TED Tips – Issue 2: What is the difference between a Learning Management System (LMS) and a Digital Learning Environment (DLE)?

Almost every university uses a learning management system (LMS).  Think of a learning management system as the software infrastructure or the online website that delivers the “stuff” of a particular course.  An LMS can be used to present content, provide information, and manage administrative duties.  It may be helpful at tracking enrollments, attendance and grades.  The approach of an LMS often emphasizes technology – it is a “management” system.  What a Learning Management System does not often emphasize is facilitating learning.

In contrast, there is another approach, a “Digital Learning Environment” (DLE).  This approach is also known as “The Next Generation Digital Learning Environment” (NGDLE).  The scope no longer contains a single application – but an ecosystem that supports higher education.  Multiple technologies and services meet a variety of learning needs with a greater emphasis on flexibility.  It should be less a “one size fits all” but a set of tools based on common standards.

The University of Wisconsin System is also moving away from an LMS and towards a DLE.  The approach should be against the implementation of a required technology solution, but more in favor of creating a flexible set of services and tools that support teaching and learning.

To quote the University of Wisconsin System DLE strategy:

Our DLE is not a learning management system (LMS).  Rather, our DLE is a federated, online environment that includes services and tools purposefully brought together to support the needs of teaching and learning in all modes (i.e., face-to-face, blended/hybrid, and fully online).  Our DLE challenges the traditional role of an LMS as “the” platform for managing course documents, quizzes, videos, and the like.  By shifting our perspective from an LMS-based content platform, to a “digital environment” that creates information we can act upon, UW System can then realize the many benefits of an interoperable suite of services and tools that allow us to maximize student access and success.  https://www.wisconsin.edu/dle/strategy/

This allows the UW system to integrate tools through a common platform while creating and easy point of entry, a secure sign-on leveraging our “federated” identity, and services that communicate to each other while ensuring appropriate security and privacy.  Instructors will have the freedom to apply these tools to their teaching to support their students learning.

next generation digital learning can take many forms.

Underlying this belief are five key characteristics that define the UW System Digital Learning Environment. I will explore these characteristics in more detail in the coming weeks as part of this blog.  For now, I want to introduce the characteristics as the drivers behind the project.

  • Accessibility and the principles of universal design are fundamental, so that all students, regardless of ability and learning preference, can succeed in all instructional modes.
  • Provides a platform to support learning and administrative analytics, readiness and learning assessment, progress mapping, advising, and “early alerts” to trigger interventions to ensure student success.
  • Collaboration is expected, encouraged, and supported among those within and outside the institution.
  • Components are interoperable; meaning they are standards-based and work together seamlessly, not stapled together to sit side-by-side.
  • The environment is student-centered, and allows for a personalized experience for the student with regard to both content and pathways.

Within this Digital Learning Environment, a platform presents content.  The University of Wisconsin System has chosen Canvas Instructure as that main platform.  Canvas is envisioned as the main tool “hub.”  The emphasis is on creating a seamless, consistent, and accessible student experience.   Canvas integrates additional tools and services.  Tools and services are currently being evaluated for inclusion and integration within this environment.

In summary, a Digital Learning Environment (DLE) emphasizes pedagogy that then allows for the adoption of technology that supports teaching and learning.   Instead of being a single monolithic technology, you can personalize instruction through the set of tools and services to meet your course needs.  A DLE supports face-to-face and online courses.  This approach imagines The Next Generation Digital Learning Environment as both an ecosystem and a mind-set.   The DLE supports accessibility, analytics, collaboration, interoperability, in a personalized experience.

– Ted Witt

Next Week:  What is the status of the Canvas migration project here at the University of Wisconsin Whitewater?







Canvas Workshops – August & Fall 2018 Welcome Back

The LTC will be offering both Canvas Hands-On Introduction and Canvas Construction Zone sessions during the month of August. We are planning to offer additional sessions during the Fall 2018 semester.

Canvas Hands-On Introduction (2 Hours) – August 2018
We will cover the basic function of the core tools in the Canvas platform. There will be time to ask questions along the way. If this is your first time touching Canvas, this workshop is the one for you!

Date/Time Location Register
Monday, August 6th – 1:00pm Hyer 210 In-Person Registration
Webinar Registration
Tuesday, August 14th – 9:00am Hyer 210 In-Person Registration
Webinar Registration

Canvas Construction Zone (2 Hours) – August 2018
Are you ready to start digging into your course setup? Do you need help straightening up after moving a course from D2L into Canvas? Do you have questions on how to set things up? This is the session for you! This session will be 2 hours of lab time with support staff on hand to help you construct your course in Canvas. Don’t forget your hard hat!

