Celebrating Teaching and Learning Conference 2019

Save the date: Wednesday, May 22, 2019 from 8:30am-3:30pm

Celebrating Teaching and Learning, May 22, 2019

This special event is meant to showcase the wide variety of ways we are all transforming the lives of our students through teaching and learning.

Themes will include:

  • Integrating Teaching and Technology
  • Student Engagement
  • High Impact Practices
  • Civil Discourse and Diversity
  • and other topics

TED Tips – Issue 15: 23 Things for Digital Knowledge

Two weeks ago in TED Tips Issue 13 one of the solutions to the challenge of Digital Literacy caught my attention. When digging deeper into that solution, I realized that the “23 Things” course was easily adaptable, well designed, and loaded with great examples. It has potential application in the classroom and for personal development. It’s also free! Let us explore this solution this week: “23 Things for Digital Knowledge.”

What are “23 Things for Digital Knowledge”?

23 Things for Digital Knowledge

23 Things for Digital Knowledge

The University of Edinburgh’s 23 Things for Digital Knowledge is an award winning, self-directed course. The course aims to expose you to a range of digital tools for your personal and professional development as a researcher, academic, student, or professional. The aim is for you to spend a little time each week, building up and expanding your skills. There are 23 “Things” to explore: ideas, tools, and tips related to Digital Literacy. The program is free to anyone who has access to a computer and the internet.

The University of Edinburgh’s program was itself inspired by previous iterations of similar activities. The original program started as part of “Learning 2.0 Program” at the Public Library of Charlotte & Mecklenburg County in the USA in 2006. That was a discovery program designed to encourage staff explore new technologies at ran for 8.5 weeks. In its current open source iteration as published by the University of Edinburgh, the content is free and self-paced.

How does it work?

Each “Thing” starts with an introduction, a definition or description usually accompanied with a short video or two. There are links to brief reading material. There is a “hands-on” task and further digital exploration. For example, Thing 4 is about “Digital Security.” It defines the terms and explores some use cases. It links to brief reading on “Using Apps Safely and Security” and a practical guide on keeping smartphones safe. Next, you explore the settings on your own device and have the opportunity to change them. Then you research and discover the privacy policies of several applications, websites, and social media services. Finally, there an opportunity for reflection and additional resources and research for further discovery.

The 23 Things are grouped into couplets of related content and activities (with one exception). One hour per week per thing is recommended. The content is further organized into four “focused blocks”: Digital Awareness, Social Digital, Collaboration and Sharing Tools, and Digital Play and Experimentation. The full set program could easily fit within a semester…or a compressed timeline like Winterim. The entire program could be adapted to support a variety of different learning objectives, courses, or programs. Almost every person could benefit from enhanced digital literacy.

Team Application

23 Things for Digital Knowledge has also been adapted for team applications. The Association for Learning Technology (ALT) completed the 23 Things as a team, trying each of them, and discussing those experiences during weekly meetings. That group tried to embrace the course motto and keep things as flexible as possible – but they did set up an internal scratchpad using a shared Google doc for everyone to participate. Maren Deepwell, CEO, provides some insight:

“The experience of taking part as an individual was really rewarding for me. Being in a leadership position means that I don’t often get the opportunity to collaborate or learn alongside colleagues in my day to day work as equals and courses such as this allow me to step back from responsibilities and instead focus on asking questions and discovering new things. The range of topics that the course covered really challenged my digital knowledge and there were plenty of things that I hadn’t really engaged with before. Other tools or platforms were more familiar, but looking at them with a fresh perspective was useful.”

What are the Things?

I thought it might be helpful to provide the full list of 23 Things. If you are interested in adapting the 23 Things program to your class, I would encourage you to try them!  Start with one or two and discover more of the program.  The entire course is built with Creative Commons licensing and is fully and freely adaptable. The supporting website  is free and the activities are varied and fun. I have provided some additional links in the resources section at the end of the blog this week. Feel free to reach out to me in the Learning Technology Center or leave a post in the comments to discuss it further!

