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Andy Albrecht

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

On Friday, February 5th at noon, our distinguished colleague, Andy Albrecht, will join us as our featured guest and speaker at DOLCE, Discussing Online Learning and Collaborative Education.

The Chair of the Department of Physics at UC Davis, Albrecht is well known in his field for his research into cosmology and dark energy. Tomorrow he will discuss his early forays into online instruction, and then help us engage in a freewheeling discussion, prompted by my questions, on teaching, and teaching with technology. Andy also has stories to tell about the teaching accomplishments and challenges of his colleagues in Physics. Andy and I started chatting about such topics outside Mrak Hall after a December committee meeting, and I have remained eager to share Andy’s thoughts with a wider audience. You will find the conversation worth your time.

We will also hear an update on our move towards Canvas as our new LMS (see http://movetocanvas.ucdavis.edu), and on the March 8th Audiovisual Showcase (see http://www.avshowcase.com).

Please join us!

Andy Jones



The February DOLCE

Discussing Online Learning and Collaborative Education

February 5th, 2016

12 Noon

1310 Surge III (AKA 1310 The Grove)

Two buildings west of the Silo



Faculty Panel Friday, January 15 on UC Davis Canvas!

UC Davis Canvas Image


Faculty Forums Return to 1310 Surge III with a singular focus: UC Davis Canvas

Faculty from across the disciplines will gather this coming Friday, January 15th, at noon to discuss UC Davis Canvas, the new Learning Management System (LMS) that has been chosen for faculty to start teaching with in the fall of 2016. Members of the LMS Transition Working Group and the Academic Technology Services Faculty Support Group will be on hand to present timelines, discuss some of the features of the Canvas LMS, and answer your questions.

Such roundtable discussions about the Canvas LMS will take place on the second Friday of every month for the rest of the winter and spring quarters. We hope you can join us!

For more information on Canvas at UC Davis, please visit http://movetocanvas.ucdavis.edu.

Dr. Andy Jones


Faculty Forum on UC Davis Canvas

Friday, January 15th

12 noon

1310 Surge III

The Large Conference Room


A New LMS for UC Davis — Canvas!

Dear Fellow Faculty and Learning Enthusiasts,

As you have seen elsewhere, UC Davis has chosen a new Learning Management System to replace SmartSite: Canvas!

I will let the following announcement by UC Davis Provost Ralph Hexter speak for itself. We look forward to the conversations about this exciting new set of tools.


Dear Colleagues:

I am pleased to announce that UC Davis has chosen Canvas by Instructure as our new learning management system (LMS). UC Davis Canvas will be available starting fall term 2016. It replaces SmartSite, which will remain available until spring 2017.

Large research universities with profiles comparable to ours already use and trust Canvas. It is regarded as dependable, rich with features, and intuitive. It can be integrated with campus systems and data sources, as well as with relevant third-party applications. And crucially, it has demonstrated that it can meet UC Davis’s high-level requirements in terms of usability, reliability, accessibility, security, learning tool integration, mobile use, and frequency of updates.

We selected Canvas following an extensive and inclusive vetting process. The goals of this process were, first, to understand what UC Davis requires from a learning management system as we build our future, and, second, to examine the available LMS options. We secured the participation of campus experts in accessibility, security, and other technical areas in order to make sure that Canvas meets our standards. I thank the Learning Management System (LMS) Transition Working Group for their sustained and comprehensive work on this initiative. I thank also André Knoesen, chair of the Academic Senate, for enlisting a broadly representative group of Senate faculty to review the report of the Working Group, offer feedback, and make a final recommendation. This was a true cross-campus collaboration, with extensive voluntary participation, and representation from administration/staff, students, and especially our faculty.

As I have said, SmartSite will remain available beyond the initial rollout of Canvas in fall 2016 through spring 2017. This large window should make it convenient for all individuals to move to the new LMS prior to the disappearance of SmartSite. The campus will spend the first part of 2016 preparing for the fall rollout of UC Davis Canvas.

