This is the year of Pilots – appropriate since we are discussing pilots today!
- Launched our Virtual Teaching and Learning Center – We were the only institution without a physical space for a teaching and learning center. Being spread across the state it was determined that ours needed to be virtual. We received a grant from OPID and in January launched a website that is our Virtual Teaching and Learning Center. There are podcasts, whitepapers, links, and coming events posted. We have an advisory group with one faculty member from each campus, our OPID and LTDC Reps and the Director who is a faculty member who is very involved in SOTL. Currently campuses are doing a book read, and it is going over really well.
- We have reached the 150 course mark in our Adult Student Initiative, with well over 125 faculty trained to teach Blended/Accelerated courses. We have well over 200 courses designed to be taught as blended or blended accelerated all since we started in 2003.
- Spring Semester Pilots:
- Google Sites are being used by 10 faculty to determine how well the tool works for a wiki space
- WordPress is being piloted as a blogging tool. This has been a real problem as we needed backend support for the software and IT never came through. We have had all kinds of problems, and that is with 5 faculty involved. We are reevaluating with our web apps group and tech ops group already, even before the faculty and students complete an evaluation.
- Elluminate is very popular among our distance faculty and a few faculty not teaching non-online distance education courses. I have used it a lot to do training with an individual or a group, mostly with SharePoint training. The ability to quickly start up a web conference is huge.
- Launching a new Instructional Technology Tools Request Form – the old D2L course request online form died, so our web apps team is designing a new one that will work much better and will include space for instructors to request other instructional technology tools as well.
- ePortfolio pilot is complete. It has been a two year pilot using the D2L ePortfolio for tenure-track faculty dossiers creation and review in 8 academic departments. We are currently having faculty and review committees evaluate how things went this year, and how well the tool works for dossier creation and review. Next Pat will review the data and write a report that will go to our advisory group and then on to the Faculty Senate Professional Standards Committee. The decision to continue to use the ePortfolio will be contingent upon both the pilot results and recommendations from the Faculty Senate, but also what happens with D2L and the ePortfolio agreement with UW System.
- Implementing Campus Climate for Student Survey of Instruction – We are moving to this product from Scantron for use of an online evaluation for student surveys of instruction. This tool will be used for all UWC courses. Karen is on the team going to training and will make recommendations with respect to training faculty and IAS to the oversight group. That is about all we know at this point.
- We have really reconnected with Instructional Technology Support staff on the campuses. We are going to their face-to-face meetings and teleconferences, thus better supporting them and keeping them current with what is coming up next in our office.
- Sloan – C Colleges pass membership – we have 100 seats a year for our faculty and staff to take online workshops from Sloan at no cost to the faculty. These are great professional development opportunities and our faculty members love it, as do Karen and Pat.
- Moved to the Depot in January and will be moving back to a newly remodeled 780 Regent St. in a couple weeks.
Given the geographic dispersion of the UW Colleges it has been impossible to create a Teaching and Learning Center (TLC) on each of our 13 campuses. Over the past three or four years several of us from the UW Colleges and UW Extension have discussed how we could create a “Virtual Teaching and Learning Center” for both institutions. A core group including LTDC and OPID reps from both institutions met to write a plan for the development of a Virtual TLC that the two institutions would share. The members of the committee from the UW Colleges went ahead and wrote a proposal for the OPID grant, supported by a nice match from our Provost. We received around $23,000 from OPID to begin work developing the virtual center and to hire a half-time director. We are very excited about this as the Center will provide both resources for teaching and learning, as well as best practices in the use of technology in teaching.
Our plan is to bring Extension into the TLC once they are ready to join us. This will provide a TLC for the 72 counties and 13 campuses of the UW Colleges and UW Extension.
