Core area 1: Operational issues

c)     Supporting the deployment of learning technologies.

I have supported the deployment of a number of learning technologies at the University of Auckland.

Migrating to a new LMS:  Canvas

In 2014, the University decided to move away from our In-House LMS Cecil (https://cecil.auckland.ac.nz/) and switch to Canvas.  

I was part of the Learning and Teaching Technologies Review group that made this recommendation.  We discussed what we would like to see in the future of our learning space and decided that this would require a fundamental redesign of our current LMS.

In 2015, I finagled my way into being part of the pilot group who tested Canvas before the rollout.  I ran my course in both our legacy LMS and concurrently in Canvas, providing ongoing feedback to the Canvas Project team.  This was particularly helpful as my course was the only really large course (n=1000+) involved and it exposed a number of areas where Canvas was weak.

I presented on my experience at the Business School Teaching and Learning Showcase and did my best to reassure my colleagues that the process of switching would be reasonably pain free and that the benefits would be substantial.

In 2016, we officially rolled out Canvas and I was one of the initial cohort at our summer school.  I was our departmental champion and helped our department and faculty through the transition.  My efforts were recognised at a Faculty meeting by our Dean.

Educational Technology Hub:

Last year, Dr Li Wang (Library and Learning Service), Peter Bier (Engineering), Anuj Bhargava (Medical and Health Sciences) and myself (Business School), worked together to scope out and implement an Educational Technology Hub  (www.auckland.ac.nz/edtechhub).   We are all recognised as champions of learning technology and, as such,  the purpose of the Hub was to provide a space for University teaching staff to share how they use technology in their learning and teaching and for other staff to discover these tools and add their own.

Each tool has a short video of an academic talking about how they use a specific tool in their teaching and how you may go about getting help to use the tool in your own teaching.

Here is an example of one of the videos where I discuss TeamMates, a team evaluation tool that I introduced to The University of Auckland.

We presented  about this at the Theta conference in 2017 and it generated a great deal of interest.  In addition, the hub is getting about 300 views a week.

University of Auckland Business School  Teaching and Learning Showcase:  Learn Do Share

I have always been very enthusiastic about the UoA Teaching and Learning Showcase and it was a source of great personal disappointment to me that CleaR (our internal learning and teaching group) stopped hosting this in 2012 due to them going through a major restructuring process (Fortunately they resumed in 2015!).  As a result of this I (along with Viral Shah, another innovator) decided to organise a Teaching and Learning showcase in the Business School.  We started Learn, Do, Share with a range of invited speakers from across the University.  Over 70 people attended the inaugural session and it was a great success.

In 2013 I was determined to see that this ran again so I organised a range of speakers and then handed it over to the Business School Innovative Learning and Teaching group to facilitate. 

I am very pleased to see that it has become an annual fixture now and in many respects I think this has been one of my greatest contributions to the teaching and learning environment in the UABS.

Of course, as well as founding it I have also always presented at it. 

  • In 2012 I presented a session on paperless marking as a mechanism for getting feedback to students quicker. 
  • In 2013 I talked about my system for tracking “at risk” students
  • In 2014 I presented on my experimentation with Crowdmark which is a collaborative online platform for grading, commenting and analyzing students’ performances.
  • In 2015 I presented on my experiences as an early adopter of CANVAS, our new LMS.
  • In 2016 I presented about enabling student success via edu technology.

You will notice that all of these topics are about how to use technology to improve teaching and learning.

Reflection:

One of the key things that I have come to realise is that getting my colleagues to embrace new technologies is all about building relationships with them.

Supporting Evidence:

  1. Learning and Teaching Technologies Review group
  2. Education Technology Hub