Date/Time Location Register
Wednesday, August 8th – 1:00pm Hyer 210 In-Person Registration
Thursday, August 16th – 9:00am Hyer 210 In-Person Registration

Canvas Welcome Back Schedule – August 2018
We will be offering a mix of the above workshops during the Fall 2018 Welcome Back events!

Event Name Date/Time Location Register
Canvas Hand’s On Introduction (2 Hours) – LUNCH INCLUDED @ Noon Wednesday, August 22nd – 10:00am Hyer 210 In-Person Registration
Canvas Construction Zone (2 Hours) – LUNCH INCLUDED @ Noon Wednesday, August 22nd – 12:30pm Hyer 210 In-Person Registration
Canvas Hand’s On Introduction (3.5 Hours) Friday, August 24th – 8:30am Hyland 3101 In-Person Registration
Deep Dive – Using Canvas for grading and Feedback Canvas (1 Hour) Friday, August 24th – 2:00pm Hyland 3101 In-Person Registration
Canvas Hand’s On Introduction (2 Hour) Monday, August 27th – 2:30pm Hyland 3101 In-Person Registration
Deep Dive – How to build content in Canvas (1 Hour) Tuesday, August 28th – 3:30pm Hyland 3101 In-Person Registration

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

Using Poll Everywhere to Engage Students

Are you looking for ways to increase student engagement? You might be interested in using Poll Everywhere. Poll Everywhere allows you to receive immediate feedback from your students, who can respond in real-time to polls that you create. Students can respond to Poll Everywhere polls via their computers or mobile devices, thus offering the potential to transform lectures from a passive experience to a more active and engaging experience for students.

This summer, the Learning Technology Center is offering two sessions where you are welcome to come learn more about using Poll Everywhere in your course. Each session aims to introduce you to Poll Everywhere, and to help you get it set up to use in your own class.

The dates/times for the sessions are below (just click on the session to sign up):

Tuesday July 24th, 2018 at 9:00 AM in McGraw 19A

Thursday August 2nd, 2018 at 2:00 PM in McGraw 19A

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

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?

Adaptive Learning Information Sessions

The LTC will be exploring adaptive learning, using the Cerego adaptive learning platform, during the academic year 2018-2019. Adaptive learning offers a customizable way to structure student learning activities and assessments. In adaptive learning, content and/or assessments continuously adapt based on how a student performs, providing customizable feedback and additional learning material so the student can better understand, and master, the course material.

If you think you might be interested in using adaptive learning in your course, please consider attending an information session to find out if adaptive learning might be a good fit for you, your students, and your course!

Thursday, July 19, 2018 at 10:00 AM

Wednesday, August 01, 2018 at 3:00 PM

If you have any questions about these information sessions, or adaptive learning more generally, please feel free to contact the UW-Whitewater Learning Technology Center.

Lynda.com – Summer of Learning: Travel plans this summer?

The Traveling Photographer

Whether you’re visiting the seaside, taking off on a desert road trip or visiting the family cabin, you’ll want to capture your vacation on camera. While you’re out there exploring, don’t forget that as a student, faculty or staff member you have access to Lynda.com’s entire course library for free!

Check out Lynda.com’s The Traveling Photographer series for some tips and tricks for various locations! Some of the courses in the series include:


Teaching with Webex Teams Bootcamp in July

As you begin thinking about the fall, are you looking for ways to facilitate communication and collaboration with your students? You might be interested in the Learning Technology Center’s (LTC) “Teaching with Webex Teams Bootcamp!”

The bootcamp will take place in McGraw 19A on a series of Monday mornings this July (7/16, 7/23, 7/30) from 10:00 am to 10:45 am. Please see the video below for a reflection from a UW-Whitewater instructor who used Webex Teams (when it was called “Spark” in the Fall 2018 semester).

All faculty and instructional staff are welcome to attend the “Teaching with Webex Teams Bootcamp.” Registration is recommended, but walk-ins are also welcome. UW-Whitewater has a campus license for Webex Teams, so feel free to bring your computer or mobile device to the bootcamp sessions and log into Webex Teams.

Bootcamp Summary:

Monday July 16th, 2018: Why Should I Use Webex Teams?

Registration Link: http://my.uww.edu/signup/Registration/Details/15639

This first session introduces participants to Cisco Webex Teams, and why instructors and students might benefit from incorporating it. Participants will be introduced to the concepts of “Teams” and “Spaces.” Facilitators will provide examples to help participants understand what Webex Teams is (and is not), how Webex Teams works, and the purpose in using Webex Teams.

Monday July 23rd, 2018: How Do I Use Webex Teams?

Registration Link: http://my.uww.edu/signup/Registration/Details/15640

This second session provides participants with a hands-on technical training with Cisco Webex Teams. Participants will practice creating “Teams” and “Spaces,” as well using Webex Teams to communicate and collaborate with others.

