Learning technologies development (custom applications)

The EDU supports instructors and groups across campus to experiment with new and innovative uses of technology to enhance learning and teaching. The EDU develops custom tools and applications to create new platforms or extend existing one.

The EDU has developed a platform for issuing digital badges, a teaching resources repository, a conference app, a platform for creating and sharing eportfolios and a custom tool for creating student teams and assigning projects within D2L.

The Taylor Institute Teaching Community is an online repository for postsecondary educators. The site incorporates a robust search function, tags, a user upload feature, bookmarks and subscriptions.

 UCalgary Badges is a custom platform for issuing digital badges at the University of Calgary. A number of badges are issued by the EDU for our programs, but the platform is open to other programs as well. Users can export their badges to Mozilla’s Open Badges Backpack, or share them on social media.

The Student Signup Manager is a tool built onto Desire2Learn that allows students to indicate their preferred choices for topics or projects. The SSM tool assigns students to projects using an algorithm that maximizes the number of students who receive their top choices.

The EDU built a custom eportfolio tool to give instructors and students another campus-based portfolio option in addition to the eportfolio tool in D2L. The eportfolio site is based on WordPress, and allows users greater ownership and customization of their site.

The EDU also developed a custom app for the University of Calgary Conference on Postsecondary Learning and Teaching. The app, built for both iOS and Android, allowed users to view the schedule and session descriptions, view presenter bios and build their own schedule of sessions.

Currently in development is a curriculum mapping tool. The curriculum alignment tool (CAT) is a web-based tool that will allow instructors to map their courses and align course outcomes with program-level learning outcomes. The tool will be used to support the curriculum review process (link to Patti’s post) at the University of Calgary.

In addition to web-based tools and platforms, the EDU has also developed several websites, including the website (http://ucalgary.ca/taylorinstitute/edu/conference/) for the Conference on Postsecondary Learning and Teaching. A new website for the Taylor Institute for Teaching and Learning is currently in development.

Related Documentation and Materials

UCalgary Badges site

UCalgary eportfolio site

Taylor Institute Teaching Community site

Conference on Postsecondary Learning and Teaching website

Assessment Strategies and Results

The EDU will gather numbers of users of the different platforms: badges issued, groups issuing badges, number of eportfolio sites, traffic.

Reflection and Impact

The technology development projects undertaken by the Educational Development Unit enable instructors and students to experiment and innovate by:

  • Providing robust platforms for teaching and learning activities
  • Providing simple, elegant solutions to challenging problems
  • Offering platforms customized to the University of Calgary experience.

Moving forward, we plan to revisit of the design of the various platforms to ensure they have a common theme/look and they are clearly projects of the Taylor Institute for Teaching and Learning. However, the need for clear attribution must be balanced against the importance of instructors and students feeling they have ownership of the things they create using platforms developed by the EDU.

Project collaborators: Kevin Saito, Joni Miltenburg

ePortfolio post authors: Joni Miltenburg, Kevin Saito

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *