The Education Technology Committee (ETC) of Colleges Ontario recently held its annual This is IT 2008 Conference, Enhancing Learning with Instructional Technology, at Mohawk College in Hamilton. The Educational Technology Awards were presented at the conference, with two members of Loyalist’s faculty being recognized. The award recipients were recognized for their leadership and commitment to students in the areas of impact, innovation, first experience and learning objects. The First Experience Award was presented to Len Arminio, Radio Broadcasting professor. Kathryn deGast-Kennedy, Justice Studies professor received the Innovative Teaching with Technology Award.
Prompted by the students’ need to submit their voice files and accompanying documentation from off-campus locations, Len Arminio consulted with the Academic Technology Team at the College and began building his first Learning Management System (LMS), Blackboard course. Building on the success of this LMS course he began incorporating the various tools available, integrating it into all of his courses. The courses gave students greater flexibility with their off-campus assignments and their written communication skills showed marked improvement.
"Our current learners are so web-savvy that using the technology they have grown up with is crucial,” said Professor Arminio. “On-demand access to course materials and links provides our learners with the ability to ‘time shift’ and ‘location shift’ their learning environment. It also allows the faculty to do the same. Getting audio and text assignments through web sources simplifies the process.”
To obtain employment as Border Service Officers, graduates are required to complete an application and training process. Professor Kathryn deGast-Kennedy wanted to ensure that her students were well prepared for this. She built upon her background with the Canada Border Services Agency, and she collaborated with the Academic Technology Team and the Virtual World Design Centre at Loyalist. Together they re-created the Canada/USA border crossing in the virtual world of Second Life. She was very involved in the design process and ensured that every detail of the border simulation reflected those found in real life. The curriculum and instructional methods were adapted to ensure the students were engaged in active learning through the use of role-playing scenarios.
“It’s exciting to watch faculty members embrace the instructional technology available and use those resources to strengthen the learning experience for our students,” said Margaret Scott, Vice-President Academic.
The ETC is a subcommittee of the Coordinating Committee of Vice-Presidents, Academic (CCVPA), and represents the colleges’ practitioner knowledge base on matters pertaining to the application of teaching and learning technologies. Its strength is found in the broad membership of all practitioners working in the field of teaching and learning technologies. The ETC is a network of those people who are directly involved in the practice and applied research of educational and learning technologies.
Media Contact: Marilyn Warren, Communications, Loyalist College, (613) 969-1913 ext. 2332; e-mail: email@example.com or Margaret Scott, (613) 969-1913, ext. 2278