TED Tips – Issue 1: Introduction and Hello!

Hi all!  Welcome to TED Tips…a weekly blog brought to you by the Learning Technology Center.   I wanted to take brief second to introduce myself, welcome you to my blog “TED” Tips, and invite you to interact with the Learning Technology Center and me.

So Hi!  My name is Ted Witt.  My official job title at the Learning and Technology Center is “Teaching Learning and Technology Consultant”.   What exactly does that mean?  It means I am a champion for the effective use of technology.  I do not believe we should use technology because it is the latest cool toy or fad, but to explore possibilities and its strategic implementation and effective use.   I do this primarily through supporting instructors through the pedagogically sound use in your teaching.  I support faculty training programs and workshops.  For example, this summer I am working with the Active Learning Academy and supporting the Online Blended Institute through the LTC.  I also administer the Quality Matters standards.

I have been an information technology teacher and have taught both on ground and online courses.  I have a BA in History and Political Science with a minor in Philosophy; a Master of Science in Information Technology with a specialization in Business Intelligence and Knowledge Management; and a Master of Arts in Liberal Arts.

Why am I calling this blog TED Tips?  Yes, I am blatantly adapting the idea from TED talks but, no I am not related to them…despite the similarity with my name!

Here TED does not just stand for the author writing the blog but the main themes I hope to explore over the coming weeks:  Technology, Education, and Design.  What do I mean by each of those?

Technology – I strongly believe it is important to know our technological environment and how to use the tools we have available to us.  What options do we have?  How do we use them?  These are the types of topics the blog will explore.

Education – with a focus on pedagogy.  Once we know how to use the technology…how do use it well.  How do we use it to enhance our teaching and improve student success?  This aspect of the blog will look at different approaches and uses and how we can apply those tools in the classroom.

Design – Once we have explored technology, looked at sound approaches, how do we design the experiences and implement them thoughtfully?  This portion of the blog will focus on “How to” practical tips with an emphasis on putting those skills to use. My goal is to help you create rich meaningful learning experiences and the purpose of the blog will help provide you with tips to do that.

The final purpose is to celebrate the good work we are doing and encourage collaboration.  I will share success stories.  I want to highlight some of the work going on in the Learning Technology Center and on campus as it relates to those TED themes!

Last thoughts:

  • I also work for Major League Baseball in their statistics department and can often be found at Miller Park. My nickname is “doc clock”.
  • I am a certified weather spotter with the national weather service.
  • My humor is dry because I am only a Half-Witt.

I am looking forward to working with you in the future and encourage you to contact me through the Learning Technology Center.  I am available for one on one consultations.

The LTC has upcoming workshops: A Teaching with WebEx Teams Boot camp, Hands on Introductions to Canvas, and Canvas Construction Zones.

If you have any questions about these sessions, please reach out to the UW-W Learning Technology Center.

– Ted Witt

Next week:  What is a Learning Management System?

Teaching with Spark Bootcamp – Why Should I Use Spark?

If you are interested in learning more about using technology to aid in communicating and collaborating with your students, you might want to attend the LTC’s first ever “Teaching with Spark Bootcamp” series. This series of three workshops kicks off on Tuesday, April 10th with the first session: Why Should I Use Spark?

This first session introduces participants to Cisco Spark, focusing on the concepts of “Teams” and “Spaces.” This first session is primarily an overview, intended to introduce participants to Spark. The hope is that by the end of the session, you’ll be able to see some ways that you could use Spark in your teaching. Follow up sessions will be more focused on how to use Spark.  Additional details about each session in this series are available.

You can register for this first session at the following link: http://my.uww.edu/signup/Registration/Details/15513

You do not need to attend all three sessions in order to gain value, and use Spark in your teaching. However, if you attend all three, you will earn a digital badge.

Please be on the lookout for future blog posts on the second and third sessions. If you have any questions about the “Teaching with Spark Bootcamp” feel free to contact the UW-W Learning Technology Center.

