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Palm Trees Make Up a Small Grove

Palm Trees Make Up a Small Grove

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

This coming Friday, April 15th, a number of our UC Davis faculty colleagues and I will gather to discuss UC Davis Canvas, the new learning management system that we will get to use in our classes beginning this coming fall quarter. At Friday’s faculty panel, we will discuss content migration from SmartSite to Canvas (if you end up finding migrating content from SmartSite to be necessary), and the Canvas SpeedGrader, a tool that I have been testing out in a writing class that I’m teaching this quarter. I hope you can join us.

Please bring your concerns, questions, and curiosity. We start a bit after noon in 1310 Surge III, now also known as The Grove.

Andy Jones


Education for a Global World – Monday, April 11, 2016

The College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, the Center for Educational Effectiveness, and Academic Technology Services are pleased to invite you to a series of workshops, sessions and talks:

Education for a Global World

Monday, April 11th

The Grove (Surge III), 1310

Workshops and Sessions Led by Dr. Teri Balser, Dean of Teaching and Learning at Curtin University, Perth Western Australia

About Teri Balser

Professor Teri Balser is Dean of Teaching and Learning for the Faculty of Science and Engineering at Curtin University, where she came after having been a Professor of Soil and Water Science and Dean of the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences at the University of Florida.

Dr. Balser is co-founder of the Society for Advancement of Biology Education Re-search (SABER) and a National Vision and Change Fellow with the Partnership for Undergraduate Life Sciences Education. She is currently in India under the aegis of the Fulbright-Nehru program as Distinguished Chair to help build capacity for pedagogi-cally advanced STEM education.

She has also received numerous accolades for her educational accomplishments includ-ing the USDA/APLU National Excellence in College and University Teaching Award in 2009 and recognition as the 2010 U.S. Professor of the Year for Doctoral and Re-search Universities by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. Last year she was announced as one of three finalists for the 2016 Robert Foster Cherry Award for Great Teaching, the largest teaching prize in the English-speaking world.


8:00 A.M. – 11:45 A.M.: Motivation in the Postmodern Classroom.

This event is a hands-on, half-day workshop where participants explore the role of student and instruc-tor attitudes for creating a dynamic learning environment. Space is limited. Please register at: https://form.jotform.com/60895392934166

1:00 P.M. – 2:30 P.M.:  Engaging Large Classes. No Registration Required

This session explores elements of quality learning, and challenge assumptions we may have about large classes. Through examining the impact of class size on the learning environment, participants consider ways to implement and scale best practices in pedagogy/delivery to optimize learning.

4:15 – 5:00: Transforming Life Sciences. No Registration Required

Participants will learn about the findings of a study conducted for improving learning experiences in life sciences courses. Participants will try out a set of rubrics for considering curricular transformation and will discuss potential application for use in their own institutions.

You can watch the live video stream from your preferred location by going to:


Questions? Contact Cheryl Diermyer (cdiermyer@ucdavis.edu), Academic Technology Services.

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Archives by Marino González

Archives by Marino González

Dear Colleagues,

I hope you can join us for the April 1 DOLCE: Discussing Online Learning and Collaborative Education. We will meet in 1310 Surge III at noon on Friday, April 1.

Dr. Kevin C. Miller will speak first on “The Archives & Institutional Assets Program: Enhancing the Impact of UC Davis Scholarship (and Scholars).”

All of us are consumers and producers of knowledge and research, and while we are primarily concerned with the impact of our research on the world, someday we or our heirs may also be concerned with the impact of our research on our garages and spare bedrooms. Among other opportunities and concerns, Dr. Miller will help us consider how best approach and share our personal academic archives.

Kevin C. Miller is an expert in confronting academic archives in the digital age. He holds a PhD in ethnomusicology and a master’s degree in library and information studies, both from the University of California, Los Angeles. His research interests (as an ethnomusicologist) include the music-cultures of the Pacific and the South Asian diaspora. As an archivist, he is primarily interested in digital preservation and the evolving scholarly record. Formerly Librarian for Digital Curation and Publication at Pepperdine University in Malibu, CA from 2010 to 2015, Miller is currently leading the new Archives & Institutional Assets Program as University Archivist at UC Davis.

In the second half of the hour, we will discuss instructional design, and why you should want to consult with one before taking on a new or re-visioned teaching project. We will also hear from an expert on Canvas, the new learning management system and SmartSite replacement that we will all get to start using this fall, 2016. To find out more about Canvas, please visit http://movetocanvas.ucdavis.edu.

