The Evolution of Teaching and Learning: A recap of TESS 2017

woman at TESS in vitual reality gogles
02.12.2017 - 4 min. Read

Over the past three years, the eCampusOntario showcase has served as an opportunity for educators and administrators from Ontario’s colleges and universities to share and showcase their projects and experiences in technology-enabled learning with colleagues from the 45 colleges and universities in Ontario. This year, we extended our program beyond the showcase format, providing a forum for educators from across Ontario, Canada and the United States to share  experience and insight across a range of topics important to post-secondary educators. TESS also provided students and attendees with an opportunity to participate in the Student Experience Design Lab (SXD) where they explored methods by which faculty, institutions and students might work together in future to co-create content and shape new ways to improve student experience design.

New this year, the TESS Awards of Excellence gave institution teams the opportunity to present new uses of technology and initiatives which have positively impacted learners  in Ontario.  The following projects and institutions were the recipients of the first annual TESS Awards:

Best in Show Learner Centered

Project Title: VGS: Therapeutic Communication and Mental Health Assessment

+ Post Op Pediatric Clinical Simulation

Institutions: Ryerson University, The Chang School DES, Centennial College and

George Brown College

Best in Show Technology

Project Title: Making Online Interactive with Video Conferencing

Institution: University of Guelph

 Best in Show Open

Project Title: UWindsor Open

Institution: University of Windsor

Access Award

Project Title: Laurentian’s Online Exam Management System

Institution: Laurentian University

Collaboration Award

Project Title: Collaborative Online Degree Development

Institutions: Mohawk College, Algonquin College and George Brown College

Keynote Speakers

TESS17 featured three keynote speakers that provided rich in insight on the state of post-secondary education: Anya Kamenetz, two-time winner of national prizes from the Education Writers of America; Christina Hendricks, Deputy Academic Director of the Centre for Teaching, Learning and Technology at the University of British Columbia; and, the Honourable Deb Matthews, Deputy Premier, Minister of Advanced Education and Skills Development, Chair of Cabinet and Minister Responsible for Digital Government.

Our onsite OER Sprint

On November 19, prior to the start of TESS, Sean Kheraj, Associate Professor, Department of History at York University, Tom Peace, Assistant Professor of History – Huron University College at Western University and the eCampusOntario Program Managers began a three-day Canadian History ancillary resources sprint. The purpose of the sprint was to create open educational resources (OER) that complement John Douglas Belshaw’s open textbooks, Canadian History: Pre-Confederation and Post-Confederation, both of which are already used by Ontario history educators. eCampusOntario is aware of 700 Ontario learners that will benefit adoptions in the Fall semester, with more anticipated in the Winter term.

The result of the three-day sprint was a visual syllabus design, a digital resource composed of primary and secondary history sources to complement each of the chapters in Belshaw’s textbook and the creation 5 rich chapters.  The reader is in Pressbooks draft form and may be reviewed at: https://ecampusontario.pressbooks.pub/chotr/

Taking the SXD Lab on the Road

TESS also featured students from eCampusOntario’s Student Experience Design (SXD) Lab who participated in a two-day Co-Design Studio, led by Chris Fernlund, Project Lead, Student Services and Design Storyteller, Denise Withers. The studio brought together students, faculty, and librarians to explore how student-experience design can support innovation in the post-secondary system. This two-day iteration of the lab is the first of a series of design studios that will kick off the “Design Roadshow” touring Ontario to promote the SXD process.

The eCampusOntario conference team is already looking ahead to 2018. We want to thank you for sending us your feedback in our TESS survey. We will be using that feedback to shape the content and programming for future events.