23 Things for Digital Knowledge

Thing 1: Introduction
Thing 2: Blogging
Thing 3: Digital Footprint
Thing 4: Digital Security
Thing 5: Diversity
Thing 6: Accessibility
Thing 7: Twitter
Thing 8: Facebook
Thing 9: Google Hangouts/Collaborate Ultra
Thing 10: Wikimedia
Thing 11: Copyright
Thing 12: Open Educational Resources
Thing 13: Video (YouTube/Vimeo/MediaHopper)
Thing 14: Audio (Podcasts/SoundCloud)
Thing 15: Digital Curation
Thing 16: OneNote/ClassNotebook
Thing 17: Geolocation Tools
Thing 18: Augmented & Virtual Reality
Thing 19: Altmetrics
Thing 20: LinkedIn / Academia.edu / ResearchGate
Thing 21: Online Games & Learning Tools
Thing 22: Fun and Play
Thing 23: Reflection

– Ted Witt
Teaching, Learning, and Technology Consultant

RESOURCES:

The University of Edinburgh’s 23 Things for Digital Knowledge. http://www.23things.ed.ac.uk/

Original Learning 2.0 Program. This site was created to support PLCMC’s Learning 2.0 Program; a discovery learning program designed to encourage staff to explore new technologies and reward them for doing 23 Things. https://plcmcl2-about.blogspot.com/

“#23things – how taking part turned into a digital knowledge habit” by Maren Deepwell. CEO Association for Learning Technology. https://altc.alt.ac.uk/blog/2017/01/23things-how-taking-part-turned-into-a-digital-knowledge-habit/#gref

This 23 Things for Digital Knowledge program by Stephanie (Charlie) Farley of The University of Edinburgh is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. The materials are free to share, copy and redistribute in any medium or format. They can also be adapted: remixed, transformed, and built on for any purpose including commercially.

TED Tips – Issue 9: First Impressions

Listening to Chancellor’s Kopper’s excitement about the sesquicentennial theme “150 years: Inspire. Engage. Transform” I was reminded of a personal story about first impressions. First impressions can have incredible impact on our students: both positive and negative. The “best” first impressions tend to be memorable first impressions! These are the impressions that can inspire students, get them to engage, and get them to achieve more than they thought possible. They can become memories that last a lifetime.

When I was a student, my first year philosophy instructor was Fr. William Ryan, SJ, a senior faculty member and a Jesuit priest. On the first day of class, Father Ryan terrified me. He looked like a villain from a fantasy movie.

Imagine him. He had a couple of peculiar physical characteristics that he leveraged for maximum cinematic impact. He was double-jointed with reversible elbows that bent the wrong way. They swiveled like a contortionist. On that memorable first class, he greeted us perched precariously forward on these elbows, hands like off-kilter talons dangling from broken bones. He had large dark beady eyes that protruded slightly too far from his head on menacing eyestalks. To add to the menace, he swayed silently like a cobra, back and forth, back and forth.

There were no rows in the classroom. The desks were arranged in a circle around the outside of the room. As we were settled in in our seats, trying desperately to avoid eye contact, unsure what to expect, we waited in silence; those large beady eyes flickering from side to side glaring at each student in turn, with no place to hide… The atmosphere was thick and unease, fear, and terror collected as beads of sweat on a warm fall day from anxious — now silent students. We awaited some proclamation that would likely spell our doom for the semester.

The uncomfortable silence lingered. After what seemed like an eternity, (likely no more than a few seconds), Fr. Ryan stood up and started class. He was not a large man. His voice was soft but the silence amplified his words into a bellowing roar. Three words without preamble or introduction: “KANT WAS WRONG!”

This was NOT what we expected on the first day of class. Who was this misshapen lunatic? Who was Kant? Why was he wrong? Am I in the right class? I hope Kant is not a student! Do I belong here? Can I do this? What madness was this? Am I smart enough to be here? What does this mean? My class was ensorcelled.

Then I started to notice something remarkable happening. After another pause, Father Ryan sat back down into is his chair. No longer perched on backwards elbows, his arms now rested at his side. A slow tremendous smile spread across his face. His eyes softened. A warmth began to spread across the room led by his smile. A glow replaced the glower. A soft laugh replaced the bellow. My class started to relax.

“Welcome to class!”

