Improving Teaching Practices: Leveraging Digital Learning

Concurrent Session 3
OLC Session

Brief Abstract

How do we move the needle to achieve better student outcomes in courses? Learn from two large grants, the Digital Learning Innovation Awards managed by the Online Learning Consortium and Accelerating Adaptive Learning managed by the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities how faculty are leveraging digital tools for classroom, blended or online to make a difference.


Prior to joining the Online Learning Consortium, Dr. Buban was the Assistant Provost for Research & Innovation at Post University. In this role, Buban instituted university-wide initiatives with a forward thinking, student-centered focus. These initiatives included, but were not limited to, the university’s transition to digital course materials, the creation of an online academy for high school students, competency-based learning initiatives, professional developing credentialing, articulation agreements, enrollment management, oversight of all academic publications, as well as a variety of teaching and learning initiatives. Prior to joining Post University, Buban worked in Academic Affairs at SUNY Empire State College. She collaborated on a variety of online learning initiatives including the implementation of ePortfolios, open learning access and opportunities, and prior learning assessment. Dr. Buban continues to study and present on topics surrounding effective technology use for adult learners in online environments. She is a member of the SSEA Communications Committee, an organization for which she was named an Emerging Scholar in 2012. Given the opportunity, Buban continues to teach in the areas of adult and online learning.
Dr. Karen Vignare is a strategic innovator who has been leveraging emerging technologies to improve access, success and flexibility within higher education for over 20 years. Dr. Karen Vignare currently serves as the Executive Director of the Personalized Learning Consortium at the Association of Public and Land Grant Universities. The PLC’s mission is to support public universities as they rapidly infuse technology that supports improved student learning, retention and graduation. She has a Ph.D. from Nova Southeastern University in Computer Technology and Education and a M.B.A from the William Simon Business School at University of Rochester.

Extended Abstract

Eight public research universities have accelerated the adoption of adaptive courseware as part of Accelerating Adaptive Courseware grant managed by APLU. As of June 30, 2017 over 23,504 enrollments in 264 course sections. By January, the grantees will be 18 months into the three year scaling work. Even the first year progress offers insights and success stories. Both the faculty and institutional support units are learning how to couple the adaptive courseware data to help faculty change pedagogy in other areas of the course. The combination improved teaching practices based on adaptive courseware data seems promising. Understanding the early successes and challenges and sharing these experiences broadly are critical to improving the way adaptive courseware is developed, promoted, selected, delivered, assessed, and enhance over time. Our shared goal is to finding ways to decrease costs while delivering high quality education to an expanded and more diverse student body, and we can only do that when we embrace new models for monitoring and improving student performance. The Digital Learning Innovation Awards (DLIAward) submissions capture the current state of digital courseware implementations across undergraduate institutions of higher education. DLIAwards are granted at two tiers, institution-wide implementations, and faculty-lead team implementations. The annual award showcases the exemplary use of digital courseware to improve student success, especially among minority, first-generation and other underrepresented student groups. The award winners like the institutions committed to scaling adaptive courseware provide a powerful learning opportunity. These awards are only granted to those whose solution is based in learning science research and provide clear and complete evidence of project impact and student success. With a nationally focused lens on increasing the number of undergraduate students who complete foundation or gateway courses, the presenters will combine the insights, challenges and successes of the projects to provide the audience with a set of key takeaways.