Please join us at noon on April 1 in 1310 Surge III, also known as The Grove.


Andy Jones


Kevin C. Miller and Friends at DOLCE

Friday, April 1 at noon

1310 Surge III / The Grove


Arboretum in Springtime

Dear Colleagues,

If you are still on campus and need some SmartSite or final grade submission help from our Instructional Technologists (Steve Faith and Fernando Socorro), please drop by their current offices at 50 Hutchison, found downstairs in the southeast corner of the building in the center of campus. While you are there, Steve and Fernando could also show you our mini-studio, perfect for filming short lectures or demonstrations to share with students.

Our faculty panels will return on April 1st DOLCE meeting that will feature a presentation by Dr. Kevin Miller. Miller was Librarian for Digital Curation and Publication at Pepperdine University from 2010 to 2015, and is currently leading the Archives & Institutional Assets Program as the UC Davis University Archivist.

Curious about the new learning management system that we will adopt this fall? If you have any free time over our spring break, you are encouraged to visit the spring update at the UC Davis “Move to Canvas” page: http://movetocanvas.ucdavis.edu. If you would like to start browsing the guides, trainings, and documentation provided by Instructure, the company behind Canvas, please find them at https://community.canvaslms.com/welcome.

Enjoy the break, and I look forward to seeing you at one of our events in the spring (held on the first and third Friday of every month during the school year).


Andy Jones

Dr. Andy Jones

Continuing Lecturer, The University Writing Program

Academic Associate Director, Academic Technology Services

Editor of  The Wheel, The Instructional Technology Blog for UC Davis

University of California, Davis

The Poet Laureate of Davis



March 4th DOLCE at 1310 Surge III at Noon



Dear Faculty Colleagues,

The March DOLCE is upon us, and I hope you can join us as we enjoy brief presentations from our speakers.

Brian Pitts, an Associate Professor of Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine, and the Director of Online Learning at the UC Davis School of Medicine, will be on campus to talk to us about different approaches to deliver video instruction, with a focus on a tool called Panopto. The Panopto for education website promises that Panopto “offers educators the most cost-effective, easy-to-use solution for flipping the classroom, lecture capture, video management, and more.” I look forward to seeing what we can learn from the experiments and discoveries of Professor Pitts and his colleagues in the School of Medicine.

I recently interviewed Chris Kuczewski at Panopto about his company’s offerings. He says, “We hear on a regular basis that faculty members love the ease of use of our software, students love the ability to search within videos, and admins love the ability to control so many different aspects of the system.”

Cheryl Diermyer, Instructional Designer with Academic Technology Services, will provide us a sample of the work that she has been doing with esteemed Brewing and Malting Professor Charlie Bamforth. Diermyer has been helping Bamforth and others transform his Brewing and Beer (FST 3) course into an online offering. She will have slides and video to share.

If we have time, we will also enjoy a clickers / PRS update from Instructional Technologist Fernando Socorro.

Please join us on March 4th at noon at 1310 Surge III, now known as The Grove.

Andy Jones



DOLCE: Discussing Online Learning and Collaborative Education

Friday, March 4th

12 Noon

1310 Surge III / The Grove


P.S. Curious about UC Davis Canvas, our new learning management system? Please visit http://movetocanvas.ucdavis.edu. You can also meet with the Move to Canvas team this coming Tuesday, March 8th at the UC Davis AV Showcase.





Dear Colleagues,

On Friday, February 19th at noon, a number of us will gather for this month’s faculty panel on Canvas, the new learning management system that has been adopted by UC Davis, and with which we will get a chance to start teaching this coming fall, 2016. We will discuss the attached timeline, additions to the Move to Canvas website, and questions that we have received from faculty and staff across campus. Members of the Academic Technology Services Faculty Support Group will be on hand to answer your questions. If there is time, we will take a look at a class currently being taught with Canvas.

We will also touch upon the March 4th UC Davis AV Showcase, a free and catered event to which registrants will also be invited. Find details at http://www.avshowcase.com.

I hope you can join us tomorrow for this lunch-hour event.


Andy Jones

Academic Associate Director for Academic Technology Services

Lecturer, the University Writing Program

UC Davis



The February Faculty Panel on UC Davis Canvas

February 19th at 12 noon

1310 Surge III (now known as The Grove)


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


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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!