The spell was broken. It would take a long time to learn more about this Kant character and why he might be wrong…but we could begin the school year!

TED Tips. Technology. Education. Design.
–Teaching, Learning, and Technology Consultant

Welcome Back Students! Have you signed into Canvas yet?

The University of Wisconsin System is transitioning from Desire2Learn (D2L) to Canvas.  Here is what you should know for the Fall Semester.

  • Courses may be in either Canvas or D2L. During the Fall 2018, Winter 2019 and Spring 2019 semesters instructors have the option to use either Desire2learn or Canvas for their courses.  If you aren’t sure where to find your course, be sure to ask your instructor and they can point you in the right direction.
  • Canvas 24/7/365 support is available for all users.  Most students are already familiar with the D2L Support Form, but what happens when a student needs help with Canvas?  You can contact the Canvas 24/7/365 Support team.  You can find the Chat and E-mail options on both the Canvas Login Page and in the Help button in the lower left hand corner after you are logged in.  If you prefer to call someone, you can reach the 24/7/365 Support at 1-833-811-3207.
  • Self-paced Student Training Course is available. Anyone interested in receiving an introduction to Canvas before the start of the semester can self-enroll in the state provided Canvas Student Training course http://go.uww.edu/canvas-student-training
  • Informational Tables Available 9/4-9/7. During the first week of classes ICIT will bat at various places around campus to chat with students.  See the list below for details, or just keep an eye out for us.
    • Esker Dining Hall: Tuesday Sept 4th from 11:30AM-12:30PM
    • University Center: Wednesday Sept 5th from 11:30PM-12:30PM
    • Drumlin Dining Hall: Thursday Sept 6th from 12:30PM-1:30PM
    • University Center: Friday Sept 7th from 12:30PM-1:30PM

If you have questions regarding the Canvas Transition, please contact the UW-W Learning Technology Center.

TED Tips – Issue 8: 2018 NMC Horizon Report — Trends

Each year, for the last fifteen years, the New Media Consortium has published an annual Horizon Report. The report “identifies and describes the higher education trends, challenges, and developments in educational technology likely to have an impact on learning, teaching, and creative inquiry.” In 2018, EDUCAUSE acquired the rights and plans to continuing publishing this important look at trends and technological developments that drive educational change. As the name implies – the report is a look towards what is on the five-year horizon for higher education.

This week’s TED Tips will start what will become a three part series on the 2018 Horizon Report. The Horizon report includes three main sections:

  • Key Trends Accelerating Technology Adoption in Higher Education
  • Significant Challenges Impeding Technology Adoption in Higher Education
  • Important Development in Educational Technology for Higher Education

This week’s post will explore the key trends; about once a month, I will report on the each of the remaining topics.

Technology changes:  timelines

Trends in technology drive our planning and decision-making. They shape our strategic thinking. Long-term trends take time to emerge. Mid-term trends shape a window three to five years from now. Short-term trends influence technology adoption now but may be fully implemented or replaced by other trends in the near future.

Growing Focus on Measuring Learning: short-term trend

In the context of measuring learning, the trend here is on the variety of methods and tools used to evaluate measure and document academic readiness, learning progress, and skill acquisition. Changes in the workforce change the skills needed. Data analytics has been a buzzword for some time; that translates into an increase in expectation around developing data systems to provide “evidence” for decision-making. Data mining, dashboards, and visualization software. We have already looked at how we are no longer focusing on “Learning Management Systems” and instead looking at “Digital Learning Environments”. One of the main advantages of this trend is to leverage analytics and visualization to portray data. The upcoming LEARN / LTC workshop on Efficient and Effective Communications Strategies has a segment on how to develop strategies to use that information in Canvas to help your students! I suspect that this trend will continue.

Redesigning Learning Spaces: short-term trend

This trend focuses on strategies that help blend digital components with more active learning elements. Our “classrooms” are evolving to support online, blended, and hybrid modes of teaching. We are concerned with greater mobility, flexibility, and multiple devices. What is the role of technology in the classroom? How do we use it to inform our design? What spaces can we use to encourage the skills for students to use and interact in their future careers?  Rebuilding classrooms take time, budget, and talent.

