togetherwelearn

Overview

The Center for Academic Innovation is WOU’s hub for faculty development programming exploring effective teaching and learning across modalities. We provide opportunities to engage with new instructional strategies, explore pedagogical topics, and connect with other instructors to inform and enrich learning experiences at WOU.

The goal of our programming portfolio is to provide a broad spectrum of engagement opportunities. We recognize that WOU’s instructors have different levels of experience, areas of interest, and available time to commit to a program. As a result, we offer standalone workshops on different topics alongside more intensive, multi-week opportunities. Some of our programming is synchronous, while others may be asynchronous or even self-paced. Our portfolio includes both technology training and opportunities to explore pedagogy broadly.

Current Programs

Focus: Teaching Strategies & Course Design

Focus: Learning Technologies

Audience

The Center for Academic Innovation’s programming is open to all WOU faculty and staff.

Our target audience consists of faculty members, staff with instructional duties, and staff whose positions involve significant support for teaching and learning or who are involved in developing/facilitating training and professional development opportunities. These groups will likely find our programming the most readily applicable to their immediate context. However, the Center for Academic Innovation is committed to supporting professional growth and lifelong learning for all WOU employees and does not limit participation in our programs. If you’re interested in any of the topics we cover, please join us!

Accessibility Statement

The Center for Academic Innovation is committed to inclusive access to all of its programming. We are happy to coordinate with you and the Office of Disability Services to make any arrangements necessary for you to fully participate in our programs. If you have any questions about what sort of accommodations and supports are available for events and programs at WOU, please contact Disability Services at 503-838-8250 or ods@wou.edu.

Suggest or Request Programming

We hope to see our portfolio continue to grow over time to provide even more opportunities for WOU’s community to explore continuing explore the infinite potential of our classrooms and teaching practice.

We would love to hear your suggestions for additional topics or new programs! In addition to the scheduled programming below, we are also delighted to work with departments, divisions, or other groups to develop programming or training to meet a specific need or area of interest.

In addition to the times available on our general schedule, Academic Innovation can also offer any of the sessions or topics below to departments, divisions, or other groups by request. If you have a group of five or more interested participants, we will work with you to schedule a special offering of any of our workshops or trainings.

If you would like to request programming or suggest a new topic or program, submit your feedback using this form: Suggest or Request Programming

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Teaching Strategies & Course Design

Our programming focused on teaching strategies and course design work focus on effective teaching practices broadly, regardless of modality. When learning technologies are included, the lens we apply is how to leverage these tools towards a specific goal, as opposed to learning how to operate and navigate these tools.

The goal for these programs is to explore concepts and ideas that will support your teaching practice wherever learning takes place for you and your students. Join us in our exploration of different practices, strategies, and techniques that can positively impact student learning and your teaching experience.

Catalyst

Format

Instructor-led, asynchronous

Overview

Catalyst is a collaborative faculty development program that explores pedagogy and provides design support to jumpstart new course design and instructional projects.

Each time Catalyst is offered, the session will have a specific pedagogical focus that informs the content, activities, and design project for that session. The focus for each Catalyst session will be indicated in its title and explained in its description. Regardless of the focus, the primary goals of Catalyst are to brings faculty members together to:

  1. explore the intersection of technology and pedagogy together through content-driven modules and online interaction
  2. make progress on individual design projects with support from Academic Innovation and the Catalyst community
  3. build a community around WOU’s passion for teaching and learning

Time Commitment

Catalyst is offered multiple times throughout the year. When offered, the program is approximately 3-4 weeks long and requires between 25-30 hours of effort.

How to Access

You can learn more about Catalyst on our Catalyst information page. This page includes information on upcoming sessions, like dates and topic areas, as well as application links.

 

Teaching Deep Dives

Format

Instructor-led, synchronous

Overview

Deep Dives are interactive sessions that explore a specific teaching strategy or learning technology feature. Each Deep Dive session consists of (1) an overview of the session’s topic and (2) an opportunity to experiment with the concept, either by trying out new technology or through guided design activities.

