Partner with educators to evaluate the efficacy of digital learning content and tools to inform procurement decisions and adoption.
In the April 2021 post, Diigo as a Tool for Collaborative Learning and Research in Higher Education, I evaluated a specific digital annotation tool, Diigo, and its strengths and weaknesses as they pertain to use in education and educational research. This involved consideration of the tool’s underlying educational philosophy (in this case, collaborative knowledge construction and feedback), as well as the efficacy of the tool itself, including its usability, accessibility, and compatibility with other digital platforms.
Additionally, in the May 2021 post, Using Canvas Analytics to Support Student Success, I explored a particular data analytics tool available within the Canvas LMS system and the opportunities it affords. Once again, a robust evaluation of the tool includes a consideration of its underlying educational philosophy (in this case, accessing student analytics to inform instructional design, formative assessment, and student retention), and the efficacy and ethical use of the tool.
Finally, in a post from September 2020, A Few Best Practices for Online Learning & Adoption in Higher Education, research is presented in support of helping higher education institutions onboard instructors in the use of digital tools and teaching online. A particularly effective example of PD provided in the post has faculty participating in an online course model as a student, using their own first-hand experience to inform their course creation. As they participate in the course, faculty are able to use the technology that they will be in charge of as an instructor (programs like Zoom, Padlet, Flipgrid, Adobe Spark, Loom, and Screencast-O-Matic), gaining comfort and ease with the tools and increasing their overall digital literacy. Faculty also get a comprehensive sense for the student experience while concurrently creating an actual course template and receiving guidance and support from the course coordinator. This all stands to set faculty (and the institution as a whole) up for success when adopting new digital tools for use in teaching and learning.