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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




Dan Comins has prepared another engaging FLIP presentation for this coming Friday, the last one of the academic year. Plan to attend!


Here is his announcement:


Dear Colleagues:

I’d like to invite you to the last FLIP (Future of Learning in Practice) workshop for this academic year which will take place at 12PM in the School of Education Computer Lab in Academic Surge Room 2363.

Rounding out this year’s FLIP theme, Tools for Creating Video and Interactive Media, this month’s workshop will explore the interactive lesson builder tool Versal. Versal can be thought of as a content authoring tool in the cloud. With it, instructors can create multimedia courses and lessons on virtually any topic from scratch or by leveraging content created with other web-enabled tools (some of which we’ve discussed during the series this year). Their “gadget” concept makes creating engaging instructional content easy without having any programming knowledge.

During this session you will learn about the tool and create a few “gadget”-filled lessons yourself, so have a topic in mind!



Teaching with Video

The May 1 DOLCE meeting will focus on video and multimodal presentations.

Entomology Professor James Carey will start Friday’s DOLCE by sharing selected segments of talk he will present to his department on May 6th. At that presentation he will describe his recent trips to Africa (where he has presented on instructional technology and pedagogy topics a number of African universities). He will also discuss his plans to premier a multimodal and highly-produced type of seminar that depends upon digitally-sophisticated video, pictorial, and audio content. Carey is the chair of our campus committee on instructional technology, and a longtime teaching innovator.

Sticking with the video theme, my Academic Technology Services colleague Paul VerWey will present a short update on the new “Reach P” captioning pilot as it relates to the Video Initiative and what we are calling “Aggie Video.” See an example of such captioning with this interview with C. John Tupper, the founding dean of the UC Davis School of Medicine.

Afterwards we will discuss other elements of teaching with video, including video capture and editing applications, storage options, and the campus mini-studio.

DOLCE stands for “Discussing Online Learning and Collaborative Education.” DOLCE meetings take place on the first Friday of every month in 1310 Surge III.

I hope you can join us on May 1st!

Dr. Andy Jones


Discussing Online Learning and Collaborative Education

Friday, May 1st at 12:10

1310 Surge III, the large conference room

Three buildings west of the Silo


Monday, April 6, 2015


This past Friday through Sunday ANI experienced the worst mass outage in the company’s history.  We had some serious operational and equipment issues which resulted in more than half of our customers experiencing an extended period of downtime while we worked with our vendor to try to troubleshoot and eventually replace the failed hardware.

As of right now, everything is running normally.  Yesterday [Saturday, April 4] the failed hardware was replaced and our team spent the day configuring and testing the new part to make sure the configurations were correct.  Saturday night we began to bring up each production instance carefully to ensure no further issues were encountered.  This extended into Sunday for some clients.  We have been monitoring the performance throughout the night and are confident the issue has been permanently resolved.

So what happened?

The central storage server that houses client data had a hardware failure, of the NVRAM, which caused the service interruption.  Our storage server is fully redundant system with no single point of failure to provide customers with the best service experience.  It means a single component failure must not stop the service.  Nevertheless, this time, the fail-over to the backup controller was not fully successful.  As a result in order to restore full service, we had to install a replacement part in the primary controller and restore the configuration.  Saturday morning we installed the replacement part and reloaded the backup of the configuration.  Unfortunately, this was not successful and the storage system vendor had us proceeded to restore manually, which took several more hours. By 7 pm MST, the configurations were restored and we began restoring service client by client.

Will this happen again?

We will work closely with the storage system vendor to ensure a successful fail-over if one should occur in the future. The system is designed for this, and we are following up to understand why this did not happen and why a backup configuration was not reloaded successfully.  We will see what steps we can take to ensure a faster recovery if it’s ever needed, whether it is an automatic fail-over, a part replacement and configuration reload, or a full manual recovery.

Again, I apologize to those of you that experienced this difficult and protracted outage. I know it’s not acceptable for you or for us. We remain committed to giving you a stable high performing experience and we are putting together a team to research a different path forward to ensure this never happens again.


Best regards,

Akira Takiguchi
Asahi Net International, Inc. (ANI)
1955 S Val Vista Dr., Suite 126
Mesa, AZ 85204


March 6 DOLCE Meeting: Libraries, Video, and LMS

Shields Library Sculpture


The March 6 DOLCE meeting will feature at least three speakers.


Bill Garrity is Deputy University Librarian and Chief of Staff at UC Davis libraries, and is responsible for the overall administration and operation of the University Library system. As you can see from reviewing Bill’s bio, he has significant experience in academic technology. He will talk to us about evolving functions of the library, and potential partnerships that focus on teaching and learning.


Faculty Technology Training Coordinator Steve Faith will talk to us about the UC Davis Video Initiative, a short and local version of a talk he gave recently at the Educause Learning Initiative Conference that took place last month in Anaheim.


Finally, University Writing Program Lecturer and Academic Associate Director for Academic Technology Services Andy Jones will provide an update on the discussions sounding Learning Management System opportunities and the future of SmartSite.