For example, several classrooms on campus have been recently redesigned to become “active learning classrooms”.  These spaces often feature movable tables and chairs, individual whiteboards, screen sharing technology, multiple monitors for easy content viewing, interactive whiteboards, and other technologies.  The newly redesigned Heide 105 opens this fall as an example of this trend and included input from teams from the College of Letters and Science with collaboration from ICIT, facilities, and campus planning with support from the Provost’s Office Classroom Redesign Initiative.

Proliferation of Open Educational Resources: mid-term trend

One driver in higher education has been costs associated with textbooks, materials, and fees associated with implementing software or devices. Open Educational Resources (OER) could be an answer to help keep costs down.  OER is “high-quality teaching, learning, and research materials that are free for people everywhere to reuse and repurpose”. A common example of an OER resource is Creative Commons. The Horizon Report itself is published using “attribution 4.0 International license” which allows anyone to replicate, copy, distribute, transmit, or adapt freely, provide attribution is provided. As such, I am providing a link the full report and the full citation in the Resources section of this post. Additional OER strategy could be using Canvas Commons where faculty can find, import, and share content for their classes. Another potential outcome of OER strategies could allow institutions to leverage investments and share content from courses and instructors – potentially building programs across departments and colleges.

The Rise of New Forms of Interdisciplinary Studies: mid-term trend

New maps and paths for higher education continue to be developed and expanded every year. The “traditional, single degree” path has faded as higher education explores new models. Recent innovations within this trend have included alternative credentials, badges, “stackable” degrees, awarding credit for real-life experiences, and on-demand training. Building these structures takes time.

Advancing Cultures of Innovation: long-term trend

A long-term trend in higher education has been a call to drive innovation and invention. This trend can been seen in programs that foster entrepreneurship, spark startup incubators, and develop venture capital and investment. Students engage in tackling bigger problems. Higher education is being called upon to innovate, invent, and create.

Cross-Institution & Cross-Sector Collaboration: long-term trend

The final long-term trend reflects an increasing global and interconnected environment. Faculty can work with colleagues across institutions, time zones, and continents. Technology provides more resources to support cross-sector collaborations. How do we prepare students for this new digital focused workforce? What skills are needed? How do we realign and rebuild our programs and degree pathways to align with these changes?

The 2018 Higher Education Horizon Report provides a look into the future. It is a rich place to explore ideas connected to the themes of Technology, Education and Design. These glances can inform our thinking now, guide our planning, and inspire our journey. The emphases will change over time. I appreciate the opportunity now, to gaze out towards that horizon, and ponder possible trends educational technology can have on learning, teaching, and creative inquiry.

– Ted Witt
Teaching, Learning, and Technology Consultant
RESOURCES:

2018 NMC Horizon Report
Citation: Samantha Adams Becker, Malcolm Brown, Eden Dahlstrom, Annie Davis, Kristi DePaul, Veronica Diaz, and Jeffrey Pomerantz. NMC Horizon Report: 2018 Higher Education Edition. Louisville, CO: EDUCAUSE, 2018.
https://library.educause.edu/resources/2018/8/2018-nmc-horizon-report
https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

TED Tips – Issue 7: Upcoming Training Opportunities

Last week, I introduced the idea of “learning technologies” as the broad range of communication, information, and related technologies that support learning, teaching, and assessment. This week, I want to explore a few upcoming Learning Technology Center (LTC) activities where you can learn more about various “learning technologies”.

training

training

Welcome Back Week

One of the most important events at the start of the academic year is Welcome Back Week. Each year, ICIT hosts a Technology Open House where faculty, staff, and students explore new campus technology and technology related initiatives. This year’s Tech Open House is Wednesday, August 29 from 1:30 – 4:30 pm in UC 275. You will find hands-on interactive demonstrations, information from vendors, and can participate in a “GooseChase” scavenger hunt. There will be free food and door prizes. Complete scavenger hunt missions to win additional door prize entries. See the resources section at the end of this TED Tip for more information on how to get started on the GooseChase.

In addition to the Technology Open House, there are several Canvas workshops throughout “Welcome Back Week”. These workshops cover a variety of topics from getting started in Canvas, a look at building content, and a more hands-on approach to features like “SpeedGrader” and other ways to expedite grading and provide feedback.  These workshops will are all held in Hyland 3101.

