Horizon - September 2016


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• The Editor's Note

The new academic year is here!

teacher appleWhether you're a professor, student or employee at the University of Ottawa, the academic year marks the beginning of a new journey for everyone! We hope you had the time to rest during the summer, and that you're ready to start on a fresh note! Speaking of new, the TLSS has been transforming itself a lot in the last year as our team has implemented significant organizational and operational changes, and welcomed our new Associate Vice-President, Aline Germain-Rutherford. We said goodbye to Allan Rock, the former President, and met his successor, Jacques Frémont, who accepted our invitation to the annual Orientation Program for New Professors held from August 16 to 18. This event was an opportunity to meet with the 80 new professors, who were excited to join the faculty members' team!

Since this is the first issue of the year, we would like to welcome our new subscribers! By reading our newsletter, you'll be informed of the current university teaching and learning trends, as well as the range of services the TLSS offers.

You’re a professor or teaching assistant? In this newsletter, you will be kept informed on professional development opportunities we offer on a regular basis. Workshops, events, orientation programs, lectures, funding and educational technologies are topics we love to address!

You’re a member of the administrative staff of the University or simply interested in university teaching? Well, first and foremost, we’re delighted to have you among our subscribers! Teaching and learning is everyone's business, and is part of all stages of our lives. And now that technology takes an important role in our daily lives, it’s interesting to see how it’s changing the face of teaching and learning. So feel free to share information you read here within your network!

You are a student? Although most of our services are intended to faculty members, the TLSS would not exist without you. To ensure that your student experience is as dynamic and stimulating as possible, our team provides educational resources to professors. Needless to say that we have your educational needs in mind, and we're as engaged as the Student Academic Success Service (SASS) in making your experience an enriching one.

Not only do we share news through this newsletter, our service is also very active on social media! Follow us on Facebook and Twitter to get familiar with our services and to stay in the loop of our many free activities.

On that note, we wish you an amazing academic year!

• Feature News

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REMINDER: Teaching Assistants Orientation Day - September 10

The TLSS invites teaching assistants to an Orientation Day on Saturday, September 10. Participants will learn various tricks and tips that every TA should know! Please note that a free lunch will be served. Don't delay and register for this activity on our website before 11:59 p.m., on Thursday, September 8.

This fall, discover best practices in university teaching by registering for our free workshops!

 MG 8707Want to fine-tune your teaching techniques or discover educational technologies? Register for in-class or online teaching workshops on the TLSS website!

Pedagogy is the "new black" at the University of Ottawa!

logo enIn 2010, the University of Ottawa introduced their 10-year strategic plan “Destination 2020”, highlighting a priority to ensure a rich student experience. The plan emphasizes that this experience is intimately reliant on teaching and learning practices, and thus a necessity to heavily promote and support quality teaching at the University. This has forged a large interest into the advancement of these practices among academic personnel, ultimately ushering in a new age of pedagogical focus.

This is why, we, at the TLSS, offer numerous training options to professors who wish to improve their skills and and increase their knowledge in teaching. In addition to the many resources faculty members can benefit from, we recently launched an online toolkit, featuring a series of pedagogical videos that are intended to provide clear, and concise information on a selection of topics that academic personnel have consistently shown an interest in obtaining guidance on. In this first phase of the toolkit, you will discover self-guided resources on how to motivate your students, how to effectively manage a large class, and finally on how to engage in active learning. Check out the toolkit on our website to start your pedagogical journey!

• Did You Know

10 things every professor should know about the TLSS

Do you know what the Teaching and Learning Support Service (TLSS) is all about? Over the last 20 years, our team has provided services at the University of Ottawa. These services are primarily intended for faculty members who are seeking advice from experts in university teaching. The TLSS structure and the service offer have greatly evolved over time in order to better meet the needs of the professors and follow new educational trends. To know more about what we do, check out the 10 things you should know about the TLSS:

  1. The TLSS is the only university service that helps professors improve their teaching skills, design courses to meet student needs and enrich their students’ learning experience. Our 60 experts include educational developers, instructional designers, technicians, classroom designers, video directors and producers, web programmers and training officers.
  2. Although TLSS workshops are primarily aimed at professors, any member of the University community interested in teaching and learning (including administrative staff members, graduate students, post-doctoral students, teaching assistants, department or program directors) is welcome to attend their free training sessions and monthly lectures
  3. The TLSS holds the Orientation Program for New Professors and the Teaching Assistants Orientation Day.
  4. The University’s learning management system (Blackboard Learn), and the Virtual Campus, are under the responsibility of the TLSS.
  5. Most TLSS services are free, and those that are not free are very inexpensive
  6. The TLSS has designed interactive classrooms equipped with the latest technology, including a collaborative classroom in Room 286 of Louis Pasteur Hall and the Ian G. Scott Courtroom. The TLSS received numerous awards highlighting our expertise in designing these unique rooms.
  7. The TLSS ensures that online courses and distance learning courses run smoothly.
  8. Our instructional developers have designed numerous courses and educational material, and received many awards for their work.
  9. Thanks to our expertise, our team has implemented the Blended Learning Initiative, and designed the very first massive online open course (MOOC).
  10. We provide funding to professors and innovative faculty members/teaching assistants with our Funding Program for Blended Course Design, Teaching | Learning Funding Program, Excellence Awards for Teaching Assistants and Innovative Use of Educational Technology Excellence Awards.

Important notice: Blackboard's authentication system will change as of November 7, 2016

503962420In order to align the Learning Management System (LMS) Blackboard Learn to the new University of Ottawa authentication standards, the Teaching and Learning Support Service (TLSS) will change the credentials used to access your courses in the LMS.

This change will take effect on November 7, 2016, when all University applications affected by the transition to the new Student Information System (SIS) come back online.

As of Monday, November 7, you will access Blackboard using your uOttawa e-mail credentials. If you rarely use your University e-mail, verify your credentials (username and password) by logging into the appropriate platforms below:

Issues with logging into your e-mail account should be reported to the Information Technology Service.

During the update that will take place on the weekend of November 5 and 6, access to Blackboard Learn will be intermittent. Professors should avoid scheduling exams, online work periods and assignments deadlines during that time.

The learning management system renewal process is ongoing...

What LMS will we choose? Make your voice heard today!
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The TLSS is currently conducting an assessment exercise for the renewal of the learning management system, better known by its acronym LMS. As you know, the University is currently using Blackboard Learn and the contract between our institution to our supplier will expire on May 31, 2017. To do this, we have set up a consultation process to assess the needs of the university community. Want to make your voice heard, and find out more about the process? Visit our website!

Try out the various learning management system options!

So you’re a professor and you’d like to browse through the learning management systems (LMS) that are considered by the University of Ottawa as part of its LMS renewal process (currently Blackboard Learn)? Drop by the TLSS lab located at Vanier Hall, room 1020, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. A minimum of an hour is necessary. No appointment required!

• Sneak peak at the upcoming lectures and workshops

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Register today for the following workshops:

To see the complete list, visit the TLSS website.

NOTE: Should you have questions about our articles, please do not hesitate to give us a call at: 613-562-5300.

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