The Center and E-Learning

Howard Jackson, Center for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning, University of Cincinnati-Main Campus

The effectiveness of the Center has been multiplied many-fold by three critical partnerships, firstly the collaboration with interested and knowledgeable faculty who have shared their expertise broadly in presentations, workshops, and institutes for other faculty under the auspices of the Center and with guidance from the Center. A second partnership is with our e-Learning group, which is part of the university's information technology infrastructure. The Center's approach to e-Learning programming fuses "pedagogy with best practices in instructional design and technology training." A key is the formation of a collaborative training team which includes not only knowledgeable faculty sharing their expertise, but instructional designers and instructional technologists from the e-learning group whose technical skills are integrated with disciplinary pedagogy into both workshops and individual faculty consultations. A third partnership is with a university-wide collaboration called Great Gateways. Here the object is to enhance student learning and success in first year courses, including specifically foundational STEM courses. The Center has been effective in collaboration and in integrating in a coherent manner course redesign (by the Center) with the offerings of other parts of the university, e.g. faculty early term feedback and learning communities, all led by the Office of the Provost.

The collaboration with the e-Learning group, which reports to the Vice President of Information Technology and Chief Information Officer, is both natural and powerful. If one underlying theme for the Center is active learning teaching strategies, these strategies most often have a foundation piece that is technological. One can think of many examples here, for instance the use of classroom response systems including the use of such advanced systems like Learning Catalytics. A second example is Echo360's Active Learning Platform (ALP) whose lecture tools for use in the classroom require both technological and, absolutely centrally, an understanding of how they support student learning in effective ways. A third example would be the use of Perusall, a sophisticated and student collaboration using text annotation. In each of these cases, the combination of advanced technology and deep pedagogical understanding can result in enhanced student learning. In each of these cases, course redesign based on pedagogy is imagined along with the use of the appropriate electronic tools. This is made possible by programming under auspices of the Center where the e-Learning group introduces a portfolio of technological tools and capabilities and members of the Center highlight the effective pedagogical use of the tools. This partnership is a clearly powerful one that will extend into the future. We have selected e-Learning as a key partner, but having many partners brings credibility to the Center and multiplies the Center's effectiveness in influencing student learning and student success.


Center Profile: Center for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning - University of Cincinnati-Main Campus