All posts by dnorman

2014 Week 42 in Review

The Coles™ Notes™ version: a super-short week that felt like a super-long one.

Thanksgiving. And 45.

Thanksgiving on Monday. And I turned 45 on Tuesday, and I took the day off because why not. We had a quiet family extra-long-weekend, and spent some time out in the Elbow Falls area. Wow, did the 2013 flood ever rampage that area.

Open Education

Picked up the plane ticket. Assuming air travel is still a thing next month, I’ll be in DC for Open Ed, and then Fredericksburg for the Reclaim thing on the weekend. Totally looking forward to both, and to reconnecting with the Open Ed crowd. It’s been far too long.

IT Partner

Not long ago, I was in the role of IT Business Partner. I gave that up when I moved into the new role in the EDU. The IT Partners have been working on strategic planning and figuring out the best way to cover all 14 faculties and various service departments, and we have an excellent partner working with us in the Taylor Institute. Looking forward to including Michael in as much of our activities as I can.

Learning Technologies blog

In our last team meeting, we realized that we needed a place that was:

  1. public
  2. outside the UofC domains so we could maintain an arms-length distance and write freely (and leave room for positive critique of campus technologies etc…)
  3. group-focused

I suggested setting up a Known site. And so I did. It’s still basically just “Hello World” but we will be using that site to document the stuff we do. It’s intended to be a “thinking out loud” kind of thing – like how I use my blog, but without me having to give everyone accounts on my own personal blog…

Conference Planning

Planning for the 2015 University of Calgary Conference on Postsecondary Learning and Teaching is coming along nicely. Still lots to do, but the third annual event is going to be even better than the first 2.


We had our first EDU retreat, as part of the strategic planning process. We’re working together to define our mandate/vision/strategies, and to figure out what exactly we do and how we do it. The day was a fantastic opportunity for us all to work together to start the process. Exhausting, but extremely productive. We will have a 3 Year Strategic Plan for the EDU ready by July 2015. Dotmocracies, Star People™ and T-shirt designs.


2014 week 41 in review

A busy but quiet week.

Learning Outcomes in D2L

Working with the Schulich School of Engineering to figure out how to map the CEAB Graduate Attributes and supporting outcomes into D2L, so they can report back through the accrediting process about their curriculum and the students’ overall competency at The Attributes. Lots of struggling on my part, trying to work through the D2L documentation to figure out how to model the outcomes hierarchy, and then to figure out what kind of reporting and rollups can be generated. Hopefully, we’ll figure this out in time for them to use it for their faculty accreditation process.


Almost-final planning for our 1-day all-hands retreat next week. This is going to be exhausting, but I know we’re going to learn a lot about what the EDU is, and how we all see the pieces fitting together. We’ve got a really good plan for the retreat (and the overal strategic planning process), and I can’t wait to get to it!

D2L Course Administrators Community

We had one of our quarterly community gatherings this week. Almost 30 people, from every faculty across campus. We shared a whole bunch of info about the state of the transition from Blackboard (i.e., IT’S DONE), and tips/tricks/etc… for getting stuff done easily. Started to share info about the move to a more community-based support model, now that we’re done with the Big Surge of F2F Training Workshops to support the transition. More on that later…

Taylor Institute construction

We now have some roof, some of the upper floor, an elevator core skeleton, and a wall! progress!

vintage Calgary, 1976-1981

I did some googling1 on Michael Betzler, who was the director on the previous skateboarding documentary. Looks like he now is/was director at the olympic media consortium. Before that, he was involved in this bit of awesomeness.

I would have been the same age as my son is now, when this footage was shot. Wow. My dad had his insurance agency in the Lougheed Building downtown, so I would have been down there pretty regularly. Amazing, how much the city has changed in just a handful of decades…

  1. DuckDuckGoing? that’s not a thing yet, is it? []