Learning Management System Change Announced

The following is a copy of the first official email from your D2L to Canvas Migration Design Team.
Our campus (as well as all those within the UW Wisconsin System) is migrating from our current learning management system (D2L) to Canvas in Fall 2019.

This email is intended to provide you basic information on the migration as well as timeline and contact information. You’ll see regular (at the minimum, monthly) emails and other communication from us regarding the progress of the migration and ways you can be involved beginning in January 2018.

Why are we changing to a new learning management system?
UW – System requested proposals from companies to identify a more effective and innovative learning management system that is aligned with our 2020FWD Strategic Framework. The timing of the proposal was related to ending of the current contract with Desire2Learn. Following feedback from campuses, Canvas was chosen both because of the system and the services they offer. One of the things our design team is most excited about is the 24 hour-a-day, 7 day-a-week support that Canvas will offer for both instructors and students.

Who is the design team for this project? What work are they doing?
Members of the design team are:

  • Co-facilitators Jim Rink, IT and Monica Roth Day, Associate Dean of Academic Affairs;
  • Harry Anderson, Dean of Students;
  • Christina Kline, Interim Director of the Distance Learning Center;
  • Representing instructors (Faculty and Academic Staff): Julie Gard, Kim Lebard-Rankila, Scott Smith, Maryjane Burdge, and Nicholle Schuelke;
  • Representing instructional design and support: Del Wright, Stacy Leno, Mike Olson, Rebecca Graetz and Tom Tu.

The work of the design team is to: 

  1. Identify policies and/or practices needed for a successful migration.
  2. Develop a communication plan with our campus, then communicate each step of the process.
  3. Identify the migration process and timeline, with a focus on the least amount of work and time for instructors.
  4. Identify necessary trainings, including online and face-to-face opportunities.

What is the timeline for the project?  Do I need to prepare now?
We will be migrating to Canvas very deliberately over the next two years, with a great deal of work done “behind the scenes” by specific staff in Information Technology. The earliest that the Canvas migration could occur is next fall (2018) with early adopters (such as graduate programs).  As an entire campus, we are planning for a full migration in Fall 2019 so that only one learning management system is used (rather than using D2l and Canvas simultaneously).  NO MIGRATIONS WILL HAPPEN NEXT SEMESTER (Spring 2018).

What does this mean to me as an instructor? How much work will I need to do?
The design team is working hard to ensure that the migration process will take as little work as possible for instructors. The migration is related to the process of using the new learning management system, not changing your course content or learning activities.  Think of it as moving to a new house – the look is different, but your furniture and household items are all the same.

What should I consider now in planning for the migration?
The design team is working with UW – System project managers and Canvas staff regarding the Canvas design (the basic tools for courses) and timeline to ensure as much as possible a successful migration. Keep an eye out beginning this spring semester for regular emails and notices regarding Canvas trainings from our design team. In addition to emails, we’ll post them in digests and on our website, https://www.uwsuper.edu/teachingtools/canvas/index.cfm. We’ll post opportunities for online and face-to-face trainings and consultations, as well as other information.

I’m nervous/worried/excited/etc and would like more info. Who should I contact?
For questions or concerns regarding this project, please feel free to contact Jim and Monica at canvas@uwsuper.edu.

The UW-System Digital Learning Environment (DLE) Course Template Design team will be visiting campus on Friday, December 8th for two course template feedback sessions.  The sessions will be in the Jim Dan Hill Library room 231 (see attached invites):

  • First session is at 10:00-11:00 AM
  • Second session is at 11:00 AM – Noon

Instructors and students are welcome to attend either of these feedback sessions.  They will be hands-on sessions, so you’ll be able to log into the UW-System Canvas testing area to see examples of what the course templates could look like and give your feedback on which you like the best.


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CETL Weekly – Expanding Perspectives

November 13, 2017

“To the person who does not know where he wants to go there is no favorable wind.” — Seneca

Vision is critical to higher education.  Even as we ground students in long-standing theories and ideas, we prepare them for their future careers and lives.  We can envision the possibilities of the future and ways to prepare our students even as we adapt our campus to their perspectives and understanding of the world.  We ask students to adopt a growth mindset and we must as well.  This includes our ability to learn about the students we are teaching and their generational perspectives on the world.

