Blog

Introducing the new look for D2L at UCalgary

We’re getting ready to roll out the new “Daylight” interface for D2L, which will go live on May 4, 2018. The biggest benefit is a responsive design, which will make the experience on mobile devices much, much better. And, it will also make it more usable through screen readers and other accessibility devices. Also, it’s … Continue reading Introducing the new look for D2L at UCalgary

We’re getting ready to roll out the new “Daylight” interface for D2L, which will go live on May 4, 2018. The biggest benefit is a responsive design, which will make the experience on mobile devices much, much better. And, it will also make it more usable through screen readers and other accessibility devices. Also, it’s very shiny. I’ve given versions of this intro many times in committee meetings, and it’s time to have a quick video version so we can just email people a link. So, after spending a few minutes in our beautiful new audio booth, and a couple of hours messing around with Camtasia
This (or a less cringeworthy version of it) will likely get posted as an embedded video in a News item on our main D2L server sometime before May 4, so all people who use D2L will get to see the new interface before it becomes active.

OER at the University of Calgary

The Pilot Project was announced in March 2017 at UCalgary Open Education Week, with the call for proposals being released in July 2017. Workshops were held for academic staff interested in obtaining an OER grant. In late August 2017, the UCalgary OER research assistant was hired and committee met and decided on the ten pilot … Continue reading OER at the University of Calgary

The Pilot Project was announced in March 2017 at UCalgary Open Education Week, with the call for proposals being released in July 2017. Workshops were held for academic staff interested in obtaining an OER grant. In late August 2017, the UCalgary OER research assistant was hired and committee met and decided on the ten pilot project grant recipients. A list of the recipients and details of their projects can be found here. The project runs until June 30, 2018.

Source: OER at the University of Calgary | UCalgary OER We’ve been running our Open Educational Resources pilot project for 6 months now, and have a diverse group of profs and students building OERs for 10 courses in a wide range of disciplines. Funds for these pilot projects were provided by our Provost, through our Vice Provost Teaching and Learning. University-funded projects that will reach many students in the next few months. The cool thing is there are 10 other projects (or more?) that happened outside of the pilot project. Some with Alberta OER funding, some with funding from elsewhere. So, 20 OER projects at one university, building resources to improve learning and reduce costs for students. Love it. Can’t wait to see the UCalgary OER   showcase as part of Open Education Week 2018. A lot has happened in a year!

decommissioning a campus wiki

Wiki.ucalgary.ca is the longest-running learning technology platform at the University of Calgary – I launched it back in December 2004, and it’s been chugging along for over 13 years. It’s a teenager. Generations old, in internet time. It started with a blank copy of Mediawiki, and an edit button. Over 13 years, 1,871 pages were created (for everything from faculties and departments, to collaboratively published articles for student projects to resources for organizing courses and programs). 71,393 edits were made (many of those were reverting spam attacks, however). But, it’s time to put the wiki out to pasture. The activity…

Wiki.ucalgary.ca is the longest-running learning technology platform at the University of Calgary – I launched it back in December 2004, and it’s been chugging along for over 13 years. It’s a teenager. Generations old, in internet time. It started with a blank copy of Mediawiki, and an edit button. Over 13 years, 1,871 pages were created (for everything from faculties and departments, to collaboratively published articles for student projects to resources for organizing courses and programs). 71,393 edits were made (many of those were reverting spam attacks, however). But, it’s time to put the wiki out to pasture. The activity over the last decade has been tapering off, and now edits are few and far between. The time for this campus wiki has passed. Although it was used quite heavily in the early days, the wiki has stayed as a project supported and managed by myself. Which obviously isn’t sustainable (even though that horribly irresponsible hosting service has outlasted every other platform hosted by the university for academic use… UCalgaryBlogs.ca is a close second – I launched the first iteration of that service as weblogs.ucalgary.ca back in March 2005!) So. I’ve made a static copy of the wiki, and will be decommissioning the PHP/MySQL “live” version. I’ll leave the static copy up until the internet is no longer a thing, but without the overhead of managing a server, updating software, and scanning for vulnerabilities and spam.

Certificates (and badges) in university teaching and learning

This is a program we launched in Fall 2017, to coordinate programming offered by the Taylor Institute for Teaching and Learning for graduate students who are interested in developing expertise in university teaching and learning. It’s run on the badges.ucalgary.ca platform built by my team (go, team!), as well as D2L courses for online content […]

This is a program we launched in Fall 2017, to coordinate programming offered by the Taylor Institute for Teaching and Learning for graduate students who are interested in developing expertise in university teaching and learning. It’s run on the badges.ucalgary.ca platform built by my team (go, team!), as well as D2L courses for online content and discussion. As grad students work through the program, they earn badges for completing a set of workshops or sessions in an area of focus: (My team works with our Learning and Instructional Design team to offer sessions in the Learning Spaces & Digital Pedagogies badge.) If a grad student works through all of the badges over a year or 2, they earn the full certificate, which is a recognized credential. It’s a great, low-stakes way to scaffold grad students as they build expertise in teaching as part of their career as students at UCalgary. The narrative of teaching development in higher education is often “nobody ever thinks of grad students. ever!”. Here’s an example of what happens when a university values teaching, and an entire Institute mobilizes to develop robust and sustained programming for graduate students to develop into great teachers. Next, instructors and faculty members…  