Summer 2018 Institute for Online and Blended Teaching Applications Open

The Learning Technology Center is pleased to announce that applications are now being accepted for the 2018 Summer Institute for Online/Blended Teaching.

If you are new to teaching online or blended, or want to revitalize a current online or blended course, please consider participating in this unique program. The Institute for Online/Blended Teaching provides online and blended instructors the opportunity to collaborate with other instructors around campus on course design strategies and teaching best practices. This intensive, and interactive, series of workshops simulates taking a blended course and integrates a variety of different methods and technologies. The structure of the Institute allows participants to explore new instructional and course design methods, and participate in learning activities similar to what a student would experience.

The Institute consists of required online and face-to-face meetings. Face-to-face meetings are held on the UW-Whitewater campus, and online meetings are held via web conferencing technology.

Dates and Requirements:

The Institute focuses primarily on pedagogy, and using technology to support student and instructor success (not just for the purposes of using technology). The Institute will only briefly address specific tools (such as learning management systems).

There are five mandatory meetings for the Summer Institute: three face-to-face meetings held on the UW-Whitewater campus, and two online meetings held via web conferencing. All meetings require some degree of pre-work. The first meeting is a half-day, face-to-face meeting on Thursday, May 31st. The second meeting is a half-day online meeting on Thursday, June 14th. The third meeting is a full-day, face-to-face meeting on Thursday, June 28th. The fourth meeting is a half-day online meeting on Thursday, July 12th. The Institute concludes with a final half-day, face-to-face, meeting on Thursday, July 26th. Specific times will be provided to accepted participants.

Applications:

All faculty and teaching academic staff who will be teaching at UW-Whitewater during the 2018-2019 academic year are eligible to apply. However, participation in the Institute is competitive, as typically more applications are received than can be accepted. Expect that incomplete application forms will be rejected. Accepted participants will be notified following confirmation from their respective college. Applications are due Friday, March 23rd, 2018.

The application form is available at this link: http://uwwhitewater.co1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_88kmxIUlheavzyR

Questions?

If you have any questions about the 2018 Summer Institute for Online/Blended Teaching, please contact the UW-W Learning Technology Center.

Institute for Online/Blended Teaching Alumni Spark Team

Twice a year, the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater Learning Technology Center (LTC) offers an Institute for Online/Blended Teaching. One area of interest for many instructors that complete the Institute for Online/Blended Teaching has been continuing a community of practice around online and blended teaching, that extends beyond the end of the Institute.

Recently, UW-Whitewater began using Cisco Spark, as a tool for communication and collaboration. Spark allows users to share files, hold discussions, and place video calls (among other features). Spark can be accessed through a web browser, or downloaded onto a computer or mobile device.

The LTC has created a Spark team for alumni of the Institute for Online/Blended Teaching, as a way to extend the community of practice for instructors in a virtual space outside and beyond the conclusion of the formal Institute. Instructors teaching online and/or blended courses are invited to join the team so that they can discuss challenges, ask questions, share “best practices,” and contribute any and all other ideas within this Spark team.

If you have completed the LTC’s Institute for Online/Blended Teaching, and would like to be added to this Spark team, please contact Andrew Cole at ltc@uww.edu.

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LEARN Center/LTC Fall 2017 Student Engagement Faculty Panel

This Fall 2017 semester, the LEARN Center and the LTC co-sponsored a series of workshops on student engagement. In the second workshop, a panel of instructors from across the UW-Whitewater campus shared strategies and techniques for engaging students across different course formats (i.e., face-to-face, online, blended/hybrid). The panelists for the session were Tammy French (Communication), Kelly Hatch (Curriculum & Instruction), Eric Loepp (Political Science), and Choton Basu (Information Technology & Supply Chain Management).

One panel question posed during the session addressed how instructors can know whether most (or all) students are engaged in a learning activity, or if only a relatively small handful of students are more vocally engaged. The instructors’ responses to the prompt are featured in the video below.

