Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Highlights from 2017 Fusion Conference

Highlights from 2017 Fusion Conference - Carl Kinney

This was my first Fusion Conference, and I consider it a great opportunity. I came away from the conference believing that our Learning Management System (LMS) is pretty impressive. I have to realize the conference was put on by Brightspace (D2L), but I was very impressed with their vision, their desire for innovation, and their goal to reach every learner. I believe our LMS has many features that we haven't explored enough to determine if we want or how we would utilize the capability. For example, one session was on "Getting Started with Personalized and Adaptive Learning". D2L has this capability, and we really need to investigate more and determine our strategy around Personalized and Adaptive learning if we are hoping to stay competitive. I appreciated their clarification given around the terms Personalized and Adaptive.

  • Personalized Learning - taking into consideration the different needs and learning styles.
  • Adaptive Learning - is a subset of Personalized Learning, and is reacting to the inputs of a particular student.
Greg Jorgensen and Instructional Technology Specialist from St. Cloud State University gave a session on: Content- Put It All In Your Course - Adding All The Things To Your Course Content. I enjoyed this session, and agree that "You don't want to do something just to do it. It needs to align and increase interactivity. From this session, I think we need to discuss external sources we are using in our courses and determine if they can be accessed within D2L and make the access somewhat transparent to the student. For example: you can create a link so a student automatically goes to Adobe Connect.

In a session titled: Setting Students Up for Success Through Student Engagement, I discovered that YouSeeU has a partnership with D2L and it is a free offering in the core platform. It also provides a Virtual Classroom Feature with no plug-ins required, and is completely browser driven. This is one of those features that I wasn't aware of, but we really need to investigate taking advantage of this capability.

This was a very good conference and hopefully some of the highlights I've shared are helpful, and can be the foundation for our growth with our LMS. Please feel free to stop by or call if you would like to discuss in more depth any of the above highlights.