iCE – an innovative faculty collaboration tool used to create, organize and package easily-accessible interactive content for learners

Concurrent Session 5

Session Materials

Brief Abstract

To diversify teaching and learning activities and student access to resources, the Jefferson Center for Teaching and Learning developed the Interactive Curricula Experience or iCE platform.  Attendees will view a case study demonstration, experience the iCE app through online access and participate in a discussion regarding obstacles and future plans. 


Mary Gozza-Cohen is an Assistant Director of Curriculum in the Institute of Emerging Health Professions in the College of Health Professions at Thomas Jefferson University with faculty appointments in the Department of Occupational Therapy in the Post Professional Occupational Therapy Doctoral Program and the College of Life Sciences. She has a Ph.D. in Educational Psychology from the University at Albany. Her prior experience includes a full-time faculty member in various schools of education, Director of Technology Integration and Online Teaching and Learning, occupational therapy practitioner and various administrative business experiences in the medical industry. Her expertise in teaching, educational psychology, evidence-based practices in all learning environments, and special interest in online teaching and learning is utilized in her current role at TJU. She provides 1:1 assistance and professional development and support on course re/design, pedagogy, formative assessment, technology integration, and collaborates on grant projects, serves on dissertation committees, conducts research, and presents at conferences.

Extended Abstract

Innovation in all learning environments poses a significant challenge for faculty managing multiple responsibilities. Some faculty express a desire to innovate pedagogically or technologically but often do not know where or how to begin. The Center for Teaching and Learning at Thomas Jefferson University (TJU) attempts to bridge pedagogy and technology by using programming that instructs faculty on how to use the newest technology tools while at the same time modeling best pedagogical practices. In part, these practices offer learners the option to use multiple devices when viewing or interacting with content. The Interactive Curricula Experience (iCE) is a locally- developed app and web platform created to promote learner-centered education and provide opportunities for members of the faculty to integrate innovative approaches to education, such as flipped classrooms.

iCE also allows for multidisciplinary collaboration on course development throughout the University and delivers content to students through an intuitively-designed application that mimics typical web content. Faculty members from each of Jefferson’s colleges continue to build content in iCE in preparation for the Fall 2016 semester. Faculty can use iCE to share course materials like lectures, presentations, interactive quizzes, videos and articles. In addition, it fosters cross-campus collaboration among faculty in Jefferson’s six colleges, which leverages the expertise of each faculty member and promotes efficiency. The platform, in part, creates a central repository where faculty can create or download resources, edit to fit the needs of their students and package into a custom course. It then delivers these packaged resources to students according to their course registration.  iCE also supports the diversity of our students, putting them in control of their learning and allowing them delve deeper into topics that interest them or brush up on a previous lecture before an exam.

The University continues to find new, innovative ways to use the platform across campus as more staff are trained through the Center for Teaching and Learning. For example, the University’s Global Health Initiatives Committee is tasked with creating educational products that can be infused in the curricula of Jefferson’s six colleges, as well as resident and fellow training. When the committee found out about iCE, they saw a solution to one of its biggest challenges: How to effectively deliver information about global health to faculty and students across the University.

“Our inter-professional committee brings together expertise in global health from around the University including nursing, medicine, population health, pharmacy, physical therapy, bioscience technologies and more,” said Janice Bogen, Assistant Vice President of International Affairs at Thomas Jefferson University. “We wanted to create useful resources for faculty to integrate global health into their curriculum. This is information our students need to be leaders in healthcare. iCE allows us to do that seamlessly (Thomas Jefferson University webpage).”

Without iCE, the committee was planning on distributing presentations to faculty by using a series of conventional slide decks. Topics include working with medical interpreters, social determinants of health, and an introduction to refugee health. “Slide decks mainly serve as cue cards for the content experts who create them, but their effectiveness decreases when used by someone else,” said Nicholas Leon, Associate Professor of Pharmacy Practice in the Jefferson College of Pharmacy, and Co-Chair of the Global Health Initiatives Committee. “An iCE designed module can allow a wide array of faculty and staff to facilitate learning on a subject, in this case Global Health, even if they themselves aren’t the expert.”

With iCE, the Global Health Initiatives Committee is uploading interactive content directly to the platform. Faculty can easily grab, edit and deliver content directly to students. Best of all, the content is created by experts in the field of global health. Members of Jefferson’s Global Health Committee and staff from the Center for Teaching and Learning published their experience with iCE as a poster and presented it at the Consortium of Universities for Global Health in Boston, Mass., in March 2015.

Early assessments of the iCE app and web platform suggest that faculty generally like the new technology but continue to struggle with integrating the innovation into the classroom. By using the implementation and adoption of iCE as a case study, the presentation provides an overview of the innovation lifecycle, the common obstacles to integration and strategies for responding to those obstacles.

Participants will:

  • Learn about the development and components of an innovative and locally-developed web-based app –  Interactive Curricula Experience (iCE) App
  • View samples of developed iCE content
  • Experience the iCE platform with hands-on access
  • Understand the obstacles to integration and strategies employed for responding to those obstacles
  • Participate in a discussion on future plans