Innovations in Educational Technology – May 16, 2016

heading-homeOn May 16, 2016, Vancouver Community College (VCC) was pleased to present our second “Innovations in Educational Technology” showcase. Held at the VCC Downtown campus, this was an opportunity for our faculty to showcase a wide variety of education technologies and to learn from colleagues.

The Showcase was held on the fourth floor of VCC’s downtown campus, and encompassed 18 presentations over about 3 hours. You can see event details at the VCC EdTech Showcase registration site, and read twitter activity at the hashtag #vccedtech

Here are descriptions, videos and resources from some of the day’s presentations:

Panel Discussion: What’s Happening with e-textbooks and Open Education Resources at VCC and in BC?

Presenters: Shirley Lew, Sally Gibson, David Porter

Our panelists discussed e-textbook and open learning initiatives at VCC, particularly an
e-textbook pilot hat was undertaken by VCC’s Hospitality department, and initiatives to develop common Digital Learning Resources for BC.

VCC 2016 Ed Tech Showcase – eText Panel:

Sally Gibson – Slideshow on VCC Hospitality eText Pilot Project:

About the Presenters:

Dr. David Porter is the Associate Vice President, Education Support and Innovation, at BCIT. David has nearly 20 years of experience in higher education. Earlier in his career, he spent 11 years at BCcampus, where he led a team that brought several innovative initiatives into the BC post-secondary sector, including Canada’s first open textbook program.

Shirley Lew is the Dean, Library, Teaching & Learning Services at Vancouver Community College. In her role, she provides Academic leadership for Library, Learning Centre, Centre of Instructional Development, and School of Instructional Education.

Sally Gibson is an Instructor in VCC’s Hospitality Management Degree program.

“Can words and music move the world?”

Presenters: Jane Parker, Margaret Buxton

Jane and Margaret demonstrated how technology can enhance student analysis and comprehension of text in an organized systematic way, using YouTube videos, and online apps like Quizlet, Socrativ, Twitter, and Lino to develop an analysis of two songs.

This highly interactive session engaged participants in an authentic lesson on literary texts, including distinguishing figurative language, comparing and contrasting text, and evaluating a text’s purpose.

Two videos were shown, as part of the Music Video Analysis exercise:

Quizlet Quiz on Figurative Language:

Attendees were encouraged to Tweet their feedback using the hashtag #mandjvcc

About the Presenters:

Jane Parker has been an ABE instructor at VCC for twenty years. In her class of Generation 1.5 ESL / ABE students (who are now Digital Natives), she uses educational technology to increase engagement in practicing editing skills.

Margaret Buxton is an Instructor in College and Career Access at VCC. She is currently pursuing eLearning Certificate through the School of Instructor Education.

Adaptive Technology Services for Students with Disabilities

Presenters: Brianna Higgins, Brian Lau, Amber Inglis

Brianna Higgins from VCC Disability Services, and Amber Inglis and Brian Lau from AT-BC demonstrated the technology available to support students with permanent disabilities. Disability Services works with VCC faculty, students, and departments to make education accessible to students with a disability. We provide services, equipment, and supports to help students reach their educational goals. When students require technology and equipment in class and during exams, we consult with and/or refer them to Assistive Technology BC (AT-BC), which provides assistive technology resources to make learning and working environments usable for people with disabilities in BC.

About the Presenters:

Brianna Higgins is the Disability Services Department Leader, Vancouver Community College.
Brian Lau
is the Assistive Technology Coordinator, Assistive Technology of BC.
Amber Inglis is the Assistive Technology Coordinator, Assistive Technology of BC.

Using Camtasia as a “How to” Tool

Presenter: Graham Huckin

Graham gave a video demonstration of the features of Camtasia Studio 8, plus a couple of videos he created for his Steel Detailing students. Graham’s goal was to stimulate the attendees’ imagination regarding how the techniques demonstrated may be adapted to their own program areas.

Graham’s Camtasia Studio 8 demonstration videos:

About the Presenter:

Graham Huckin started his VCC career as a term instructor in the mid-nineties. His first career was in the steel construction industry in the UK, North Africa and Canada, working on many large projects including the Alex Fraser Bridge, Canada Place cruise ship terminal, and the WM Keck astronomical observatory on Mauna Kea. He is qualified as a steel building inspector with the Canadian Institute of Steel Construction (CISC), and is a member of the Board of Examiners of the Applied Science Technologists and Technicians of BC (ASTTBC). A previous department head for the VCC Drafting Department, he’s currently Instructing in the VCC CAD & BIM Technologies Dept.