5 to 8 Deep Dive sessions are scheduled each term, each focused on a different topic or strategy. Academic Innovation adds new topics over time but also repeats popular offerings regularly so don’t worry if you can’t make a session as you will likely see it scheduled again in the future.

Examples of Deep Dive topics include:

  • Gamification & Badging
  • Groups, Collaborations, & Discussions
  • Creating Accessible Content
  • Interactive Video
  • Peer-Reviewed Assignments
  • Classroom Asssessment Techniques (CATS)
  • Creating Content-Rich Pages in Canvas
  • Canvas Outcomes for Mastery & Competencies

Academic Innovation’s Deep Dive registration page has information on the specific dates, times, and topics scheduled for the current term. Check out our upcoming Deep Dive sessions!

Time Commitment

Deep Dive sessions are scheduled for 90 minutes.

How to Access

You can find upcoming Deep Dives and sign on Academic Innovation’s Deep Dive registration page.

Sessions are limited to 15 participants and slots are filled on a first come first-serve basis.

These sessions are interactive and provide opportunities to begin developing your own materials so please bring a device that can work in Canvas.

Online Learning Consortium Membership

Format

Self-paced resources

Overview

Western Oregon University is an institutional member of the Online Learning Consortium. The Online Learning Consortium provides webinars, research, and rubrics that support quality online teaching and learning. Any member of our WOU community can register for an individual OLC at no cost and access these resources.

Membership Highlights:

  • Webinars: Access to approximately 50 on-demand webinars covering a range of online learning topics and all future webinars
  • OLC Research Center provides resources on digital learning trends, innovations, and effective practices in the field. Research studies, white papers, journal articles and other resources including webinars, podcasts and publications are categorized into six different categories: teaching & learning, instructional/learning design, leadership, digital learning, annual reports, and Quality.
  • Scorecard Suite includes access to the OSCQR course quality rubric, as well as scorecards for using digital courseware and blended learning, among others. 

Time Commitment

Variable

How to Access

Sign up for an OLC membership using your WOU email address!

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Learning Technologies

Our learning technologies programming focuses on the nuts-and-bolts of working with different tools. Effective teaching practice frames our inquiry and approach to how these tools are used and modeled but the primary outcome for these sessions is to improve your comfort using different technologies so that you can optimize their use in your course. Our learning technologies programming covers different settings, features, and uses of supported learning technologies at WOU, providing how-to demonstrations and guiding you to additional resources.

Growing With Canvas

Format

Self-Paced

Overview

Growing with Canvas has five modules of content that will take users through everything they need to know about using Canvas at their institutions – no matter what grade or level. The course uses a combination of the Canvas Video Guides and Canvas Guides to teach the content. Participants in the course will try out a number of the concepts through the practice assessments.

Time Commitment

Each module has about 45-60 miuntes of video. We estimate the time to complete each module is 1.5-2 hours, for a total of 8-10 hours spent to complete the course. The course does not need to be completed in one sitting.

How to Access

You can gain access to Growing with Canvas by completing the Sandbox Request Form. This form enrolls you in Growing with Canvas while also creating a sandbox shell that you can use to experiment with new ideas and features.

 

Canvas Fundamentals

Format

Instructor-Led, Synchronous

Overview

Canvas Fundamentals is your introduction to Canvas. Facilitated by Academic Innovation staff, this session covers basic features, navigation, and design considerations for Canvas. It is also an opportunity for you to ask questions about different features and capabilities in Canvas.

Time Commitment

This training is scheduled for 3 hours.

How to Access

Canvas Fundamentals is offered several times each term. To find out more about upcoming dates and sign up for a session, check out our Canvas Fundamentals registration page.

