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Instructional News Updates


Emerging Technology Exploration Projects

The UW-Whitewater Learning Technology Center (LTC) regularly explores ways that new technology may assist instructors and students in teaching and learning. The most innovative approaches occur through the LTC’s Emerging Technology Exploration Projects (ETEPs). ETEPs align with each tenant of the LTC’s mission (i.e., We Believe, We Support, We Innovate, We Connect, We Partner, We Lead). The ETEPs involve small groups of instructors, and students, who explore the use of a new technology through incorporating the technology into a course.

LTC staff support instructors in learning, and applying the explored technologies. LTC staff also evaluate the technologies, and make recommendations regarding further adoption on campus.


One of the larger emerging technology projects that the LTC has undertaken has been focused on adaptive learning. The LTC has been exploring the use of adaptive learning during the 2018-2019 and 2019-2020 academic years. Adaptive learning platforms utilize algorithms to personalize students’ learning experiences, and offer rich analytics which can provide insight into curriculum and areas individual students struggle, as well as students in general.

Professional development sessions focusing on the adaptive learning platform (Cerego) took place over the Summer of 2019, and will occur again in Winter of 2020. A small group of instructors spanning the sciences and humanities are currently investigating adaptive learning through the use of the Cerego platform during the 2019-2020 academic year. Be on the lookout for these instructors to share their experiences with adaptive learning at a LTC event in Spring or Summer 2020!

Contacts

For more information or assistance on the LTC’s current adaptive learning ETEP, please feel free to contact the LTC staff below:

Andrew Cole (Learning Technology Specialist): coleaw09@uww.edu

Justin Notto (Graduate Assistant): icit-techpilots@uww.edu



During Spring and Summer 2019, the LTC led an ETEP exploring the use of the GoReact video software platform. The GoReact platform allows instructors and students to provide targeted feedback on videos. A small group of instructors from Education and Communication tested out the platform in their courses. The GoReact platform has not been adopted campus-wide, but feedback from students and instructors using the platform as part of the ETEP was largely positive.


As mentioned above, the LTC has been exploring adaptive learning. In academic year 2018-2019, the LTC collaborated with Dr. Matt Vick, a Professor in Education, to explore the use of the Realizeit adaptive learning platform. Realizeit is an adaptive learning platform that provides immediate feedback and data to assess student knowledge and progress towards mastery in a subject. Following initial exploration in the LTC, Realizeit is continuing to be explored on campus through Graduate Studies/Continuing Education. For more on the Realizeit pilot project, please see the following resources:

  • A presentation on the Realizeit exploration was given at the 2019 UW System LTDC Virtual Showcase, and is available here
  • A blog post detailing the Professor’s firsthand account using Realizeit is available here.

As part of a project exploring ways to increase student engagement, the LTC explored the student feedback platform Poll Everywhere in Spring 2018. Poll Everywhere allows students to respond to poll questions that instructors, or other students create, in real-time using their computers or mobile devices. Feedback collected on student experiences suggested that Poll Everywhere may have a positive influence on student perceptions of the course, including on the relevance of the class. Since Summer 2018, Poll Everywhere is currently available to instructors on the UW-Whitewater campus.


In Fall 2017, a small group of instructors explored “Cisco Spark” (now Webex Teams), a communication and collaboration tool that was new to the UW-Whitewater campus. A small group of instructors continued piloting “Spark” in Spring 2018 as part of the “collaborative tools” ETEP. Early feedback suggested that the tool could be particularly useful for online office hours and small group work. Feedback gained from students and instructors was used as the basis to create a “Teaching with Webex Teams Bootcamp.” The “Teaching with Webex Team Bootcamp” ran several times throughout 2018 and 2019. Webex Teams is adopted on campus, and continues to expand in use.


More information on the Learning Technology Center’s ETEP process can be found in the following book chapter:

Cole, A. W., & Weber, N. (2019). Use of emerging technology exploration projects to guide instructional innovation. In J. Qian (Ed.), Technology leadership for innovation in higher education (pp. 165-184). Hershey, PA: IGI Global. doi: 10.4018/978-1-5225-7769-0


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