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Laura. Steve, and nursing students pose for a photo at TESS

Cambrian Made a Great Showing at #TESS2019

The Technology + Education Seminar + Showcase (TESS) event, hosted by eCampus Ontario, has become one of my favourite conferences. I look forward to it every year. It’s fairly small, with about 200 or so participants representing the colleges and universities from across the province. The conference always centers around individual and collaborative achievements in tech-enabled teaching and learning, so the vibe is celebratory, collegial, yet critical and thought-provoking. Rubbing elbows with learners, faculty, instructional designers, librarians, administrators, and other key stakeholders from across the province helps me to gain some system-wide perspective on what’s working well, what the shared obstacles are, and what the future trends might look like.

This year, I left the conference with a strong sense that here at Cambrian, we’re making excellent strides that we should be proud to share. In that spirit, I’d like to share with you some of the great work that your Cambrian colleagues engaged in at the #TESS2019 conference.

Collaborative Note-Taking with Jenni Hayman

Our Chair of Teaching and Learning, Jenni Hayman, demonstrated her characteristic openness and collaborative leanings by inviting TESS participants to join her in some collaborative note-taking. The result is 18 pages of Google Doc gold. You can view the document by clicking here.

Creating a Culture of Empowered Online Learners: A Student Panel Moderated by Laura Killam

The group on stage at TESS

I absolutely loved this session. Laura did a fantastic job of moderating the discussion, wherein a small group of nursing students shared their experiences and suggestions about learning together in an online community. Laura blogged about the panel, and about many of the TESS sessions, on her personal website, available here

My key takeaways from the student panel were: students would like to have more opportunities to engage with and learn from one another, to really feel a sense of community in their online cohorts. They want media-rich, scaffolded learning experiences that aren’t just busy work, but lead to real learning gains. They want to feel supported.

Human Connection: The Cornerstone of Successful Online Teaching and Learning by Jess O’Reilly

Jess on stage presenting

I was next on the hot seat, delivering a choose-your-own-adventure style presentation about the Community of Inquiry, sharing examples of how I attempt to foster social, teaching, and cognitive presences within my asynchronous online deliveries. My slidedeck with detailed notes is available here. I’ll definitely revisit this presentation during our May / June period. 

Level Up Badging: Excellence in Equitable Engagement is the Endgame by Laura Killam, Katherine Timmermans, and Sidney Shapiro

This trifecta of awesomeness presented on their experiences with digital badging and game-based pedagogical practices. The three hope to publish the findings of their preliminary research at some point in the not-too-distant future, so stay tuned. In the meantime, Laura recaps her main takeaways from the presentation here

Plenary ‘Experimenter’ Panel: What can go Right? What to Expect when you are Experimenting! with Sidney Shapiro

Sidney speaks during the plenary panel

Day Two of TESS started with an invited panel featuring our very own Sidney Shapiro. Each panelist shared their perspectives on experimentation in tech-enabled teaching environments. Adapting new teaching technologies and being flexible when things go wrong were key elements to the talk. Sidney encouraged us to think critically and reflexively on our practice, to work through imposter syndrome, and pivot when an innovation isn’t working out the way we hoped.

Level Up: Experimenting with H5P and Pressbooks with Sarah Wendorf

Sarah gesticulates during the TESS workshop on Day 2

The remainder of Day Two was devoted to grouped learning and experimentation with the ever-popular H5P content types. Our own Sarah Wendorf joined a cadre of invited moderators who walked participants through an orientation to eCampus Ontario’s Experimenter Module, a component of their larger professional development program called Ontario Extend. The groups explored H5P and Pressbooks, learning and working through technical challenges together.

In Sum…

Cambrian made an amazing showing at TESS this year. I hope, like me, you’re left feeling proud and inspired by the work that your colleagues are engaging in. I’m sure each would be quite open to discussing their TESS activities with you further – just reach out! You can also listen to many interesting conversations captured by VoicED radio during the TESS conference. All of the recordings are available here. You’ll see some familiar names on the list of recorded speakers. 

Jessica O'Reilly
Instructional Developer

(705) 566-8101 x 6395

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