Using Adobe Indesign

Presenters: Lorena Espinoza

Lorena gave a ground-level introduction in Adobe InDesign; the professional layout program that graphic designers use. Lorena’s demonstration of the software also included a cheat sheet filled with helpful tips and resources.

Lorena Espinoza, Using Adobe Indesign:

About the Presenter:

Lorena Espinoza is the Department Head and an Instructor in the Digital Graphic Design Department at VCC.

SMART Board, Sympodium and Interactive Projector Technology at VCC

Presenters: Julieta Herrera, Maria Matus

In this workshop, Julieta and Maria demonstrated the basics of different interactive technologies in use at VCC, including providing hands-on experience with an Interactive Projector. Attendees were also shown how VCC Faculty can enrich their classes and enhance learning using SMART boards and the Sympodium.

SmartBoard workshop – VCC EdTech Showcase:

SmartBoard demo video:

About the Presenters:

Julieta Herrera is the Education and Media Technologist in VCC’s IT Dept. Maria Matus is the AV Maintenance & Repair Technician in the VCC IT Dept.

ETUG 2015 Spring Workshop


On June 4th and 5th 2015, members of the Centre for Instructional Development attended the ETUG Spring Workshop at SFU.

ETUG 2015 Spring Workshop, SFU

Here are highlights and observations from the fun and informative presentations:

Day 1

Keynote Address: “Anatomy of 21st Century Educator”

Simon Bates, UBC

In his slide show, Simon described different aspects that make up a 21st Century educator:

  • Teacher for Learning: design effective instructional activities to support active learning
  • Research-based investigation
  • Technology in delivery/assessment
  • Curator (facilitator) of existing resources
  • Collaborator (work wi others; share)
  • Experimenter (how we incorporate new ideas/methods)

Another aspect Simon emphasized was student control in constructing content and context. In contrast to a Learning Management System (like Moodle), which  is an institutionally-controlled learning space, Students could use other online tools, such as PeerWise to collect and curate their own course content.

Peerwise is a course-based question repository, developed by students, that leverages student creativity and collaboration to develop course content. In effect, it is a student-moderated space, and is particularly effective for larger classes. Students can also tag content, creating their own keywords (or use teacher’s own taxonomy).

Basic iPad Training Session for VIU Forestry Students

Michael Paskevicius, Vancouver Island University

Michael’s presentation was a”broad overview of the iPad and basic device management for students entering a program which requires the iPad.”

Preferred Mobile Platform

From the perspective of the project and institution, it was easiest and most practical to support only one brand of mobile device, and the participants were encouraged to buy their own device.

For this project, iPads were selected as the preferred platform to:

  • Reduce textbook purchase costs for students: students will be offered free and/or openly licensed digital textbooks access through the device.
  • Mirror industry standard practices from the field: iPads are emerging as an industry-standard device for the collection of data in the field.
  • Enable collaborative learning in the classroom: allow students to use iPads for group work in class and to share to the projector via AppleTV.

Polling and Quizzing in the Field

Real-time online polling tools (such as Socrative and also played a big role in gathering student feedback and facilitating discussion. QuesTinSitu was used for its geolocationing ability, allowing questions to be asked that relied on knowledge of geography or a physical presence in a particular location.

Mobile let’s students access more text + documents, and easier to transport than many expensive texts.

Additional Resources:

Day 2

Marginalia Annotation Tool

Lannie Kanevsky, SFU

Marginalia is defined as “scribbles, comments and illuminations in the margins of a book.” This old human habit has been found in manuscripts dating back to the 4th Century AD.

Lannie Kanevsky’s Slideshow:

Prior to putting 75% of one of her courses online, Lannie had her students respond to assigned readings in a printed “triple-entry journal” format in order to critically engage them with the texts prior to each class meeting.

Offline, a “Triple entry notebook” can engage students offline, before class so you don’t have to lecture. (Kooy + Kanevsky)

In a Triple-entry Notebook, Students write in margins, working in groups of 3-4, not talking, but interacting by writing in margins of a page of prepared writing.

Lannie resisted pressures to move this process online until she could find a way for students to interact with the assigned readings and each other with the same pedagogical richness and learning outcomes.

This finally became possible when she found Marginalia, a free, friendly, downloadable tool that can be embedded in Moodle discussion forums. It enables students to select portions of a text posted in a discussion forum on a Moodle (a learning management system) and annotate it with their comments appearing in the margin beside the text they’d selected.