  • Introduction to Canvas — Friday, August 24 from 8:30 – noon
  • Using Canvas for Grading and Feedback – Friday, August 24 from 2:00 – 3:00 pm
  • How to Build Content in Canvas – Tuesday, August 28 from 3:30 – 4:30 pm

LEARN Center/LTC Collaborative Workshop Series

The LTC/LEARN Center collaborative series for the 2018-2019 is on the theme of “Back to Basics to Balance Workload” and will focus on strategies to improve your teaching practice and student learning without adding to your workload. The first session “Efficient and Effective Communication Strategies,” will be Thursday, September 20 from 12:30 until 1:45 pm in UC259A. Heather Pelzel, Biological Sciences and LEARN Center and Ted Witt from the LTC will present communications strategies to help you:

  • Establish expectations and boundaries for communications between instructor and students.
  • Evaluate strategies for determining academic “at-risk” students and tips for how and when to facilitate academic interventions.
  • Explore methods to use CANVAS for additional ways to communicate with students.

The other workshops in the fall series will be on October 18th “Best practices on providing effective feedback using low-tech and high-tech options” and November 27th “Using groups to engage students and maximize your class time”.

Teaching with Technology

Searching for ways to build community with students in your online class? Looking for a way to facilitate communication and collaboration between your students in your face-to-face class? You may benefit from the Learning Technology Center’s (LTC) “Teaching with WebEx Teams Bootcamp!” Webex Teams is an app for continuous teamwork with video meetings, group messaging, file sharing and white boarding. This three part series is on Wednesdays at 3:00 pm in October.

  • Why Should I Use WebEx Teams? October 10
  • How Do I Use WebEx Teams? October 17
  • Now What Do I Do With WebEx Teams? October 24

Additionally, there are two upcoming “Poll Everywhere” information sessions. Poll Everywhere is a polling application that can enhance live interactive audience participation in class in real time. You can learn more about “Using Poll Everywhere to Engage Students” through two upcoming workshops:

  • September 26 at 3:00pm
  • October 4 at 11:00 am

Institute for Online / Blended Teaching

If you are new to teaching online or blended courses, or are interested in revitalizing a current course, the Institute for Online/Blended Teaching provides instructors the opportunity to collaborate 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. Look for registration for the Winter 2018 program early this fall.

For a complete list of upcoming events or to sign up for these events, use the ICIT signup web page using your Net-ID! https://my.uww.edu/signup/Home Find more about these and other activities on the LTC’s blog page: http://blogs.uww.edu/instructional/

Next week I want to peer into the future and explore the innovative practices, trends, and technologies for higher education as presented by the 2018 Horizon Report.

– Ted Witt
Teaching, Learning, and Technology Consultant

RESOURCES:
http://blogs.uww.edu/instructional/

Welcome Back Week GooseChase notes:

  • Play our Interactive Scavenger Hunt, GooseChase.
  • Download the GooseChase iPhone or Android app.
  • Register for an account with your “uww” email address.
  • Create a password that IS NOT THE SAME as your Net-ID password.
  • Search for and join one of the two “ICIT Tech Open House” games.
  • The missions will go live on Wednesday, August 29 at 1pm.

TED Tips – Issue 6: What is “Learning Technology”?

Technology has become more and ubiquitous in higher education.  Technology allows students to conduct research and analysis, collaborate and communicate, and to create rich multimedia experiences.  Interacting with digital learning environments help develop deeper skills like problem solving and critical thinking.

Over the last few weeks, I have introduced myself and started to explore the themes of Technology, Education, and Design.  This week I want to describe the meaning of the phrase “learning technology” and some of the context of the work we do in The Learning Technology Center.

I work in the Learning Technology Center (TLC). The LTC is a unit in the Instructional, Communication, and Information Technology (ICIT) Department in the division of Academic Affairs.  ICIT focuses on using technology to meet “educational, research, learning, organization, administrative and public service” needs. As part of ICIT, the Learning Technology Center supports faculty and instructional staff.  The LTC looks
for ways to integrate pedagogy and technology to develop effective learning experiences.

procution studio

LTC Media Production Studio

What is “Learning Technology” and how does the LTC support it?