Monday July 30th, 2018: Now What Do I Do With Webex Teams?

Registration Link: http://my.uww.edu/signup/Registration/Details/15641

This third, and final, session provides participants with a forum to discuss potential applications of Webex Teams in their teaching. Facilitators will provide participants with “best practices” for using Webex Teams based on recent pilots at UW-Whitewater.

Please note: There is no stipend associated with attending the “Teaching with Webex Teams Bootcamp.” However, if you complete all three sessions, you will receive a badge.

If you have any questions about the “Teaching with Webex Teams Bootcamp,” or any other LTC training or workshop, feel free to contact the UW-Whitewater Learning Technology Center.

Canvas Training Course Invitation – Incorrect Link

Earlier today (June 19th, 2018), we sent out invitations to the Canvas Instructor Training Course.  We discovered after the fact, that the link included in the email does not actually work as intended.  Please follow these steps to join the Canvas Instructor Training Course.

  1. Go to http://www.uww.edu/canvas and click on the “Login” button.
  2. Login using your UW-W Net-ID and Password.
  3. If this is your first time accessing Canvas, review and agree to the terms of services.
  4. On the Canvas Dashboard, you will see a message at the very top of the screen.
  5. Click on “Accept” to join the Canvas Instructor Training Course.  If you do not want to be in the course, you can click on Decline.

If you continue to have issues accessing the course or did not receive an invitation and would like to be added, please reach out to Canvas Support.

Canvas Transition Update

We hope you had a great Spring semester!  We have been continuing to work on the deployment of the Canvas platform.  A few quick updates:

  • Instructor Training Course.  All faculty who have taught a course in the last two semesters, or are already scheduled to teach next fall, will be invited to join the Canvas Instructor Training course. To gain access, simply click the “Get Started” button in the email when it arrives, or sign into Canvas to accept the invitation.
  • Fall 2018 Courses.  The UW-System is working out the final issues with WINS enrollments and the Fall 2018 courses are expected to be available in July.  Courses will be automatically created for you, and there will no longer be a request process.  Currently all instructors should have access to at least 3 Blank Courses.  These courses can be used as a Master Course to develop your content which can then easily be copied over into your Fall 2018 course once it is created.
  • Freshman Facing Courses.  Are you teaching a course that typically has incoming freshman?  We strongly encourage you to get started with Canvas in the Fall 2018 semester!  We have been working instructors of the most common freshman courses, and we are trying to get as many of them over to Canvas as possible.  Our goal is to make things easier for the students, and limit their need to learn both Canvas and Desire2Learn.
  • Course Integrations (Turnitin, Lockdown Browser, etc).  We are actively working on getting all of the integrations in place.  Currently, the following integration’s are complete and ready for you to use: Films on Demand, Google Drive, Turning Point 8, Turnitin and W. W. Norton – InQuizitive.  For the full list of integration’s that are still being worked on, check out the tracking page at External Application Integrations List.
  • Canvas Peer Mentors.  The LTC has college-specific peer mentors available to help assist their colleges with the Canvas Transition.  The peer mentors are available to help answer your migration questions, and can provide you training information and resources about the Canvas platform.  Meet your Peer Mentors!

Want to learn more about Canvas? Join us at one of our online or face-to-face workshops this summer! Signup at: http://go.uww.edu/ltc-workshop-signup

If you have any questions or concerns about the transition, please reach out to the UW-W Learning Technology Center.

[RESOLVED] Kaltura “My Media” Unavailable for Some Users

RESOLVED June 14th.  All issues reported related to Kaltura have been resolved at this time.  If you continue to have any issues please contact UW-W Desire2Learn Support.

Update – June 12th:  The initial issue has now been resolved and the work around is no longer needed.  Users should again be able to access the “My Media” area.  We have discovered that the initial load time of the My Media tool may take longer than expected – up to 180 seconds.  Kaltura is investigating this issue and we will provide an update as soon as it is received.

Kaltura “My Media” may be unavailable to some users.  Kaltura is working on a hotfix to correct the issue, and it is scheduled to be deployed early next week.

We do have a workaround that instructors can setup in their courses.

  1. Instructors will need to add a widget to their course home page.  There is a widget called “My Media” listed under the “System Widgets” which needs to be added to the course home page.  Instructions on how to add a widget to your homepage is located at: Adding/Removing Widgets on Homepages
  2. Once the widget is added, students and instructors in a course will need to visit the widget, and click on the “Continue” button to authorize their account.
  3. Once the authorization is complete, users can continue using the “My Media” link inside of the “Insert Stuff” tool to access their videos.

We apologize for any inconvenience that this issue has caused, and will let you know once the hotfix has been implemented.

If you have any questions please contact UW-W Desire2Learn Support.