Information and Educational Technology has posted details about the transition — including a timeline, FAQ, and resources for assistance — at: http://movetocanvas.ucdavis.edu



Ralph Hexter
Provost & Executive Vice Chancellor
University of California, Davis
One Shields Avenue
Davis, CA 95616

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Arboretum Tree Photo by Kate Duren


Our final faculty forum of the calendar year will take place this coming Friday, December 4th at 12:10 in 1310 Surge III and will feature faculty presenters from Psychology and Entomology. We hope you can join us as we Discuss Online Learning and Collaborative Education (DOLCE).

Vitoria “Tor” Cross is teaching one of the largest classes in the most popular major at UC Davis, Psychology. Almost 300 students are taking Research Methods in Psychology this quarter, and you can imagine the challenges of assessing that number of students on their understanding of experimental design, the best use of interviews and questionnaires, field and observational methods, and statistics. Professor Cross will talk to us about some of those challenges, and share with us what she has learned about maintaining rubrics and resources across quarters, and among multiple teaching assistants. We will also discuss approaches and tools for communicating with students in a class of that size.

Secondly, Professor James Carey from Entomology will talk to us about the joys and challenges of offering synchronous online and digital exams in face-to-face and hybrid courses. Carey will reveal to us what he has learned about student preferences (paper vs. device/laptop), and about the challenges of assessing student work in classes on Entomology, Longevity, and Terrorism and War. In recent years Professor Carey has been recognized with the UC Davis Academic Senate Distinguished Teaching Award and the 2015 Distinguished Teaching Award from the Pacific Branch of the Entomological Society of America (PBESA) for his technological innovations, creativity and excellence.

We hope you can join us for these informative and engaging presentations, and the discussion to follow.



Victoria Cross and James Carey

DOLCE — Discussing Online Learning and Collaborative Education

Friday, December 4th


1310 Surge III – The Large Conference Room

Please share this invitation, and bring a bag lunch if you are so inclined!



Reviving the Educational Technology Partners Program

College Students at Work


We are pleased to announce that Academic Technology Services is reviving — perhaps the better verb is resurrecting — the Educational Technology Partners Program, colloquially known as the ET Partners Program. Some longtime users of instructional technology might remember the band of undergraduates who would welcome visitors, answer emails, and even bike out to faculty offices to walk them through the novel phenomenon called “SmartSite.”

If you know a student who is tech savvy and, even more important, who can communicate complex topics clearly and confidently, we invite you to pass along this job description, and to seek out position  with the ID number of 803565. The student assistant 4 position pays well, and provides an opportunity for intellectual and vocational growth and responsibility. Students can visit the website of the Internship and Career Center at http://icc.ucdavis.edu to find out more.

And here are some of the specifics. Thanks for helping us recruit the best UC Davis student employees. We plan for the position to close on December 15th.


Educational Technology Partner (Student Assistant IV) (Listing #803565)

Duration of job: Through Spring, 2016 with possibility of continued employment

Approximate hours per week: 10 hours

Job Title: Student Assistant IV

Hours of Work:   M-F, 9:00am to 4:00pm (as arranged with supervisor)

Position’s Working Title: Educational Technology Partner


Provide support to the Faculty Support Unit of Academic Technology Services with a focus on the following:

  • Briefing faculty and others on new and emerging technologies, including the new learning management system;
  • Writing and explaining clear documentation to faculty and other technology users at UC Davis;
  • Working collaboratively with other student employees and team members in Academic Technology Services (ATS), including with Google Docs and other collaborative technologies;
  • Exploring communication technologies, including web design, print design, and video;
  • Taking meeting notes during consultations with faculty;
  • Creating video tutorials using video capture and editing tools;
  • Supporting faculty with instructional technology initiatives;
  • Taking notes at meetings;
  • Providing planning and logistical support for various events;
  • Helping with communication and publicity duties, as assigned.