Last week, at least six transgendered people were elected into office around the United States. (See more athttps://www.washingtonpost.com/news/retropolis/wp/2017/11/08/transgender-people-have-been-elected-before-but-they-can-finally-let-the-voters-know/?utm_term=.5091ff515a6e). This is a much-celebrated event. In social media, people shared that they thought the country would not reach this milestone in their lifetimes, and yet here we are! The concept of gender has changed over time as has society’s perspective on it. It is much more fluid than the past binary definition.

Last year, Daniela Mansbach, Associate Professor in Political Science and Gender Studies Coordinator, facilitated an amazing conversation on gender and the use of gender pronouns.  For example, “xhe” is a non-binary pronoun and “they” is now used as a singular pronoun. We also talked about how gender has been shaped by our own generations, experiences, and perspectives on the world. Our students reflect much more diverse perspectives on gender; we must learn and adapt to those perspectives to better support students in their identities.

The conversation last spring led to the purchase of “Gender Revolution: A Journey with Katie Couric” by CETL and succeeding conversations about gender and what it means to our interactions with students. This summer, we hosted a viewing to a packed room from folks in a diversity of roles.

Our next part of the Gender Revolution conversation is TOMORROW (Tuesday, 11/14) from 5 – 7 p.m. Why attend?  Discussion will be integrated into portions of the video, with opportunities to share ideas on what our learning means to our work inside and outside the classroom. As a community, we will generate concrete strategies in working with students and expanding our own learning.   If you have not attended previous sessions, please feel free to join us!

If you cannot attend this session but would like to see the video and the National Geographic issue, Gender Revolution, contact cetl@uwsuper.edu, or contact Nicole or Monica in CETL.

Additional upcoming events

Please see the attached flyers for Native American Heritage Month and Diversity events this fall.

Both events below are in CETL (Swenson 2074); light refreshments will be served.

  • The URSCA Peer Network meets this Thursday, November 16 from noon – 12:50 p.m.
  • The Well-being Community of Practice meets next Wednesday, November 22 from noon – 12:50 p.m. The topic for this session is “Cultivating a Character Strengths Focus”. Character Strengths are the positive parts of your personality that impact how you think, feel and behave and are the keys to you being your best self. When individuals are aware of their strengths, and have the opportunity to use them within their work or school day, they are happier and more engaged. Come learn how to identify, use and benefit from the VIA Charter Strengths Assessment.

CETL events are winding down to better support faculty and staff during the final weeks of the semester. We are happy to consult with you on various teaching and learning interests and needs including instructional design/development, technology integration and media production. Please feel free to contact Monica, Del or Tom. See more details at https://www.uwsuper.edu/cetl/about/services.cfm.


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Teaching and Learning Relationships

November 6, 2017

Teaching is not about information. It’s about having an honest intellectual relationship with your students. ~ Paul Lockhart

Please forgive me for stating the obvious – this is a difficult time for our Yellowjacket community. People have been impacted in various ways. In recent days, I’ve found myself reflecting often on the teaching and learning relationship and what it means to be at a university.

Teaching and learning are about relationships, not just knowledge and how it is taught. One of the best things about working at the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning are the countless and varied conversations about what it means to be a teacher. Over time, the themed response to “What is the most critical thing in the teaching and learning process?” is “relationship”.  This theme comes up again and again, regardless of role – student, staff, faculty, advisor, coach, and/or supervisor.  Some frame it as empathy and compassion, others as trust, others as responsiveness.

Numerous research studies support the importance links between relationship, teaching and student progress. When we combine students’ trust in us and our interest in their progress with best practices in teaching and learning, amazing things can happen.

This week showcases the importance of relationships.  It is National Veteran’s Week! I’ve attached Monte’s email from the Veteran and Non-traditional Student Center on the many activities to celebrate this week.  I’m pleased that our CETL collaboration with them continues.  Green Zone training will be held this Tuesday, November 7 from 11:30 a.m. to 12:50 p.m. in CETL (Swenson 2074).  Why attend?  You will learn the strengths and challenges of student soldiers and veterans and various strategies to best support them both inside and outside the classroom. All are invited!

Chickering’s vectors of student development, long a staple of higher education, have been extended into working with student veterans. They include 1) developing competence, 2) managing emotions, 3) moving through autonomy toward interdependence and others. See more information at http://www.nacada.ksu.edu/Resources/Academic-Advising-Today/View-Articles/Chickerings-Seven-Vectors-and-Student-Veteran-Development.aspx.

