First Annual Odette Open Learning Symposium 2014

OdetteBldg_University_of_WindsorI had the great pleasure of organizing the first annual Odette Open Learning Symposium 2014 (OLS2014). The goal of the event was to expose faculty and sessional instructors at the Odette School of Business and across University of Windsor campus to innovative technologies and pedagogies for open, online and blended learning delivery. OLS2014 was a great success! Nearly fifty instructors participated in the informal half-day event on Friday, May 2, 2014. Tweets and photos from this event may be found by searching #OdetteOLS.

virtual classroom sessionJim Stevens (middle, photo above) was recognized for his pioneering efforts in open learning at Odette. Jim is Director of Professional Accounting Program at Odette. He completed most of the preliminary research and initial planning for Odette’s accounting area online and blended course initiative. During the Winter 2012 semester, Jim successfully developed and delivered the first 2 online courses as pilot projects, and has since developed 3 online courses and has delivered 5 additional online course offerings. He has supported other Odette instructors in developing and delivering online and blended courses. Beyond his work at Odette, Jim has worked with The Office of Open Learning on other projects and serves as a representative on the University’s IT Advisory Committee. He also represents the University of Windsor at the Open Learning Working Group of the Council of Ontario Universities and liaises with the VP of Learning and the Associate Director of Education at the Institute of Chartered Professional Accountants of Ontario. Congratulations, Jim, and thank you for your many contributions to open learning at Odette.

Perry Samson

Next, we were inspired by an interactive and engaging guest lecture by Dr. Perry Samson, Senior VP of Teaching Innovation, Echo 360 Inc. and Center for Entrepreneurship, University of Michigan. Perry demonstrated LectureTools, a web application he created that allows students to synchronize their note taking with instructor slides and to respond to a wide range of question types during lectures. Participants were able to interact with Perry on laptops, tablets and smartphones to experience LectureTools for themselves.

Following a short break, participants were given a tour of the video-conferencing facilities at Odette. In the basement, where the University Bookstore used to reside, now lies two state-of-the-art lecture halls and a meeting room equipped with three different kinds of video-conferencing tools. Video Conferencing Demo

Jonathan Sinasac, Communications Engineer from the Centre for Teaching and Learning, and Nick Baker, Acting Director of The Office of Open Learning, coordinated a demo featuring Polycom, Blackboard Collaborate, and Echo 360.
Later, instructors participated in an active learning activity led by leaders at Odette and across campus who have expertise in various technologies: Blackboard Collaborate


Lorie Stolarchuk led the discussion on using Blackboard Collaborate to teach online courses. BVirtual Online Proctoring

Werner Keller, Craig Allen and Nick Baker led the discussion on using BVirtual online proctoring of exams for online and blended courses.

flipped classroom
Judy Bornais and Adam Wright led the discussion on using a flipped classroom approach.

large lecture classes

Last but certainly not least, Shi Kui Wu and Tanya Noel led the discussion on using a variety of technologies, including LectureTools and Echo360, to teach large lecture classes.

Judging from the in-depth discussions at these tables, continued conversations on these topics over lunch, the piloting of Echo 360 by Bill Wellington to teach the Intro to Marketing course just three days later, and positive feedback from many participants, OLS2014 was a great inaugural event that met its primary goal, to introduce faculty and sessional instructors to innovative technologies and pedagogy. A great big thank you to all the participants and staff at Odette who helped to make this event a success!


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