Horizon - October 2016


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• The Editor's Note

Keep spreading the word about the TLSS!

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Lately, the TLSS and its initiatives are getting media attention, whether it be in internal media, such as The Gazette of the University of Ottawa and La Rotonde, and in other platforms, such as Contact North, Ontario's distance education and training network.

It's interesting to see how their articles showcase our services, our expertise and the many activities we organize on a regular basis in order to provide professional development opportunities for professors. Word of mouth is also a very effective way to communicate, and that’s why we also rely on you to share news about our initiatives within your network. Don't forget to follow us on Twitter and Facebook!

Curious to know what is being said about the TLSS? Check out our "Media Coverage" section on our website! If you are new at the University of Ottawa, we also invite you to find out more about our many educational services today!

• Feature News

The TLSS congratulates professors who use best practices in the design of their blended course!

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On October 17, the TLSS highlighted the innovative accomplishments of professors who designed blended courses according to the requirements of this type of course at the University of Ottawa.

During this event, the three award-winning professors formed a panel and presented their course and their components, and answered participants’ questions who showed great interest in knowing more about blended learning. The event ended with a short ceremony during which the panelists accepted their certificate and received a grant that will allow them to continue their work in regard to blended course design.

Congratulations to our first three recipients of the Innovative Use of Educational Technology Excellence Award:

• Colin Montpetit, PhD, Faculty of Science
• Denis Bachand, PhD, Faculty of Arts
• François Chiocchio, PhD, Telfer School of Management

Want to know more about the blended course design at the University of Ottawa? Visit our website today, and stay tuned for our special 4-part workshops series, offered each semester!

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 our in-class or online teaching workshops!

Bloggers wanted!


Are you a professor, teaching assistant, student at the Faculty of Education, graduate student, postdoctoral fellow or just interested in university teaching, and you would like to write about this topic? Become a TLSS blogger on a regular or occasional basis, and get to share your views, experiences, ideas and findings about the many practices and new trends in teaching and learning!

Your blog entries could take various forms: text, videos, podcasts, ...name it! We will accept your contents as long as they are relevant and delivered in a respectful manner.

No experience is required, so if you have always wanted to blog, this is your chance! Let us know today!

• Did You Know

Program evaluation: Is it time to make changes to your program?

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If your department is undergoing program evaluation or curriculum development this year, our specialists at the TLSS's Centre for University Teaching can support you. We can serve as impartial facilitator and/or speaker at curriculum committee meetings, or during focus groups with faculty, staff, or students. From planning to data gathering, to data interpretation, or to inform new program or changes implementation, we offer support at every stage of the process, which can be tailored to your specific needs and context.

We employ a collaborative approach to encourage reflection and interpretation of the data in order to inform the development of a constructive action plan. To achieve this goal, the data gathering activities and analysis are well-documented, and designed to promote the involvement and ownership of the process by faculty members. We are here to make the experience productive and relevant for professor, students and other stakeholders involved in your program.

For more information, feel free to contact us, visit our website or watch our brief video.

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7 Tips To Create Visually Appealing eLearning Courses

Are you designing an online course and would like to make it more dynamic? Here are 7 tips to ensure you get your students’ attention:

1. Choose an eLearning template with a cohesive theme.
2. Guide the learner's eye.
3. Coordinate colours with your brand image.
4. Choose font types wisely.
5. Pay attention to contrast.
6. Use emotionally compelling images.
7. Group related ideas.

For a detailed description of each of these tips, visit the following website: https://elearningindustry.com/7-tips-create-visually-appealing-elearning-courses

* UPDATE * IMPORTANT: Blackboard Temporary Shutdown from November 4-7 and New Way to Log In

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Blackboard will be temporarily unavailable

Please note that on Friday November 4, 5 p.m., Blackboard will be shut down. Blackboard will be available again the next Monday morning, November 7, following the same downtime schedule than all other systems affected by the Student Information System (PeopleSoft) transition. This is why professors should not schedule any online work, exams or assignments deadlines during that period of time. We strongly encourage you to inform your students about this down time as soon as possible.

Blackboard login = uoAccess login

As of Monday, November 7, you will access Blackboard using your uoAccess ID. If you rarely use your uoAccess ID, verify your credentials (username and password) by logging into VirtuO before November 7 or using the alternative methods below:

- Faculty members and staff can use the Self-Serve tool or call the Service Desk at 6555 to synchronize their passwords across all central uOttawa IT systems.

- Students can access their Google account.

*Exception: If you usually log into Blackboard using a special account (i.e. if your username is not your employee or student number), you will continue to use the same login credentials.

Should you have any questions related to this change, please contact the TLSS.

• 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.

Don't miss the next monthly lecture on November 25, from 11:00 a.m. to noon, in room VNR1042:

Playconomics – A Gamified Approach to the Principles of Economics
Stephanie McWhinnie Ph.D., University of Adelaide, Australia

Playconomics is a computer-based interactive experience designed to teach first-year economics by putting students in the shoes of economic decision makers. It uses the theory of gameplay to boost student engagement and academic performance, providing enhanced learning via an innovative approach that combines videogames, personalized feedback and experiential learning. The presentation will address some principles of gamification that can be applied in all discipline.

The presentation will be in English followed by a bilingual discussion.

NOTE: Should you have questions about our articles, please do not hesitate to give us a call at: 613-562-5300. If you wish to receive the French version of this issue, please send us an e-mail.

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