November 12

D2L and MnSCU Collaboration Conference: 2016 MN IGNITE

Brightspace_logo_Stacked_RGB_300x275MnSCU and Brightspace by D2L invite you to join them at the annual MN IGNITE 2016 conference on April 15, 2016, from 7:45 AM–3:50 PM (Central Time) at Normandale Community College, 9700 France Ave S, Bloomington, MN. Ignite is your opportunity to connect, exchange feedback, display best practices, and network with other D2L Brightspace users.

Sponsored by D2L in collaboration with Minnesota State Colleges and Universities and St. Catherine University, this conference will showcase many aspects of teaching and learning within the D2L Brightspace Learning Management System. Sessions will also feature related topics such as best practices in instructional design, technology integration and administrative management. A MN Ignite Conference is all about connection and collaboration. With presentations, training sessions, and time for peer networking, attendees can discover how D2L Brightspace—our integrated learning platform—supports every individual’s unique pathway and potential.

Proposals will be accepted after December 1, 2015, from higher education and K-12 faculty and teachers, as well as staff and administrators. If you have a topic you are passionate about, some best practices you want to share with colleagues, or an education program you want to promote, watch for the next e-mail and submit your proposal for sessions that fall into one of these five tracks:
1. Design and Development
2. Delivery and Instruction
3. Analysis and Management
4. Innovation and Engagement
5. Support, Training and Administration

This year’s sessions will be offered in the following formats:
• 50-minute Regular sessions
• 100-minute Extended sessions (may include hands-on activities)
• 30-minute Poster sessions


Did you develop a bright idea for using D2L Brightspace to enhance your students’ learning experience? Or did your team collaborate on a project to address a student, faculty, or organizational need? If so, we want to hear from you!

Please nominate yourself (or your team) for the third annual MN Ignite 2016 Awards.

The MN Ignite 2016 Awards, given out at the annual MN Ignite 2016 Regional Conference, recognizes educators or those in education who have used D2L Brightspace to deliver learning experiences that are innovative, collaborative, or have made an extraordinary impact on learning outcomes.

More information with links to proposals and awards will be posted soon.

October 26

Quality Matters 7th Annual Conference – presentation materials

QM logoThe online education quality assurance organization Quality Matters is holding their 7th Annual Conference.  In case people who are interested cannot make it to San Antonio on November 1 through 4, they presented several options. There are presentation materials available on the website and they offer a few free webcasts (follow the links for specific information).

Meanwhile, I will be preparing more posts on what Quality Matters offers to our institution, so that all faculty interested in Quality Matters can get quick facts on our blog.

July 31

Minnesota eLearning Summit 2015

Image credit:

Image credit:

Last week, the Academic Technologies Team, as well as several other members of SCSU faculty, attended the 2015 Minnesota eLearning Summit which had a record number of participants (+400). There were too many wonderful presentations to mention, but you can click here to access the many of them!

For those of you interested in OER (Open Educational Resources), please check out Lumen Learning (co-founded by keynote speaker, Dr. David Wiley) and the Open Textbook Library (set up by David Ernst, Chief Information Officer at the University of Minnesota).

Relating to some of our previous posts on game-based learning, our very own Dr. Plamen Miltenoff (Learning Resources Services) gave a presentation on Gamification and BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) based on his constructivist research in which he created mobile interface templates for gamifying library instructions and tested them in educational leaderships classes. For more details about Dr. Miltenoff’s research, please view his web page on Library Instruction Using Mobile Devices.

July 5

“Building a Game Plan”


Creative Commons "Wordle” by Rose PhotoAmateur (CC BY SA 2.0):

Creative Commons “Wordle” by Rose PhotoAmateur (CC BY SA 2.0):

By Paul Keyworth

Following on from my last article on game-based learning, below is a link to a useful handout from Heidi Jung and Cheryl Bosarge’s presentation on “Gamification” at last month’s Brightspace Fusion 2015 Global eLearning Conference. They propose a five-step plan for gamifying your courses within a learner management system such as D2L.

Here is the link:

Building a Game Plan

Jung and Bosarge are gamification designers at Southern Illinois University’s Center for Teaching Excellence.

April 1

Utilizing Course Shells to Improve Online Courses

By Kristen Carlson

In March, I had the opportunity to present a poster session at the Society for Information Technology and Teacher Education international conference hosted by AACE. The session focused on “Utilizing Course Shells to Improve Online Courses”. Through utilizing a course shell (or template), our online courses had the ability to look more unified. This allowed our students to learn how to navigate the course, find documents, and upload assignments the same way, no matter which course they were taking within the department. The course shell is available for all faculty at SCSU to implement within their own course and was created to follow the Quality Matters rubric.

While attending the conference, I was also able to hear how other universities were teaching technology integration to their teacher candidates. The session I found the most interesting was “Coaching for Technology Integration: a Peer Partnership Approach. In this session, faculty members from Houston Baptist University discussed the implementation of a collegial coaching model that helped faculty members integrate active learning and collaborative technology into their teacher preparation courses. It definitely inspired me to think about how we, as a University, could help faculty through a similar model.