≡ Menu

Dan Comins, an instructional designer with Academic Technology Services, will be hosting the second of this year’s Future of Learning in Practice (or FLIP) workshops tomorrow Friday, November 14th, in the School of Education Computer Lab (Academic Surge 2363) at Noon. The workshops are held on most second Fridays of the month during the school year, providing an opportunity for faculty to practice using the tools that can help us teach more effectively with different media, especially video and images.


Continuing with this year’s FLIP theme, Tools for Creating Video and Interactive Media, Dan will discuss ThingLink for Images and Video, a web application that allows instructors (and students) to mark up images and video with interactive hot spots, thus providing additional information, links, and functionality to otherwise static images and videos on the web. The workshop will help participating faculty understand how this tool to create rich, interactive content.


Please join Dan for this workshop from 12 – 1PM with an open lab for practice and additional questions following from 1-1:30. There is no need to RSVP – just drop by. I hope to see you there!


P.S. If you have any questions, please contact Dan at djcomins@ucdavis.edu or 530-752-1032.



ThingLink for Images and Video

A FLIP workshop hosted by Dan Comins

Friday, November 14th

12 Noon

Academic Surge 2363

(the same building as the Bohart Museum of Entomology)


FLIP Flyer Fall 2014

Textbooks: Paper or Digital

Textbooks: Paper or Digital?

Faculty from across the disciplines will meet on Friday, November 7th at noon to hear from four different speakers on teaching and technology initiatives on campus. I hope you can join us in 307 Surge IV (just west of the Silo) to receive updates from the following.


Jason Lorgan of the UC Davis Bookstore will present on The UC Davis Bookstore Online Textbook Pilot Program. Imagine that two weeks before the quarter begins, a student in your class receives access to an online version of your textbook, with adaptive digital content. Such a pilot has begun this fall, and of the 4,000 students in participating courses, 95% have chosen to stick with the digital adaptive content rather than switching to print.


Steve Faith, Faculty Technology Training Coordinator, will preview how a future Learning Management System will allow all of us to teach with multiple media, especially video, using Kaltura. Kaltura is a versatile product for uploading, managing, and distributing rich media including images, audio, and video. As part of Academic Technology Services’ Video Initiative, Kaltura will be integrated into our learning management system (LMS). At Friday’s DOLCE you can preview what Kaltura looks like in the SmartSite, Canvas, and Brightspace, and thus consider all three learning management systems that we are considering for the future of SmartSite.


Andy Jones will catch us up on the LMS pilots being conducted this fall, and the planned timeline for the LMS transition. According to a 2012 article in Inside Higher Education, “More than 90 percent of all colleges and universities — small and large, public and private — have invested in an institutionwide LMS, according to data from the Campus Computing Project.” Having benefited from a learning management system at UC Davis for about 15 years, we are currently using Sakai to power our SmartSite; your feedback will help the LMS working group make the best recommendations to the Academic Senate, CIO, and Provost at UC Davis.


Finally, Professor James Carey from Entomology will give us a brief update on his plans as chair of the Educational Technology Subcommittee of the Campus Council for Information Technology.


Bring a lunch if you are inclined, as well as your curiosity and questions.


DOLCE — Discussing Online Learning and Collaborative Education

Friday, November 7, 2014 at Noon

307 Surge IV (west of the Silo)


Image courtesy of Alan Levine.


Welcome to a new school year and to new discoveries in teaching and learning!


As the Academic Associate Director of Academic Technology Services, I get to host a number of teaching and learning-centric events for UC Davis faculty and support staff. Every first Friday of the month, for example, we meet for DOLCE, which stands for Discussing Online Learning and Collaborative Education. At DOLCE meetings, anywhere from 12 to 30 teaching and learning enthusiasts gather to enjoy presentations from UC Davis faculty and staff on new innovations and ongoing initiatives. We hope you will join us.


Tomorrow’s speakers will include the following:


Paul Salitsky, a faculty member in Neurobiology, Physiology and Behavior, will discuss his experience as a fall pilot for Canvas by Instructure, one of the three learning management systems that faculty are testing this fall as we all consider the future of SmartSite. For more information on the coming LMS transition, please visit http://lmstransition.ucdavis.edu.

Dan Comins, an instructional designer with Academic Technology Services, will preview the schedule of FLIP events for the coming year. At meetings of FLIP, which stands for Future of Learning in Practice, participants will explore the (mostly) online tools that we can use to help students engage in independent and collaborative learning activities.

Dan will also tell us about the daylong Online and Hybrid Learning Showcase, to be held starting at 9 AM on October 17 at the Student Community Center. Visit http://cetl.ucdavis.edu/courses-and-events/hybrid-showcase.html to find out more about this event, to be hosted for The Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning by Dr. Cara Harwood Theisen.

A faculty representative of the EdTech Subcommittee of the Campus Council for Information Technology will preview topics to be discussed at EdTech during the coming year, including the learning management system transition, video initiatives, and classroom upgrades.

Finally, Information Security Consultant Dewight Kramer will update us on Cyber Awareness Training initiatives that he has been spearheading. Find out more about such initiatives at http://security.ucdavis.edu.


Because of interior construction in Surge III, this fall we will meet in 307 Surge IV (see map with helpful arrows). DOLCE will be video-recorded and posted online for future review, but you should still plan to join us at noon tomorrow. As we are meeting across the parking lot from the Silo, you are invited to bring a lunch.


Dr. Andy Jones
Academic Associate Director, Academic Technology Services



DOLCE – Discussing Online Learning and Collaborative Education

The LMS Transition and Other Topics

Friday, October 3rd

12-1 pm

307 Surge IV (new location)

Directions to 307 Surge IV

Directions to 307 Surge IV


The SITT 2014 Schedule of Talks and Workshops


The Summer Institute on Teaching and Technology

Friday, September 12, 2014


The Art Annex / Technocultural Studies Building

(Behind the Art Building, and next to the Theatre Building)



Title Time / Speaker          Room
Welcome 9:30-9:40 AM

People milling around, looking at the program and making new friends.

