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Edubytes: Emerging trends in higher education
Welcome to Edubytes, formerly known as Flexibytes. This newsletter features articles that focus on innovations in teaching and learning in higher education.

If you have a topic that you would like to see covered in Edubytes, please contact us. We would love to hear from you.

In this issue:

1. Innovative Frameworks
2. Inclusive Design
3. Open Learning
4. UBC Community

Innovative Frameworks

Open data, grey data, and stewardship: Universities at the privacy frontier

This paper forthcoming in the Berkeley Technology Law Journal looks at the issues around data stewardship at universities, including open access requirements and “grey data,” or the data gathered “about individuals in their daily activities of research, teaching, learning, services, and administration.” The paper explores this topic and makes recommendations for practice.

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Developing a campus framework for digital literacy

Julia Feerrar, head of Digital Literacy Initiatives at Virginia Tech, writes about the process of creating a more coordinated effort and a shared definition and language to support digital literacy at the school. “Our framework approaches digital literacy as a kind of umbrella or metaliteracy that includes information, data, media, and invention literacies,” Feerrar explains.

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Inclusive Design


What really makes a ‘high-impact' practice high impact?

To realize the benefits of high-impact practices, it is critical to focus on the institutional context and quality of design and implementation says George D. Kuh, Chancellor’s Professor Emeritus at Indiana University, and Jillian Kinzie, associate director of the Indiana University Center for Postsecondary Research. High-impact practices (HIP) include activities such as community-based learning, internships, and global learning. “Simply offering and labeling an activity an HIP does not necessarily guarantee that students who participate in it will benefit,” they write.

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Fair is not the defaultJosh Lovejoy, a UX designer at Google, explores the need to build inclusive technology as artificial intelligence and automation become more widespread. Lovejoy writes, “When we set out to build technology for humans, using human data, we need to plan for how we’ll respond when—not if—bias manifests in some unwanted way.” While the article doesn’t specifically discuss these topics in the context of higher education, the ideas of artificial intelligence, human judgement, and biases may be of interest to those in higher education that are beginning to explore these technologies.

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Open Learning


The wicked problem of open learningThe Center for Transformation at Plymouth State University in Plymouth, New Hampshire has posted a talk by Gardner Campbell, associate professor of English at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Virginia called The Wicked Problem of Open Learning, which explores his experiences and topics related to open learning and open education.

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As good or better than commercial textbooks: Students’ perceptions and outcomes from using open digital and open print textbooksThis research paper in The Canadian Journal for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning looks at “perceptions, use, and course performance of Canadian post-secondary students assigned a commercial or open textbook in either print or digital format.” The study concludes that open textbooks benefit students through cost savings. Students also prefer the quality of the open textbooks and perform the same or better when using open textbooks rather than commercial textbooks.

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Textbooks, OER, and the need for open pedagogyJesse Stommel is executive director of the Division of Teaching and Learning Technologies at University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg, Virginia. In this post, he recaps notes that he prepared for a recent article in the Washington Post about textbook publishing, digital content, and inclusive access.

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How blogging is (or should be) essential to active learning and radical pedagogy“Blogs help you develop a voice, a point of view, and an interpretation,” says Cathy N. Davidson, director of the Futures Initiative at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. According to Davidson, blogs are a key component of active learning, a practice where students become the expert through research and activities and share their knowledge with others. Blogs can enable students in “express[ing] one's own thoughts based on evidence, moving from thinking to expression, moving from expression to interaction and dialogue,” writes Davidson.

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UBC Community


Designing an introductory programming course to improve non-majors' experiences

This paper presented at SIGCSE '18 Proceedings of the 49th ACM Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education discusses a new introductory computer science course for non-majors at UBC Vancouver. The course was developed by Meghan Allen and Steve Wolfman in response to the increasing demand for computer science courses at UBC and the need to meet the needs of a broader student population. The paper presents the design of the course, which encompasses features like active learning, student-driven projects, course evaluation, and “Appreciative Inquiry”, a strengths-based methodology for exploring student experience and their roles as instructors.

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CTLT Spring Institute: May 22–25, 2018

The Spring Institute offers educators in the UBC teaching community an opportunity to share innovative practices and research around teaching, learning, and technology. This year’s Spring Institute features 20 free workshops that focus on one or more of the pillars of UBC’s Strategic Plan: People and Places, Research Excellence, Transformative Learning, and Local and Global Engagement.

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Celebrate Learning Week recap

From April 30 to May 6, UBC celebrated teaching and learning at the 10th annual Celebrate Learning Week. The events included a one-day Innovation Summit that explored the future of teaching and learning through presentations and a keynote by Dr. Joseph Aoun, president of Northeastern University, on preparing students for a world where artificial intelligence is rapidly growing. Other events included a showcase of innovative teaching and learning projects and a keynote from Peter Felten, professor of history, assistant provost for teaching and learning, and executive director of the Center for Engaged Learning at Elon University, on the core themes that matter most for student success.

Centre for Teaching, Learning and Technology
Irving K. Barber Learning Centre
214 – 1961 East Mall
Vancouver, BC Canada V6T 1Z1
Email: edu.bytes@ubc.ca