Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Fusion 2017
The Fusion conference covered a wide range of ways to leverage the learning management system to facilitate engaging learning experiences.

In a session presented by the American Nursing Association the presenter discussed how they integrated storytelling techniques, utilized self-paced materials, and created games through Brightspace to assist nurses as they continuously work to stay up to speed in a rapidly changing healthcare field.

In Getting Started with Personalized Adaptive Learning, a D2L representative delved into the Gartner hype cycle and how it relates to adaptive learning platforms. Adaptive learning platforms are about to hit the enlightenment period of the cycle, reaching full potential. Currently, many institutions are using release conditions within Brightspace create an adaptive learning experience. Pre-tests through Brightspace help to ascertain a student’s competency level and allows students to skip sections of learning content based on their knowledge level. The representative stressed the need for a diverse set of content in order for an adaptive learning approach to be effective through release conditions.

In another session, Sinclair Community College discussed how they leveraged the LOR in Brightspace to create single source courses in a variety of formats. They start with an online course master as a base for development and adapt for different course formats from there. Chunks of course content are placed in different modules and those modules are pulled into different course formats. Only IDs and a few faculty who have received training have the ability to edit course content. Meta tags are used to make content searchable and chunking course content aids in monitoring analytics on specific content pieces, helping schools to make improvements to a course.

One of my favorite sessions was a lightening round on student engagement. Saint Leo University discussed the use of gamification in a history course. Instructors created a story line with a villain who is responsible for changing history. The goal is to figure out what the villain has changed in history and fix incorrect information.

Slippery Rock University integrated RSS and Twitter feeds into course homepages in an effort to draw students in and keep information fresh. They also utilized VoiceThread for introductions, participation in case studies, and contributions to a collaborative class presentation.

Finally, Saint Leo University discussed how they created learning innovation at scale. They asked students from across the campus and across disciplines to participate in a mass learning event. Students were asked to apply knowledge from their particular program to help plan and execute a mock presidential debate. They had a large amount of student participation in planning the event as well has hundreds of students who attended the actual event. Here is more information about the project as well as a video from one of the presidential candidates.

I really liked this idea because it broke down barriers among different programs and had students apply their knowledge in an experiential way. Overall a great conference!

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