The LTC recorded all of the instructor presentations, and the other panel questions as well. The additional videos from this panel are available for viewing on the LTC YouTube site.

Information about the Spring 2018 LEARN Center/LTC workshop series will be forthcoming on this blog and on the LEARN Center website.

For further information on the LEARN Center/LTC workshop series, or any other LTC professional development opportunities, please contact the LTC at ltc@uww.edu.

Community of Practice for Online/Blended Education

DSC_3940All University of Wisconsin-Whitewater faculty and staff are invited to participate in a campus-wide community of practice for online and blended education.

The Community of Practice for Online and Blended Education began in the spring of 2015, thanks to a grant from OPID.  Its purpose is to serve as a campus-wide forum to develop, share, and document best practices in teaching online and blended (hybrid) courses at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater.  In addition, it provides a support network for those teaching with technology.

The purpose of our meetings is to build community and meet others who are excited about teaching in the online and/or blended format.

Next Meeting:

Thursday December 1, 2016
2:00-3:30 pm, UC259a
Signup: 
https://my.uww.edu/signup/Registration/Details/14849

In this session, the recipients of the Community of Practice project grant will share the results of their projects.  Two projects were funded:  the development of an accessibility template for the ECE4U program, and the creation of assessment videos.

If you have questions about this please contact the Learning Technology Center at ltc@uww.edu or 262.472.1004.

Community of Practice for Online/Blended Education

DSC_3940All University of Wisconsin-Whitewater faculty and staff are invited to participate in a campus-wide community of practice for online and blended education.

The Community of Practice for Online and Blended Education began in the spring of 2015, thanks to a grant from OPID.  Its purpose is to serve as a campus-wide forum to develop, share, and document best practices in teaching online and blended (hybrid) courses at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater.  In addition, it provides a support network for those teaching with technology.

The purpose of our meetings is to build community and meet others who are excited about teaching in the online and/or blended format.

Fall Meetings:

Thursday October 13, 2016
2:00-3:30 pm, UC259a
Signup: 
https://my.uww.edu/signup/Registration/Details/14848

In this session, Stephanie Douglas and Jodi Galvan will share the materials they created for an Online Bootcamp for General Learners, as part of a LEAP project.  Galvan and Douglas piloted these resources in courses in Spring 2015 and surveyed their students for feedback.

The students responded positively, and stated that they helped them to understand if online learning is a good fit for them, reduced fear and anxiety, and gave them time management skills to help them succeed.  Given the success of the project, most of these materials were integrated into the UW-Whitewater Starter Course template.

Thursday December 1, 2016
2:00-3:30 pm, UC259a
Signup: 
https://my.uww.edu/signup/Registration/Details/14849

In this session, the recipients of the Community of Practice project grant will share the results of their projects.  Two projects were funded:  the development of an accessibility template for the ECE4U program, and the creation of assessment videos.

If you have questions about this please contact the Learning Technology Center at ltc@uww.edu or 262.472.1004.

Community of Practice for Online/Blended Education

DSC_3940All University of Wisconsin-Whitewater faculty and staff are invited to participate in a campus-wide community of practice for online and blended education.

The purpose of our meetings is to build community and meet others who are excited about teaching in the online and/or blended format.

Our next meeting will take place on Friday, April 22, in UC 266 from 2-4 pm.

Why participate?  

  • Share ideas & resources
  • Ask questions
  • Learn from your colleagues

Please register:  https://my.uww.edu/signup/Registration/Details/14607

 

RFP, Community of Practice Project Grants

LTC_Logo_FBThe University of Wisconsin-Whitewater Learning Technology Center is pleased to announce the Request for Proposal (RFP) for funding for five course-based projects, focusing on innovations in online or blended education.

Each project will be funded $300 for the completion of a semester-long, course based project, which will take place the Fall 2016 semester.  If the project specifically investigates issues related to accessibility, the Center for Students with Disabilities has graciously agreed to supplement an additional $300, for a total of $600 per project. There is a small amount of additional funding for the purchase of licenses, if necessary for the project.