As they had in printed responses, active conversations among classmates, the author of the posting and the instructor emerge as others comment on the comments that accumulate in the margins. Lannie demonstrated Marginalia, shared student guidelines for this process, and her students’ work, and encouraged participants to play with Marginalia on their laptops.

Marginalia integrates with the Moodle LMS, and was designed by Jeff Glass with support from BCCampus.

(Note: This tool is Javascript-based, and must be used on a laptop. Unfortunately, touch-based devices such as tablets or smartphones will not work.)

Keynote Address: Exploring Learning Ecologies: Models and Experiences So Far

Paul Hibbitts, SFU

Given that mobile access is now the new baseline, what is the next step for us to help better support our students in this age of networked information?

For Paul Hibbitts it starts with anytime/anywhere access, utilizes a development process where learning and technology are complementary partners, and evolves into the support and creation of learning ecologies. With a learning ecology, learners have an environment and tools to help better foster their own growth and meet their individual needs.

In this discussion-style session, Paul presented a learning + technology development model and a learning ecology framework for group discussion and feedback. He also shared a recent course where he leveraged both of these models as he undertook the creation of a learning ecology for his students.

Paul Hibbitts’ Presentation:


More about the ETUG 2015 Spring Workshop:


Innovations in Educational Technology – May 26, 2015

On May 26, 2015, VCC was pleased to present the first-ever “Innovations in Educational Technology” showcase. Held at the VCC Broadway campus, this was an opportunity for our faculty to showcase a wide variety of education technologies and to learn from their colleagues.

Here are descriptions, videos and resources from some of the presentations:

“Aboriginal Gateways”

Allison Schubert, Aboriginal Education and Community Engagement

Allison demonstrated “Aboriginal Gateways”, an online course designed by VCC’s Department of Aboriginal Education and Community Engagement. It is currently being piloted with Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal learners at Ray Cam Community Centre and Pinnacle Alternate High School Program in Vancouver.

“Aboriginal Gateways to Careers is a flexible Moodle-based program that was developed to assist Learners with exploring careers and making decisions about both school and work.  The program takes learners through a unique learning experience as they gather information about their skills, knowledge, values and interests and how that relates to career choice.”

Allison’s Aboriginal Gateways demonstration video:

Allison Schubert is the Learning Facilitator for Aboriginal Gateways to Careers in Aboriginal Education and Community Engagement as well as the Department Coordinator for the Access to Careers and Education Department. Allison always looks for creative ways to serve non-traditional learners and support their transition to post-secondary education and employment. She has been involved in the development of Gateways for over two years and has served as the content expert on the project.


“3D Printing”

Graham Huckin, Drafting Department

“In the Drafting program, we use our 3D printer to make solid models of some of the exercises that our Basic Drafting students are learning to draw. It is important that the students develop a spatial ability, an ability to visualise in 3D what they are looking at in 2D. Having the physically-printed models of some of the objects they are drawing in AutoCAD helps them to develop that spatial ability. I don’t plan to demonstrate the 3D printer “live” at the showcase, but I have made a short 5-minute video to show how 3D printing is done, and will bring along some physical examples of the printed objects.”

Graham’s 3D printing introduction video:

Drafting’s 3D printer in operation:

A closer look at sample 3D printed objects:

“Using the iPad & Apple TV in Group English Editing Lessons”

Jane Parker, College and Career Access

Working in small groups, Adult Basic Ed. intermediate students can edit errors in sentences they’ve generated, and can see the results in real-time on the classroom’s big screen. Jane demonstrated this interactive lesson, using faculty and staff as simulated students.

“Word-processed sentences are photographed with the iPad and imported into the “Educreations” whiteboard app. Student groups then each take turns using the iPad to annotate sentences by drawing over the image with a different colour. Sentence annotations are projected up on the room’s big screen via Apple TV. Final corrections are annotated by the Instructor and tweeted out to be displayed in the class’s Moodle course. The result is that Students are more engaged in editing because they enjoy using the iPad and watching their peers make edits in real-time. They like the fact that the lesson becomes a kind of competitive game.”

“Educational Technology in the EAL Pathways Program”

Joann Chernen, EAL – Pathways Program

“Pathways course delivery and participation depends on a significant amount of educational technology, involving: the online learning platform Moodle; a reliance on authentic materials sourced and researched through the internet; extensive video recording via mobile devices and tablets; and software applications such as Excel; PowerPoint; and Prezi. Students recognize and appreciate the integration of educational technology for the currency it brings to the Pathways learning experience, and for the opportunity it provides them to improve their educational technology skills.”