The qualified candidates will work with each other and with a mentor on assigned tasks using Microsoft Office, Web authoring tools, and even some design and video editing tools, on a Mac workstation. Some on-the-job training will be provided, if needed. Assignments will be reviewed with the Academic Associate Director for Academic Technology Services, Dr. Andy Jones, and then carried out independently at a Mac workstation in space provided by Academic Technology Services.

Minimum Qualifications

  • The successful applicant will show evidence of excellent writing skills, experience with networked communication tools, and web design and/or upkeep, including with WordPress.
  • Evidence of knowledge of additional applications (e.g., Microsoft Office, Adobe After Effects).
  • Must be able to concentrate and be comfortable working in a shared space with an often-noisy environment.
  • From the time of offer, must be in good academic and disciplinary standing with the University. Any future violations may result in withdrawal of offer and/or termination of employment.

Base rate of pay $11.25


DOLCE on November 6 — join us at noon!

Dear Colleagues,

The first Friday of November is upon us, so that means another meeting of DOLCE: Discussing Online Learning and Collaborative Education.

We hope you can join us tomorrow for a discussion of innovative teaching with technology. Dan Comins, our longtime instructional designer, is leaving Academic Technology Services do to instructional design work for UC Davis Extension. Dan has attended a number of conferences in recent months, so tomorrow we will ask him to share some ideas that he has learned from his interactions with faculty and educational technology specialists at other universities. Dan’s perspective on instructional design and the tools that can make us all more effective teachers will be missed.

Secondly, we will discuss instructional use of video, including the stirring use of video of Larry Vanderhoef at the memorial service for our late Chancellor Emeritus at the Mondavi Center this past Wednesday. See video of this moving event here.

Finally, we will hear from some faculty perspectives on the issues raised in the instructional design tool and video discussions.

I hope you can join us November 6th, in the large conference room of Surge III, Room 1310. New faculty are especially welcome. I look forward to the introductions!


Andy Jones

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DOLCE — Discussing Online Learning and Collaborative Education
October 2nd at Noon
1310 Surge III – The Large Conference Room

Dear UC Davis Colleagues,

Welcome back to UC Davis, and to the fall quarter. Here at Academic Technology Services we have been preparing for and hosting teaching institutes and other events for faculty, exploring best practices in teaching with video, helping faculty prepare to teach hybrid and online classes, as well as working with faculty on deciding the future of SmartSite / the campus learning management system at UC Davis.

As you may know, at ATS we hold a number of faculty forums to discuss teaching and instructional technologies. On October 2nd, for instance, we look forward to the return of DOLCE, or “Discussing Online Learning and Collaborative Education.” DOLCE provides a forum for faculty and staff to provide updates on faculty-related and instruction-related projects and initiatives.

On October 2nd we will be joined by Gail Yokote, Associate University Librarian for the Collection Services Directorate, to discuss UC Davis University Library’s Archives & Institutional Assets Program. Gail’s short presentation will help all of us consider how library archiving processes and resources can help all UC Davis faculty build our reputations as teachers and researchers, and thus get a jump start on building our individual and departmental legacies. More immediately, Gail will help us think about ways to evaluate and sort through all of our university-related “stuff.”

For your information, Collection Services is composed of library units and programs which: 1) develop the develop the framework for deciding which content (e.g. books, journals, databases, data sets, images, manuscripts, sound/video recordings, etc.) the Library should acquire or license to meet faculty research, teaching, patient care, and service to the University and its community’s needs, 2) process and manage the selected content for physical or virtual housing and discovery, 3) archive/preserve selected content for use by others in the future, 4) coordinate the library’s efforts in supporting UC Davis faculty, staff, and students to make informed decisions regarding options for their ownership rights and use permissions associated with content they create.

Instructional Designer Dan Comins will also preview the October 9 Online and Hybrid Learning Showcase (for which you are invited to register), and I will update DOLCE attendees on the progress we have made on the learning management system review process. Preview: you can expect an announcement this fall.

So please join us October 2 at noon in 1310 Surge III, the large conference room found in the academic and office building that is just west of the Silo. And please forward this invitation to any interested parties.


