Blog

Photographs from the 2017 Unizin Innovation Summit

The 2017 Unizin Innovation Summit took place April 19 and 20 in downtown Denver, Colorado. It was an incredible two days filled with collaborative conversations, the sharing of successes, and a spirit of synergy and unity. Take a look back at #UIS17. Read More

A Look Inside Our Infrastructure

digital composite of laptop with notepad and coffee on table with graphics

 

Gone are the days of system administrators desperately trying to make sure their servers stay healthy. Services like Amazon Web Services (AWS) allow modern operations staffs to write code to describe the machines and then create new servers on-demand. Here, we will explore how we do just that at Unizin. Read More

Content Communities Part II: The Unizin Solution

a birds-eye view of a team of content creators working on course development

Like we mentioned in the previous blog, universities are and will continue to be places where instructional content is created. Lately, we’ve seen a change in how instructional content and courses are created as pressure rises for teaching practices to adapt to the needs of next-generation learners. Faculty are still the primary creators of lecture materials, course materials and textbooks, but increasingly instructional designers, media developers, graphic artists, software developers and others are appointed to support faculty in the creation of this content and courses. At Unizin, we call teams that support course development, content communities.

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Content Communities Part I: Challenges to Workflows

professionals meeting around a table - Content Workflows

Content initiatives at Unizin Member universities have made headlines this year. Indiana University announced this September that its eText initiative has saved students at least $15 million since the program began in 2012. The University of Wisconsin-Madison published a policy that prioritizes the production of Open Educational Resources (OER) as an important part of the Educational Innovation (EI) Initiative and its Unizin membership.

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Introducing IU’s Unizin Liaison

Indiana University - Bloomington campus

IU’s Unizin-Dedicated Liaison Streamlines Coordination Between Campus, Unizin Staff

As Unizin releases more solutions for content, analytics and the learning environment, more and more people from our Member universities are getting involved in communicating, testing, and piloting our tools and services. This can present a logistical challenge when it comes to coordinating resources and teams across different departments on campus, not to mention across different institutions in the Consortium.

It became apparent at Indiana University that while Unizin was a small part of many people’s roles on campus , it was not a priority in many of their daily objectives. They needed someone to collaborate across IU’s campuses and provide leadership and coordination between the groups at IU and Unizin. Michele Kelmer, an IT Strategy Business Analyst for IU at the time, says she remembers when Unizin was first announced in 2014 and was immediately interested in the role. Read More

Migration Collaboration

migrating birds in the 'V' formation

Unizin Institutions Share Tools, Best Practices for Switching LMSs

“We’re tired,” Annette Beck, Director of Enterprise Instructional Technology and Evaluation & Exam Service, says with a laugh. She is describing her team’s whirlwind year at the University of Iowa. In just two semesters, they have transitioned all academic courses at Iowa from D2L to Canvas, an impressive feat in the higher education realm.

“I think it was the fastest anyone has ever migrated in the history of the world,” she said jokingly about the quick and successful migration. Read More

University of Michigan Furthers On-Campus Analytics with Help from Unizin Partnership

people in meeting, silhouetted against the sun

When Chris Brooks attended the Unizin Innovation Summit last October, he was hoping to walk away with more knowledge about Unizin. He found more than he expected.

Brooks, a Research Assistant Professor in the School of Information and Director of Learning Analytics and Research at the Office of Academic Innovation, was in the midst of adapting an early warning system for faculty at the University of Michigan to leverage Canvas data. The goal was to build predictive at-risk models for students that would notify faculty early in the term of student progress compared to expected outcomes. This would trigger prompts and help faculty decide whether to intervene. Read More

Little Tools for “Big” Data

up close photograph of a computer motherboard - Big Data blog post

Big Data has been a hot topic in technology circles for several years now. Thanks to hardware and software advances and improved purchasing and deployment processes, we are able to employ more systems to analyze more data than ever before. Read More

Diving into Canvas Data at the University of Iowa

Group of people studying charts and reports

Diving into data is not for the faint of heart. Just ask Sam Van Horne.

Working for the University of Iowa Office of Assessment and liaison to Unizin, Van Horne is surrounded by data all day–tables and lists, schemas and sets of it. As the University of Iowa nears the halfway point in its Canvas migration, Van Horne and his team have started exploring what kind of data the learning management system can provide. He hopes he can use the data to create a more complete picture of individual students and what they’re doing inside the course. But if that sounds simple, think again. Read More

A Balanced Approach to Content Strategy

open red door leading into a school hallway, Content Strategy blog post

Two Approaches to Content

As Unizin becomes immersed in the processes and practices of instructors and instructional designers, we are finding that our content strategy must take into consideration the contemporary and traditional course development processes. While content is still the core of every course, instructors now use it to build and develop their course in two different ways: the traditional approach and the digital approach. Read More