Pathways Curriculum Developing Ss Tech Skills and Awareness
(Adobe PDF format)

“Using Camtasia Studio 8 to record screen-capture video presentations”

Graham Huckin, Drafting Department

Graham gave a video demonstration of the features of Camtasia Studio 8, plus a couple of videos he created for his Steel Detailing students. Graham’s goal was to stimulate the attendees’ imagination regarding how the techniques demonstrated may be adapted to their own program areas.

Graham’s Camtasia Studio 8 demonstration video:

“Demonstrating the Morpholio Board”

Ken Izumi, Dental Technology

“The Morpholio Board iPad app allows for a layout of images, concepts and ideas all on one “slide”. The app enables you to present multiple images seamlessly, and create annotations to enhance these concepts and ideas. The app can be used in presentations, quizzes and interactive learning exercises. I use the app on my IPad and stream it to a TV screen using Apple TV. Dental Technology students, for the most part, are visual learners. The Morpholio Board App allows me to present information in a format that hopefully optimizes their learning experience.”

Ken’s Morpholio Board demonstration video:

“Introducing Hydraulic Trainers”

Rick Cyr, Heavy Mechanical Trades

Rick demonstrates “How to bring Heavy Equipment Hydraulics into the classroom (without making a large hole in the wall)”. Participants had an opportunity to try out the Hydraulics Trainer and build active hydraulic circuits safely.

Rick’s Hydraulic Trainer demonstration video:

Rick Cyr is the Department Leader for the new Joint VCC/BCIT Annacis Island Campus- Motive Power Centre of Excellence. He is certified in heavy duty and commercial transportation.


Lisa O’Neil – “Media in Education”, May 20, 2015

On Sept 17, 2014, the Centre for Instructional Development proudly presented the Learn @ Lunch Workshop “Researching Conditions That Embed Media in Education; Is It Really Just a ‘Matter of Time’?” by Lisa O’Neill.

In January of 2013 a case study was launched at BCIT that sought to identify essential conditions that embed media in higher education learner experiences. This educational media study gathered learner-directed study habits, utilized findings to redesign faculty-directed activities, and uncovered the value and impact of both approaches to frame five essential conditions to embed media in teaching and learning.

The first half of the workshop briefly situates the investigation within the current media and adoption literature (by providing an overview of media ecology and situated learning) and introduces attendees to 4 characters who are supported by media enhanced learner experiences. The second half of the workshop discusses how the case study identified conditions could be implemented within VCC courses/programs.

Learning Preferences: Peter Fenrich

On Sept 17, 2014, the Centre for Instructional Development proudly presented the Learn @ Lunch Workshop “Learning Preferences” by Peter Fenrich.

This workshop allows you to assess your own learning preferences and then presents some research findings and practical ideas for designing lessons that effectively accommodate the varied learning preferences of students.

Peter Fenrich is an Instructional Development Consultant at the British Columbia Institute of Technology. He supports instructor and curriculum development. He also creates innovative computer-based training and simulation software. His work has won international awards. Peter’s book entitled, “Creating Instructional Multimedia Solutions: Practical Guidelines for the Real World”, provides practical information gained through years of experience. Peter also works internationally as a consultant.

Results of the Gradebook Survey (part II) and the Gradebook Workshop

The Gradebook Workshop was held in Long Beach, CA, USA a few weeks ago.

Moodle user and web developer Bob Puffer has posted his notes on the Gradebook Workshop to along with some handy resources to start making sense of what may come of the gradebook in Moodle.

One of the most major changes will be a UCLA modeled grader report with fixed columns and row headers which should greatly improve the usability of a large gradebook (similar to the LAE grader).

Two major changes specified from his survey results:

  • Grader report fashioned similar to LAE Grader where item headers and student info columns never leave the screen from UCLA (better than LAE Grader)
  • Natural weights allowing aggregation methods to be removed from the Setup (Cats and items) screen, display of natural weights allowing adjustment by teacher.

If you want to read the full notes that Mr. Puffer shared (and all of the great links he provided) check out his post at

To flip or not to flip? Here are some great resources!

Posted by Robin Popow

Those of you familiar with Tony Bates and his incredible body of work will know what I mean when I note how hard it can be to keep up with the continuous flow of thought provoking posts from his blog. In his February 14, 2014 post, Thinking about the design of the ‘flipped’ classroom Dr. Bates provides a very interesting introspective as well as links to some must-have resources for those interested in ‘flipping’ elements of their classroom instruction.

Noticing a resurgence of interest in this topic at VCC in the past few months I thought I’d do what I can to distribute this useful resource.