On Shifting Toward Agility With Learning Technologies

I’ve been part of several initiatives on campus over the last year, looking at how we provide and support learning technologies as a university. Several themes have consistently emerged across all of these. Instructors need a baseline of common technologies to enable a consistent teaching experience across courses Instructors need flexibility, to be able to use different technologies that enable discipline-specific teaching and learning practices Students need to be able to access technologies, both within and outside of formal course activities Everyone experiences a course differently, depending on their role in the course, their connections to others in the course, and the various technologies that they use (both formally and informally)1 Universities tend to focus on the first point....

January 15, 2022 · 5 min

In Media: WSJ Experience Report: Online Proctoring

I was interviewed recently (via email) by Katie Deighton, from the Wall Street Journal’s Experience Report. She was writing an article on online exam proctoring, and wanted to follow up with me about the categories of proctoring software and to get a university learning technologies perspective. The article was published yesterday. I’m officially a critic. She wasn’t able to use the entire response, so I’m putting the rest of it here:...

April 15, 2021 · 4 min

On preparing a university for a COVID rapid shift to online teaching

With the COVID pandemic still picking up steam in North America, all universities had to make a rapid shift to online teaching as campuses were closed. Mine was no different. We’d been talking about possible pandemic planning since mid-february, but at the time it was all speculative and seemingly so far in the future. Things started to get real around March 11, 2020. There were local cases of COVID (although all travel-related), and it was time to start moving classes online - or cancel the semester outright....

March 22, 2020 · 6 min

Mercader & Gairin. (2020). University Teachers Perception of Barriers to the Use of Digital Technologies

Mercader, C., Gairín, J. (2020). University teachers’ perception of barriers to the use of digital technologies: the importance of the academic discipline. Int J Educ Technol High Educ 17, 4. https://doi.org/10.1186/s41239-020-0182-x Article looks at instructors’ reported use/adoption/barriers of digital technologies for teaching. The article appears to have been written in 2017, and only published in March 2020? Why the delay? They propose a typology to classify barriers to adopting digital technologies:...

March 10, 2020 · 2 min

Tools in D2l at UCalgary

In our Learning Technologies Advisory Committee Processes Working Group meeting this week, we were discussing how instructors access new tools, or enable existing tools. Much of the discussion was about communication, rather than the processes directly - instructors aren’t aware of the tools that are available, or what they can be used for, so they ask for new tools. We have several applications available as the core online learning platforms at UCalgary:...

January 30, 2020 · 4 min

Resources for evaluating learning technologies

Our Learning Technologies Advisory Committee met last week to start to brainstorm what the current issues on campus are, with respect to learning technologies. One of the key themes was a need to systematically evaluate learning technologies to make sure we understand what people need to do, and how the tools/supports/resources can best meet those needs. After the meeting, I was asked to pull together some links to resources that can be used to help evaluate learning technologies from an instructor/admin and student perspective....

November 26, 2019 · 2 min

Collaboration station demo

The Taylor Institute has 5 learning studios, designed for active and collaborative learning. People who are using the space have access to some great technology to support their work, including 37 “collaboration stations” (we really need to come up with a better name for those…). Here’s a quick-ish demo of the basic functionality provided by the stations, recorded using the lecture capture system built into the learning studios. Technologies mentioned and/or used in the video:...

June 24, 2016 · 1 min

Gardner Campbell on the taxonomy of student engagement

A keynote presentation at the University of North Florida’s 3rd annual Academic Technology Innovation Symposium Innovation and integration of learning technologies needs to be about more than automation and compliance.

November 13, 2015 · 1 min

supporting technology integration

In late 2013, our Provost struck a Learning Technologies Task Force, to develop a plan to sustainably implement and support learning technologies across all faculties at the University. The result of that task force was the production of the Strategic Framework for Learning Technologies in the summer of 2014 - a document that lays out some high level priorities and specific strategies to address them. Much of the document directly guides the work of my team (the Technology Integration Group in the Taylor Institute for Teaching and Learning, Educational Development Unit) - I keep a copy of it handy, and have a poster version of the priorities and strategies pinned to the wall in my office....

September 3, 2015 · 4 min

the most important edtech advancements

Jim wrote about his thoughts on the most important advancements in educational technology. I think he’s onto something - the exact tech isn’t important. Nor are the logos on the shiny things we build and/or buy. My personal stance is that we’ve seen 2 major changes on our campus - neither of which are directly related to specific technologies. Human-scale technologies Distributed, coordinated, domain-specific community support The first shift is nothing new - it’s also not constant or consistent....

August 16, 2015 · 4 min