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Video from June DOLCE

If you weren’t able to attend the DOLCE (Discussing Online Learning and Collaborative Education) meeting last Friday (June 6), we invite you to watch the recording below.

Antonella Bassi (professor of French & Italian) gave a talk, “From Stencil to Smart Panel: Teaching Italian at UC Davis, 1988-2014,” Charlie Turner provided an update on the faculty website initiative, and Andy Jones discussed summer plans for educational technology initiatives at UC Davis. 


WordPress Sites for Faculty

Are you interested in creating a faculty website with the “ucdavis.edu” domain name? Academic Technology Services now invites faculty members (including retired and adjunct faculty) to create such sites using WordPress. The sites are free of charge (and of advertising!), and can be set up in under a minute via the Faculty Website Network.

As of the firs week in June, 45 faculty have created websites.

If you are interested in participating, please attend the upcoming training session on Friday, June 13 from 2-4:30pm in 1310 Surge III (pre-register here). ATS will host training sessions the second Friday of each month from now until October.

For more information, read the Dateline or TechNews articles about the project, or attend DOLCE this Friday (June 6th at 12pm, 1310 Surge III) to hear Charlie Turner talk about the project (Turner leads ATS’ Academic and Research Programming unit).


We hope you’ll be able to join us for the last DOLCE meeting of the school year on this Friday, June 6 from 12-1pm in 1310 Surge III.

Antonella Bassi, professor of French & Italian, will discuss her experiences with teaching and technology throughout her 26 years at UC Davis in a presentation, “From Stencil to Smart Panel: Teaching Italian at UC Davis, 1988-2014.” Bassi is retiring on July 1, so this DOLCE is also a special opportunity to say farewell to our colleague!

Charlie Turner, head of programming for Academic Technology Services, will also discuss how faculty are using the new faculty website (WordPress) program.

Finally, Andy Jones will provide a few updates about educational technology initiatives around campus, including the Future of SmartSite, Jim Carey and Dan Comin’s Video Workshop Series, and plans for this summer’s SITT (Summer Institute for Teaching and Technology).

See you Friday!

P.S. The Learning Management System (LMS) Transition Working Group is meeting this afternoon at 3. If you are interested in learning more about the process and voicing your perspective, please join us today (June 3) at 3pm in 1310 Surge III. This meeting’s agenda includes: (1) a debrief on the LMS May 23 Showcase, (2) an update on the proposal evaluation process, and (3) an update on the LMS Working Group Steering Committee’s recent visit to UC Berkeley regarding LMS Transition experiences. For additional information, please visit the LMS Transition website, or, again, view the video recording of the May 23 LMS Showcase.


This Thursday, June 5, Professor Robert Blake will offer a workshop on Nearpod, a tool that facilitates teaching and learning with iOS, Android, and web-enabled PC and Mac computers. The presentation will take place from 12-1pm in Olson Hall, Room 205.

Blake will demonstrate how to use the tool to create presentations, polls, quizzes, links to webpages, and interactive drawing. Participants will also have the opportunity to create lessons using Nearpod, so be sure to bring your laptop, iPad, or smart phone to the session!

Robert Blake is a professor of Spanish Linguistics and the director of the Spanish Language Program. He is also the author of Brave New Digital Classroom (2013, GUP), a guide to using technology in the foreign language curriculum, and has developed impressive hybrid and online Spanish courses at UC Davis that emphasize interactivity and active learning.

NearPod Flyer01


LMS Transition Survey Extended to June 15

If you haven’t done so already, please take a moment to share your perspective on the Future of SmartSite by responding to the LMS Transition Survey. The survey asks you to prioritize specific LMS tools and features, and invites you to submit additional questions, comments, or concerns.

We welcome feedback from all UC Davis community members, including graduate and undergraduate students, faculty, and staff.

The survey closes tonight (Friday, May 30) at midnight, so please spread the word! Update: in order to garner additional student involvement and feedback, we are extending the survey to June 15. 

Respond to the Survey

For additional information about the Future of SmartSite and the LMS Transition Project, please visit the LMS Transition website or contact the LMS Transition Working Group.


Video Recording of the LMS Showcase

We had a great experience last Friday at the LMS Showcase! The presentations (by Asahi Net, Canvas, and Desire2Learn) were very informative and sparked some great conversations. If you weren’t able to join us, we welcome you to watch the video recording of the presentations:


Please note that the recording is only available to UC Davis community members (you will be required to log in using your kerberos password if you are not already connected to the UC Davis network).

If you have not done so already, we also invite you to offer your feedback via the LMS Survey.

For more information, please contact the LMS Working Group or visit the Learning Management System Transition website.


We’re looking forward to seeing you at the LMS Showcase this Friday, May 23. We’ll be in the Memorial Union (MU II and King’s Lounge) from 9am-3pm. At the event, Sakai, Desire2Learn, and Canvas will all give presentations and answer questions about their learning management systems. You’ll also have the opportunity to explore the systems on your own device.

We would like to gather as much feedback from the UC Davis community as possible, including faculty, student, and staff perspectives, so please tell your colleagues and your students about the Showcase! Event participants will be invited to share feedback via an LMS Showcase Evaluation form.

As you’ll see in the flier below, the schedule is as follows:

  • 9:15 Sakai Presentation
  • 10:30 Desire2Learn Presentation
  • 1:14 Canvas Presentation

To learn more, please visit the LMS Transition page.



Crowdmark Demonstration this Wednesday, May 14

This Wednesday, May 14, at 10am in 1145 Mathematical Sciences Building, Jim Collander (a mathematician at the University of Toronto) will give a presentation on “Crowdmark: Online Collaborative Grading at Davis?”

Crowdmark is a collaborative online grading and analytics platform that helps instructors and teaching assistants evaluate student work more efficiently–the system scans paper exams, which allows them to be graded online.

Audience members are encouraged to bring their laptops to participate in an interactive demonstration.


Next Thursday, May 15, UC Davis’ Electronic Accessibility Committee is hosting a series of presentations and breakout sessions focused on accessible instruction. The half-hour presentations begin at 1pm and conclude at 3:30pm, and include topics such as Universal Design, Video Captioning, and the CAT (Center for Accessible Technologies) Lab. All presentations will take place in 205 Shields Library.

You can also choose to participate in a breakout session that Thursday afternoon. Also running from 1pm-3:30pm, the breakout sessions will be in 484 Shields Library.

For more information, download the PDF Schedule or read the Dateline article.




Today’s DOLCE (Discussing Online Learning and Collaborative Education) focused on the LMS Transition Initiative project. As seen in the video below, Andy Jones gave an update on the LMS Working Group’s progress over the last year, and invited discussion and comments from the DOLCE attendees.

To contribute to the ongoing discussions about the future of SmartSite, we hope you’ll join us for the LMS Showcase on May 23 (at which you’ll be able to learn about specific LMS vendors) and provide more general feedback regarding what you look for in an LMS via the LMS Priorities Survey.