The Association for Learning Technology defines “Learning Technology as the broad range of communication, information and related technologies that support learning, teaching and assessment”.
Learning technologies support the process, design, and delivery of education.  In addition to learning, teaching, and assessment, tools can aid faculty in other ways such as analytics that provide insights into student progress and support data-driven decision-making and intervention.  Tools that support research can also be included.

What types of topics fall into the broad category of “learning
technology”?

Digital Learning Environment The University of Wisconsin System uses a “digital learning environment” to support teaching and learning in all modes.  As we have explored over the last few weeks on this blog, the UW-System is moving to Canvas Instructure as that main platform.  The LTC supports faculty by providing training and workshops on how to use Canvas, migrate content from D2L to Canvas, and explore specific tools within Canvas. This support extends beyond how to use Canvas and its tools, but promotes the best practices and advocates for sound pedagogical approaches to using those tools.

The digital learning environment extends beyond the Canvas platform.  It include other ways to design, develop, and deliver learning materials, interactive experiences, and assessments.   For example, multimedia video has been shown to increase student engagement; the LTC has a professional media production and recording studio to help create, manage, and distribute streaming video for classroom use.

Incorporating technology into learning spaces.   Higher education increasingly incorporates digital elements into the classroom.  Learning technology can support traditional face-to-face classrooms by incorporating digital content or active learning
models.  Technology also enables the facilitation of other course modalities, for example, online classrooms or hybrid and blended spaces that fall somewhere in between.  More recently, classroom interactions often support multiple devices including mobile smart phones and the use of student response systems.

Evaluating emerging technologies.  As new technology emerges, there are different possible applications for classroom use.  The LTC supports pilot projects to help
monitor and evaluate trends related to emerging technologies for potential use at the UW-Whitewater campus.  Additionally, the LTC supports technology adoptions that meet both instructional and non-instructional needs.  For example, the LTC is currently exploring adaptive learning with instructors.

While technology can be fun and shiny and new…we believe that technology should not be used for technology’s sake or because it is considered “fun and shiny and new”!  Instead, we believe in understanding the underlying issues and trends, exploring multiple options (including possible low or no tech solutions), implementing strategies, and evaluating their effectiveness.

I hope that this week’s TED Tip elaborates on what “learning technology” means and some of the ways the LTC supports using technology to enhance teaching and learning.   Next week I will explore in more detail some of the specific services, workshops, and training opportunities the LTC offers.  I invite you to participate!

– Ted Witt
Teaching, Learning, and Technology Consultant

Resources:

https://www.uww.edu/icit/ltc

https://www.uww.edu/icit/about

https://www.alt.ac.uk/about-alt/what-learning-technology

TED Tips – Issue 4: From D2L to Canvas

The Canvas Migration process is well underway.  We looked last week at some of the details and training opportunities to help understand the migration process.  This week’s TED Tip examines some options to get a course from D2L into Canvas.

While UW-Whitewater strongly encourages freshman-facing courses to be offered in Canvas (specific departments and colleges may have other requirements), from Fall 2018 through Spring 2019, you can choose either D2L or Canvas for your courses.

If you want to offer your course in D2L for students, you will need to complete the normal D2L “Course Request Process”.  You may have used this process before.  In D2L, by default, courses are not created until requested.

Canvas, however, automatically creates courses for you; there will no longer be a separate course request process.   Be advised, while these courses are automatically created (and WINS enrollments and course integrations will take place), these are blank placeholder courses.  You still need to import or create content and set up the course normally.  Additionally, while these blank courses help get you started – they will remain inaccessible until you actually “Publish” them.  You can find the publish command in the “Course Status” area in upper right corner from the Home screen inside each course.  Even though the course creation process and enrollments will happen automatically, you still will have to choose to “Publish” that course to make it available.

How do I get my content into Canvas?

You can create content directly inside of Canvas.  A transition like this a great opportunity to review learning objectives, update learning activities, and evaluate assessment effectiveness.  The move from one platform to another is a great opportunity to start fresh to create the best possible student experience we can. Striving for continuous improvement increases quality.

