Walsh School of Foreign Service

Level II

  • The Evidence Game. Tanina Rostain, Law Center
  • Improving Computer Science I. Clay Shields, Computer Science & Mark Maloof, Computer Science
  • CLED Flipped Grammar Project. Jennifer Lubkin, Center for Language Education and Development & Andrew Screen, Center for Language Education and Development
  • Introduction to Language. Jeffrey Connor-Linton, Linguistics
  • Using the OLI Platform to Develop Online Materials to Support Teaching Quantitative Methods (Statistics) in International Politics. Parina Patel, Walsh School of Foreign Service & Oded Meyer, Mathematics

Level III

  • Toward a Partial Hybrid Curriculum for Spanish Lower Level Courses. Ronald Leow, Spanish and Portuguese
  • ISIM Online. Susan Martin, Walsh School of Foreign Service
  • Using Online Materials to Enhance Physiology Teaching. Adam Myers, School of Medicine


  • Music and Public Policy in the Age of Modern Media. Anna Celenza, Performing Arts
  • Electronic Testing to Enhance Learning in the School of Medicine. Dean Rosenthal, School of Medicine
  • Web-based Computer Simulation Exercises for the Study of Evolutionary Genetics. Matthew Hamilton, Biology
  • Using Technology to Enhance Teaching in Physician-Patient Communication. Stacey Kaltman, School of Medicine


  • Genomic Medicine Gets Personal. Bassem Haddad, School of Medicine
  • Globalization’s Winners and Losers. Ted Moran, Walsh School of Foreign Service
  • Terrorism and Counterterrorism. Dan Byman, Walsh School of Foreign Service
  • Introduction to Bioethics. Maggie Little, Philosophy


Open Track

  • Online Course in “Major Concepts in Technology.” Martin Irvine, Communication, Culture, and Technology
  • Implementing Soliya in Diplomacy and Culture Class. Cynthia Schneider, Walsh School of Foreign Service
  • Extending the Use of Teletandem in Language Courses. Michael Ferreira, Spanish and Portuguese
  • Hybrid Format for Intensive Advanced Italian. Donatella Melucci,Italian & Louise Hipwell, Italian


  • Fitbits and Student Wellness. Joan Riley, School of Nursing and Health Studies


  • Inferno: Dante’s Journey to Freedom; Purgatorio: Dante's Journey to Freedom; Paradiso: Dante's Journey to Freedom. Frank Ambrosio, Philosophy


Flipping the Classroom with Open Educational Resources (OERs)

  • Veronica Donohue, School of Continuing Studies
  • Mark Rom, McCourt School of Public Policy
  • Lamar Reinsch, McDonough School of Business
  • Anne Rosenwald, Biology
  • Timothy Jorgensen, Biology
  • Jennifer Swift, Chemistry
  • Jan Blancato, School of Medicine
  • Monica Arruda De Almeida, Center for Latin American Studies
  • Rollie Flynn, McCourt School of Public Policy
  • Shareen Joshi, Walsh School of Foreign Service

Deepening Discourse & Engagement With Tablet Computing

  • Ben Harbert, Performing Arts
  • Alex Montero, School of Medicine
  • Rusty Phillips, School of Medicine
  • Eileen Moore, School of Medicine
  • Jon Hartmann, School of Medicine (Library)
  • Michael Osborne, Art and Art History
  • Carlos Suarez-Quian, School of Medicine
  • Aykut Uren, School of Medicine
  • Aaron Hanlon, English
  • Garrison LeMasters, Communication, Culture, and Technology
  • Genevieve Lester, Walsh School of Foreign Service

Using Technology to Educate the Whole Person

  • Dana Luciano, English
  • Jason Tilan, School of Nursing and Health Studies
  • Lahra Smith, Walsh School of Foreign Service
  • JR Osborn, Communication, Culture, and Technology
  • Betsi Stephen, Walsh School of Foreign Service
  • Anna Trester, Linguistics
  • Rachel Brady, Center for Child and Human Development
  • Yulia Chentsova-Dutton, Psychology
  • Robert Patterson, English


Open Track

  • Integrated Writing Online: Tools for Faculty and Students. Sherry Linkon, English
  • Interactively Visualizing Music: Animating Pedagogy through Custom Multimedia Software. Ben Harbert, Performing Arts
  • Design of Online Kanji Learning Lessons and Examination of the Impact of the Self-directed Learning Tools on Japanese Language Students’ Vocabulary Development. Yoshiko Mori, East Asian Languages and Cultures
  • Fostering Critical Engagement with Humanities Content Learning through Telecollaboration in an Advanced Foreign Language Class. Marianna Pankova, German
  • Creating Mentored Virtual Micro-communities Around Shared Goals. Kathryn Temple, English
  • Collaborative Design for Innovation. Robert Thomas, McDonough School of Business  
  • Collaborative Inquiry and the Use of Digitally-equipped Microscopes in a Biology Laboratory Curriculum. Heidi Elmendorf, Biology
  • Integrating Real-time Big Data Analysis and Visualization for Better Decision-Making. Betsy Sigman, McDonough School of Business
  • Exploring Network Science through Technology: Transforming Liberal Arts Students from Science and Technology Consumers to Creators. Shweta Bansal, Biology & Lisa Singh, Computer Science
  • Supporting a Unified and Interactive Microeconomics Sequence in Public Policy. Nora Gordon, McCourt School of Public Policy
  • Digital Humanities Lab. Adam Rothman, History
  • Theo-Humanism Online: Theology Integrated into Real-World Questions. Paul Heck, Theology
  • Lectures in Global Political Economy at Georgetown. Shareen Joshi, Walsh School of Foreign Service