The Teaching Challenge

The Teaching Challenge is a website built by the team at the Taylor Institute, partially inspired by the DS106 Daily Create. The goal is to provide a platform – scaffolding – to give instructors concrete projects to try in their courses. Projects can range from … Continue readingThe Teaching Challenge

The Teaching Challenge is a website built by the team at the Taylor Institute, partially inspired by the DS106 Daily Create. The goal is to provide a platform – scaffolding – to give instructors concrete projects to try in their courses. Projects can range from building some media – make a video – to more complicated things like incorporating active learning. Participants post reflections on what they’ve tried, how it worked, and share with the community. Some very cool stuff. It’s started basically as a skunkworks prototype, but is growing to become a foundation of how we do things. I believe this forms an important way for people to take risks and try new things – and, when combined with Badges and ePortfolio, provides a meaningful way to document and develop growth as a teacher.
Organized by the Taylor Institute for Teaching and Learning, the Teaching Challenge is a community hub, offering a series of online activities that serve as prompts for educators to explore techniques and to gather feedback from peers, connecting an interdisciplinary community of educators. Geared towards an interest in innovative teaching and learning methods, the initiative’s “challenges” range from incorporating student reflective writing exercises to creating podcasts or screencasts for classroom use. and The Teaching Challenge has also had a positive impact on Andrea Freeman’s career as an instructor. “Lifelong learning is about more than just increasing knowledge,” she emphasizes. “It is about becoming the best you can be. This type of peer-to-peer sharing provides insight that cannot be obtained from teaching evaluations and reinforces excellent teaching strategies. I came to the University with a strong research focus, but teaching is so much a part of our lives and the future of the University. The Teaching Challenge is a simple way for me to find better ways of engaging my students, so that I can be a more effective contributor to learning on this campus.”

Source: The Teaching Challenge I’m really proud of how this project was built – collaboration across the Learning Technologies and Learning and Instructional Design Groups, from concept through software development and prototyping, and integration with existing and emerging programs. Very cool stuff. We’re also using it as a foundation of the Taylor Institute’s new Graduate Student Certificate in University Teaching and Learning, to guide participants through the Learning Spaces and Digital Pedagogy badge (which also uses our badges.ucalgary.ca platform… I love it when a plan comes together…)

The Teaching Challenge

The Teaching Challenge is a website built by the team at the Taylor Institute, partially inspired by the DS106 Daily Create. The goal is to provide a platform – scaffolding – to give instructors concrete projects to try in their courses. Projects can range from … Continue readingThe Teaching Challenge

The Teaching Challenge is a website built by the team at the Taylor Institute, partially inspired by the DS106 Daily Create. The goal is to provide a platform – scaffolding – to give instructors concrete projects to try in their courses. Projects can range from building some media – make a video – to more complicated things like incorporating active learning. Participants post reflections on what they’ve tried, how it worked, and share with the community. Some very cool stuff. It’s started basically as a skunkworks prototype, but is growing to become a foundation of how we do things. I believe this forms an important way for people to take risks and try new things – and, when combined with Badges and ePortfolio, provides a meaningful way to document and develop growth as a teacher.
Organized by the Taylor Institute for Teaching and Learning, the Teaching Challenge is a community hub, offering a series of online activities that serve as prompts for educators to explore techniques and to gather feedback from peers, connecting an interdisciplinary community of educators. Geared towards an interest in innovative teaching and learning methods, the initiative’s “challenges” range from incorporating student reflective writing exercises to creating podcasts or screencasts for classroom use. and The Teaching Challenge has also had a positive impact on Andrea Freeman’s career as an instructor. “Lifelong learning is about more than just increasing knowledge,” she emphasizes. “It is about becoming the best you can be. This type of peer-to-peer sharing provides insight that cannot be obtained from teaching evaluations and reinforces excellent teaching strategies. I came to the University with a strong research focus, but teaching is so much a part of our lives and the future of the University. The Teaching Challenge is a simple way for me to find better ways of engaging my students, so that I can be a more effective contributor to learning on this campus.”

Source: The Teaching Challenge I’m really proud of how this project was built – collaboration across the Learning Technologies and Learning and Instructional Design Groups, from concept through software development and prototyping, and integration with existing and emerging programs. Very cool stuff. We’re also using it as a foundation of the Taylor Institute’s new Graduate Student Certificate in University Teaching and Learning, to guide participants through the Learning Spaces and Digital Pedagogy badge (which also uses our badges.ucalgary.ca platform… I love it when a plan comes together…)

We’re hiring – Learning Technologies Project Assistant

I’m hoping to add a grad or senior undergrad student to the Learning Technologies Group. This position will work closely with other members of the team, and will get to work directly with instructors who are teaching face-to-face, blended, or online courses as they integrate various learning technologies. Like consulting and collaborating with instructors who […]

I’m hoping to add a grad or senior undergrad student to the Learning Technologies Group. This position will work closely with other members of the team, and will get to work directly with instructors who are teaching face-to-face, blended, or online courses as they integrate various learning technologies. Like consulting and collaborating with instructors who are doing cool things in their courses? Like working with people from all 13 faculties and with people in key departments across campus (including, of course, the Taylor Institute for Teaching and Learning, Information Technologies, and Libraries and Cultural Resources)? Check out the TI’s Job Opportunities page (or the full job description) and apply before Oct. 6, 2017. It’s a really fun team, working with really amazing people from across the university.