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Instructional News Updates

Emerging Technology Exploration Projects

The UW-Whitewater Learning Technology Center (LTC) regularly explores ways to leverage new technology to assist instructors and students in teaching and learning. The most innovative approaches to address teaching and learning challenges via new technology occur through the LTC’s Emerging Technology Exploration Projects (ETEPs). ETEPs align with each tenant of the LTC’s mission (i.e., We Believe, We Support, We Innovate, We Connect, We Partner, We Lead). The ETEPs involve small groups of instructors, and their students, who explore the use of a new technology in their course(s). LTC staff support instructors in learning, and applying the explored technologies. The LTC then evaluates the technologies, and makes recommendations regarding further adoption on campus.

During the 2019-2020 academic year, the LTC is exploring the use of adaptive learning. Adaptive learning platforms offer the potential to personalize students’ learning experiences by providing them with more resources for areas in which they struggle, and the ability to move more quickly through areas they understand. Professional development sessions focusing on the adaptive learning platform (Cerego) took place over the Summer of 2019. A small group of instructors spanning the sciences and humanities are currently investigating adaptive learning through use of the Cerego platform in their courses. Be on the lookout for instructors to share their experiences with adaptive learning at a LTC event in Spring or Summer 2020!

Additionally, all members of the UW-Whitewater campus community are invited to two open discussions on adaptive learning this fall.

  • Friday September 27th from 9:30 am to 10:15 am in McGraw 19A
  • Friday October 25th from 9:30 am to 10:15 am in McGraw 19A


For more information or assistance on the LTC’s current adaptive learning ETEP, please feel free to contact the LTC staff below:

Andrew Cole (Learning Technology Specialist):

Justin Notto (Graduate Assistant):

Bethany Cooke (Adaptive Learning Project Assistant):

During Spring and Summer 2019, the LTC led an ETEP exploring the use of the GoReact video software platform. The GoReact platform allows instructors and students to provide targeted feedback on videos. A small group of instructors from Education and Communication tested out the platform in their courses. The GoReact platform has not been adopted campus-wide, but feedback from students and instructors using the platform as part of the ETEP was largely positive.

In academic year 2018-2019, the LTC collaborated with Education to explore the use of the Realizeit adaptive learning platform. Following initial exploration in the LTC, Realizeit is continuing to be explored on campus through Graduate Studies/Continuing Education. A presentation on the Realizeit exploration was given at the 2019 UW System LTDC Virtual Showcase, and is available here. A journal article detailing the pilot course is available here.

The student feedback platform Poll Everywhere was explored by a small group of instructors in Spring 2018 as part of “collaborative tools” ETEP. Poll Everywhere allows students to respond to questions in real-time using their computers or mobile devices. Feedback collected on student experiences suggested that Poll Everywhere may have a positive influence on student perceptions of the course, including on the relevance of the class. Since Summer 2018, Poll Everywhere is currently available to instructors on the UW-Whitewater campus.


For more information on Poll Everywhere, or to get started, contact the LTC staff member below:

Kirsten Mortimer (Technology Training Specialist):

In Fall 2017, a small group of instructors explored “Cisco Spark” (now Webex Teams), a communication and collaboration tool that was new to the UW-Whitewater campus. A small group of instructors continued piloting “Spark” in Spring 2018 as part of the “collaborative tools” ETEP. Early feedback suggested that the tool could be particularly useful for online office hours and small group work. Feedback gained from students and instructors was used as the basis to create a “Teaching with Webex Teams Bootcamp.” The “Teaching with Webex Team Bootcamp” ran several times throughout 2018 and 2019. Webex Teams is adopted on campus, and continues to expand in use.


For more information on Webex Teams, or to get started, contact the LTC staff member below:

Kirsten Mortimer (Technology Training Specialist):


In Fall 2016, the UWW LTC explored the use of the Canvas learning management system (LMS) at UWW. As part of the exploration, the LTC surveyed students in courses using Canvas. The survey asked students to rate their satisfaction of Canvas.

What did we do?

The LTC circulated an online survey to students enrolled in courses using Canvas. Some of the courses were face-to-face and some of the courses were fully online. 90 students from seven different courses piloting Canvas completed the survey. In addition to assessing student’s satisfaction with Canvas, the survey included a number of other specific Canvas-related variables that might influence satisfaction (i.e., ease of use, system quality, information quality, usefulness, and clarity), as well as items concerning attitude toward learning management systems, and demographics.

What did we find?

Overall, students seemed fairly satisfied with Canvas:

  • Over half of the students surveyed would take another course with Canvas (9% somewhat agree, 37% agree, 20% strongly agree).

  • Over half of the students surveyed would recommend the course to a friend if it were to keep using Canvas (10% somewhat agree, 31% agree, 21% strongly agree).

  • The majority of students surveyed felt that participating in the course using Canvas was a “useful experience” (21% somewhat agree, 26% agree, 18% strongly agree).

Students who liked using learning management systems in general appeared more satisfied with Canvas. Conversely, Canvas appeared less satisfying with students who had taken more online courses and for students who find it easy to use learning management systems in general. It may be that less satisfaction could relate to more comfort with the LMS already used in other courses.

More information on the Learning Technology Center’s ETEP process can be found in the following book chapter:

Cole, A. W., & Weber, N. (2019). Use of emerging technology exploration projects to guide instructional innovation. In J. Qian (Ed.), Technology leadership for innovation in higher education (pp. 165-184). Hershey, PA: IGI Global. doi: 10.4018/978-1-5225-7769-0

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