  • AP Physics: Electricity & Magnetism. Amy Liu, Physics & Patrick Johnson, Physics


Engaging by Design: Online Games & Simulations

  • Robin Dillon-Merrill, McDonough School of Business
  • James Freericks, Physics
  • Tanina Rostain, Law Center
  • Henry Schwarz, English
  • Hany Fazza, Walsh School of Foreign Service

Flipping the Classroom with Open Educational Resources (OERs)

  • William Buckley, School of Continuing Studies
  • Collier Hyams, Art and Art History
  • Guy Spielmann, French
  • Jennifer Lubkin, Center for Language Education and Development
  • Andrew Screen, Center for Language Education and Development

Deepening Discourse & Engagement With Tablet Computing

  • Elham Atashi, Program on Justice and Peace
  • Aaron Hanlon, English
  • Arik Levinson, Economics
  • Anne O’Neil-Henry, French
  • Carlos Suarez-Quian, School of Medicine
  • Michael Hickey, Biology

Integrating Writing and Disciplinary Thinking

  • Monica Arruda De Almeida, Center for Latin American Studies
  • Soyica Colbert, Performing Arts
  • Huaping Lu-Adler, Philosophy
  • Monica Maxwell, Center for Language Education and Development
  • Jason Tilan, School of Nursing and Health Studies


Open Track

  • Q&A Days in Large-Enrollment Classes. Carol Rogers, Economics
  • “The Global Middle Ages.” David Goldfrank, History
  • Studio Collaborative. Maggie Little, Philosophy
  • In-class Immersion of "Big Data" Technologies. Ronit Yarden, School of Nursing and Health Studies, Jan LaRocque, School of Nursing and Health Studies, and Yuriy Gusev, School of Medicine
  • First Year Colloquium: Discovering the Authentic Self. Joan Riley, School of Nursing and Health Studies
  • Tablet-based “Chalk Talks” to Facilitate a Capstone Experience in the Biological Sciences. Jason Tilan, School of Nursing and Health Studies

Curricular Experiments:

  • Curricular Experiment in Clinical Oncology Nanocourse Development and Assessment. Jan Blancato, School of Medicine
  • Intersections of Social Justice Experiences and Learning: Online Credit-bearing Skills-based Course for Community-Based Social Action. Andria Wisler, Center for Social Justice


ePortfolios for Integrative Learning

  • Betsi Stephen, Walsh School of Foreign Service
  • Kelley Anderson, School of Nursing and Health Studies
  • Alison Games, History
  • Monica Maxwell-Paegle, Center for Language Education and Development
  • Josiah Osgood, Classics  
  • Peg Weissinger, School of Medicine
  • Vincent WinklerPrins, School of Medicine

Deepening Discourse & Engagement With Tablet Computing

  • Joe Cunningham, German
  • Peng Wang, East Asian Languages and Cultures
  • Jessica Jones, School of Medicine
  • Nady Golestaneh, School of Medicine
  • Ronald Davis, Chemistry
  • Colleen Sanders, School of Nursing and Health Studies
  • Collier Hyams, Art and Art History
  • Jason Tilan, School of Nursing and Health Studies
  • Parina Patel, Walsh School of Foreign Service


Open Track

  • The Pilgrimage Project. JR Osborn, Communication, Culture, and Technology,  Evan Barba, Communication, Culture, and Technology,  Lisa Strong, Art and Art History & Gretchen Henderson, English
  • Design and Evaluation of a Virtual Build Pre-lab Exercise for Introductory Organic Laboratory Students. Ronald Davis, Chemistry
  • Teaching to Teach: Preparing the Future Language Teacher. Cristina Sanz, Spanish & Portuguese
  • A Lifetime of Wellness: Integrating Technology & Reflection for Self-care. Donna Cameron, School of Medicine


  • The Medieval Reader: A Platform for Digitally Enhanced Reading in Manuscript Culture Featuring the Libro de buen amor. Emily Francomano, Spanish & Portuguese


  • Quantum Mechanics for Everyone. James Freericks, Physics
  • Sign Language Structure, Learning, and Change. Theodore Supalla, School of Medicine


Student-Centered Learning through A Domain of One's Own

  • Francisca Cho, Theology
  • Lahra Smith, Walsh School of Foreign Service
  • Scott Taylor, Walsh School of Foreign Service
  • Alexander Thurston, Walsh School of Foreign Service
  • Hiroshi Nakai, School of Medicine
  • Monica Maxwell-Paegle, English as a Foreign Language
  • Tommaso Astarita, History
  • Maria Marquez, School of Medicine

Global Future(s) Curriculum Studio

  • Dana Luciano, English
  • Mark Giordano, Walsh School of Foreign Service
  • Alexander Thurston, Walsh School of Foreign Service
  • Betsi Stephen, Walsh School of Foreign Service
  • Laurie King, Anthropology
  • Sherry Linkon, English
  • Brian McCabe, Sociology
  • Henry Schwarz, English
  • Marjorie Balzer, Anthropology
  • Bette Jacobs, School of Nursing and Health Studies
  • Joe Cunningham, German
  • Anja Banchoff, German

Engaging by Design: Online Games & Simulations

  • Jason Tilan, School of Nursing and Health Studies
  • Milena Shahu, Chemistry
  • Pamela Saunders, School of Medicine
  • Toby Long, School of Medicine
  • Carol Rogers, Economics
  • Ghayda Al-Ali, Arabic and Islamic Studies
  • Farima Sadigh Mostowfi, Arabic and Islamic Studies
  • Tiffany Pellathy, School of Medicine

Writing and Design Studio

  • Matthew Pavesich, English
  • Maggie Debelius, English, Center for New Designs in Learning and Scholarship
  • David Lipscomb, English
  • Karen Shaup, English