Social Media in the Classroom

In this presentation, Dr. Eileen Schroeder from the College of Education and Professional Studies shares how social media and other web 2.0 tools can be an effective way to engage and connect with students.

Dr. Schroeder explores how a variety to web 2.0 tools and techniques can enhance learning. One common use is to help learners discuss and share thoughts. Another ability of a variety of web 2.0 tools is to help students and instructors gather, sift, and evaluate information.  In this presentation, Dr. Schroeder also discusses how these tools can be used to encourage problem solving, how they can serve as a platform for assignments, and how they can help students to curate their personal information.

These tools can encourage a new kind of socially constructed learning which focuses on collaboration and knowledge building. Over the last few years, the educational community has experienced many changes in the knowledge and skills expected of students and the characteristics of learners. Simultaneously new information technologies like cell phones and web 2.0 tools have become widespread. Dr. Schroeder explains that in light of these changes, different methods for teaching and learning are needed, and web 2.0 tools can help meet these needs.

Snackable Series: Challenge Based Learning

Snackable Bag Fall 2013Challenge-Based Learning, April 16 – 17, 2014

The innovative use of technology in higher education continues to provide new possibilities for enhancing teaching and learning.  Feel free to bring a lunch and join us!

Challenge-based learning is a model for achieving learning outcomes, similar to project- or problem-based learning.  The students work together to solve “challenges,” while the instructor serves as a guide and mentor through the process.  Normally leveraged through digital whiteboards, asynchronous discussions, and presentations, challenge-based learning is collaborative, “hands on,” and oftentimes multidisciplinary.  Examples of challenge based learning and approaches for adding these elements to your course will be examined.

Challenge-Based Learning Sessions:
Wednesday, April 16, 2014 from Noon to 1 p.m

Thursday, April 17, 2014 from 11 a.m. to Noon
Location: iCIT Training Center, McGraw 112

To register this session, please sign up at:  Seating is limited.

If you have any questions regarding the Snackable Series and its sessions, please contact the UW-W Learning Technology Center.

2014 Summer Institute for Online/Blended Teaching Registration Open

The Learning Technology Center is pleased to announce the 6th annual faculty development workshop on online/blended course design and best practices.

If you need to design a new (or refresh an older) online or blended course, please consider participating in this unique opportunity to collaborate with other UW-Whitewater instructors and explore proven course design strategies and best practices.  This highly interactive summer workshop demonstrates teaching best practices using a variety of teaching methods and technology tools.  The structure of this course not only allows you to explore new teaching and course design methods, but it also enables you to participate in activities that provide you with experience in being an online “student.”

The session will consist of online components, face-to-face meetings on the Whitewater campus, and web conferencing sessions.  A one-half day orientation session will be held on April 25, and the institute will run through July 31, 2014.

All faculty and academic staff who will be teaching at UW-Whitewater during the 2014-2015 academic year are eligible to apply to attend. However, the workshop will be limited to 25 participants. Applications are due Monday, April 14, 2014.

For more details and registration, please visit the Online/Blended workshop blog at: 

Desire2Learn Service Update (3/27)

On Thursday, March 27th, Desire2Learn Inc. deployed Service Pack 15 to our D2L learning environment. The following fixes were included in the service pack:

Dropbox: If a Dropbox folder is linked to Content, users can no longer submit a file to the Dropbox folder by remaining on the Content topic past the Dropbox folder end date when submissions are no longer allowed.

Import/Copy Course Components: Content in an HTML Content topic is no longer lost during import when the file contains embedded Quicklinks.

User Progress: Performance was improved for viewing the Dropbox tab for a user in User Progress.

If you have any questions or concerns about the service pack updates, please contact UW-W D2L Support.

Register Today! LTDC Virtual Showcase

LTDC LogoThe UW System Learning Technology Development Council (UWS LTDC) is pleased to announce our virtual showcase to be held on April 10-11, 2014 from 8:45 am – 3:45 pm.

Visit the session schedule and register today!

Inspiring keynote presentations by Dr. Alec Couros, University of Regina, and Dr. Gardner Campbell, Virginia Commonwealth University, will kick off each day of the showcase. Faculty and staff from UW System campuses will share their innovative uses, best practices, how-to’s and much more on a variety of learning technologies that span classroom, blended and online topics.

