University of Wisconsin–Madison
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Teaching with technology

  4 minutes to read | Last updated March 25, 2016

UW‑Madison has a rich history of transforming teaching and learning through the use of technology. This guide will help you discover the resources, services and terms needed to navigate the robust UW‑Madison learning technology ecosystem.

UW-Madison has a rich history of transforming teaching and learning through the use of technology. Since the 1990s, DoIT Academic Technology (DoIT AT) has served campus as a centralized unit for assisting instructors with learning technologies. Some schools and colleges have also established services for their instructors. These include Learning Support Services in the College of Letters & Science, Wendt Commons in the College of Engineering and Media, Education Resources & Information Technology (MERIT) in the School of Education.

These academic technology units partner with instructors, colleges, schools and departments to adapt, create and integrate new and emerging learning technologies in support of sound pedagogical approaches. Supported by the chancellor and the provost, the Educational Innovation (EI) Initiative also partners with faculty and staff from across campus to consider how technology can support and enhance student learning through various pedagogical approaches such as active, blended and online learning.

Learning technology consultants at DoIT Academic Technology are available to assist instructors and instructional staff throughout campus and can be contacted at academictech@doit.wisc.edu or (608) 262-5667. They are available to answer a wide range of questions including these common questions.

  • What learning technologies or tools are available to me?

    Through Learn@UW, DoIT Academic Technology and campus partners provide and support a collection of tools for teaching and learning. This includes Desire2Learn (D2L) and Moodle, two learning management systems (LMS) that instructors and course owners use to create course sites for delivering content, providing online quizzing, collecting submitted assignments, tracking grades and more.

    Learn@UW also includes additional tools such as Kaltura for sharing videos and Blackboard Collaborate for facilitating online discussions and web conferencing.

    Over 80% of faculty and staff on campus are aware of Learn@UW and over 90% of users are satisfied with the service. If you want to learn more or need assistance, please contact our learning technology consultants at academictech@doit.wisc.edu or (608) 262-5667. In addition, the Learn@UW KnowledgeBase offers guides for instructors, course owners and students.

    Additional suites of tools, like Adobe Creative Cloud, Microsoft Office 365 and Google Apps for UW–Madison are available to you free of charge through licensing agreements and with increased protections of intellectual property. To make the most of these tools, faculty, staff and students can access thousands of instructional videos and training courses through UW-Madison’s license with lynda.com for free.

    Your school or college may also offer and support tools and technologies that you can use.

  • How do I leverage technology to support active and blended learning?

    Both active learning and blended learning are research-supported and technology-enhanced teaching and learning methodologies.

    photo of students in an active learning classroom, crowded around computers, whiteboards and other learning aids
    Active Learning Classroom

    Active learning refers to a process where learners engage purposefully with instructors, other students and course content to promote problem-solving, application and understanding. A wide variety of technologies such as Google Apps for UW–Madison, Piazza (an online discussion forum tool) and Kaltura MediaSpace can help foster active learning. DoIT Academic Technology’s Faculty Engagement service hosts the Active Teaching Lab where instructors share experiences with teaching tools and try out the new technologies in a relaxed, playful environment. Active learning classrooms on campus provide the technology, physical environment, instructional support and resources needed for active learning. Some schools and colleges have these classrooms, and any instructor can apply to teach in one of eight active learning classrooms in the Wisconsin Collaboratory for Enhanced Learning (WisCEL).

    In general, the term “blended learning” refers to the practice of using both online and in-person learning experiences, which can foster active learning. More information (including an overview of blended learning models), tutorials and resources are available at the Blended Learning Toolkit. In addition, programs such as Blend@UW and Blended Learning Fellowship Program from DoIT AT’s Faculty Engagement Service and Teaching with Technology from L&S Learning Support Services can help faculty and staff apply this methodology to their courses.

    Whether a course is blended or fully online, DoIT AT’s Online Course Production service can provide assistance for the entire life cycle of course development – from conceptualization of the course with research-based pedagogy through the development of course media, activities and assessments that support desired learning outcomes. In addition, the EI Program Development team, a part of UW-Madison’s Continuing Studies Department, is a service unit whose purpose is to help academic departments explore serving post-traditional audiences and can assist faculty and staff in the creation of accessible, high-quality post-baccalaureate degrees and certificates.

  • How do I get help with developing an app or website for teaching?
    students with tablets in a room full of pipes and equipment
    Apps in Practice

    DoIT AT’s Teaching and Research Application Development (TRAD) team partners with instructors to create innovative applications for teaching and research. This can include mobile apps for research data collection or situated (location-aware) learning, games and simulations for teaching complex concepts as well as modules for interactive educational websites that leverage a content management system (CMS) or LMS. For help with a simple course site in D2L or Moodle, contact DoIT AT’s learning technology consultants via via email or phone at (608) 262-5667.

    In addition to designing and developing these tools, they can also be a resource for applying to grants and planning for software updates after a grant runs out.

  • How can I help my students succeed with their digital assignments?

    As you incorporate technology into your course projects and assignments, even your most tech-savvy students may need assistance. DesignLab helps students make everything from posters and videos to presentations and websites. Students can make an appointment or drop-in to get help fleshing out ideas, finding resources and improving design. DoIT AT’s Software Training for Students (STS) offers free training workshops that teach students the software programs needed for coursework. In addition, the Ask a Trainer program offers one-on-one training for specific projects. Faculty, staff and students can also access thousands of instructional videos and training courses through UW-Madison’s license with lynda.com for free.

    Both Software Training for Students (STS) and DesignLab work with instructors to provide custom trainings tailored to your curriculum. For instance, an instructor could invite the STS trainers to conduct a workshop on the Photoshop and Illustrator techniques needed to complete a class project.

Get started & get help

Learning technology consultants are available to assist instructors and instructional staff throughout campus.

Contact us