Blog

Flipping a Large Enrollment Classroom with Canvas

student studying lecture at home

When it was first announced that the University of Iowa was planning to pilot Canvas as part of Unizin, Jon Garfinkel, finance professor at the Tippie College of Business, realized this could be just the opportunity he needed to try flipping his new undergrad course. He had started flipping his MBA courses a while ago when he observed the rise of free and low-cost college-level learning opportunities, like edX and Coursera. He knew doing nothing wasn’t an option, that something needed to change. Read More

Rethinking the Possible: Large Enrollment Classes

Attendees at #UIS17 in Denver

At the 2017 Unizin Innovation Summit, I attended several marvelous breakout sessions. One of my favorites was “Early Lessons from High-Enrollment Course Transformations,” presented by Maggie Jesse, Senior IT Director at the University of Iowa, and Sarah Miller, Leader of Faculty Development in Academic Technology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Read More

Building the Learning Experience of Tomorrow

Colorado State University
Presented by Rick Miranda, Colorado State University

The Unizin Innovation Summit is an opportunity to reflect on where we are in the Unizin Consortium and our goals for the future. One of the benefits of operating inside the Consortium is the ease of communication and cooperation that it affords. We can come together to share our expertise with each other, discuss our progress, and ensure we are meeting both our strategic goals and fulfilling our mission of improving teaching and learning. As universities, we’re moving away from competing with one another, as we have in the past, and toward a collaborative model in which we work together, with partners like Unizin, to improve education.

Our goals for Unizin are starting to be realized in the form of several advancements: the common usage of the Canvas platform as a foundational LMS for us; the development of Engage and its wide adoption as a state-of-the-art eReader with capacity for exciting functionality; the beginnings of our ability to share content modules across the Consortium (either generated by Members or by vendors); the incorporation of innovative all-student-access mechanisms for content dissemination; and several others, including (importantly) a focus on effective and useful learning analytics.
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Using Data in Higher Ed

Amin Qazi

Unizin is a very special collaborative effort. Our Consortium exists because of a vision shared by thought leaders at some of the nation’s most respected research universities. We are not a technology concern, but an organization committed to the improvement of teaching and learning. As part of that mission, we collect data on student engagement during the learning process, and we believe that data is the key to unlocking the next iteration of pedagogy and student success. Read More

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