December 2016 Ed Tech Update

Illustration: Ed Tech Update
November 30, 2016

Fall semester wrap-up support, a Unizin/Canvas/Moodle presentation, and a new students and technology study are available.

Fall Semester Wrap-up Support

As your Fall 2016 courses are winding down and you begin preparing for Spring 2017, UMD Educational Technologists offer a variety of ways to get support.

1. Regularly Scheduled Tech Tune-up Sessions

Drop by Kirby Plaza 175 with questions or bring a laptop/mobile device to work on your courses. No registration is required for these open sessions. Sessions run through December 15, 2016.

  • Every Monday 1:30 to 3:30 p.m.
  • Every Tuesday 10 to 11 a.m. and 2 to 3 p.m.
  • Every Wednesday 8:30 to 10:30 a.m.
  • Every Thursday 10 to 11 a.m. and 3 to 4 p.m.

2. Wrap-up Roundtable Sessions

Join UMD educational technologists and a representative from the Office of the Registrar for concurrent roundtable sessions to wrap-up courses and prepare for spring semester. You can come to one or all. Feel free to move from table to table during the session and get assistance with preparing final grades in Moodle or eGradebook, submitting final grades through MyU or getting started with Moodle. Sessions will be held from 11 a.m.-Noon and 2-3 p.m. in Kirby Plaza 175 the following Fridays:

  • December 2
  • December 9
  • December 16

3. Personal Consultations

Request an educational technology personal 1:1 consult with an ITSS Educational Technologist by emailing

4. Customized Sessions

ITSS educational technologists can also design single or multi-session, customized workshops around small group. departmental or unit needs. We also can coordinate with system-wide units like Academic Technology Support Services (ATSS) and the Center for Educational Innovation (CEI) to bring additional perspective, expertise and resources to our campus. Past workshop examples include:

  • Active Learning in Any Classroom
  • Designing and Execution of an Online Course
  • Reviewing Moodle Features to Support Course Outcomes

ITSS educational technology services are free and available to all UMD faculty and instructional staff. Learn more about UMD educational technology and our support services.

November 10 Unizin/Canvas/Moodle Presentation

If you were unable to attend the November 10 on-campus presentation from the UMN Office of Information Technology (OIT) regarding Unizin and the related evaluation of Canvas and Moodle learning management systems, check out the presentation slide deck.

A few important items from the presentation include:

  • UMN will be moving to a cloud hosted learning management system platform whether we stay with Moodle or move to Canvas
  • OIT has recommended, not decided, that Canvas be adopted as the new learning management system for the UMN system.
  • ULTA (University Learning Technology Advisors) will take OIT's recommendation into consideration in their finalrecommendation to the Provost and CIO who will make the final decision.
  • Faculty and staff are welcome to request a Canvas sandbox site to see what Canvas offers. These are self-supported test sites and cannot be used to teach courses.

Students and Technology Research

EDUCAUSE Center for Analysis and Research (ECAR) collaborated with 183 institutions to collect responses from 71,641 undergraduate students across 25 countries about their technology experiences.

This study explores technology ownership, use patterns, and expectations as they relate to the student experience. Colleges and universities can use the results of this study to better engage students in the learning process, as well as improve IT services, increase technology-enabled productivity, prioritize strategic contributions of IT to higher education, plan for technology shifts that impact students, and become more technologically competitive among peer institutions. Read the study findings.