Initiative II – Facilitate Effective and Innovative Teaching and Learning

109,814 - Videos viewed on at CWRU in the past 12 months. 

4,000 - Staff hours dedicated to the continued support of the School of Medicine’s transition to the centrally supported Canvas Learning Management System.

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Innovative Instruction Adds Up 

Initiative II focuses on the facilitation of effective and innovative teaching and learning—and it all adds up to engaged, lifelong learners and successful learning environments. Here is what UTech has focused on recently:

  • UTech has developed an instructional design process to guide expert faculty through a 16-week process for building courses online. Working with faculty members across campus, UTech has built quality-checked courses for both online and hybrid classes. Several courses have been completed this year.
  • UTech provides enhanced support of existing online programs in areas of vendor selection, program and course evaluation, market research and digital accessibility support. This includes the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences’ online degree program and the Case School of Engineering's online master’s degree program.
  • UTech engaged in a multi-school partnership to pilot Catalog for Canvas. This allows schools to offer content for professional development and Continuing Education Units to a non-CWRU student audience in the Canvas Learning Management System (LMS).
  • UTech’s Teaching and Learning Technologies team is partnering with the Office of Compliance at CWRU and the Disability Resource Office to audit the current level of accessibility of digital academic content on campus. This is important to ensure the entire university community has equal access to all digital academic content that is available.
  • UTech is working with the Interactive Commons and other campus partners to implement HoloAnatomy as a permanent part of the medical education curriculum.
  • UTech continues to support the adoption of Canvas as the campus-wide LMS—providing training, workshops and help in the transition away from Blackboard. More than 1,542 SIS course sections used Canvas in the spring semester of 2018. UTech offered more than 62 hours of Canvas Consultations in spring 2018—120 hours for the year. Campus usage of Canvas has increased over the use of Blackboard—which was one of the major goals of the transition to support student success.
  • UTech helped to develop and deliver a compliance training module for the university, including setting up a special [U]Tech Service Desk group to address any issues or questions arising from the new system. This system helps educate the CWRU community on the university’s policies and procedures.
  • The transition away from Blackboard concluded in early June 2018. A total of 21 “Blackboard Blitz” training sessions were hosted by UTech in spring 2018 to help faculty move all content from Blackboard into Canvas.
  • UTech partners with the University Center for Innovation in Teaching and Education to co-teach future faculty on how to effectively teach online. This helps students who are receiving their education virtually and provides important professional development to graduate students learning 21st century teaching skills. 
  • UTech is rolling out multiple classrooms across campus as Zoom Rooms to allow faculty, administrators and students the ability to engage and collaborate more easily with colleagues both in the classroom and around the world.
  • Working with the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, UTech is implementing a feature in Canvas—iSeek Search—which allows students and faculty to do keyword searches in the curriculum system.
  • UTech partners with a vendor to provide closed captioning of recorded lectures, allowing all students to benefit from their professor’s presentation despite any disabilities or language barriers.
  • In an effort to support innovative teaching and learning through classroom environment evaluation and design, the Classroom Evaluation and Planning Committee launched in spring 2018 to work towards a formal classroom master plan. This committee is a collaborative partnership between UTech and Planning, Facilities and Design.  
  • Nine training workshops were held to inform faculty and students about the plagiarism detection solution in Canvas: Turnitin. This training demonstrated how Turnitin can help strengthen the work completed by students.

Success Stories

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The new Health Education Campus is scheduled to open in the summer of 2019. In this cross-functional and interdisciplinary center, medical, nursing, dental and applied social sciences students will learn together about how their different fields complement one another for the best possible patient care. The campus will employ state-of-the-art learning technology with assistance from UTech, including HoloAnatomy instruction (developed by CWRU) via the HoloLens augmented reality goggles developed by Microsoft®.

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The Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel School of Applied Sciences called on UTech to help better demonstrate to students the theory and practice of going through a social workers' process with clients. UTech produced two videos to outline the process. Faculty at the school were pleased and convinced the videos would strengthen the coursework. UTech continues to help improve the curriculum at CWRU by leveraging the power of technology in whatever medium is necessary.

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This past spring, UTech partnered with a Biology faculty member to pilot student use of iPads for a semester to supplement their learning. Students reported that using educational applications enhanced their learning.

This coming fall, UTech is collaborating with the University Center for Innovation in Teaching and Education on an “Active Learning iPad Pilot” initiative. The initiative aims to promote active, collaborative learning to facilitate student understanding of course material by engaging and collaborating with peers and technological resources.