Dear UC Davis Faculty Colleagues,

Thanks to all of you who have registered for the 2015 Summer Institute on Teaching and Technology. Please find the schedule below.


SITT 2015 Schedule – All sessions in Hutchison Hall

Time & Place





Hutchison 115


Light refreshments, coffee, tea, etc.



Hutch 115

Opening Remarks

Opening Remarks from the UC Davis CIO/Vice-Provost for Information and Educational Technology

IET VP and CIO Viji Murali


Hutch 115

Technology and Updates

Remarks from SITT Chair on use of technology for improving teaching and learning, some brief updates on programs offered: October Online/Hybrid Showcase, DOLCE, FLIP, Faculty Panels, AggieVideo, Aggie e-Learning Studio, etc., and where we stand in the LMS transition.

(Hutchison 115)

Andy Jones


Hutch 115

Student-Centered Learning Strategies & Lightning Presentations (Part A)

Introduction to Activity: An interactive workshop that discusses and demonstrates some student-centered and active learning strategies. Ask them to brainstorm elements of student centered learning for discussion and reflection. Break the room up into groups, asking groups to focus on particular elements as they are listening to lightning presentations.

(Hutchison 115)

Andy Jones


Hutch 115

Student-Centered Learning Strategies & Lightning Presentations (Part B)

4-5 Lightning Presentations

Faculty presenters


Hutch 115

Student-Centered Learning Strategies & Lightning Presentations (Part C)

Discussion: Discuss particular assigned elements in small groups, in particular noting how assigned element(s) were featured in the lightning presentations.

Small Groups


Hutch 115

Student-Centered Learning Strategies & Lightning Presentations (Part D)

4-5 More Lightning Presentations

Faculty presenters


Hutch 115

Student-Centered Learning Strategies & Lightning Presentations (Part E)

Discussion: Wrap Up small group discussion on elements, again noting how their element(s) were featured in lighting presentations. Andy will bring groups back together around 10:55-11 and ask groups to report out, facilitating a larger discussion with everyone in the room.

Andy Jones, Small Groups



More coffee, etc. “The right word may be effective, but no word was ever as effective as a rightly timed pause.” Mark Twain


Hutch 115

Using Data to Improve Teaching, Learning, and Assessment at UC Davis

We will be discussing the value of using data to inform and drive the continuous improvement of curriculum, instruction, and assessment at UC Davis.  We will focus specifically on our collaborations with BIS2A and Chem2A faculty / instructors to integrate student-centered instruction into lecture sections and associated discussions and the positive outcomes that have resulted.

Marco Molinaro, Chris Pagliarulo


Outside Hutch

Lunch Begins

Dos Coyotes Burritos and water, courtesy of Academic Technology Services

Dos Coyotes


Hutch 115

Teachnologies (lunch continues)

Voted on by SITT participants, the tools to be covered will be revealed at the presentation.

Dan Comins, Andy Jones, Steve Faith, Paul Salitsky, Cheryl Diermyer

1:30PM (A)

Hutch 115

Digital Devices and Distractions: Dealing with Disruptive Technologies During Class

Technology can enhance teaching and learning, but it can also provide a tempting distraction to students during class. This workshop will address how to manage student use of technology during class to create an effective student-centered learning environment. Participants will consider reasons students turn to distracting technologies in class, examine different strategies for dealing with distracting technologies and evaluate the benefits and drawbacks of each, and determine which strategy best aligns with their teaching style and instructional goals.

Cara Harwood Theisen

1:30PM (B)

Hutch 73

Personal Response Systems

This session will allow participants to familiarize themselves with the i>clicker line of products that are supported by IET/ATS. We will review the following:

1. The legacy, hand-held clicker system.

2. The newer REEF polling system, which incorporates the older, hand-held  technology.

3. Integrations with SmartSite.

4. The use (and best uses) of clickers. We will provide hand-held devices, or you can install the REEF app on your iOS or Android device.