It is also possible to import existing content from D2L to canvas.  As with all moves, a good tip is to clean up existing files and content before the move.  It is recommended to go into the “Edit Course” section inside of D2L and then purge unneeded materials through the “Manage Files” command.

Once we are ready to migrate, the Course Complexity Application is a great resource.   WINS courses from Winter 2016 through Winter 2018 that are associated with your D2L account will show up with a complexity rating.  This complexity rating provides an estimate of time needed to fix your course inside Canvas.  Not everything transfers easily.  For example, grade categories or weighted grade items do not transfer into Canvas; you will have to spend time setting up new categories or configuring your gradebook in Canvas.  Quizzes and pools of randomized quiz questions are other common items that will require your attention in Canvas.  Every course is different, but the estimates provide a good gauge of time.

How Do I Export and Import Content?

The Course Complexity Application provides an “Export course from desire to learn” command that will start the process.  Alternatively, you could work from inside of D2L directly and from the edit course option, select the “import/export/copy components” command.  This is the same place command you may have used to copy from one section of a course to another.

After you have started to create an export from either place, select the course materials.  This ultimately creates a zip package export of your course.  Save or rename this zip file appropriately.

Next, go to Canvas.  Select your specific course and then choose the “Import Course Content” command from the “Settings” button.  Select the content type select “D2L export .zip format”.   Then choose the zipped file package you created in the last step.  Select all content.  When ready, you can then click import to move content into your course.   The processes of importing from one format to the next may take some time.  A video walkthrough is linked from the resources section if you are looking for a more visual step by step guide to this process.

After import, Canvas will provide an Issue List.  Canvas flags content that did not import easily as an issue.  You may need to rebuild some content.  You may need to reconfigure some tests.  You may need to double check the gradebook.  Another tool to review is the “Validate Links” command from setting option in canvas.  Like Issues, this will generate a list of broken links inside your Canvas course that you can use to update and review.

Whether you have created the content in Canvas for the first time or imported it from D2L – it is a good practice to review and proofread your new course before your publish it.

What other help is available?

The Learning Technology Center (LTC) continues to provide workshops.  Look for “Canvas Hands-On Introduction” for beginners, “Canvas Construction Zones” for hands on step by step migration, and “Canvas Deep Dives” for more in depth looks at specific tools and concepts.  Canvas also has a 24 / 7 toll free technical support service line including phone, chat, and email options Canvas 24/7/365 Support.

Next week I want to welcome you a bit more to the LTC and introduce you to some of the services and people that can help you explore ways to enhance student learning.

– Ted Witt
Teaching, Learning, and Technology Consultant

RESOURCES:

Video:  Moving a Course from D2L to Canvas

Canvas Migration Website:  http://www.uww.edu/icit/ltc/canvas-portal

Course Complexity App: http://dl.uwsa.edu

Link Validator reference: https://community.canvaslms.com/docs/DOC-12770-4152476605

Detailed Course Content Migration documentation: UW System Course Content Migration Documentation

D2L course request site:   http://my.uww.edu/d2lrequest

TED Tips – Issue 3:  Canvas Migration Update at the University of Wisconsin Whitewater

Last week we started to explore the difference between an LMS (Learning Management System) and a DLE (Digital Learning Environment).  One of the key strategic observations is that the UW-System is in the process of migrating from Desire2Learn (D2L) to Canvas Instructure as the main tool “hub”.  The emphasis is on creating a seamless, consistent, and accessible student experience.   Having said that…what does that mean for the University of Wisconsin Whitewater?  What should you expect this fall and what do you need to know?   How do you get help and support to meet your instructional needs throughout this migration?  This week’s “TED Tip” hopes to answer some of those questions.

Image:  “Migration” by Nick Youngson CC BY-SA 3.0 Alpha Stock Images

Do we have to migrate to Canvas?

Yes.  All UW-System schools (except for Madison) are in the process of moving to the Canvas platform.  Madison has already been using Canvas.  This migration project is managed by the UW-System, with input from individuals on each of the campuses.  This does not diminish your academic freedoms; it provides a common platform for delivering content throughout the UW-System.

When does the migration affect us?

