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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


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




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