Fernando Socorro

1:30PM (C)

Hutch 75

Web 2.0 Tools to Enhance Student Engagement

Learn about and try out exciting (and mostly free!) tools available to enhance student-centered learning in the modern, connected classroom. This is an active and participatory discussion of popular web 2.0 tools that are being used both at UC Davis and across the UC system in blended, hybrid, and fully online classes. We’ll discuss identifying your pedagogical goal and how to sort through the myriad of tool options to find the perfect tool to fit your needs, as well as considerations for accessibility and mobility.

Dan Comins

3:00PM (A)

Hutch 115

Active Learning in a Large Enrollment Course

The BIS 2A (Introduction to Biology) Active Learning Team will discuss their experience converting from a lecture format to an active learning format in a large enrollment course.  This session will feature a panel discussion of  the practical aspects of developing an active learning strategy, some of the challenges we faced on the UC Davis campus, a demonstration of active learning practices, and plenty of time for questions.

Marc Facciotti, Michele Igo, Mitch Singer, Erin Easlon, Chris Pagliarulo, Erin Becker

3:00PM (B)

Hutch 73

Flipping the Classroom: Inversion with Intention

The “flipped” classroom is a pedagogical approach that inverts the traditional use of class time. Rather than reviewing content, class time can then be used for learner-centered activities.


This session will provide participants with a quick start guide and detail emergent best practices to consider for those who frequently “flip” or those embarking on their first “flip”.  Examples from several disciplines and strategies for designing and managing small and large “flipped” classrooms will be shared. This session welcomes instructors who have flipped, experimented with flipping, or are just curious about the flip to attend the session and join the conversation.

Kem Saichaie

3:00PM (C)

Hutch 75

SCL Group Consultation

(with an optional tour of eLearning Studio)

For people who are interested in employing student-centered learning strategies but don’t know where to begin, this is an opportunity to connect with instructional designers, faculty support staff, and educational specialists to get some ideas.

Dan Comins, Cara Harwood Theisen, Andy Jones, Cheryl Diermyer, Steve Faith


Hutch 115

Closing Remarks and Debrief

Finally, for those that make it the whole day, we will have a few closing remarks from ATS Director David Levin and Andy will lead a final conversation around topics presented at SITT 2015 before we all head out and enjoy the weekend.

Andy Jones and ATS Director David Levin



ATS to Hire Graduate Research Student

UC Davis Academic Technology Services is hiring a Graduate Research Student to work with our Instructional Designers in assisting faculty with instructional technology needs. The ideal candidate will have experience in research, teaching and learning, excellent communication skills, and knowledge of instructional technologies. This is a 50% position with the standard tuition remission and GRS salary.

Please share this announcement with students who might be interested.

Students can read the full job description and apply via the UC Davis Aggie Job link website. The position title is, Graduate Project Assistant: Faculty Support. The Aggie Job Link number is 797227. Deadline to apply is August 3, 2015.

Thank you in advance for your assistance in helping us get the word out to graduate students regarding this opportunity.




May 15 Faculty Panel on Summer Innovation Plans


Image by Jurgen Appelo

The May 15 final faculty panel of the school year will focus on summer innovation plans. Many of us take the summer months to re-imagine and re-vision the favorite classes that we teach regularly. With all the teaching tools that our instructional designers and colleagues are discovering every month, as well as the established and emerging teaching practices available to us (flipping the classroom, assigning collaborative projects, concept mapping, “busting” assumptions, etc.), we have many choices when it comes to course and classroom innovation.

We invite you to bring your ideas to tomorrow’s informal discussion. Instructional Designer Dan Comins will start us off with a brief presentation on his new and ongoing projects, and Dan and Dr. Andy Jones will give you a sneak preview of the 2015 Summer Institute on Teaching and Technology, scheduled to take place in the Student Community Center on Friday, September 11th.

We hope you can join the discussion!




Faculty Panel on Summer Teaching Innovation Plans

Friday, May 15th


1301 Surge III

The Large Conference Room