For more information, visit the conference website at:

Annual D2L Course Cleanup Process

D2L-ZipIn order to maintain optimal storage capacity and ensure the ongoing smooth operation of D2L, a purge of older courses from the system is conducted annually by the UW System Utility.

We’ve begun to prepare for this year’s D2L Course Cleanup process that will take place on Friday, May 2nd, 2014. On May 2nd, 2014, courses from Fall 2010 through Summer 2011 will be purged from the D2L system. Instructors with one or more D2L courses slated to be purged were contacted via email on Monday, March 3rd.

The D2L Course Cleanup resources site is available with more information on the Cleanup process and instructions on how to export course materials and student data.

If you have any questions or concerns about the D2L Course Cleanup process or need assistance, please contact UW-W D2L Support.

Snackable Series: Digital Badging

Snackable Bag Spring 2014Digital Badging, March 19 – 20, 2014

The innovative use of technology in higher education continues to provide new possibilities for enhancing teaching and learning.  Feel free to bring a lunch and join us!

A digital badge is an earned credential, which validates a person’s specific accomplishment, knowledge, or skill.  “Badging” can be used to supplement letter grades, combat grade inflation, instill motivation to advance their level of competency, and showcase learning outside of the formal classroom.  Badges are currently awarded by Purdue University, Carnegie Mellon, the Smithsonian, Intel, Disney-Pixar, and some MOOCs as well.  In this snackable, the basic principles of badging, models of badging, and ways you can use badging in your course will be considered.

Digital Badging Sessions:
Wednesday, March 19, 2014 from Noon to 1 p.m.

Thursday, March 20, 2014 from 11 a.m. to Noon
Location: iCIT Training Center, McGraw 112

To register for one or all of these “Snackable Series” sessions, please sign up at: Seating is limited.

If you have any questions regarding the Snackable Series and its sessions, please contact the UW-W Learning Technology Center.

“Open in New Window” Button in Content Item Does Nothing

With the deployment of the latest Service Pack for Desire2Learn (D2L), a new bug was introduced that causes the “Open in New Window” button within Content items to do nothing for all student roles.  This has been confirmed as a bug from Desire2Learn Inc. However, we do not have a timeline for receiving a fix at this time.  The image below illustrates the issue as well as the workaround.

When using this workaround, you may receive a Mixed Content warning from the browser.  For additional details, see Firefox 23 – Mixed Content Handling.

The issue only appears inside of Content items.  The work around is to have students click on the Quicklink Content item directly from the Content tool (either through the Table of Contents or that specific module).  If you are using a Quicklink in a News item to link to content, the current work around would be to link directly to the URL or file from the News item until the issue is resolved.

If you have any further questions regarding this, please contact UW-W D2L Support.

Desire2Learn Service Update (2/27)

Desire2Learn logoOn Thursday, February 27th, Desire2Learn Inc. deployed Service Pack 14 to our D2L learning environment.

In addition to the fixed issues listed below, this update includes a hotfix for several performance fixes including quiz query performance and delayed or problematic launching of external learning tools.


  • External links now open correctly in a new tab or window when they are accessed from the Content Browser widget.
  • When inserting a URL Quicklink into a Content item, insecure content links (http) now automatically convert to secure links (https) or are set to open as external links in a new window to help mitigate blocked content errors caused by browser security changes.
  • Adobe Presenter package in Content Viewer now maintains the viewing window size and no longer increases unnecessarily.
  • When using a larger font size, user-generated content now renders correctly without text overlap.
  • Frames now size correctly within Learning Environment webpages.

HTML Editor: When using Internet Explorer 9, the browser no longer crashes when users use the HTML Editor.

Dropbox: An error message no longer displays to users when they view Dropbox due date notifications in the Minibar.

ePortfolio: Changing item sharing visibility now works correctly at the org level.

Course Package Converter:

  • Content files no longer contain broken links when using the course conversion service for Blackboard 9.1 packages.
  • Descriptions for Content objects (i.e., modules and topics) now convert correctly for Blackboard 9.1 course packages.
  • Support was added for converting Significant Figures question types in WebCT packages.

If you have any questions or concerns about the service pack updates, please contact UW-W D2L Support.