Additional upcoming events

  • The Global Awareness and Inclusivity Community of Practice meets this Wednesday, November 8 from noon – 12:50 p.m. in CETL (Swenson 2074). Facilitated by Jerel Benton and Lynn Amerman Goerdt, this is a great opportunity to share ideas and engage with colleagues in learning about students.  Attached is a schedule of events the group has developed – please share with your colleagues!
  • Learn@UW-Superior: Analysis and Grades is this Thursday, November 9 from noon – 1 p.m. in Swenson 2020 with Stacy Leno and Tom Tu. Why attend?  You will learn how to use these tools along with how to implement them to best support student learning. For example, did you know that you can use the analysis tool to see how much course material (if included in Learn@UW-Superior) that the student has accessed and for how long? This relates to how you might work with the student regarding study strategies.

If you cannot attend this session and would like more information, please feel free to contact Tom Tu at ytu@uwsuper.edu or x8463.

CETL events are winding down to better support faculty and staff during the final weeks of the semester. We are happy to consult with you on various teaching and learning interests and needs including instructional design/development, technology integration and media production. Please feel free to contact Monica, Del or Tom. See more details at https://www.uwsuper.edu/cetl/about/services.cfm.


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Teaching at its Best

October 23, 2017

Teaching at its best arises from healthy teachers who are well rested, open minded, clear thinking and compassionate towards the challenges of learning. ~ Kathryn Lovewell, Every Teacher Matters

Good morning! We have reached the mid-term point of the semester. In the past two weeks, a number of people privately or at CETL sessions have shared how overwhelming/busy/hectic the semester is, and how it is difficult to find time to meet obligations and goals.  I believe that teaching is one of the best professions. It requires significant time and energy to teach, provide feedback, develop assignments, provide more feedback, assess and evaluate, then revise.  Additional campus responsibilities affect our time teaching and working with students.

There are ways to take care of ourselves as teachers. Our Well-being Community of Practice, which meets this week (see info at the bottom of this email) provides great ideas and is a source of support.  In the attached article, Helping New Faculty Thrive, there are a myriad of strategies and ideas offered to help enhance teaching. While the intent is towards new faculty/instructors, even those more seasoned may find some new ideas.  The article is broken out into specific sections:

  • The Things I Did Badly: Looking Back on My First Five Years of Teaching……….. 6
  • Qualities of Successful Teaching………………………………………………………………. 8
  • Lessons Learned from My Students…………………………………………………………. 10
  • ‘What Works’ in the Messy Landscape of Teaching and Learning………………….12
  • Student Engagement: What Is It?……………………………………………………………. 14
  • Ways to Achieve Student Engagement…………………………………………………….. 16
  • Critical Thinking: Definitions and Assessments……………………………………………18
  • A Less-Structured, More Learning-Centered Environment……………………………20
  • Avoiding Information Overload: Remembering Course Goals……………………….22
  • Some Lessons Learned about Learner-Centered Teaching………………………….. 24
  • Learning from Our Mistakes…………………………………………………………………….26
  • Talk about Teaching That Benefits Beginners and Those Who Mentor Them….28
  • Confessions of a Bad Teacher…………………………………………………………………..30
  • Six Things That Make College Teachers Successful………………………………………32

Upcoming events:
This week, CETL is hosting three open sessions, all held in the CETL conference room (Swenson 2076).

  • The URSCA Peer Network meets Tuesday, 10/24 from noon – 12:50 p.m. (See more info in the attached email from Julie.) This group is facilitated by Cheong Soon Gan and Julie O’Leary.
  • The Well-being Community of Practice meets Wednesday, 10/25 from noon – 12:50 p.m. This month’s topic is “Attitude of Gratitude”. Research has shown that gratitude is good for our bodies, our minds, our relationships and our workplaces. Come learn how to cultivate and appreciate the many blessings in your life based on new research being done in this area of well-being. This group is facilitated by Randy Barker and Mimi Rappley-Larson.
  • Implicit Bias Training, facilitated by Jerel Benton, EDI Director, is on Thursday, 10/26 from 11:30 a.m.  – 12:50 p.m. Implicit bias is defined as attitudes or stereotypes that affect our understanding, actions, and decisions in an unconscious manner. It can have a powerful influence inside and outside classrooms.
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Teaching with Technology Resources

October 16, 2017

CETL Instructional Pedagogy and Technology Series
We invite you to attend the upcoming professional development sessions provided through the CETL Instructional Pedagogy and Technology Series. Each session has been designed to provide a launching pad towards developing new skills for enhancing your teaching and student learning, promoting student success, and leveraging available technology resources able to make your work easier. Session follow-up consultations can be arranged to provide more comprehensive support relevant to your specific professional development goals in the areas of instructional pedagogy and technology. Check out the session details below, mark your calendar, invite a colleague to join you, build your learning network and gain valuable skills for teaching with technology.

