"Buckle up—We want to try something!"
You'll find this sign posted in the Center for Instructional Support. It pretty well sums up our approach to digging in and rolling up our sleeves when it comes to supporting teaching and learning at SOU.
Asking the question, “What would that look like?” can save time. Moving from talking about an idea to trying it out under low stakes conditions is part of a process of discovering quickly that certain technologies or teaching practices might (or might not be) a good match to SOU's culture or needs.
We Practice the Three C’s
. . . which are consultation, collaboration, and community. The role of CIS is to consult on needs and look for solutions and approaches to meet those needs, to collaborate with faculty, staff and students on evaluating and testing possible solutions, and to work with the SOU community to generate recommendations and assist in the adoption of new approaches to course design, teaching practices, and use of learning technologies to support student success.
Projects Currently Underway
Course Design Academy—Four faculty teams worked on redesigning a set of gateway course in order to increase student success. This project kicked off at the end of Fall term 2015 and redesigned courses were presented Fall term 2016. A second round of CDA began in January 2017 for Fall 2017 delivery, and an even more ambitious cohort got underway Winter term 2018.
LMS Review—SOU’s contract with Moodlerooms, our former Learning Management System (LMS) hosting service, expired in April 2018. The end of this contract offered the opportunity to explore possibilities for hosting Moodle elsewhere and to review other LMS platforms. While we are strong proponents of Moodle, in good conscience, we needed to examine other LMS platforms to ensure that we are using the system that best meets our needs. An LMS Review task force composed of faculty, staff and students examined LMS platforms, test drove select systems, and made recommendations of systems to pilot. The campus decided to stay with Moodle and has migrated to eThink Education for hosting services.
Exploring ePortfolios—A task force sponsored by the University Assessment Committee has been looking at the role of ePortfolios in teaching, learning, and assessment at SOU. ePortfolios have been piloted in a number of courses, from USEM to capstone courses. The project web site offers general resources and links to student work. See as well these ePortfolio resources for students.
Re-imagining the First Year Experience—The CIS is actively participating in the AASCU-sponsored project to increase the success of first-year students at SOU. Many of our projects and workshops are intended to support faculty in helping first-year students succeed. This website features strategies for helping first-year students succeed that arose from the RFY project.