The purpose of these course-based projects is to experiment with a variety of technology-based teaching solutions that work to solve a pedagogical challenge in online and blended teaching and learning, and create a repository of resources to assist faculty who are confronting similar issues.  These five projects will focus on innovation in online/blended education, with the intention that these innovative practices will be shared with the UW-Whitewater community, the UW-System, and beyond.  

Potential projects may include:  

  • Engaging students through adaptive learning or gamification
  • Exploring the effectiveness of different presentation styles and lengths using V-Brick Rev
  • Flipping a current face-to-face course
  • Incorporating open educational resources into content course design
  • Investigating a new approach to online discussions
  • Revising course using universal design principles for an accessible course
  • Revising PDF readings to promote accessibility with screen readers
  • Supporting collaborative assignments

Project proposals will be evaluated based on the following criteria:

  • Potential to meet stated learning goals;
  • Ability to be implemented on a larger scale;
  • Potential to impact instructor teaching;
  • Potential to impact student learning; and
  • Adding to the body of knowledge at the Learning Technology Center and UW-Whitewater

The participants of these projects will be required to have three project development meetings with an LTC mentor over the course of the summer and fall semester. Participants will also need to collaborate with the LTC mentor for IRB approval.  Upon completion, participants will be expected to present their experiences at a session of the Community of Practice, have a formal presentation recorded in a media studio for distribution, and create artifacts to help others implement their practice. It will also be strongly encouraged that participants seek to publish in relevant journals or present their experiences at conferences such as the Learning Technology Development Council’s Virtual Showcase, the OPID conference, and the regional D2L Ignite conferences.

Deadlines:  Proposals are due April 15, 2016.  Accepted projects will be announced by May 2, 2016.  Submit your proposal at: Community of Practice RFP.

Applications will be completed in Qualtrics and will need to address the following:

  1. What is your name?
  2. What is your email address?
  3. What is your college?
  4. In what Fall 2016 course will you be implementing your strategy?  Please provide the department, course number, and title (e.g., EDFOUND 243:  Foundations of Education in a Pluralistic Society).
  5. What is your expected course enrollment?
  6. What is the title of your project?
  7. Who will be working on this project?  Please include yourself and any collaborators, along with appropriate contact information (i.e., phone number, email address, office location)
  8. What problem or issue are you planning to investigate in this project?
  9. What is your project plan?  Please provide a plan and timeline that includes SMART objectives that account for designing your project (e.g., how you will analyze the software or strategy to make sure it works for your needs, how you will introduce it to your students in your Fall 2016 course, how you intend to assess its impact on teaching and learning, how you will gain IRB approval, etc.) over the summer, implementing your strategy in Fall 2016, and creating your artifact before the start of the Spring 2017 semester.

    SMART objectives are:  
    Specific:  your objectives must be clear so that if someone reads them, s/he can interpret them.  
    Measurable:  you should be able to measure whether you are meeting the objectives or not
    Achievable:  do not try to attempt more than you can reasonably achieve
    Realistic:  do you have the resources to achieve the objective(s)?
    Time-specific:  specify when an objective will be attained (date/timeline)

  10. How have you determined that your project is a possible solution to the project or issue you identified (e.g., tried a similar product in the past, did research, spoke with colleagues, etc.)?
  11. How do you intend to address universal design or accessibility in your project?
  12. How you do see your project impacting students, instructors, and/or the UW System?
  13. How will you evaluate the success of your project (e.g., how will you know that your strategy positively impacted students)?
  14. What other resources (LMS campus administrator, UW System technical staff, campus student support services, LEARN Center, Center for Students with Disability staff, etc.) that you will need assistance from to design and/or implement your project?
  15. Do you need to purchase additional software for this project?  If so, how much is it and what purpose does it serve for your project?  

Link to proposal:  Community of Practice RFP

If you have any questions, please contact the Learning Technology Center.