Using Digital Content to Enhance Your Teaching and Student Learning
Are you interested in using digital content to enhance your teaching and student learning but you don’t know how to get started? The Teaching with Technology: Lecture Capture session is designed to get you started on the right path for developing digital content for your courses. This session focuses on leveraging the tools and resources available at UW-Superior to quickly develop and distribute lecture content in a digital audio or video format accessible 24/7 by your students.

The session introduces you to available tools and resources for recording lecture content or supplemental instruction, brief demonstrations of the tools will be provided along with a review of additional training materials and quick guides. Tools to be demonstrated and reviewed include using Microsoft Office Mix with PowerPoint, CaptureSpace Lite, and the embedded recording applications in Kaltura “MyMedia” within Learn@UW-Superior.  The next session will on October 19 from noon – 12:50 p.m in the CETL Conference Room – Swenson 2074, led by Del Wright.

Learn@UW-Superior (D2L) Learning Analytics and Grades
As the official Learning Management System (LMS) at UW-S, Learn@UW-Superior (D2L) is an important and readily available teaching and learning tool. It assists instructors in sharing digital content and learning resources, providing timely feedback, tracking grades for students as well as promoting effective learning and engagement. Students show preference and expectations for the instructors to use various D2L tools in their courses.

As shown in the 2017 EDUCAUSE survey of 35,760 students from 110 institutions in the country:

  • 79% Students prefer blended learning environments (these are face-to-face courses with some online components in LMS).
  • 66% Students stated being able to check course progress inside the LMS is one of their primary concerns.
  • 61% students wish their instructors use more early-alert system/resources/tools designed to catch potential academic trouble as soon as possible.

D2L Learning Analytics enable instructors to conveniently track student participation and progress both at individual student and class levels and use that data to support the student learning. As part of the early-alert strategies, the instructors can then decide the appropriate intervention to assure the student success in the course. In addition, the D2L Grades tool allows the instructor to set up a state-of-the-art online gradebook in LMS. The instructor can keep updating the students’ grades and providing timely feedback to each assignment or exam in the Grades tool throughout the semester. Each student can check his/her/xer own grades and progress inside LMS. These D2L tools have great potential to help the instructors better support the student-centered learning. To learn more strategies and best practices of using these tools in your course, please join us in Learn@UW–Superior: Learning Analytics and Grades at noon–12:50 p.m. on Thursday, November 9 in Swenson 2020.  Stacy Leno and Tom Tu will lead this session.

CETL Consultation Services
The Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CETL) provides the campus community with services, resources and support to foster meaningful student learning, quality teaching, and supportive advising within a liberal arts tradition. CETL staff provide the campus members a broad array of services which include consultation services on instructional design/development, technology integration and media production. See more details on how to request these services at: https://www.uwsuper.edu/cetl/about/services.cfm

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Open Educational Resources

Greetings to you on Friday, October 13.  While there are many superstitions linked to this day, with them come different perspectives of the world and the opportunity to learn about cultural beliefs. For example, there may be psychological benefits to the phobia of Friday the 13th (triskaidekaphobia).  For more, see http://news.nationalgeographic.com/2015/11/151113-friday-13-superstition-phobia-triskaidekaphobia-culture/.

This coming week in CETL, we are focusing on Open Educational Resources. Stephanie Warden, UW-S Librarian, will showcase OERs and discuss their use and implementation on Monday, October 16 from noon – 12:50 p.m. in Swenson 2034 (please note the change from the CETL conference room).

What are OERs?  Educause states that OERs are “any resources available at little or no cost that can be used for teaching, learning, or research”. The term can include textbooks, course readings, and other learning content; simulations, games, and other learning applications; syllabi, quizzes, and assessment tools; and virtually any other material that can be used for educational purposes, such as the link above that could be used for a small group discussion of norms and beliefs (7 Things You Should Know about Open Educational Resources, 2010).

