Fall 2018 DLI Working Meeting Outcomes

On October 25th, the UNC System Office hosted a Digital Learning Working Meeting at the Carolina Club in Chapel Hill. Sixteen UNC institutions were present, with more than 60 campus faculty and staff participating, including representatives from each institution’s faculty development center, faculty assembly, and provost offices.

Dr. Joan Lorden, UNC Charlotte Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, led off with an inspiring presentation on The Association of Chief Academic Officers’ (ACAO) Digital Provosts Program.  This was followed by a presentation by Gates Bryant, Partner at Tyton Partners, on the business case research they are conducting for the System.  Dr. Jim Ptaszynski, Vice President for Digital Learning, facilitated group activities related to the development of new faculty roles, professional development and value propositions to support innovations in online learning.  Wrapping up the day was John Falchi, Director of Special Projects, who facilitated a group activity on brainstorming a framework for a two-day Digital Learning Program planned for March 26 and 27, 2019.

The outcomes of this meeting have led to a deeper understanding of adaptive courseware and the implications for System-wide adoption. The spring 2019 DLI Conference will feature follow-up demonstrations and labs related to adaptive learning systems. In addition, a UNC System Working Group will be established to continue to investigate these issues during the second phase of its DLI planning as part of the group’s charge to explore emerging learning technologies and pedagogy.

Participants at the meeting created an instructional, technological, and support services framework for faculty teaching online that will be used to guide the System-wide digital learning initiative and focus on serving the North Carolina underserved student personas. We are currently fleshing-out the  DRAFT faculty persona framework and will post it to the DLI Blog shortly.

Working in small groups, participants identified many great ideas for the Spring 2019 DLI Conference tracks, demonstrations, labs, and topics, with an emphasis on interactive sessions that highlight emerging learning technology case studies and hands-on (“petting zoo”) experiences. This input will be used by the DLI Conference Committee to design a request for presentation proposals (System-wide and vendor) and associated requirements. 


Microsoft HoloLens Team – AR\VR\Mixed Reality – Creating the University of the Future







I had a very interesting, and promising, meeting with the HoloLens team at Microsoft last week. Parenthetically, it was a nostalgic visit for me, as the meeting was in Building #6…the first of about a dozen buildings that were my home away from home during my 20 years at Microsoft.

I must admit, up until this point in time, I had been rather dubious about the value of augmented and virtual reality.  This has mostly been caused by a lack of pedagogical content available for use on HoloLens or any of the other mainstream VR platforms that I’ve experimented with.

My meeting with the HoloLens team gave me my first real glimpse of how VR might soon be a viable tool in education. While it still may not be ready for prime time today, I do believe it has turned a corner and should be considered for our Digital Learning Initiative.

Here are some education videos that Microsoft shared with me.  I think that they are very compelling, especially, the healthcare videos.  They are well worth a watch.