 

Getting to Know Gradebook

Format

Instructor-Led, Synchronous

Overview

Canvas’ gradebook is a powerful tool for tracking your students’ progress and easily calculating your grades each term. This session will introduce you to the gradebook, how to configure it to meet your needs, and tips for using it productively. Facilitators will also share differences between the Canvas gradebook and Moodle’s gradebook to help you transition from Moodle to Canvas successfully.

Time Commitment

This training is scheduled for 1 hour.

How to Access

Getting to Know Gradebook is offered several times each term. To find out more about upcoming dates and sign up for a session, check out our Getting to Know Gradebook registration page.

Making the Most of Your Modules

Format

Instructor-Led, Synchronous

Overview

This workshop will cover how Canvas uses modules to create structure in courses, as well as fundamentals of module organization, content, and settings. In this workshop you will learn how to:

  • create modules in a way that makes sense for your course
  • add content (resources, activities, external URLs and tools)
  • set requirements, prerequisites, and publishing dates.
  • use best practices to set up your course and avoid cognitive overloads.

Time Commitment

This training is scheduled for 1 hour.

How to Access

Making the Most of Your Modules is offered several times each term. To find out more about upcoming dates and sign up for a session, check out our Making the Most of Your Modules registration page.

Questions about Quizzes

Format

Instructor-Led, Synchronous

Overview

Quizzes in Canvas are an excellent tool for both formative and summative assessment! Quizzes can be graded or ungraded and offer a range of question types. You can use quizzes for assessing student knowledge, providing opportunities to practice or review material, or to collect feedback.
This workshop will:
  • Provide an introduction to the Quiz tool in Canvas
  • Explore the differences between Class and New Quizzes in Canvas
  • Explain different settings, quiz question types, and grading options
  • Cover how to set up exceptions and accommodations within quizzes

Time Commitment

This training is scheduled for 1 hour.

How to Access

Questions about Quizzes is offered several times each term. To find out more about upcoming dates and sign up for a session, check out our Questions about Quizzes registration page.

Expand Your Options: External Tools & Canvas Commons

Format

Instructor-Led, Synchronous

Overview

Learn more about the additional tools and resources you can add into your Canvas course! This workshop will:

  • Demonstrate how to add an external tool from the Canvas App Center
  • Provide an overview on what external tools are supported or recommended by Academic Innovation
  • Introduce you to Canvas Commons, a digital library of educational content where Canvas users can share materials, like course content or assignments.
  • Demonstrate how to share items from your course to Canvas Commons and how to import items from Canvas Commons into your course

Time Commitment

This training is scheduled for 1 hour.

How to Access

Expand Your Options is offered several times each term. To find out more about upcoming dates and sign up for a session, check out our Expand Your Options registration page.

Guided Course Conversions (Moodle to Canvas)

Format

Instructor-Led, Synchronous

Overview

Need to move your course from Moodle to Canvas but not sure the best way? Academic Innovation facilitates guided course transitions throughout our Canvas conversion.

These hands-on sessions walk participants through the process of downloading a course from Moodle and uploading it into Canvas.

After participants have transferred their own course, staff are available to troubleshoot any difficulties or challenges that arose during the process. When significant errors or challenges occur, a 1:1 support appointment is scheduled.

Academic Innovation has adopted this approach to ensure we are able to scale our support while meeting individual needs. Many participants find that they do not need additional support once they have completed the process, as Canvas was able to understand the structure of their Moodle course site and imported the content correctly. By working with faculty members in small groups, we are able to identify courses that do not import correctly and provide guidance or follow-up appointments.

Time Commitment

Sessions are approximately 30 minutes.

At the beginnning of the session, the facilitator will demonstate the process several times, allowing you to follow along. This demonstration takes approximately 10-15 minutes. After the demonstration is over, the facilitator is available to help you troubleshoot any challenges that arose during your own course transfer.

How to Access

Guided Conversion sessions are offered frequently, as part of the overall support available during WOU’s transition from Moodle to Canvas. To find out the next available dates and sign up to participate, check out our Guided Course Conversions registration page.