We know that textbook costs are high and continuing to rise. While students have the option of renting e-books, costs can be prohibitive. OERs are a way to supplement texts and embed them in courses, thus creating learning opportunities (readings, viewing videos, etc.) linked to meaningful assessment. For example, you can track if a student has read materials before taking an exam or participating in a small group discussion. Stephanie has done some great work in connecting instructors with OERs for UW-S courses. Please feel free to come to the session with questions and ideas for how you’d like to use OERs.

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Weekly Message – October 3, 2017

October 3, 2017

Education is only a ladder to gather fruit from the tree of knowledge,
not the tree itself. –
Albert Einstein

Our campus theme this month is Yellowjacket Success, appropriate to October as the month sees us reaching the mid-term semester milestone and working with students in advisement. It may be a time that students experience significant stress, both in relation to courses and life events. 

Over 40% of our students qualify for Pell grants, which is related to income.  Even while students receiving funding for attending courses, they may not have the resources available for housing, food, and other aspects of daily living. This is why many of our students work significant hours. 

To help students meet their living needs while also engaging in learning, CETL has opened the Yellowjacket Pantry in collaboration with Student Affairs.  The Pantry is open to any current student who is food insecure. Food insecurity is “the state of being without reliable access to a sufficient quantity of affordable, nutritious food” (Merriam-Webster Dictionary, 2017). Nicole Stodola worked with local food programs over the summer to develop the Pantry, and we hired two student employees, Audrey and Guilia, to assist this fall.

How might we know if a student is food insecure?  A student might indicate this during advisement or when meeting about a class topic or concern.  At CETL, we’re doing a simple assessment –if a student has a YU food plan, then they are not food insecure as those plans allow for regular meals.   If a student does not know where their next meal is coming from and experiences hunger on a regular basis, we are generally defining that as food insecure.  While we know that this is not perfect, it is a starting place.

As you work with students, please send those students who you assess to be food insecure to us. This may be based on what they share about their life situation and/or other aspects that you assess.  The steps in receiving food assistance are:

  1. Refer the student (or walk them over) to the Center of Excellence on Teaching and Learning, Swenson 2076 (our sign is on our door). There is also a sign for the Yellowjacket Pantry.  Any staff can provide assistance.   Our office hours are from 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
  2. The student will be asked to read a brief statement of the Pantry’s purpose and process, then submit a food request form.
  3. The order will be filled within a day as appropriate to the food in stock and the student’s needs. Distribution will be daily (M – F) from 3 – 4:30 p.m. unless otherwise arranged (i.e. the student can arranged to pick the food up during office hours). 

If you have questions, please contact Del Wright or I.  Feel free to stop by and see our new Pantry! You can walk through the process to see what it is like and help refine our process.

If you would like to donate to the Pantry

We are in need of non-perishable food items and personal care products and would greatly appreciate your help stocking the Pantry. Ramen noodles, pasta, pasta sauce, canned veggies and fruits, and canned soup is what is needed, along with basic hygiene items (shampoo, deodorant, toothbrushes, etc).  Donations can be brought to the CETL Suite, Swenson Hall 2076, M-F, 8-4:30 p.m.  Please – no expired products.  

If you’re like me and grocery shopping is a challenge, feel free to provide financial support.  Checks with a donation can be made out to the UW – Superior Foundation, with “food shelf” in the memo or you can go directly to the Foundation website at https://www.uwsuper.edu/give2uws/giving/index.cfm.

Events this week

  • Supporting Growth in Non-traditional Students with Monte Stewart and students from the Vets and Non-traditional Student Center on Thursday, October 5 from 11:30 a.m. –  12:50 p.m. in the CETL conference room.  Come hear the perspectives of students and brainstorm ideas to engage strengths and address challenges in learning. 

Events coming up next week

  • Gender Pronouns with Daniela Mansbach on Monday, October 9 from noon – 12:50 p.m. in the CETL conference room. Last winter, Daniela did a fantastic session discussion the Campus Pride index and talking about the concept of gender identity, including pronouns. This fall, we decided to continue this session with foundational and updated information.
  • Global Awareness Community of Practice facilitated by Lynn Goerdt and Jerel Benton on Wednesday, October 11 from noon – 12:50 p.m. in the CETL conference room. This is an open session – new and returning members welcome!
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