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. 


UNC Charlotte’s Provost, Dr. Joan Lorden to Share Digital Fellows Program Resources at Fall DLI Working Meeting

UNC Charlotte Provost, Dr. Joan Lorden will share her work with 30 provosts across the U.S. to advance the appropriate use of digital learning.   Dr. Lorden recently completed the Digital Fellows Program from the Association of Chief Academic Officers (ACAO), sponsored by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. One goal of the program was to pilot the use of next generation digital courseware and then curate best practices and resources that can be shared with other institutions. In this session, Provost Lorden will share the lessons learned and the resources that the UNC Community can leverage at their institutions. 

Faculty Insights: Scaling Adaptive Courseware

This video offers a brief overview of faculty, consortium, and McGraw-Hill adaptive courseware initiatives. Dr. Karen Vignare of the Personalized Learning Consortium (PLC), which comprises 237 institutions and 43 systems, introduces the PLC’s work on leveraging effective learning technologies. Dr. Tamar Goulet, faculty member at University of Mississippi, discusses adaptive courseware for biology and “adapting to adaptive learning”. Dr. Tim Fleming, Georgia State University, discusses his approach to data-driven and collaborative selection of adaptive courseware; he specifically focuses on strategies for piloting and scaling this technology. Tom Hinkley, MHE’s Director of Solutions Architecture, discusses the company’s mission for designing and developing effective learning technologies that allow instructors to highlight measurable learning outcomes so that “learning takes center stage”.

UNC Wilmington: Virtual Clinical Site Visits

Dr. April Bice of UNC Wilmington discusses increased student access to faculty to conduct site visits using virtual conferencing technology in a Nurse Practitioners Program. This approach, Dr. Bice explains, has reduced faculty travel time by 60 hours, eliminated $2,000 in travel costs, and reduced travel by 5800 miles. As a result, faculty are able to spend more time interacting in with students in their courses and addressing student-specific learning needs. Dr. Bice also discusses how digital games are used to increase student mastery for conducting clinical site documentation.

Engineering Learning: Leveraging Research, Technology, Data, and Open Approaches to Improve Outcomes

Dr. Norman Bier, Executive Director for the Simon Initiative and Director of Open Learning Initiative at Carnegie Mellon University, argues that not-for-profits “are in a unique position to leverage learning science, data and the affordances of technology to improve outcomes and advance our understanding of human learning”. He discusses how learning engineering can be applied to fundamentally improve our teaching practices and learning environments through good design, instructional engineering and assessment of learning outcomes hypotheses. Digital learning dashboards, representing a cognitive model associated with a specific learning objective for a course, are presented. The value of learning dashboards in providing student and instructor feedback to improve class and student-specific outcomes are discussed.

What is Digital Learning?

Dr. Kenneth C. Greene, Founding Director of Campus Computing Project and Director, Association of Chief Academic Officers, discusses innovation, infrastructure and digital learning. Dr. Greene shares his thoughts on the role of technology and great aspirations within the higher education community and the inherent change associated with technology implementation. He also identifies data as a resource to assess our IT investments for instruction to ensure student and faculty needs are placed first in the digital learning environment.