Art Annex
A formal Welcome from Viji Murali 9:40-9:50 AM

Viji Murali, our new CIO and Vice Provost for Information and Educational Technology

Art Annex
Welcoming remarks from Andy Jones 9:55-10:00 AM

Five minutes on SITT enthusiasms!

Art Annex
Getting Started with Teaching Hybrid and Online Courses


10-11 AM


Cara Harwood Theisen, Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning

This interactive session will introduce key differences between online, hybrid, and face-to-face classes. Participants will leave with new ideas for how to incorporate technology and online tools to promote student interaction, deliver content, and assess students.

Art Annex
Update on Teaching with Technology Projects 11AM-12PM

  • The Future of SmartSite: Andy Jones
  • CETL Initiatives: Chris Thaiss
  • The CETL Faculty instructional technology resources hub website: Mary Stewart
  • Classroom updates
  • Preview of faculty concerns about student devices in the classroom: Cara Harwood Theisen
  • Description of afternoon sessions
Art Annex
  • 12-1PM


Burritos provided by Dos Coyotes. Brave participants will dine outside in the delightful heat of mid-September in Davis.

Art Annex
“Teachnologies” (Presentation of 20 instructional technologies in 40 minutes) 1-2PM

  • Andy Jones
  • Steve Faith
  • Dan Comins
  • Paul Salitsky


Technologies to be reviewed (briefly) include Camtasia, Videoblocks, EduCreations, Zaption, and a variety of other portmanteau words that may make no sense until after this rapid-fire four-way presentation.

Art Annex
Now we move to the computer classrooms in the basement of Olson Hall. Choose a workshop!
Creating a WordPress Website 2-3:30PM

  • Andy Jones
  • Charlie Turner
  • Simon Dvorak
Olson 1
Teaching with Video Workshop 2-3:30PM

  • Professor James Carey
  • Dan Comins
  • This will be an abbreviated version of the video boot camp.
Olson 21
Technology Tools Workshop 2-3:30PM

  • Steve Faith
  • Fernando Socorro
  • Paul Salitsky

This workshop will cover a few of the aforementioned “Teachnologies,” and give faculty an opportunity to explore new SmartSite tools, and consider aspects of other Learning Management System candidates (i.e. Canvas by Instructure and Brightspace by Desire2Learn) that will be piloted by UC Davis faculty this fall.

Olson 27
Wrap-Up 3:30-4:30PM

  • We will be joined CCFIT Chair Michael Kleeman, and ATS Director David Levin
  • Review of other resources, if we have time
  • Sharing of hopes, concerns, and discoveries
Art Annex



Directions to the Art Annex for SITT 2014

Directions to the Art Annex for SITT 2014

{ 1 comment }

The 2014 Summer Institute on Teaching and Technology

The Art Annex at UC Davis

The Art Annex at UC Davis

The one-day Summer Institute on Teaching and Technology (SITT) will take place this year on Friday, September 12, and we hope that you will join us. We will meet primarily in the Art Annex, behind the Theater Building on campus, from 9:30-4:30, with a break for lunch, and an opportunity for hands-on discoveries in computer classrooms in the afternoon.


At this year’s SITT we will learn from UC Davis faculty and content-expert staff about the following topics:


  • Blended and hybrid teaching,
  • Plans to pilot new learning management systems this fall (with a new or improved replacement for SmartSite to be adopted in 2015),
  • Faculty concerns about student use of portable devices during lecture,
  • Online tools to facilitate discussion,
  • Sources for copyright-free images, audio, and video,
  • Embedded YouTube videos,
  • Time management during lecture,
  • Teaching and conducting outreach with WordPress,
  • Class (and classroom) designs that encourage collaboration,
  • And many others.


Lunch will be provided to those who register.


For those of you who have not attended SITT in the past, the one-day institute provides all participating faculty an opportunity to learn from our colleagues about teaching practices and innovations, and to meet others with similar enthusiasms for student-centered learning.


I hope you can join us!


Andy Jones

Chair, SITT 2014


Digital Course Content Pilot from the UC Davis Bookstore!

Good news from the UC Davis bookstore about new opportunity to teach with digital resources while saving your students money on fall textbooks.

UC Davis Stores are spearheading a Digital Course Content Pilot that is taking place on campus this fall. During the 2013-2014 school year, the UC Davis Stores have been working with faculty and publishers to reinvent the way content is delivered to our students. Please find a summary below of how the pilot will work and some real price comparisons for different forms of delivering content. The UC Davis Stores plan to assess the performance of the pilot from a faculty and student perspective in November.

  • The Digital Course Content Pilot begins in Fall Quarter 2014 with nearly 5,000 students using Digital Adaptive Content
  • The content adapts to student performance on exercises and is interactive (in contrast to an eBook which does not adapt or interact)
  • The Pilot Intent: To Improve Student Access, Drive Down Student Costs, and Improve Attainment of Student Learning Outcomes
  • The Delivery method: In most cases, digital access codes will be delivered via email two weeks before the quarter begins. In limited cases, students will receive access and be registered during their first class session
  • During the add/drop period, students can use the content at no cost
  • If students choose to opt-out during the add/drop period, their digital access will be turned off, and they will pay nothing
  • If they choose to retain access, the course materials cost will be added to their University bill
  • If students would like a print copy to go along with their digital access, they can visit the Memorial Union Store for a low-cost print copy to accompany their digital content

Digital Resource Price Comparisons


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