I hope you can join us in the Surge III large conference room for this lively discussion.



DOLCE – Discussing Online Learning and Collaborative Education

Friday, March 6th

12:10-1:00 PM

1310 Surge III – The Large Conference Room


March FLIP: Digital Storytelling in Higher Education

The second Friday of the month is upon us, and that means it’s time for Academic Technology Services (ATS) to share with you a FLIP workshop. This month FLIP, standing for “The Future of Learning In Practice,” will focus on Digital Storytelling in Higher Education. We hope you will join us Friday, March 13, noon – 1:00, at Academic Surge 2363, a floor above the Bohart Museum of Entomology.

Your host for this session is Cheryl Diermyer, Instructional Design Consultant, Academic Technology Services. Cheryl joined ATS this past November from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. She has lead several digital storytelling efforts at campus and university system levels. Here’s what she has to say about the session:

DST UC Davis

Digital storytelling in higher education, either as a student-produced assignment or a faculty-produced story, connects course content with real-world expereinces. In this session, you will be introduced to the craft of creating engaging narratives for learning, view examples of how universities are using digital stories to teach, discuss assignment design and the production process, and explore digital storytelling tools.

Digital Storytelling in Higher Education with Cheryl Diermyer
Friday, March 13th
12-1:00 pm
Academic Surge 2363

James Carey

James Carey

The following is the preface for Entomology professor James Carey’s Video Capture and Production Handbook. Please download a copy of VideoHandbook_JRCarey, note the many video tutorials created by Professor Carey and his colleagues from various UC Davis departments, and follow the links!


This is a first attempt at producing a packet of information (handbook) that brings together links to example (mostly instructional) videos that I have produced, supervised production of, or captured over the past several years, and relevant information for their production including equipment, software and helpful websites. The sampling of videos here represent only a small subset of many possibilities on what can be done with the use of this technology in instruction. One only has to sample some of the MOOCs and other online content offered (see Section 7) to see many excellent models for the use of video in teaching.

The video instructional model that I promote has two features: (1) low- or near-zero cost of production; and (2) instructor empowerment through video fluency (i.e. learn the basics). Although it is certainly possible to go “Hollywood” with sufficient funds and technical assistance, there are two down sides of this strategy. First, most instructors do not have the time, motivation and/or wherewithal to raise these necessary funds. Second, the instructors that opted for this strategy would again have to raise funds a few years later in order to keep their high-tech video sets fresh and current.

High tech is not what this packet of information is about. Rather it is about purchasing a $50 webcam and $200 video recording/editing software such as Camtasia to get started recording and producing one’s own videos. High quality video content for instructional purposes (as distinct from Cannes Film Festival premiers) can be produced with basic video equipment, software and knowhow as you will see by viewing some of the videos in the first part of this handbook. After my initial $250 investment I produced virtually all of these at zero-cost.

James R. Carey UC Davis


The UC Davis Arboretum. Photo by Ivan Kozik.

The UC Davis Arboretum. Photo by Ivan Kozik.

Faculty Panel

Friday, February 20th at noon

1310 Surge III – The Large Conference Room




Dear Faculty Colleagues,


Our February faculty panel will take on the topic of “Ambitious Faculty Projects.” We will hear from faculty who have taken on ambitious teaching and outreach initiatives, with discussions covering topics such as juggling responsibilities, motivating staff and volunteers, publicizing events and online resources, and keeping centered while taking on too much.


Delmar Larsen will talk to us about ChemWiki, his internationally-successful online textbook, while Wendy Silk will review her innovative musical science class: “Earth, Water, Science, and Song.” If we have time, Andy Jones may talk about some of his own outreach work.


Please join us at noon in 1310 Surge III. The discussion will be informal, and you are encouraged to bring a lunch.





Future of Learning In Practice (FLIP) – February Session

The second Friday of the month is upon us, and that means it’s time for Academic Technology Services to share with you a FLIP workshop. This month FLIP, standing for “The Future of Learning In Practice,” will focus on teaching with video via the application called Kaltura. We hope you will join us tomorrow / Friday, February 13th at Academic Surge 2363, a floor above the Bohart Museum of Entomology.

Here’s what your host, Steve Faith, has to say about this workshop:

“Come learn about AggieVideo, and how we are busy crafting an integrated rich-media initiative for UC Davis. TKalturahis workshop will begin with an overview of the Kaltura / AggieVideo initiative and its components, and then proceed with some technology show-and-tell involving media creation, management, hosting, and distribution. At the end, we will brainstorm on how we can improve teaching and learning by using some the covered tools and resources.”

You may wish to review this related article from Inc. magazine: “How Kaltura Went From Free-Spirited Collaboration Tool to the Future of Online Video.”

Many thanks to FLIP workshop series and instructional designer Dan Comins – he is enjoying an extended and well-earned paternity leave with his new son Nathaniel. Our new instructional designer Cheryl Diermyer, along with faculty technology training coordinators Steve Faith and Fernando Socorro, stand ready to meet your instructional design needs during Dan’s absence.