The migration process is already well underway.  Fall 2018 is the first semester that Canvas is available to use for your courses.  Spring 2019 is the last semester that Desire2Learn will be available.   Starting in Summer 2019, all courses will be required to use Canvas. Existing content stored in D2L will be accessible to instructors through Spring 2020 for migration.

For Fall 2018 and Spring 2019, you can choose what platform you want to deliver your courses.  Having said that, the choice of platform makes a lasting impact on students. As we examined last week, one of the goals of the UW-System supports a consistent Digital Learning Environment.  Because we are moving towards building this long lasting and supported environment for students, The University of Wisconsin Whitewater strongly encourages you to develop freshman-facing courses in Canvas.  This should make things easier for new students, by limiting their need to learn both Canvas and Desire2Learn.  It is possible that you will have courses in D2L and Canvas; it is possible that students will be taking courses in both D2L and Canvas.

Some courses, departments, and/or colleges may have other specific transition requirements.  If you are unsure, it is always helpful to double check.

What other help is available?

The Learning Technology Center (LTC) has been offering a variety of services to help prepare you to teach in the fall in Canvas.  Look for a series of in person, hands-on workshops.  Some are offered remotely via webinars.

If you are just getting started in Canvas, a “Canvas Hands-On Introduction” workshop is the place to start.  These introduction workshops cover the basic functions and core tools in Canvas.  These are great if you have never used Canvas.   They are interactive and provide the opportunity to ask questions along the way.

“Canvas Construction Zones” are hands-on, workshops in computer labs specifically focused on transitioning content from D2L to Canvas.  The construction zones use a course complexity application tool to help estimate the time of work you will need to put into setting up your course in Canvas.

“Canvas Deep Dives” are more in depth explorations of how to leverage specific tools or topics, often exploring various options to best meet the needs of your teaching.  These are more advanced workshops but cover fundamentals like grading in Canvas, leveraging the syllabus and calendar tool, providing feedback, and creating new content in canvas.

Colleges may also offer additional Canvas training opportunities.  For example, the College of Business and Economics, has its own Canvas Training program.  Check the University of Whitewater Event Sign up tool for additional training opportunities.  Finally, there are also a series of asynchronous recorded workshops that can help acclimate you to the environment and get address specific needs you may have.

You are not alone!

In addition to the workshops and trainings, the LTC has college-specific faculty peer mentors available to help provide assistance with the Canvas Transition.

The peer mentors are available to:

  • Help answer transition questions.
  • Provide training information and resources about the Canvas platform.
  • Work to understand different ways that Canvas can be leveraged for enriching teaching and learning.

Additional Services and Support

Canvas itself has a more robust technical support service line that includes 24 / 7 toll free hotline and live online chat interactions.  These can be reached from the Canvas 24/7/365 Support website for basic how-to questions.

This weeks TED tip covers a lot of territory regarding the status of the Canvas Migration project, the training and support opportunities available, and where to find assistance and support.  Next week we’ll focus more closely at one of these important tasks:  how exactly DO I convert my D2L course to Canvas.

– Ted Witt
Teaching, Learning, and Technology Consultant

RESOURCES:

Canvas Migration Website:  http://www.uww.edu/icit/ltc/canvas-portal

Canvas Training Videos:  http://www.uww.edu/icit/ltc/canvas-portal/training

Course Complexity App: http://dl.uwsa.edu

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

University of Wisconsin Whitewater Event Sign-up tool: https://my.uww.edu/signup/Home

Peer Mentors:  http://www.uww.edu/icit/ltc/canvas-portal/peer-mentors

In Depth UW System support for the Course Content Migration: https://www.wisconsin.edu/dle/implementation/teams/uwsa-workstreams/course-content-migration/

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?

REFERENCES:

https://www.wisconsin.edu/dle/strategy/

https://library.educause.edu/resources/2015/4/the-next-generation-digital-learning-environment-a-report-on-research

https://news.continuingstudies.wisc.edu/are-you-ready-for-the-next-generation-digital-learning-environment/

https://library.educause.edu/~/media/files/library/2015/12/eli7127-pdf.pdf

https://library.educause.edu/resources/2015/12/7-things-you-should-know-about-ngdle