Submitted by Pat Fellows
The UW Colleges has a unique problem in that we have 13 campuses and 1 virtual campus, all needing instructional technology support, and guidance. Because my colleague Karen Franker and I are in Madison, and not located on one of our campuses, we often find it difficult to provide hands-on training, let alone get a sense of what faculty members wants and needs are with respect to technology. So, in late December I invited several faculty who are using Web 2.0 technologies to serve on our Web 2.0 Advisory Group. We set up a wiki for the group and asked a couple questions of them to kick off the work of the group. We’ll be meeting via teleconference in a couple weeks to get to know each other and to establish how the group will work. We also want to make sure we have the pulse of all campuses, not just those that are represented. The faculty we invited to serve are very excited about the group and I am very optimistic that we’ll be able to better serve our institution as a whole in the area of instructional technology, with the support of this group.
Pat Fellows, Coordinator: Instructional Technology & Training, University of Wisconsin Colleges
Is it a good idea to accept Facebook friend invitations from your students? Where can you go to get the best information about wikis, Twitter, Second Life and other Web 2.0 tools? Navigating the interactive Web 2.0 world can be exhilarating, yet perplexing, especially when determining how to effectively integrate these tools into an already crowded curriculum.
Here is a list of what we consider to be top Web resources for keeping current on instructional applications of Web 2.0 tools. If you only check a few sites each month, these are the ones that we would recommend.
Jane Hart’s E-Learning Pick of the Day
Jane’s site is full of succinct descriptions of the latest Web 2.0 tools. This is a terrific Web 2.0 tool awareness site. Be sure to check her “Top 100 Tools for Learning 2009” link: http://www.c4lpt.co.uk/recommended/ (Twitter is currently listed as #1).
Lifehacker: Tips and Downloads for Getting Things Done
Gina Trapani is a master at writing and gathering timesaving technology tips to help you quickly get up to speed with the latest tools. A sampling of recent topics includes: “Get Real-Time Search Results From Google” and “PB Tweet Enhances Your Twitter Experience”.
Faculty Focus E-Newsletter
This is a three-times-a-week one-page e-newsletter showcasing innovative strategies, best practices and fresh perspectives on what works and what doesn’t in teaching and learning. Go to the Magna Publications Web site to sign up for a free subscription. The topic of this week’s issue is: “Students and Social Networking: Should You ‘Friend’ Your Students?”
Chronicle of Higher Education
“Facebooking for the Tenure Track”
The September 4, 2009 issue features ideas for using Facebook and other social-media sites to advance your career. A thought-provoking article in the July 3 issue was “Facebooking Your Way Out of Tenure”.
Patricia Fellows and Karen Franker, UW-Colleges
Here is what is happening at the UW Colleges:
Six UW Colleges academic departments are participating in the ePortfolio Pilot. Faculty who are on the tenure track will be building their dossier in D2L using Desire2Learn’s ePortfolio. To get this project started, we are providing a demo site in D2L where I am building my promotion portfolio as an example. Next we will be creating a Captivate or Camtasia video with narration, for the faculty to watch before beginning their work. Each department has an ePortfolio site in D2L where the faculty will build their ePortfolio. They have until November (for folks in their 3rd year) or January, 2010, (all others) depending on where they are on the track. We have decided to not allow them to create tags, we are going to be building a tag library, so it is consistent. The department chairs are providing the terminology to use for the tags. In the fall we will be training the review committee members, from both the campuses and departments, campus Deans, and the Provost, and his PA, on how to access, export (if necessary), and review the ePortfolios. The faculty themselves will be responsible for making sure the campus and departmental committee members have the necessary access to their ePortfolio by the due date. Finally, there will be online evaluations for the faculty, the review committees and the Provost and Deans to complete once the pilot is near its end. Support for this project will be provide through our Service Center. Note that all training will be provided on a website, instead of using WisLine Web to save money and to make the training for this project as convenient as possible. We are hoping it is successful and that we can add merit, promotion, and post-tenure review to the ePortfolio system in the future AND have all departments and campuses involved.
During this past year we piloted clickers on 5 campuses, and based on the success of the pilot and interest from other campuses, we were able to use year-end money to purchase a clicker kit for the other 13 campuses to begin to build interest among their faculty. Training will be provided using Camtasia, Captivate or iMovie videos.
Of course we have several other projects going on, but these two are new and exciting!
Submitted by Pat Fellows